The Donegal preparations for an assault on the 2014 championship will begin in earnest at Easter when they take in some warm weather training.
The squad are planning a week in Portugal to get their preparations up and running for their opening game of the Ulster Club Championship against Derry in Celtic Park.
That game is set for the same weekend as Donegal opened their campaign last year (against Tyrone) - Sunday 25th May when they travel to play Brian McIver’s Derry.
In recent years it has been one of the key points in preparation by Jim McGuinness - a week away for collective training before the big championship encounters.
This year’s opening game against Derry is the main focus now for Donegal and the news that they are planning a week away in the Algarve shows the level of preparation that is being planned. Portugal has become a popular place for teams in recent years with its perfect temperatures and a high level of training facilities.
Donegal begin their 2014 season with a Dr. McKenna Cup game with old rivals Tyrone in O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny, on Sunday week, January 5th (2 pm.) and before that they prepare with a challenge game against Roscommon in Convoy on Sunday next, also at 2pm.
Jim McGuinness, for the first time in his tenure, has almost a full strength squad available for the Dr. McKenna Cup and just like 2011, he will be planning to be well prepared for the National Football League opener against Laois in O’Moore Park, Portlaoise on the first Sunday in February.