Kilkenny 'devastated' to hear of McBrearty's season-ending injury
By John Harrington
Dublin footballer Ciaran Kilkenny says he was ‘devastated’ to hear the news that Donegal forward Patrick McBrearty’s season had been ended by the ruptured cruciate ligament sustained in the Ulster SFC Final.
Kilkenny tore a cruciate himself back in 2014 and was quickly on the phone to McBrearty to offer his sympathy when he discovered the extent of the Donegal man’s injury.
“I'd know Paddy well,” said Kilkenny. “I was in touch with him after the game and was devastated to hear that he had done it.
“I know how much work he puts into his football, his training, and how hard he works off the field as well.
“So it was devastating to hear that, and I just hope that he can get back as quick as he can and as healthy as he can because he's an incredible footballer and a really nice guy. I wish him the best of luck.”
Kilkenny came back from his ruptured cruciate stronger than ever and has suffered no serious injury since then so was in a position to offer McBrearty some good advice.
“All you can do is spend the time to reflect and work on different areas and different muscles in your body in the gym and concentrate on different areas that you'd like to improve yourself and do other things in his life over the next six to eight months," said Kilkenny.
“He just needs to, I suppose, work really hard in the gym and he's very lucky he has a great medical team in Donegal to look after him. I know he'll get back fit and strong.”
Dublin will play Donegal in the Phase One of the All-Ireland SFC Quarter-Final Group phase on Saturday, July 14.
The absence of McBrearty surely tips the scales heavily in Dublin’s favour, but Kilkenny is adamant the Ulster Champions will still prove stiff opposition without their star forward.
“Yeah, look, he's a massive player, he's one of the best players in the country, but Donegal have a serious panel," said Kilkenny.
“They have 30-plus lads who are all serious footballers who would have competed in All-Irelands at minor, U-21 and senior. They have a serious panel and have been racking up serious scores.
“They have a lot of variables within their team and can play any style, really. They have a good running game, they're very good kick-passers, they've really got everything as a team so we know that it's going to be a serious challenge and we have to just prepare ourselves to adapt to those situations. We're looking forward to the game.”
Kilkenny is also looking forward to the novel test that playing three matches in quick succession in the All-Ireland Quarter Final series will present.
“Yeah, really excited, definitely something new, something different,” he said.
“A new challenge for all teams that are participating in the 'Super 8s'. Something that we're really excited about, the opportunity, I suppose, to play football matches week in, week out.
“I know all the players are really excited about it as well. And I suppose the opportunity for the supporters to either go down to Pairc Ui Chaoimh or Healy Park is something really exciting for them as well.”