Team ethos key for injured Gortin ‘keeper

By Niall Gartland

INJURED Gortin goalkeeper Cathal McCullagh has emphasised that the fortunes of his team remain the big priority as he faces into a potentially prolonged period on the sidelines.

McCullagh was forced off with a serious shoulder injury in his side’s recent league encounter against Stewartstown, having landed awkwardly following an innocuous encounter with an opponent.

It remains to be seen whether McCullagh will make it back in time for their championship campaign – that could hinge on the outcome of a meeting he will have with a surgeon next week – but it’s still the collective fortunes of the team that concerns him most at this point in time.

Division Two side Gortin run the risk of a relegation battle at this midway point of the league (they sit fourth from bottom in the table) so McCullagh is hoping that their luck starts to turn in the forthcoming weeks.

“My injury has probably been reflective of how things have gone for us this year, we haven’t had the rub of the green really,” he said.

“There always seems to be someone injured or unavailable, we’re a small panel so we don’t have the depth to replace everybody.

“What we do have is lads who are prepared to go to the well, you’ve lads in their 40s togging out for the senior reserves which is a sign of the commitment of our players.

He continued: “We’re sitting low in the table at the moment, we’ve had four losses but in fairness each of them have been by a point, so we’re not exactly getting beaten off the park. We just haven’t been able to see out the matches.

“We’ve some young lads breaking onto the team and they’ve hit the ground running but we’re struggling to get over the line in tight matches and it doesn’t get any easier with Derrylaughan coming up this weekend.”

McCullagh was diagnosed with a fractured bone and dislocation close to the shoulder joint the day after the unfortunate incident occurred, and now he’s playing the waiting game to find out if surgery will be necessitated.

“It was a freak injury, I went for a 50/50 ball and I landed with my arms outstretched and the impact on the ground caused the injury.

“Kerry (McGarvey) and John (McGarvey) were able to get the shoulder back into position and put me in a sling. I knew I’d potentially be sat in hospital all night and I’ve a young family at home, so I went to Minor Injuries the next day and got word there was a break as well.

“I thought I’d have to get the ball rolling, so Marty Loughran got the MRI sorted and there’s quite a lot of damage.

“I have to meet a surgeon to see if a pin is needed to put everything back into place. Hopefully it gets sorted sooner or later, as it affects day-to-day living, not just football.

“I am a QS by trade, so thankfully my bosses have been very accommodating to allow me to work from home while I recover. My wife Laura probably deserves an award looking after me as well as my two children!”

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