‘A dream come true’: 46-year-old keeper in line to make Championship debut for Waterford

DARREN MULHEARNE WILL get to live his dream this summer as the 46-year-old is in line to make his debut between the sticks for Waterford’s senior football panel.

Having received a call-up for the senior inter-county panel at 17, the father of three will now join the panel 29 years later to bolster Benji Whelan’s Championship outfit.

Speaking on the Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1, Mulhearne admits the call-up is a “dream come true”.

“This day last week, Benji gave me a call and asked me did I want to play football for a couple of months,” he said.

I answered: ‘With who?’

“He told me with the Waterford team and I asked him would he leave it with me. I was in a bit of shock now to be honest.

I spoke to my wife about it and she told me that if he thinks I’m good enough for it I should go for it. I rang Benji back and said I’d be delighted to do it.

“It’s a dream come true,” he said adding; “I’m on the panel now, so I’ve to fight to get a place on the starting team.”

Former manager of The Nire, Benji Whelan, has put his own distinctive stamp on the Waterford team this year.

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Waterford take on Clare at Cusack Park in two weeks time – on 15 May – as they kick off their Munster Championship campaign.

Mulhearne also lamented not being able to commit to the team in previous years, but told Tubridy he is ready now to take his chance.

“I went on the panel [in 1989] for the winter training, the pre-season thing.

“Unfortunately, I was doing my Leaving Cert that year so I couldn’t give the commitment and left it after a couple of weeks.

“Oh, it is [the dream]. Definitely. In any sport you want to try and get to the highest level you can. Inter-county is the highest level so it was always a dream to get the call to start.

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“Unfortunately it never happened – until a week ago.”

You can listen to Mulhearne’s full interview on RTÉ here.

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