Donegal players dominate for Irish

Donegal players dominate for Irish

Donegal players dominate for Irish

It's been an unprecedented week for Donegal's sportsmen. No less than three Donegal footballers took the field for Ireland in Tuesday night's match against Wales and a Donegal man is one of three in the running for the Presidency of the GAA.

Donegal's footballing fraternity enjoyed a proud night on Tuesday as Seamus Coleman and Ciaran Clark made Republic of Ireland debuts and Shay Given kept a clean sheet as captain on his record 110th appearance. Giovanni Trapattoni's side enjoyed a 3-0 victory over Wales in their opening fixture in the Carling Nations Cup, a good sign that Coleman and Clark may be kept on for the Macedonia match on March 26.

Twenty-two-year-old Coleman, who is from Killybegs, was delighted with the game. "It was fantastic," he said afterwards. "Stepping out onto the pitch, hearing the national anthem and all that - a dream come true really. I came into the game and wanted to have a solid game, I think that's what I done and I'm happy enough with how I played."

Clark, whose grandmother Vera lives in Manorcunningham and father Michael was brought up in Ballyare, nearly scored the opening goal of the match, but it went the wrong side of the post. "I think I was nervous going out there," Clark said. "I got a few early touches, which is the same with any game. When you get a few early touches it boosts your confidence. I think the lads were great to me, especially today and over the last couples of days in the camp. I'm sure there's much more to come. There's plenty of players to choose from but I hope I've done enough to stay in the squad."

Given, a native of Lifford, was pleased with the lads performance. "I didn't have to much to do and that goes down to the team I was playing behind. The lads played very, very well. Ciaran Clark and Seamus Coleman can be very proud tonight. They both made their debuts and were both fantastic. Great credit to them."

Meanwhile, Donegal man Tom Daly is one of only three candidates remaining in the race to become the next President of the GAA.

This follows the shock withdrawal from the race of Tipperary man Con Hogan earlier this week. Former Ulster Council President Mr Daly, along with ex-Leinster Council official Liam O'Neill and Wexforman Seamus Howlin are the three names left in the race.

Daly has been nominated by all nine Ulster Counties. With the withdrawal of the only Munster man in the race and with two candidates from Leinster still in the running, some observers suggest the Donegal man's prospects of taking the top job have been enhanced.