“WOULD somebody tie that boy to the goalpost!”
It’s not a shout you’d normally hear from a Fermanagh fan during a match, but it perfectly sums up goalkeeper Seán McNally’s attitude when it comes to playing the modern game.
The role of the ‘sweeper keeper’ has taken on huge significance in recent years and McNally is a fearless exponent of it.
His forays up the pitch during the Erne county’s successful Division Three campaign may have given some local supporters panic attacks in the stands, but the composed Teemore club man has no such worries.
“Goalkeepers today are told to get up and be the extra man in every team nowadays so it is nearly a necessity,” McNally explained.
“The boys tell me to be confident on the ball when I come out and it works in most cases. When we are under pressure it is good to calm everything down, and if the other team are pressing up it can work.
“I started [playing goals] when I was 14. I had a big kick off a cone at that time before short kick-outs were really a thing.
“I used to come out with the ball back then too, which helps me now, of course. There is a lot of pressure on goalkeepers now with kick-outs and it is starting to become one of the most important roles on the pitch. The pressure can build in certain stages in a game, but I don’t mind that at all.”
Currently studying quantity surveying at the Ulster University in Belfast, McNally was the goalkeeper in St Michael’s College’s victorious 2019 MacRory Cup and Hogan Cup winning team.
It was an experience that gave him the confidence to go on and play at county standard.
To read more on this story see this week’s Fermanagh Herald. Can’t get to the shop to collect your copy? No problem! You can download a copy straight to your device by following this link https://bit.ly/3gOl8G0
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