Donegal manager, Declan Bonner
Donegal and new manager Declan Bonner are going to have to hit the ground running when the new Allianz Football League season throws in on the last weekend in January.
They face Munster champions Kerry and All-Ireland champions Dublin, both away, in their opening three games.
In between Donegal host newly promoted Galway.
The other home games are in round four to the other promoted side, Kildare, and All-Ireland finalists, Mayo. The Mayo game is on the last day.
The away games are against Ulster champions Tyrone, in round five and Monaghan in round six.
“We knew the make-up of the league before the draw was made and we knew that we had four games away and three at home,” a philosophical Bonner told the Democrat/People’s Press.
“We have a couple of tough ones early on alright but what better place to test yourself than against Kerry in Kerry or Dublin in Croke Park.
“But there are no easy games in Division One, you are playing against the top teams in the game.It is where we want to be playing and it is the only place you can test yourself and improve yourself as a team.
“We’ll take it one game at a time and it is all about achieving a level of performance and learning from each game.”
Bonner unveiled his management on Monday night and received the approval of the county committee.
He is busy putting the finishing touches to his pre-season programme and putting the last few pieces of the jigsaw in place.
“We are looking forward to getting down to work shortly and begin preparations for the start of the league.
“We have a number of good young footballers and we are looking forward to getting down to training so that we are in a position to hit the ground running at the start of the league.”
Donegal will warm-up for the new Allianz League season with a number of games in the Dr McKenna Cup.
It is most definitely a tough draw and with four games away from home. One thing is for sure, Donegal are going to have win their three home games - Galway, Kildare and Mayo.
The Donegal backroom team include: Karl Lacey, John McElholm, Gary Boyle, Anthony McGrath, Chris Byrne (video analysis), Ronan Doherty, (nutritionist) and Cathal Ellis (physio).
Donegal are not allowed under rule to return to training until early December.
DONEGAL LEAGUE DATES
Round 1. Jan 28th Kerry v Donegal.
Round 2. Febr 4th Donegal v Galway.
Round 3. Feb 10th Dublin v Donegal.
Round 4. Febr 25th Donegal v Kildare.
Round 5. March 3rd Tyrone v Donegal.
Round 6. March 18th Monaghan v Donegal.
Round 7. March 25 Donegal v Mayo.