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The late Brendan Og Duffy was destined to shine for Monaghan seniors

The Monaghan senior players join the minute's mark of respect for U20 captain Brendan Og Duffy who tragically died in a car collision on Friday night, just hours after helping the Farney men into the provincial decider Picture: Philip Walsh.

MONAGHAN U20 captain Brendan Og Duffy who tragically died in a car collision hours after guiding the Farney men to an Ulster final on Friday night has been described as a “great player” and one who would have shone at senior level in the coming years.

Speaking after the Monaghan seniors clinched their place in this year’s Ulster decider at the expense of Armagh, Ryan McAnespie said the entire camp was stunned on hearing the news of ‘Ogie’s’ death on Saturday morning.

“Waking up to hear that news was just devastating,” said Monaghan forward McAnespie.

“Obviously you’re never prepared for that kind of news but you try and get focused as quickly as you can and I’m sure it was even tougher on players in our squad who grew up with ‘Ogie’.”

It is understood Duffy’s car was in a collision with another car in Clontibret at approximately 11.30 on Friday night and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tributes flooded in from all corners of Ireland following the untimely death of the popular Monaghan Harps youngster and a minute’s silence was held at all GAA matches at the weekend.

“I would have come up against ‘Ogie’ in club football,” McAnespie said.

“He was a man-marker, a great player and he was captain of the minors and U20s, so he would have been coming up to the seniors in the next year or two. He'd a great future ahead of him with the Monaghan senior team. We touched on his death before our game but it’s something we had to try and park. It was very tough.”

Monaghan's U20s had battled back from five points down to overcome Donegal in Friday night’s U20 Ulster semi-final at Brewster Park and were scheduled to play Down in next Saturday’s decider which is now expected to be postponed.

Monaghan’s senior football manager Seamus ‘Banty’ McEnaney was Duffy’s manager at minor level.

In an emotionally charged post-match interview, McEnaney said: “Football is very important to me, it’s very important to Monaghan. It’s brilliant to get the result, but there’s devastation in Monaghan.”

Brendan Og Duffy is expected to be laid to rest after funeral mass on Wednesday.

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