Ardara are taking to the Ulster club football league for the first time this season and they will join south west neighbours Kilcar and Killybegs against the top club sides in the province.
Former All-Ireland club champions Ballinderry and Bellaghy along with reigning Tyrone champions Dromore as well as leading Antrim, Down, Armagh and Monaghan clubs make up the three groups of six teams in each group.
The competition, which is known as the Quinn’s Corner Ulster club league, has become very popular in recent years. It is well organised and run by the Ulster Council and is used by clubs as a warm-up competition in preparation for their own domestic competitions.
“We are looking forward to taking part in the League. It is our first time to enter and we are going to use it as preparation for our own club season. We are lucky enough that we have only two away games against Ballinderry and Magherafelt, the other three are at home,” said new Ardara manager Adrian Brennan.
As well as the senior league there is also an Ulster intermediate league and once again Donegal are well represented with Malin, Naomh Brid, Naomh Padraig, Lifford and Sean MacCumhaills all taking part.
The leagues gets up and running the weekend after next on Sunday February 5th and will be run over the five weekends with the semi-finals fixed for Sunday March 18th and the final the following weekend Sunday March 25th.
Ardara, who are in group B alongside Arboe (Tyrone), Donaghmore (Tyrone), Ballinderry (Derry), and Glen (Derry), begin with a home tie against Arboe.
Kilcar are in group A and James McHugh’s men begin with a home tie against Slaughneill, (Derry). Trillick (Tyrone), Bellaghy (Derry), Derrylaughin (Tyrone) and Truagh (Monaghan) are the other clubs that make up the Kilcar group.
Killybegs are in group C and begin their campaign away to top Derry side Glenullin, while they will also face Dromore (Tyrone), Castleblaney (Monaghan) and Derry City side Steelstown.
In the intermediate league Malin are in group A that also includes Maguiresbridge (Fermanagh), St. Threasa’s (Antrim), Darragh Cross (Down), Ballerin(Derry) and Clann na Gael (Tyrone). Malin’s first game is away to Maguiresbridge.
Naomh Brid are also taking to the league for the first time and they begin away to Claudy in Derry and will also face Slaughmanus (Derry), Strabane Sigersons and St. Peter’s Down in group B.
Sean MacCumhaills are in group C along with Ogra Colmcille (Derry), Bredagh (Down, Lamh Dhearg (Antrim), Silverbridge (Armagh) and Stewartstown (Tyrone). MacCumhaill’s are away to Ogra Colmcille on opening day.
Naomh Padraig, Lifford, complete the Donegal line-up and are in Group D where they will play Foreglen (Derry), Aghyaran (Tyrone), St. Enda’s (Antrim) and Faughanvale (Derry).
Meanwhile, hurling clubs Setanta, Burt, Sean MacCumhaills and St. Eunan’s will also compete in the Ulster Club Hurling League.
Setanta are in Division 2A with Burt in 2B and Sean MacCumhaill’s in 3A and St. Eunan’s in 4A. The hurling league throws in on Saturday week, February 4th.