Tom Comack firstname.lastname@example.org @dgldemocrat
Donegal minors get the new season up and running away to Fermanagh on Saturday. (12 noon). The game is now in the 3G pitch at the Bawnacre Centre, Irvinestown. It will be followed by the U-17 encounter between the counties at 1.30 p.m.
Donegal are the reigning minor league and championship winners. Shaun Paul Barrett is once again the manager in his second season in the job. And Neilly Byrne is once again his number two.
However, it is very much a new look Donegal squad this season with only seven of last year’s squad underage.
Only two of the seven - Peadar Mogan and Aaron Deeney - were regular members of last year’s double winning starting 15.
And another two - Kilcar’s Gary Molloy and Jack Flannery, Naomh Conaill - are on the injured list and look set to miss the Minor League.
Of the remaining three, Brian O’Donnell was the most used from the bench in last year’s run to the All-Ireland semi-final. Ronan Doherty and Michael Mulhern are the other two.
“It is very much a new squad of players,” said manager Shaun Paul Barrett.
“In fairness, the lads have worked hard since we started in January and the league is all about building a team for the championship,” said the manager.
“We will be trying a lot of players in the league and hopefully by the time the championship comes around we will know our best formation and have a settled team and a system of play worked out.”
Donegal are in Group B along with Fermanagh, Tyrone, Derry and Antrim, and have two games away and two at home.
After Saturday, their next game is away to Tyrone, on Saturday March 26th. This game is followed by home ties against Derry on Saturday, April 1st and Antrim, on Saturday April 8th.