The future is bright for Donegal - Colm McFadden

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The future is bright for Donegal - Colm McFadden
BY: Tom Comack

Colm McFadden replaced Karl Lacey in injury time in Saturday night’s game for what turned out to be his last game in a Donegal jersey.

The All-Star forward announced his retirement after the game when speaking to the press under the Hogan Stand.

Reflecting on his team's defeat to the Dubs, McFadden felt that while Donegal were always chasing the game, Ryan McHugh’s goal early in the second half gave his team some hope.

“The game was going away from us when we scored the goal,” he said.

“There were six points between us and the goal, which was a very good goal, brought us back into the game.

“Diarmuid Connolly was sent off shortly after. They were two big lifts for us and gave us a wee bit of hope.

“We always felt if Dublin did not get too far ahead of us we were always in with a chance.

“In fairness, this year the team has been super going forward and were always dangerous in all the games so far.”

However, the 2012 All-Star was high in his praise for Dublin, the reigning All- Ireland champions.

“Dublin showed their experience,” he said.

“Defensively, I thought they were top class.

“Even when they went down to 14 and 13 near the end, they remained very professional and finished the job.”

Despite the defeat, Colm is very hopeful for Donegal and Donegal football into the future.

He feels there are a number of top class young footballers in the current squad and suggested there is a good crop of young players coming up through the age groups.

And he believes that there is no reason, given the talent coming through, that Donegal cannot be competing for honours, both in Ulster and at All-Ireland level into the future.

“There's a fine young team coming through there,” he said.

“You have the McHughs, Marty O'Reilly, Eoghan ‘Ban’ Gallagher, Kieran Gillespie and Ciaran Thompson, and you have a pile of minors coming through as well.

“They are all fine young players.

“I think the future for Donegal football is very bright. They are strong and they are fast.

“They are going to be knocking on the door for the next five, six, seven years in Ulster. And they will not be that far away for All-Irelands too.”

McFadden's decision to retire brings an end to a championship career that began 2002. Ironically, that year, Donegal also met Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-final, with the Dubs winning after a replay.