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Keeper Hearty enjoying life in fast lane

By John Campbell

Paul Hearty knows better than most players the full meaning of the word “juggling” when it comes to fulfilling work, family and sporting commitments.

The long-serving Crossmaglen Rangers goalkeeper is up at 4.30 six mornings every week to undertake a trip to Dublin in his employment with Morgan Milk before returning in time to collect his three children from school, then engage in domestic chores and eventually popping along to training.

“It can all get a bit hectic but at the same time it’s great to be involved in the build-up to Saturday’s All-Ireland final replay,” says 33-year-old Hearty.

“I always go into every match hoping that I can keep a clean sheet and that’s exactly what I will be doing this time.

“Because of the quality of the boys I have in front of me we don’t seem to give away too many goals but in a final it’s even more important not to allow the opposition to stick one in the net.”

He may have amassed a shoal of honours with his club and Armagh but Hearty looks on every final at whatever level as being unique in its own right.

“You find yourself playing against different teams with different strengths and contrasting styles.

“The challenge for us is to come up with tactics to combat these strengths.

“For me that is what makes every decider unique and I never lose the zest for playing nor the enjoyment of the build-up to games like this one on Saturday,” asserts Hearty.

Indeed, he is deeply grateful for the honours that have come his way.

Hearty added: “I very much appreciate what I have been fortunate enough to achieve.

“I would like to think that we will make it back to back All-Ireland titles on Saturday, that would be very special for us.”

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