Donegal followers may be a little downbeat after seeing their side relegated on Sunday last but they were without four of their All-Ireland side against Dublin and all should be back in contention for the big one - the Ulster championship game against Tyrone on May 26th.
For Karl Lacey, who has been out of action for all of 2013, there is good news that he almost ready to resume full training and while not setting any targets, he hopes to be back in contention before the big one.
“Things have been going well. For three or four weeks now I have been back out on the pitch with the boys. It was good to get the boots back on and I have been working with my physio, just doing running, getting the fitness levels back up.
“Once I get them up and then to the twisting and turning I will be able to go back with the boys and do the full sessions and the ball work. I have a great two or three weeks but we are taking it a day at a time. I don’t want to make any dates regarding turning. There could be setbacks along the way. That’s why I don’t want to set any dates. In my head, I’m taking it session by session and it feels good at the moment.
“All the indicators so far have been very good. There is a very good medical team there and they are assessing me after each session, monitoring me training by training,” said Karl, who eventually mentioned the T word. “We are meeting Tyrone in seven weeks and hopefully I can get some club football under my belt before then. Unfortunately I didn’t get any league action.
“It was not easy sitting on the bench but I feel the fitness levels of the side are not at the level they were at last year and that’s part of the reason they were not getting over the finishing line. It is frustrating watching it, but there’s nothing you can do. Maybe it has given me a rest as well. We have had a tough couple of years there so maybe it will all work out for the best,” said Karl.
“Since Jim took over the training has gone up and there is a lot of wear and tear on the body. I’ve been lucky in my career; I have not had any serious injury and this is the longest I’ve ever been out. This is part of the game and I just have to take it on board and do all the right things to get back on track.”
Asked about the championship and targeting an Ulster championship again, Karl has a more immediate ambition. “Personally my ambition is to get out on the pitch. Collectively we are not looking past Tyrone. That is a massive one for us. I know you are talking about three in-a-row and Ulster titles, Tyrone is the game for us. They have got Sean Cavanagh back fit again; they have Joe McMahon back and Stephen O’Neill is going well. We can’t look past that. I know we stopped them doing the three in-a-row two years ago so they will be looking to do the same to us,” said Karl.
“They showed in Omagh that they wanted to beat us and they will come to Ballybofey in the same frame of mind,” said Karl, who is very happy that the game is at home.
“It’s a massive boost to us. I know from listening to other teams coming to Ballybofey, they don’t like it. So maybe it’s a slight advantage for us and if we can get the crowd really behind us, it will give us that extra two or three per cent which will help us on the day,” said Karl, who said that if they can keep everybody fit and have that little bit of luck, they can do well on the day.
And Donegal supporters that our number 6 Karl Lacey will be rejuvenated after his rest and in the middle of the action.