Donegal manager, Rory Gallagehr, has no injury worries ahead of his first outing as Donegal boss on Sunday against Derry.
The Killybegs based Gallagher named an experimental panel for the Dr. McKenna Cup and hopes to give the players a chance to improve over the three game series.
They will meet Queen’s on Sunday week before Gallagher will take on his native Fermanagh on Wednesday, 14th January (both games in MacCumhaill Park).
Speaking ahead of his first game, Gallagher was happy to announce that he has no injury worries.
“We have a lot of new faces as well as a number of experienced players.
“We also have a lot of players who have been part of the panel for a number of years who have not got a lot of game time and we will be hoping to see them in action,” said Gallagehr, who has no great expectations ahead of the first game.
“We will take it one game at a time. We will have a few training sessions under our belt and we will just be trying to play the way we have planned,” said Gallagher.
Among those who are likely to feature are Eamonn Doherty, Declan Walsh, Paddy McGrath, Martin McElhinney, Hugh McFadden, Dermot Molloy, Michael Boyle, Daniel McLaughlin, Gary McFadden and Martin O’Reilly.
“We have three games in quick succession and that is great. We were training this morning (Tuesday) and it was a lovely crisp morning. Hopfully, we can get weather like that for the three games,” said the new boss.
“For us the season has started now. We have big numbers at training and everyone is fit and ready to go,” said Gallagher.
While it will Gallagher’s first game in charge of Donegal, he will be keeping an eye ahead on the opening game of the Allianz National Football League which will see a return match with Derry on the last Saturday of January in Sean MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey.
However, the Donegal boss feels that this Sunday’s game will have no impact on the first game of the league.
“We will be just focussing on our own game on Sunday and I’m sure Derry will be doing the same.
“The upcoming games are a chance for some players to get up to speed and a chance for others to make an impression,” said Gallagher.
Looking further ahead, Gallagher said most of the senior squad were back in training with the exception of Anthony Thompson (who is working in England) and Leo McLoone (who is taking a break at the moment).
The manager said he would be reviewing their situation in the New Year.
Meanwhile, it is learned that Donegal will have to plan without Luke Keaney of Four Masters for much of 2015. Keaney is set to travel in January and it is not known when he might return.
OTHER MCKENNA CUP
Fermanagh v QUB at Brewster Park#
Donegal v QUB at Pairc MacCumhaill
Fermanagh v Derry at Brewster Park
Derry v QUB
Donegal v Fermanagh
Ryan Walsh on McKenna Cup Duty
Sunday will also be a big day for young Bundoran whistler, Ryan Walsh, who will make his McKenna Cup bow as a referee.
Walsh has been selected to take charge of the Antrim v St. Mary’s Section B clash at Creggan, Belfast on Sunday.
Walsh, still in his early 20s, was in charge of the Donegal U-21 final earlier this month.