McEniff view:There is no reason Donegal cannot retain league status

NATIONAL LEAGUE BEGINS

McEniff view:There is no reason Donegal cannot retain league status

It is down to serious business next weekend with the start of the national league, and Kerry in O’Donnell Park, for Donegal.

I know there is a lot of chat about a time of change in Donegal, and there is no doubt about it, we are going to see a new look Donegal in the league.

But I’m excited about it because I believe there is a good crop of young players coming through.

I have mentioned them here already in recent weeks. I have really been impressed with Michael Carroll, Eoghan ‘Ban’ Gallagher, Michael Langan, Jason McGee and the young lad from Letterkenny, Niall O’Donnell.

But I hear young O’Donnell is not in the squad and is only in the U-21 panel, because he is still at school and doing the Leaving Certificate next year and we have to respect his decision to confine himself to the U-21s.

He definitely is a talented footballer and I have no doubt he is good enough.

Stephen McMenamin is another of the younger lads who has impressed in the last few weeks. He has, as they say, a bit of cutting about him.

The other thing I like about the lads coming through is that they are all big men.

And I believe they will be well able to handle the step up to senior football and I would have no fear in blooding them at senior level.

Given all the boys that have departed the squad Rory (Gallagher) has little choice but to play them in the league.

Kerry are great opposition and it is always great to play them. I know in recent years they have never been too hot in the early games in the league.

But I have a feeling they will be different this year. I was reading in the last few days that manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice said that he was hoping to hit the ground running from day one this year. So Rory and the boys better be wary.

They have also lost a number of big name players to retirement in the close season so I expect Fitzmaurice to be trying out a number of young lads in the league too.

Looking at the teams in the league there are going to be no easy games. However, I don’t think Cavan are any great shakes. It is hard to know what to expect from Roscommon, and I don’t think Monaghan will be any better than they were last year. They just about survived.

I see no reason why we can’t finish above those three in the table.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack