Mac's View: Focus on Derry and forget about Dublin and Kerry

ULSTER U-21 FINAL

Mac's View: Focus on Derry and forget about Dublin and Kerry

The U-21 footballers have taken centre stage this week. And later this evening in Armagh, they face Derry in the Ulster final.

Before I look at the game first of all I have to get my disappointment with the choice of venue for the game off my chest.

The Athletic Grounds is a fine venue and Donegal teams, by and large, have a good record there.

No, my disappointment is that Donegal supporters are being asked to go to Armagh on Monday evening. I think it is very unfair and shows a total lack of respect for Donegal supporters.

I hope the choice of venue does not put supporters off and that we go in big numbers to support the team.

When I heard the venue, it brought my mind back to Galway in Castlebar, in 2003. After drawing the All-Ireland quarter-final in Croke Park, the replay was played in Castlebar, on Galway’s back door.

But Donegal supporters turned up in MacHale Park in their thousands and completely outnumbered the Galway supporters.

Many of the players said to me afterwards that the support drove them on to victory.

It is for that reason I hope as many supporters as possible make it to the Athletic Grounds on Monday night.

We have a fine team. They are all good footballers and what I like about them is that they have both physical presence and great pace.

They played some fantastic football on Wednesday night against Cavan. But the Cavan game did not provide as tough as challenge as was anticipated and the game, except for the first five or six minutes, was no way competitive.

The ease in which they came through against Cavan slightly worries me.

Derry will be a different proposition altogether. It is important the players realise that and do not lose the run of themselves and do not read too much into the Cavan game.

There is another thing that unsettles me a little too. That is a lot of auld chat among supporters about Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final and there are people even talking about Kerry in the All-Ireland final.

The focus of the players and the management has to be on Derry; time enough to start talking about Dublin when they are back on the bus on Monday night.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.