Enda Muldoon may have drawn the curtain on his county career with Derry but his appetite for success at club level remains particularly sharp.
He may be 35 but Muldoon has substituted subtlety for speed and craft for confrontation to such an extent that he remains a priceless commodity within Ballinderry’s potent amalgam of youth and experience.
Ten years ago when the lough shore club won the All-Ireland Club title Muldoon, the most modest and unassuming of sportsmen, had already spent SEVEN seasons in the Derry senior squad, having not surprisingly graduated to that level following incredibly mature performances in the minor and U21 sectors.
He won an Ulster Championship medal with Derry in 1998 and went on to collect two National League medals and an Allstar award.
Right now Muldoon, as the fulcrum of Gerry McKinless’s fiercely ambitious side, is gearing up for yet another Ulster Club championship campaign.
And the indications are that he could find himself going head-to-head with Errigal Ciaran captain when the sides meet at Healy Park, Omagh on Sunday week.
Time has not dulled the memory of that glorious triumph achieved by Ballinderry a decade ago and since then Crossmaglen Rangers (2007, 2011, 2012) and St Gall’s (2010) have taken delivery of the biggest prize on offer in club football, thereby unwittingly intensifying the desire for a re-acquaintance with the trophy in Ballinderry.
Muldoon, quietly philosophical and ever the realist, loses no time in putting Ballinderry’s mission in context.
“We have just won the Derry title for the second time in a couple of years and while that maybe gives us local bragging rights, the Ulster Club championship never mind the All-Ireland series is a different platform altogether,” muses Muldoon.
“We are now going in against an Errigal Ciaran side that beat Dromore to win the Tyrone title and had a big win over Mullahoran on Saturday. That’s more than enough for us to be focussing on at this point in time.”
If Muldoon’s fielding, athleticism and support play have proved the hallmarks of his lengthy career, then his pinpoint long-range passing is proving a lethal weapon in Ballinderry’s arsenal just now.
Manager McKinless certainly appreciates what he views as an invaluable attribute.
“Enda has the ability to deliver the ball in such a way that it makes things easy for the receiver,” points out McKinless.
“He has the uncanny knack of first being able to spot a player in a good position some distance away and still deliver the ball in a way that is advantageous to that player and of course the team. You cannot ask for better than that.”
And just to emphasise his point McKinless adds: “In the semi-final against Banagher and the final against Slaughtneil his passing was of the highest order and we obtained vital scores in those games directly because of this.”