Aidan Carr targets Down promotion bid after return
Aidan Carr is a man in a hurry – he has a lot of lost time to make up for, after all.
The Down centre-half-back missed the greater part of last season through injury and has had to exercise considerable patience in his bid to not only regain full fitness, but to reclaim his place in the side.
But the quiet authority, clever distribution and subtle vision that Carr displayed in Sunday's Allianz League opener against Monaghan suggest that his rehabilitation is complete.
Now the Clonduff clubman has one immediate goal – to see Down restored to Division One.
"I pulled my quad in the fourth league game last year against Kerry. I came back too quickly and pulled it again. I didn't get fit again until the August-September period and of course it was too late by then," grins Carr ruefully.
"It was just one of those things. I had been pushing it and pushing it but when I broke down again there was no way back for me."
At 26, Carr has already acquired considerable experience with Down and this manifested itself against Monaghan to such an extent that he will be handed a key role for Friday night's attractive derby clash with Armagh at the Athletic Grounds.
"Against Monaghan, the boys knuckled down in the second-half. The switch of Peter Turley to midfield proved a good move while Ryan Mallon also came more into the game. We had left ourselves an uphill battle by half-time when we trailed by six points but luckily enough we ultimately managed to get something out of the game," reflects Carr.
"Monaghan had been causing us a lot of problems because of the way in which their runners were coming from half-back and midfield. However, we got there."
Carr, whose father Ross won All-Ireland medals with Down in 1991 and 1994, brings stability and composure to the Down defence in much the same way as Liam Doyle did before he too succumbed to injury, which will keep him out of action until the closing stages of the league at least.
"Obviously we have some players still out but the fact that we got a point on Sunday will send us in against Armagh on Friday night in better heart," adds Carr.
"It won't be easy, though. Division Two is a very tough section and the fact that there is such a quick turnaround means that we don't have a lot of time in which to prepare ourselves."