Jack O’Brien and Ciaran Gillespie are in line to make their Allianz League debuts when Donegal face Cork, in Sunday’s Allianz League Division One clash in Fr. Tierney Park. (2 pm)
O’Brien and Gillespie have been carrying knocks in recent weeks but are close to full fitness again and are very much in Rory Gallagher’s plans ahead of this weekend’s showdown with the Rebels.
“We will see how they go tomorrow night (Thursday) in training,” the Donegal boss told the Democrat yesterday.
“They both have been carrying knocks but they have cleared up and it is just a matter of seeing how the go now in training. But they are definitely in the reckoning; if not starting then being introduced at some stage.”
Donegal go into Sunday’s clash on the back of a first outing away win to Down in Newry last Saturday night. Donegal won that game by 17 points, 3-15 to 0-7 with new boys Ciaran Thompson and Michael Carroll making their first league starts and Stephen McBrearty and Caolan McGonagle introduced in the second half for their League debuts.
“I know Down were poor, but there was a lot of plusses and we are hoping to build on that on Sunday against Cork. It would be nice to go into the break on four points.”
Marty O’Reilly is the only injury concern from the Down game but Gallagher is confident that the MacCumhaill's man will be fit for Sunday.
“Marty got a knock to the upper arm, but we will know better tomorrow night after training. He does not train with us on Tuesday nights, he only comes down (from Dublin) on Thursday nights. But I expect he will be fine.
“He is the only concern. Ryan McHugh and Patrick McBrearty came through UUJ’s Sigerson game yesterday without any problems.”
Cork, under new manager Peadar Healy, opened their campaign with an impressive 1-18 to 0-12 win over Mayo in Pairc Ui Rinn.
“Cork were impressive against Mayo. They look to be in good shape and certainly were at a much higher level of fitness to Mayo. They are a good side and they will be much stronger than Down were last week.
“It is a big game for both counties and it is a game we want to win to keep the momentum going.”
Meanwhile, Patrick McBrearty kicked 1-6 and Ryan McHugh posted a point in UUJ’s 2-14 to 0-11 win against Garda College, to book their place in the quarter-final of the Sigerson Cup.
Gary Farren (Malin) and Peter McGee (Gaoth Dobhair) were on the Garda College team while Naomh Conaill’s Seamus Corcoran was a member of the squad.