Donegal had no game at the weekend. The National League is on break and it will be again next weekend. After two games and two wins Donegal are in a good place and shaping up very well. I know it is a step down from last year and we have played two of the weaker teams in Laois and Galway, but still it is good to have the full points on the board.
There are bigger challenges to come and that begins with Monaghan the next day. But we will look ahead to that game nearer the time.
Looking back on the Laois and Galway games, both away from home, besides the results and the winning margins, there were a number of other positives too.
The number one is the return of the likes of Karl Lacey and Christy Toye - both who were out long term through injury. The other plus is that the team are in great shape and look really focussed and know exactly what they are about and what they want from the season. It is clear that they are determined to make a bold bid for promotion. And after two games and with both Monaghan and Meath to come at home, they are in a good position to make promotion.
The other real big positive is the performances of Martin McElhinney in the two games so far. I don’t think anyone ever doubted Martin’s ability. However, I always felt that he did not have the work ethic for around midfield and drifted in and out of games. But certainly against Laois and even more so last Sunday against Galway, he could not be accused of not putting his shoulder to the wheel. In my opinion it was his best ever game at senior level for the county.
And it is very welcome especially in the absence of Ryan Bradley and given that I’m not sure Big Neil (Gallagher) and Rory (Kavanagh) have the legs any more for a full 70 minutes. Odhran MacNiallais has also done well and is another plus.
Finally, the Railway Cup was on at the weekend and I have to say that I was very disappointed to hear that Armagh had pulled their players out of the squad. I think it is very unfortunate and a bad move by the Armagh management given how much the competition means to Ulster.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.