WITH Donegal’s chance of qualifying for the latter stages of the Dr. McKenna gone Donegal manager Jim McGuinness has once again promised to experiment for tomorrow night’s game with Derry in Ballybofey.(Throw in 7.30 pm)
The Donegal boss who has been rotating his 34 man squad between competitive Dr. McKenna Cup games and challenge games over the last two weekends had once again vowed to give all players in his squad a run out over the next few weeks in the lead up to the start of the Allianz National Football League.
And that begins tomorrow night when undefeated Derry come to Sean MacCumhaill, for a repeat of last July’s Ulster final.
Speaking after Sunday’s defeat to Cavan the Donegal boss said: “We want to be fair to everyone and give everybody a chance and we will be giving some of those lads a chance again on Wednesday night against Derry, one of the top teams in the country.
“We have a plan laid out for a number of months because when the season gets up and running the competitive sides of things kicks in and to be fair to the boys in the squad and the boys coming into the squad you want to be in a situation where you are giving everybody a chance.”
Tomorrow night’s encounter with John Brennan and his men could be the last chance for a number of players to impress the Donegal boss and stake a claim in the squad for the league and ultimately for the championship panel.
“The thing narrows down at the end of Dr. McKenna Cup and narrows down again at the end of the league and hopefully by then we have the players identifed that we feel can represent the county in the championship.”
So it is very much a case tomorrow night of opportunity knocks for players such as Michael Mullin, Declan Walsh, Thomas McKinley, Gary McFadden, Conor Classon, Conor McManus, Adrian Hanlon and man of the match from Sunday’s defeat Stephen Griffin.
Having wrapped up their place in the last four of the competition John Brennan is expected to take a leaf out of Jim McGuinness’ book and take the opportunity to give fringe players an opportunity to impress.