Donegal back training for Ulster semi-final

Donegal back training for Ulster semi-final
Donegal have already put last Sunday’s Celtic Park victory over Derry and are focusing on next month’s Ulster semi-final.

Donegal have already put last Sunday’s Celtic Park victory over Derry and are focusing on next month’s Ulster semi-final.

Jim McGuinness had his squad back in training last night (Wednesday) and it was very much a case of job done following Sunday’s 1-11 to 0-11 victory over the Oak Leafers and move on an focus on next month’s Ulster semi-final meeting with either Antrim or Fermanagh.

Antrim and Fermanagh go head to head this Sunday in the second of the Ulster quarter-finals, in Brewster Park.

“The lads had a recovery session in the pool on Monday night and we are back training again tonight” Donegal mentor, Paul McGonagle, told the Democrat.

“There are a double round of club games at the weekend on Saturday and Monday but we will probably have another session at the weekend on Friday night and then it will back down to business in earnest next week.

“Barring a draw we will know who our opposition is after Sunday so we will be able to then prepare with either Antrim or Fermanagh in mind.”

In relation to any knocks or injuries picked up in Sunday’s 1-11 to 0-11 victory over Derry, the Buncrana clubman reported that he was not aware of any, which he also suggested was a good sign.

“The only worry we have on the injury front is with the double round of club fixtures and that everybody comes through the weekend without picking up any knocks or injuries.”

The Ulster semi-final involving Donegal or Antrim is the first of the Ulster last four clashes on June 22nd with St Tiernach’s Park, Clones, being already mentioned as the most likely venue regardless of who comes through Sunday’s, Brewster Park clash.

All of Jim McGuinness’s squad will be in action this weekend in club games with a number playing two games in the All-County Football League.

Both Gaoth Dobhair and Kilcar - Donegal’s representatives at the All-Ireland Gaeltacht finals which are on this weekend in Moycullen, Galway - will hope to have their county men for the Comórtas. Gaoth Dobhair manager Kevin Cassidy says he may not have his three county men to the semip-final but Kilcar joint manager, Rory Gallagher, is hopeful of having Patrick McBrearty and Ryan McHugh for all of their games.

The Comórtas begins on Friday evening and runs for four days with the quarter-finals on Saturday, semi-finals on Sunday and the final on Bank Holiday Monday. Gaoth Dobhair, the defending champions, have a preliminary round game on Saturday morning and should they win that they are out again on Saturday evening.

Meanwhile, Donegal minors are also back in training and are preparing for an Ulster minor semi-final meeting also with either Antrim or Fermanagh. Declan Bonner had his side back in training on Tuesday night following their 1-10 to 0-8 victory over Derry, in last Sunday’s curtain-raiser in Celtic Park.

Donegal officials were last night awaiting official confirmation from the Ulster Council on a date for the minor semi-final. Donegal are hoping for a June 22nd double header with the senior semi-final after the Donegal minor squad voted in favour of that date at training Tuesday night, after being given two options by the Provincial Council - June

This was confirmed yesterday by Donegal Children’s Officer Mick McGrath, who told the Democrat that the players’ choice had been forwarded to the Ulster Council and that he was awaiting confirmation of the date back.

But given that Donegal are happy to play on June 22nd, the minor semi-final will more than likely be played as a double header with the senior semi-final.