McENIFF VIEW: The real championship is almost here


Brian McEniff


Brian McEniff

McENIFF VIEW: The real championship is almost here

D-day is almost here. Just six days to the big championship showdown against Tyrone in Clones.

It is an intriguing tussle with what is, by and large, a new look Donegal team with a lot of young lads in the team; young lads that really did very well in the league following the departure of a large number of experienced players and All-Ireland winners.

Doing well in the league is one thing. The championship is a different animal altogether.

And I know people will say they have a championship game under their belts from their game with Antrim. But the Antrim game did not have the cut and thrust of real championship.

Sunday’s game will be the first taste of real championship football for all of the young lads. And that is going to be a test for them and how they come through it will have a big bearing on the outcome.

Tyrone are going to be completely different to Antrim.First of all we better be prepared for a wall of players across their 45.

Other than Michael Murphy we haven’t the men to physically drive through them.

And that is why I think we need a Plan B and a big man inside on the edge of the square to disrupt them.

I don’t think they have anyone in the full-back line that can comfortably cope with a high ball.

We are not going to be able to play through them and the only way round them is the long delivery inside to a big man.

It will take a combination of the long delivery in on top of their goals and taking points from long range.

Just like what Ryan McHugh did in the first half of last year’s Ulster final against Tyrone.

I’m resigned now to the fact that we need Michael Murphy out around the middle of the field. So it is going to have to be either Hugh McFadden, Jason McGee or Michael Langan who will occupy the area in front of their posts.

Tyrone don’t score many goals which is something worth noting. A goal next Sunday will be a big score.

They didn’t score any against Derry in their last game. And I was checking earlier, they only raised three green flags, in the course of their seven games in the domestic league.

We are stronger and with so many new young lads on the team we are a fresher team than we were last year.

Like all recent meetings I expect it to be a close affair.

But hopefully, our youth and energy will prove the difference going the last 100 metres. Remember Mickey Harte is a wily character too.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack