'A dream come true': 46-year-old goalie gets call-up to Waterford football panel

'A dream come true': 46-year-old goalie gets call-up to Waterford football panel

Darren Mulhearne has said it's a "dream come true" to get a call-up to the Waterford panel at the age of 46.

The Kilrossanty 'keeper made an impression as his club reached the Waterford SFC final last autumn, and an injury to the county's first-choice goalie, Aaron Beresford, created an opening in the panel.

It's 29 years since Mulhearne, who has three kids, aged 15, 13, and nine, was last called-up to the Waterford squad.

That was after Kilrossanty won their last county title in 1989, with a 16-year-old Mulhearne in goals. He played in both the minor and senior finals on the same day that year.

However, he had to drop off the panel after a couple of weeks of pre-season as he was doing his Leaving Cert and hasn't got the chance to represent his county since.

That was until manager Benji Whelan gave him a call last Wednesday.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's Ryan Tubridy Show, Mulhearne said:

"He said, 'Would you like to play a bit of football for a couple of months?'. To which I answered, 'With who?'

"He said, 'With the Waterford team'. I said, 'Oh right. Leave it with me there, will you?' I was in a bit of shock.

"I spoke to Camille, my wife, about it. She said, 'Look, if he thinks you're good enough, go and give it a shot'.

"So I gave him a ring back and said 'I'd be delighted to do it'."

Although three decades have passed, pulling on the Waterford jersey remained the dream for Mulhearne.

"In any sport you want to try and get to the highest level you can. Inter-county is the highest level so you would always have dreamed to get a call to start.

"Unfortunately it never happened... until a week ago.

"I have a chance at getting on a Waterford inter-county team, so it's a dream come true."

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