Shane Durkin and Gary Maguire.

Source: Inpho

BALLYBODEN ST ENDA’S manager Joe Fortune has paid tribute to Gary Maguire and Shane Durkin, whose retirement from inter-county hurling was confirmed today.

Maguire (35) and Durkin (31) won Division 1 honours and a Leinster SHC crown during lengthy playing careers with Dublin.

Fortune managed the pair at club level in 2018 and in October they helped deliver Ballyboden’s first county hurling title since 2013, while also reaching the Leinster decider where they fell to Ballyhale Shamrocks. 

“The two of them are massive leaders and they’ll be big losses to Dublin on the basis they’re very strong leaders in any camp,” Fortune told The42.

Both of them have young families. To be associated with guys like that, when you’re dealing with them on a day-to-day basis and you see what they add to hurling in Dublin, they’ll be missed. 

“From a club perspective, I’m only there a year but I’d imagine the club are extremely proud of how they’ve represented Dublin over the last couple of years and what they achieved under Anthony Daly at a time that was very, very important for Dublin hurling.” 

Joe Fortune celebrates at the final whistle of Ballyboden’s Leinster semi-final victory.

Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Fortune witnessed the leadership qualities of both players during Ballyboden’s run to the Dublin SHC crown where they needed a replay to overcome Daly’s Kilmacud Crokes in the decider.

“The two lads obviously won a county final and had pivotal roles to play this year with us. Even if you look at the type of character Shane was the first day, and I know Dalo would say the same, he was out on his feet and he had a big injury (after the drawn game).

He spent a week in an ice chamber to try and get right for the replay and you could argue he was one of the best players on the field the next day.

“I remember even speaking to Dalo at the end of the first game walking down the tunnel and Shane had to be more or less nearly carried to the car. He’s just that kind of character – a very determined guy, a very family-orientated guy too. The game is evolving and changing and with young families sometimes lads have other commitments.

“They expect high standards. I came into Boden 12 months ago and they hadn’t won a county final in five years and reached a Leinster final in 11 years. 

I remember at half-time in the county semi-final against St Vincent’s, we were under pressure and Shane Durkin spoke extremely well at half-time about what Boden needed to do to get back to that top table of hurling again.

“He’s a very passionate guy and Gary being the same. When they speak in Ballyboden, people listen. I’m lucky enough to deal with a group of players that have a good few leaders – the likes of (Conal) Keaney and David Curtin who have been involved with Dublin over the years.

“Gary had a massive year for us. I’d still rate him very, very highly as a keeper. They could both offer an awful lot to the set-up in Dublin. It’s a hard decision to make for both of them.

“I spoke to them very briefly before Christmas. Because I’ve been involved in Dublin, I would always have a massive grá for making sure the lads hold onto that career as long as they can.”

Source: Twitter

The Ballyboden duo are the latest members of Dublin’s Leinster-winning team from 2013 to step away from the inter-county game.

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Former captain Johnny McCaffrey retired in December, while Ryan O’Dwyer and Peter Kelly announced their decisions to step aside last July and April respectively.

Maguire was the All-Star goalkeeper in 2011 while Durkin was nominated for the award in defence the same season.

“I was lucky enough that I had the Dublin U21 team at the time when Anthony Daly was looking after the seniors,” continued Fortune.

“Looking from an outsiders perspective then I saw the kind of influence Gary and Shane would have had on the senior panel.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“They were hugely central and you could argue they were the first couple of names on the team-sheet at times in 2011 and 2013. I know management were keen to have the two lads on board but there’s a number of factors that would have led to them deciding their inter-county time was done. 

“Hopefully now the younger lads that are left there can step up to the mark and get a proper run under Matty (Kenny) over the next couple of years.”

Ballyboden’s hurling chairman John Ryan added: “They were both fantastic for club and county and exemplary role models for any youngsters taking up the game.

Shane Durkin celebrates Ballyboden’s All-Ireland club football triumph in 2016.

Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

“We’re all very proud of them. They always gave their time freely to any club activities whether it was medal presentations, fundraising or coaching. Dublin’s loss is our gain. They’ll now finish their careers where it all began and we’re delighted to have them back. No doubt they’ve many good years ahead of them with Ballyboden.”

Fortune confirmed he is remaining in charge of Ballyboden in 2019, where he hopes Maguire and Durkin will have big roles as they look to defend their leauge and championship titles.

“I came in last January and we had somewhat of a successful year,” he said. “A disappointing Leinster final but yeah, we’ll go at it again.

“It won’t be long before the year starts revolving again and you go back at it again. We won the league and championship last year so it’s a case of trying to progress that this year and look at what we have and look at some of the younger players coming up.

“I’d expect Shane and Gary to play a massive part in that and helping the younger lads as well.”

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