Donegal’s talismanic midfielder Odhrán Mac Niallais says that his side are prepared to take on Tyrone in this Sunday’s Ulster Football Championship final in Clones.
Speaking at the Donegal GAA press night in Lifford on Monday, where he also picked up the Ulster GAA Writers’ Player of the Month for June, Mac Niallais pointed out that Tyrone would carry a threat and that after six barren years in Ulster, the hunger would be there for Mickey Harte’s men.
“They haven’t won an Ulster title for a good while so they will be well up for it. And meeting us is a big rivalry for them so they will be really ready for this match,” he said.
“They have a quality team and they have a lot of good players and some experienced players, a bit like ourselves,” Mac Niallais added.
Since Mac Niallais has been in the side, Donegal have met Tyrone on a couple of occasions, and both times the Tir Chonaill men prevailed. Yet, Mac Niallais says Tyrone still carry that fear factor which they developed during a very successful stretch during the first decade of the noughties.
“I wouldn’t say it’s quite gone because Tyrone are always a great team, with great players and a tough team to play against.
“In 2013 we beat them in the Ulster semi-final and were not expecting to do that and we beat them in the Ulster championship last year as well.
“You always know what you are going to get against Tyrone as they are a physical team and a very tough team to play against them,” he said.
Mac Niallais, who has bagged three goals in the Ulster Championship so far, remained positive ahead of Sunday’s clash however, and spoke confidently over his side’s ability. Two well-contested displays against Monaghan in the semi-final, coupled with the return of full-back Neil McGee from suspension, has Donegal going into Sunday’s game as favourites to get their hands on the Anglo-Celt.
“It’s great to have him (McGee) back as he was a massive loss for the Fermanagh game and the two Monaghan games. From speaking to him, he is well up for it and can’t wait to get back out on the pitch,” Mac Niallais said
“We will be well up for it too and we know what they are going to bring and we are going to try and match that and hopefully get over the line on the day,” he added.