Donegal minor manager, Shaun Paul Barrett, will point to April 7th, 1985 as a good day in Croke Park.
The Milford man was corner forward on the Donegal Vocational School team that defeated Cork 3-8 to 1-4 and he would be well satisfied with a similar result when he returns to the hallowed sod on Saturday next with the Donegal minors.
Shaun Paul will be the only one of the Donegal contingent to have experienced Croke Park and he agrees that Saturday is a big game for his squad.
“We have trying to keep it low key this week, but we are also looking forward to the game. It is massive day for everyone.
“They have coped very well up to now and are well focussed on the game. They have given everything asked of them up to now,” said Barrett.
However, he knows that this will be a different game on Saturday. “Yeah, this will be different, playing against a team from a different province and a different type of game.
“I was at the Munster final and Cork and a very good side with two very dangerous forwards in Mark Buckley and Damien Gore. Gore is a good freetaker while Buckley is small and stocky and scored 2-2 against Kerry in the Munster final,” said Barrett, who was happy to know a little about them.
“If we can get all our good players out on the pitch and get a performance out of them, I would be confident that we can do well,” he said.
The Donegal boss said that a number of his side had been sick in recent weeks and there were also a number of small niggly injuries. “We are training tonight (Tuesday) and I would hope that all will be good for weekend.
“We have a couple of lads pushing very hard for a starting place in training, especially Shane McGrath and Aaron Deeney,” said Barrett, who also mentioned Brian O’Donnell, Gary Molloy and Ryan Connors as players who were in the mix along with the starting 15 from the Ulster final.
“That’s what you want,” he said.
The manager said that there were no rewards for Saturday’s game, only a place in the semi-final, but he was hopeful that his side could do the business.
As for himself, he has a 100% record against Cork and hopefully that will still be intact come 3.15 on Saturday next.
The game has a 2 p.m. start and is curtain raiser to the Donegal-Cork Senior Qualifier at 4 p.m. which will be followed by Mayo v Westmeath at 6 p.m.