PADDY MCGRATH was in the form of his life this year with Donegal – and it’s all down to the home comforts.
McGrath is based again back home at Loughros Point in Ardara having been in Dublin previously.
The long journeys from training in Castlefin or Ballybofey down the M1 became tiresome, but McGrath feels that it’s no coincidence that his form has blossomed since his return home.
“I really enjoyed my football this year and I loved being at home. I was blessed to be able to work at home and enjoy training and the football,” McGrath told Donegal Sport Hub after collecting an Irish News Ulster All-Star award last night in Armagh.
Picture caption: Paddy McGrath (second from right) with fellow Irish News Ulster All-Stars Ryan and Eoin McHugh, Cieran Kelly the treasurer of the Donegal County Board and Aideen Gillen the secretary of the Donegal County Board at last night’s function in Armagh.
An engineer by trade, McGrath is now employed by Wills Brothers, who are overseeing the major Clar-Barnesmore upgrade works between Ballybofey and Donegal town.
“I felt very good and very confident as I played. That comes with age and experience too. Just being at home was a blessing. It’s great to have work at home and not having to travel.
“It’s like burning the candle at both ends – you can’t do it at that level.”
The tenacious corner-back, whose stand-out performance came when he curbed the influence of Monaghan’s Conor McManus over two games in the Ulster semi-final and replay, was one of three Donegal recipients last night with Ryan McHugh and Eoin McHugh also honoured.
McGrath said: “You’ve the likes of Ryan and Eoin and so many others who are there, breaking through. Our underage teams are competing and you see a minor team getting to an All-Ireland final and semi-final, it’s great for the future. We have to build on the success of previous years.”
Listen to the full interview below …