I was really gutted for the players at the end of yesterday’s game against UUJ.
It was cruel luck that Conor Morrison just slipped to allow them in for Ryan McHugh to score the late goal.
Ryan did well to get on the end of the move to palm to the net, but it stole the game from us. If we had been a bit craftier they would have pulled the lad that carried the ball down. But we have to remember these are young lads.
Given that it was the 8th January it was as good a Donegal performance as I seen for a long time so early in the year.
Brendan Devenney was telling me at half-time that Donegal were at odds of 12/1 to win the game. And being honest when I looked at the squads in the Irish News on Saturday, and saw the UUJ panel, I thought we would be up against it.
But how wrong I was. Donegal were brilliant and the whole team played well but the pick of the Donegal players for me were Michael Carroll, Eoghan Bán Gallagher, Michael Langan and Niall O’Donnell.
Rory Gallagher, who was at the game, had to be impressed with those lads. And another couple of performances like yesterday’s and the four boys are definite starters for me against Kerry in the first game of the league. It will be hard to leave them out of the starting 15.
Donegal may have lost and the manner in which it happened will have disappointed Donegal supporters, but most of them will, like myself, gone home happy that we have a good crop of young players coming through.
And when you factor in that Patrick McBrearty scored seven points and Ryan McHugh hit 1-1 and Lorcan Connor 0-1 of the Jordanstown total it was a good day for Donegal football and that it has a bright future.
Cavan, next week, will be a tougher nut to crack but I would urge Donegal supporters to come out again next Sunday in big numbers and get behind this young team. They deserve our support.
Finally, I am aware that Declan Bonner is having difficulties in getting the lads in the senior squad for training.
This is something that needs to be addressed and the U-21s need to train at least once a week as a squad between now and their championship game with Tyrone in March.
We have a very good squad and it is important that no stone is left unturned in preparation for Tyrone, which is a huge challenge.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.