McBrearty was the pick of the 2014 Opel GAA-GPA All-Stars selection as they went down in Saturday’s exhibition game in the Irish Cultural Centre in Canton, Massachusetts. The game was a drab affair as players were spooked by a severe injury to former Kerry U21 Kieran O’Connor in the curtain raiser. The New York player broke a leg and tore ankle ligaments in a fall as they drew with Boston 1-9 apiece in a heated encounter.
Speaking about his Donegal ambitions, McBrearty said: “I was going in there at a time that Colm McFadden and Michael Murphy were probably the two predominant forwards in Ulster. I was kind of the wee sideshow over in the other corner. So it’s just about patience and waiting for your time to come. I was happy to do that; we were winning games.
!! “I go out for my club, I would kick 10 points and then come back for Donegal, score nothing, and they’d say ‘Why is he doing it for the club?’ It is frustrating. People are often saying it to me ‘Why the feck are you doing it for the club? (and not the county).”
McBrearty is delighted his Kilcar manager, Rory Gallagher, agreed to succeed Jim McGuinness but wasn’t certain he would put his name forward for the role. “It was a big decision for him to go for it, I didn’t actually think he’d go for it. Fair play to him for going for it because they are big shoes to fill after Jim: three Ulsters, an All-Ireland and getting to another final. A massive achievement after where we were in 2010 but Rory had a part to play in that tradition.
“Rory’s well up to it, he has all the capabilities to do very well. It’s a matter of getting back training and focusing again. One of our main objectives is to stay in Division 1.”
McBrearty also recalled the stillness of the Donegal dressing room after losing September’s final to Kerry. “I’ve never experienced a silence like it for a prolonged period. There must have been 15 or 20 minutes where nobody said nothing. It was probably the biggest disappointment of all our careers, it’s not where you want to be.”
Scorers for 2013 All-Stars: B Brogan 3-0; A O’Shea 2-2; M Dunne 1-2; C McManus, T Kernan 1-1 each; S Cavanagh, D Walsh 1-0 each; C Boyle 0-1.
Scorers for 2014 All-Stars: K Higgins 2-0; P McBrearty 1-2, S Walsh 1-1 (1-0, pen); N Gallagher 1-0; R McHugh, D Moran (free) 0-1 each.
2013 ALL-STARS (13-a-side): R Hennelly (Mayo); D Wylie (Monaghan), R O’Carroll (Dublin); C Boyle, L Keegan, A O’Shea, S O’Shea (all Mayo); D Walsh (Kerry), S Cavanagh (Tyrone) B Brogan (Dublin); C McManus (Monaghan), M Dunne (Cavan), T Kernan (Armagh). Sub: K McDermott (Boston).
2014 ALL-STARS (13-a-side): P Durcan; N McGee (both Donegal), K Higgins (Mayo); K Clarke (Cavan), C O’Riordan (Tipperary), F Fitzgerald, D Moran (both Kerry), N Gallagher (Donegal), S Walsh (Galway), C O’Connor (Mayo), R McHugh, P McBrearty, M Murphy (all Donegal). Sub: M Dunphy (Boston).
Referee: E Kinsella (Laois).