Frank McGlynn is gearing up this week for his elevent Ulster Senior Championship campaign with Sunday’s MacCumhaill Park showdown with Fermanagh.
Still the right side of 30, he made his debut when sprung from the bench by Brian McIvor against Down, in the first round in Ulster in 2006.
He also featured against Derry in the Ulster quarter-final but had to be happy with a place on the bench against Armagh in the Ulster final and in the All Ireland qualifiers against Fermanagh or Cork.
Donegal bounced back from a three point defeat by Armagh, in the provincial final, to defeat Fermanagh by three points, 0-11 to 0-8, in the All-Ireland qualifier.
With one All-Ireland medal, a National League medal, three Ulster Senior Championship medals and two All-Stars in the nine season that have come and gone, next Sunday’s encounter will be the first Ulster championship meeting with Fermanagh in all that time.
“We’ve met them loads of times in the McKenna Cup, but next Sunday will be our first in the championship in all that time,” said Frank.
!I was on the bench watching that game and my only memory from the game is Ciaran Bonner’s shoulder on Eamonn Maguire,” said Frank.
“But it was pretty close and they were pretty similar to the current Fermanagh team.
“They were a fast team and they caused us a lot of bother that day and similar to the current Fermanagh team they had pace in every line.
“They were big and strong physically in every line from the full-back line to the full-forward line and they asked a lot of questions of us that day.
“And they have a few classy forwards, just like the current team.
“The two Corrigans and Sean Quigley in the full-forward line are quality players and they are going to ask serious questions of any full-back line.
“They also have the two McCuskers in the half-forward line who have serious pace.
“But their marquee forwards are not going to win games unless they are getting a good supply from the middle of the field.
“They have two quality midfielders who give them a good supply and it is up to our men out the field to stop them winning possession and allowing them play quality ball inside.”
Donegal played Fermanagh in the Dr McKenna Cup back on a bitterley cold Wednesday night at the end of January. Fermanagh won that game 0-12 to 0-8 against a strong enough Donegal.
In that game Fermanagh grew in confidence and the home support got behind them when they got on top in that game.
“The plan will be like in any other championship game to get off to a good start and to silence the supporters early on.
“You don’t want any team to get their confidence levels up and Fermanagh, as we saw in Brewster Park in the Dr McKenna Cup game, they are a team that you don’t want to get their confidence up.
“So we will be anxious to get out of the blocks early and put them under pressure and move on from there.”
Frank suffered a hamstring strain early in the season and missed a number of games and also missed a number of weeks early season training.
“Thankfully, I did not miss any of the tough training. I got back into training when the league finished and we got a good block of training done and I was also training for the club championship.
“I have been getting back up to speed in recent weeks and the first touch and ball handling has been back in recent weeks and I’m in good shape again.”
In their last league game of the season, the league semi-final, Donegal suffered a heavy ten point, 1-20 to 0-13, defeat at the hands of All-Ireland champions Dublin.
That defeat by the Metropolitans does not cause the Glenfin man much sleep at this stage.
“We were not 100% for the league and we have pushed on since and are in much better shape. Fitness levels are much higher and we are in much better condition all round,” concluded McGlynn.