McVeigh calls time on Down
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
DOWN shot-stopper Brendan McVeigh has no regrets after calling time on his career with the Mourne County but has no ambitions to hang his gloves up on his club An Riocht.
The Democrat caught up with the 2010 All-Star after his club defeated Darragh Cross in the Intermediate Championship.
Having made his debut against Tyrone in 2005, McVeigh wants to spend more time with his family and believes that Down's goalkeeping future is in safe hands.
“It wasn't a tough decision I just knew the time was right although I always thought it would be a tough decision. I just knew, it is a young mans game at the minute as you are at it plenty of nights a week and there are now a lot of nights that I need to be at home with a new baby and that and that's where I have to be," said McVeigh.
“I have done my time and there is plenty of youth coming through. Young Michael Cunningham is a great prospect as people seen at the end of the season, so the goalkeeping position is in safe hands."
During his playing career silverware was a rarity for McVeigh and he counts their run to the All-Ireland Final in 2010 as one of his career highlights and low points.
He said: "Plenty of highs we had the good run in 2010 but with that comes the low of the biggest disappointment within the county of losing the All-Ireland Final by a point.
“Some of my best days have been playing with the best footballers in Down. Playing along with Martin Clarke, Mark Poland. Ambrose Rogers and Benny Coulter.
“It was great to share a changing room with Benny and I came along in the same era as him and the same goes for the coaching staff as well.
“When I first came onto the scene Mickey Linden was still on the panel and I would have walked across glass to see that man play."
And his room-mate Coulter has wished McVeigh a happy retirement.
“Brendy has been a fantastic servant for Down and has been there as long as me and he give so many great years to the red and black," he said.
“In the changing room he brought so much laughter to everybody around him and will be missed.
If you ask anybody who was the joker of the pack Brendy will always be mentioned as the one.
Through the years you make friends in football and I can gladly say that he will be a friend for life," said Coulter.
And while McVeigh was not willing to predict the next Down manager he did insist that there will have to be changes next year.
“There is speculation about a lot of people but I don't know," he said.
“Whoever does take over will need the commitment from everybody. There was things that happened at the end of last season that shouldn't have happened so we need everyone pulling in the one way if we want to gain success."
And McVeigh wants to help An Riocht progress in the Championship and League over the next few seasons.
“I will give the club another couple of years and when the body tells me that it can't give anymore then I will stop, but I am getting sore enough now," he laughed.
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