Donegal are going to have to win Ulster if they are to have a chance of bringing the Sam Maguire Cup back to the county this year.
That’s the view of Jim McGuinness, the man who guided the county to only its second All-Ireland Championship title, in 2012.
The former Donegal manager was speaking at Sky TV’s launch of their 2016 GAA Coverage in Dublin on Friday
“The key thing is to win the Ulster title, “ McGuinness said, when asked about Donegal’s prospects in the race for Sam.
“It is a championship in its own right and it’s a very prestigious one up with us. If you get out the other side of that, it puts you in a good position where you go into Croke Park with your chests out.
“We are provincial champions. We are not going to get the most difficult draw in the quarter-final and then you are slipping into a semi-final.
“You go into the semi-final thinking we are Ulster champion,s we are in good shape and thinking we are 70 minutes away from an All-Ireland final.
“For me the key thing is be provincial champions. That is the number one thing for Donegal. I haven’t spoken to anybody but I imagine it is the same thinking in Monaghan and the same thinking in Tyrone.”
The former player and manager is a member of the Sky team for this summer’s championship season. That team also includes Peter Canavan, Senan Connell, James Horan, Paul Earley (football) and JJ Delaney, Jamesie O’Connor and Ollie Canning (hurling).
Sky’s live game in the Ulster championship is the Saturday, June 25th semi-final of Monaghan/Down v Donegal /Fermanagh.
Yestereday, Tyrone became the first team into the Ulster Senior Football Championship semi-finals following a comfortable win over Derry in Celtic Park.
Donegal Minors open their championship campaign next Sunday evening with a quarter-final away to Antrim. See page 23 for news on that game.