Only the Lilywhites of Kildare stand between Donegal and an All Ireland semi-final place when they go head to head in Croke Park on Saturday evening at 6pm.
While the game is being screened live on RTE2 thousands of loyal fans are expected to make the pilgrimage from the north west to the GAA mecca on the bank holiday weekend, as the green and gold focus on a quarter-final victory last achieved in 2003 against Galway in a replay.
It has been a mixed bag for Donegal in Croker over recent years, but from a positive point of view, their last mission to Dublin saw them win the Division Two NFL title against a fancied Laois team in April. Cork in 2009 was a quarter final where Donegal left their kit bags at home, but in 2006 against the same opposition at the same stage, only a kick of the ball separated the teams. We also took the NFL Division 1 title in 2007, so we have nothing to fear. This is a new decade, with a new manager and a new disciplined attitude.
Media tip Kildare
This time around “the pale” based media are again tipping the brilliance of Kildare to spoil the party for Tir Chonaill, spreading waves of tears throughout the hills - NOT.
And former Armagh captain Kieran McGeeney, who is now the Kildare manager showed due disdain or was it reverse psychology indifference for Donegal, when he refused to speak about the county’s chances or the quarter final when appearing at a big GAA launch in Croke park on Monday - focusing instead on ‘problems’ within the bigger GAA family.
Let one thing be clear for Donegal won’t be ‘lily’ livered as the ‘Lily’ Whites will show absolutely no mercy to us, until the ‘long’ whistle on Saturday evening.
The game will be preceded at 4pm by the Tyrone/Roscommon Round 4 qualifier, so those travelling are advised to give themselves ample time to get to the capital, organise parking and get fed. They should also have a few coppers ready to pay through the new toll bridge on the N3, if coming through Cavan.
Donegal then must show the same resolve, keep their compliment of players on the field for the whole game and supporters will need to use their octaves to the full, especially when Donegal needs them, if we want to go that extra yard this year.
Is Féidir linn arís!