Monaghan expect Rory Beggan to have success at NFL Combine says manager Vinny Corey

Farney county netminder showcasing kicking skills in Indianapolis

Rory Beggan
Rory Beggan, with Mark Jackson, Darragh Leader and Charlie Smyth at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis with Tadhg Leader of Leader Kicking Picture: Tadhg Leader

RORY Beggan showcased his field goal kicking skills at the NFL Combine on Sunday night and – as he waits to hear news from Indianapolis - Monaghan manager Vinny Corey said he expects the Farney netminder to be signed by one of the 32 NFL teams watching on.

Scotstown native Beggan, Down goalkeeper Charlie Smyth and Wicklow netminder Mark Jackson were the three GAA players performing among hopefuls from across the globe at the Lucas Oil Stadium.

The field goal-kicking trials were held on Sunday and the punting trials are on Monday and Corey says the entire Monaghan squad is rooting for Ulster Championship winner Beggan.

“We all wished him luck,” said Corey of his former team-mate.

“We all spoke to him before he left and I’m sure we’ll hear over the next few days how he’s got on but we expect that he’ll do really well.”

In Beggan’s absence, Darren McDonnell has stepped in between the Monaghan sticks.

The Clontibret clubman is a goalkeeper in the Beggan mould who likes to get involved outfield and takes long-range frees and 45s.

However, after a winning start against Dublin at Croke Park, injury-ravaged Monaghan have lost four games on-the-trot and find themselves at the foot of Division One with just Tyrone and Roscommon still to play.

The Farneymen have wriggled off the relegation hook dramatically in the final round of games in the last three seasons and will hope to do so again but Corey says he is more concerned about getting his injured players back on the pitch before their Ulster Championship opener against Cavan early next month.

Monaghan players celebrate with manager Vinny Corey after surviving in Division One in March. Picture by Sportsfile
Monaghan players celebrate with manager Vinny Corey after the Farneyman survived in Division One last year. Picture: Sportsfile

“We’ll take it a game at a time and we’ll not worry too much about it,” said Corey.

“Division One is getting a harder and harder place to be. You see the way teams are approaching it and if you’re down seven or eight regulars and hitting a full team it’s very difficult. It’s a very difficult division.

“We have two games left, there’s four points up for grabs and we have two (points). We’ll take a break now and use the next number of weeks to get more game-time into boys who are coming back from injury.

“We’re playing a bit of catch-up with some of our main players and the key thing for us is to look five weeks down the line to the first round of the Championship.”

Corey insists that “belief is still there” in his panel and his team fought to the finish against Galway at Clones on Sunday. With a host of regulars out injured, emerging half-forward Michael Hamill has put his hand up for selection but defensive lapses contributed to all three Galway goals and the Tribesmen went home with the points.

“I thought it was an improved performance,” said Corey.

“All three goals were clumsy, there were high balls into the square and they were broken away and Galway were quicker to react to the break.

“But, by and large, I thought it was a good performance and it’s the second game in-a-row we haven’t picked up an injury so hopefully the tide is turning there and we can get them cleared up because since the first McKenna Cup game we’ve averaged two injuries per match.

“I was happy enough with the response (from the players) because we’ve had a lot of setbacks this year and we had more setbacks in the game with those three goals against the run of play.

“I was happy with how the boys responded in the second half and getting game-time into some of them - that was only Micheal Bannigan’s second game of the year.

“We got more game-time into Dessie Ward and then Conor McCarthy came off the bench and looked lively and ‘Mansy’ (Conor McManus) looked lively too.”