While the majority of Donegal’s panel are eyeing a third successive Ulster final win, Paddy McGrath would prefer to call it his fourth.
McGrath, Michael Murphy, Leo McLoone, Declan Walsh, Mark McHugh Dermot Molloy and Eamonn Doherty are senior panellists that were involved with Jim McGuinness’s U-21 panel in 2010.
They defeated Cavan 2-8 to 0-7 at Brewster Park and McGrath also featured as the seniors defeated Derry 1-11 to 0-8 in 2011 and then Down 2-18 to 0-13 last July.
“I’d always call this my fourth,” McGrath said. “Back when Jim took over the U-21s we would never have thought we would be here now, facing into a fourth Ulster final.”
The Ardara corner-back is now 23 and barring his losing debut in the Ulster championship in 2010 for John Joe Doherty’s Donegal against Down, has a flawless record.
McHugh has the same statistics, with only Patrick McBrearty, winning 10 from 10, having a better figures.
“Maybe I’m lucky I just came in at the right time,” McGrath said. “I was a bit quiet but the boys really made me feel welcome.”
McGrath was rested from All-County Football League action at the weekend by manager Adrian Brennan.
“It was only precautionary,” McGrath added. “Club is always No 1 for me but it was nice of them to recognise I’ve an Ulster final coming up.”