Beggan’s All-Star award – ‘I’m not going to hide the fact that it’s an absolute privilege to win it’

IF MONAGHAN AND Scotstown goalkeeper Rory Beggan was feeling any pressure after the fleet of ex-players turned pundits coming out last week to criticise his selection on the All-Star team ahead of Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton, he didn’t show it in their Ulster club win over Burren on Sunday.

Beggan contributed two points in the game but what was highly-unusual was that one of them in the first half came from open play, when he took a free kick short to Frank Caulfield and collected the return pass to point from 21 yards.

He actually managed the feat last year in a league game against Clontibret.

Afterwards, he spoke of his joy in picking up the award on Friday night at Dublin’s Convention Centre.

“Players will tell you and it’s the truth – you don’t think about an All-Star, it’s about trying to help the team and I suppose if an All-Star nomination comes at the end of the year that’s brilliant, and if you win the All-Star it’s even better,” he said.

“I’m not going to hide the fact that it’s an absolute privilege to win it. Every footballer will tell you that. You could see the impact it had on my family and the club and there’s only one other person that’s won one at our club and that’s Ray McCarron (1986).

“That adds a wee bit to it. I was delighted, it could have been a distraction this weekend but I tried to make it not to be.”

Beggan was a constant option for Scotstown, drifting up into midfield for prolonged spells to offer himself as an outlet, but it is not something that is discussed at length with management, he maintains.

Is there anything Rory Beggan can't do?

🙌Safe hands
⭐️GAA All-Star
🏐Point from play

The @monaghangaa keeper pops over a point from play in @ScotstownGAA's Ulster SFC last-eight win over Burren

📱 Highlights available later this evening

👉 #bbcgaa

— BBC SPORT NI (@BBCSPORTNI) November 4, 2018

“I think it’s ‘keeper’s initiative, really,” said Beggan.

“There is always space there when teams are attacking and when you are going down the side of the field nobody is focussing on the goalkeeper, everyone is focussing on their own man.

“If you get that space, why not? Goalkeepers can play football too. I’m sure teams will clamp down on it after today. I’ll always be an option because you could see at the end there teams are pinning us back and I’m the extra man, so I might as well help us out.”

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Should Scotstown beat Coleraine in the Ulster semi-final, Beggan will prioritise the Ulster final over the All-Stars trip, which goes to Philadelphia the same weekend.

“My aim is to win trophies with the club. I can go to Philadelphia any other day of the year. If I get to an Ulster Club final that’s my focus and if we’re not then you can talk about the trip,” he added.

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