Donegal football stars of the future were honoured on Wednesday night when the 2012 Buncrana Cup winning team were presented with their medals.
The function was in the Sean MacCumhaill Centre, Ballybofey, and all the victorious team and management were present for what was a most enjoyable function.
Team manager Declan Bonner paid tribute to the players for the effort and the commitment they had put in all year. And he also reminded the players that while they were all on the first rung of the inter-county ladder, the world was their oyster when it came to county football.
“They are a very good bunch of lads. They worked hard and did all that was asked of them right through the season. As a management team we could not have asked any more of them,” said Bonner.
“We played ten matches between challenge and games in the Buncrana Cup and we won all ten including Tyrone in the final which has to be a good return and a good season.
“Tyrone have set the standard in the province for well over the last decade and we beat them in the final in what was a cracking game. And any day you beat Tyrone is a good day and any team that beat Tyrone is a good team.”
Ten of the team have already graduated to the minor team and are on minor manager Stephen Friel’s 2013 minor panel.
The remainder of the squad were reminded by Bonner on Wednesday night that if they put in the work and the hard hours on the training field and in the gym over the next couple of years, there is nothing to stop them making the step up to minor and U-21 football.
“It is all about how you go about your time and apply yourselves over the next couple of years. It will take a lot of hard work in the gym and on the training field and those of you who give the commitment and put in the work will reap the rewards. It is all up to each of you individually,” the 1992 All-Ireland winner told the squad.
The function was attended by county board officials Children’s Officer, Mick McGrath; Coaching Officer Anthony Harkin, was well as Coiste Na nOg secretary Paul Melaugh and Games Development Manager Mick Murphy.
Also present for the function was one of Donegal’s leading supporters Edmund Brennan, who was a special guest of the team management, as was Martin Coyle, of Coyle Coaches in Gaoth Dobhair, the team sponsors.
The 2012 Buncrana Cup winning panel: Stephen McBrearty (captain), Niall Friel, Paddy Byrne, Danny Monagle, Colm Kelly, Darren Gallagher, Christian Bonner, David Tyrell, Kevin McGettigan, John McDyre, Conor Morrison, Tony McCleneghan, Cian Mulligan, Eoin ‘Ban’Gallagher, Jamie Brennan, John Campbell, Oran Molloy, Lorcan Connor, Michael Millar, David Sweeney, Dara McGee, Cormac Cannon, Dara Black, Conal O’Boyle, Georgie Kelly, Patrick Cribben, Gavin McBride, Peter Alvey, Ciaran Gillespie, Adam Neilly, Jamie Boyle, Niall Harley, Matthew Maguire, Gary McGrory, Darren Doherty, Matthew McLaughlin, Ciaran Diver, Shane O’Donnell, Matthew Carlin.