Donegal panels begin process for All-Ireland final day

Peter Campbell, Spor


Peter Campbell, Spor

Donegal panels begin process for All-Ireland final day
As Jim McGuinness puts it, the process now begins to analyse the opposition and put the plan in place for the All-Ireland final against Kerry.

As Jim McGuinness puts it, the process now begins to analyse the opposition and put the plan in place for the All-Ireland final against Kerry.

The Donegal seniors head into camp tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday) with Johnstown House again the likely venue.

Both minor and senior panels held their press day and a ‘Meet and Greet’ with supporters in Sean MacCumhaill Park on Saturday.

That has cleared the way for the preparations to begin in earnest for both finals on Sunday week next, September 21st.

The buzz in the county has been building since the double win over Dublin.

No stone is being left unturned in the preparations with the Dublin senior players being taken by helicopter to Ballybofey for training to avoid lengthy car journeys.

A number of the minors have gone to Third Level colleges and this week, well-known supporter in Sligo, Brendan O’Reilly, will be on taxi duty, taking players from Athlone and Galway to training in Convoy on Tuesday and Thursday.

Speaking at the press day about the challenge that Kerry will bring to the table in the final, Jim McGuinness was high in his praise of the way they have played this year.

When asked if Donegal would have special plans for the likes of Kieran Donaghy, it was a different response. “We don’t know what team Kerry will play. It could be completely different from their win over Mayo,” said McGuinness, who added that he was aware that Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper was back in training with the Kerry panel and could be sprung on All-Ireland final day.

The preparation for the final by McGuinness will be very much along the same lines as he has done for all the big games. The planning will be done at the camp this week, which begins tomorrow afternoon as the panel come together, probably in Johnston House. It was there that the ‘process’, as McGuinness calls it, was hatched for the Dublin game and all Donegal followers will be hoping that it will bring similar results.

At the Irish News All-Star awards on Thursday night last, six Donegal players were honoured with Ryan McHugh named Player of the Year.

At the awards, President of the GAA, Liam O’Neill, mentioned that it was Donegal that he presented his first cup (Sam Maguire) when he took office in 2012. He wondered if they would be the last to receive a cup from him as he completes his final year this year

In 2012 the All-Ireland hurling final was drawn, and that was the reason Michael Murphy was the first to receive a cup from O’Neill. However, with yesterday’s hurling decider also ending in a draw, it will need a draw in the football decider to get the perfect symmetery that O’Neill was talking about!

No doubt the Donegal minor panel will have been watching the hurling finals yesterday and taking account how the occasion is scheduled.

The seniors have already been down this road, so what happens on the big day will be nothing new to them.

Most of the talk in Donegal at the moment is about tickets and the Donegal officers are hopeful that they will have the full picture for delegates at the monthly Co. Committee meeting which takes place tonight (Monday) in Ballybofey.

(See www.donegaldemocrat for full ticket information later today)