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Trophy hero crocked again - McCarthy return cut short by injury setback

PUBLISHED: 10:15 12 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:32 23 August 2010

EBBSFLEET manager Liam Daish has revealed club captain Paul McCarthy s recovery from injury has been halted by yet another setback, writes Fintan Quinn. The 37-year-old has spent much of his stop-start season out of the team with a series of niggles. He

EBBSFLEET manager Liam Daish has revealed club captain Paul McCarthy's recovery from injury has been halted by yet another setback, writes Fintan Quinn.

The 37-year-old has spent much of his stop-start season out of the team with a series of niggles. He last played in the Kent Senior Cup defeat to Whitstable on February 25, but has since been sidelined once again.

It now seems likely he will have to sit out the remainder of this term after Daish told the Reporter that the former Wycombe Wanderers player may face an operation on a troublesome hip.

"He has got to an age where he is taking on board what people are saying to him and that he might need an operation," Daish said. "Your body only allows you do to what it can, but he is desperate to get back playing football."

The Irishman has only managed 12 appearances in the current Blue Square Premier campaign and, with the Fleet still not clear of the relegation dogfight, his cool head would be missed.

Last year, McCarthy was a key figure as he led the Stonebridge Road outfit to an FA Trophy victory at Wembley. However, the centre-back will definitely miss the first leg of their semi-final match in the same competition against Stevenage Borough this Saturday.

Stevenage won the Trophy in 2007 and, even though the experienced McCarthy will be absent, Daish insisted he had plenty of knowhow elsewhere in the squad.

He said: "It is a massive game and I have encouraged the new players to talk to the lads who were at Wembley.

"This was all new to us last time and people were on a real learning curve. It couldn't have worked out any better, but this is a different year."

There is no escaping how important a repeat success in the competition would be for the Fleet. As well as the boost in morale it would offer ahead of the league run-in, it would also provide some much-needed cash for the club's coffers following the disappointing level of MyFootball Club renewals in recent weeks.

Daish added: "We can't take away from the financial implications progression would help us with - there is just no getting away from it. It would make life a lot easier next season, but we are concentrating on the football side.

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