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‘A very hard decision’ – Peter Duggan on going down under for 2020

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*Peter Duggan gets away from Wexford’s Matthew O’Hanlon. Photograph: Martin Connolly

All Star forward Peter Duggan will not be part of the Clare senior hurling panel in 2020.

Speaking exclusively to The Clare Echo, the 2013 All-Ireland medallist confirmed he would be travelling to Australia in November. Duggan who previously contemplated going abroad at the end of the 2017 season will miss next year’s championship as a result. “I might end up going over and you just don’t know I mightn’t like it straight away and end up coming home. My initial plan would be to go over for the year”.

Making the decision to go was not an easy one, Peter outlined that he is hopeful of gaining new experiences down under that will allow him to establish a landscaping business in Clare upon his return. “Playing inter-county now there is a lot involved and the thought of being able to step away for a year and learn from experiences. I plan on starting my own business when I come back home in landscaping straight away so being able to build up experience abroad, I’ve done a decent amount of it at home since I finished college in May and I’ve been working away in landscaping since. When I’m away I’ll be able to gain some invaluable experience that I wouldn’t be able to do at home”.

His girlfriend Aoife Murphy is also joining him on the trip and they will link up with her cousins and friends in Melbourne for what will be his first summer away from the county senior hurling panel since getting the call-up from Davy Fitzgerald in 2012.

Exploring the world has been a trait of the Duggans from Spancilhill, the three time All-Ireland U21 medallist explained. “It was always going to be a very hard decision but it was always in the back of my head. My whole family have spent most of their lives travelling, my Mam and Dad lived away for 13 years, my eldest brother James is living in China and was living in South Korea and London beforehand he has been travelling for the past 10 years, Martin that hurls with me in Clooney is living in London eight years, Paul my other brother has been galavanting all around America and he is planning on moving over. It’s something that has always been in the family”.

Peter Duggan. Photograph by Eamon Ward

An LIT graduate in business and sports management, his thesis was focused on the increasing demands on inter-county hurlers and the corresponding effect that has on the average retirement age. He is hopeful the year away will extend his inter-county career into his thirties. “I decided towards the end of this year to do it rather than later. If I do it now and come back I’ll have years left in me hurling, I’ll have it out of my system and I’ll be able to hurl into my thirties but if I leave it off and do it at 29 or 30 by the time I get back it will be too hard to get back into hurling at inter-county standard, my best bet at prolonging my career is by doing it at this age”.

Further departures from the panel are not expected by Duggan. “I’ve been speaking to the majority of the lads on the panel and to be honest I don’t think anyone else will step away”. He has informed outgoing manager, Donal Moloney of his plans. “I’ve met up with Donal and we’re going to still be in contact. Donal has been fantastic, he said the door is always open, I don’t even know what way things will go, you know yourself when people have went travelling but it hasn’t ended up being the way they thought it would be so who knows that might happen with me and I could end up coming home. Donal has been brilliant and he will always support me in whatever decision I make”.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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