Donegal get into championship mode next weekend when they face Antrim in the Ulster Minor championship quarter final on Sunday evening in Corrigan Park, Belfast. (Throw-in 7 pm).
The Donegal side, managed by Shaun Paul Barrett, go into the tie on the back of a successful Ulster minor campaign and a final victory over Tyrone which game them a third Ulster Minor League title in a row.
On their way to that win, Donegal lost only once in six outings, a second round tie to Tyrone. Those victories included a double 2-12 to 1-6 victory over Antrim.
“The league went well for us and we won it again, but we are now facing into the championship which is a different proposition altogether, “ said Shaun Paul Barrett.
“We have left the league behind us. The main focus all year has been on the championship and having a squad and team ready for that.”
It's two weeks since the league final and Donegal have played a couple of challenge games, including Mayo on Saturday, and the players have also been involved in the club minor league.
These games have resulted in a number of players, including midfielder Jason McGee, and attackers Nathan Boyle and Eoghan McGettigan, picking up injuries.
“We will monitor the boys over the next few days before we make a call on their fitness,” Barrett said.
“We have a good squad of players and there is good competition to get into the team and the 24-man match day squad.”
Antrim, who defeated Tyrone and Fermanagh and lost to Derry as well as Donegal in the league, got their championship up and running with a two point, 2-11 to 2-9 preliminary round victory over Fermanagh last Sunday, in Brewster Park.
The Saffrons were six points down at one stage in that game before half-time.
Shaun Paul Barrett was in Brewster Park and ran the rule over Antrim and he was impressed. He feels they were much stronger than when Donegal played them in the league.
“They had a number of players against Fermanagh that they didn’t have against us and I was really impressed with the way they came back into the game after going behind,” he said.
“They were much better than Fermanagh and they will be no pushover.
“They have a championship game played and are home in Corrigan Park, so we are going to have to be on our game if we are to win.”