Donegal Masters begin campaign on Wednesday night

Leitrim/Longford will be first opposition

Peter Campbell


Peter Campbell

Donegal Masters begin campaign on Wednesday night

Gerard McGrenra will be hoping for more Masters success

Peter Campbell @dgldemocrat

The Donegal GAA Masters team begin their championship on Wednesday evening when they take on Longford/Leitrim, who have joined forces.

The game is fixed for Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim with an 8 p.m. throw-in.

Donegal, under new manager, Val Murray, have been in training over the last couple of months and have also played some challenge games.

The Ballyshannon man says he has a panel of 51 players, but not all are available at any one time. He hopes to have a panel of 26 for Wednesday evening's opener. He wasn't sure whether some players would be available because of club commitments.

"Most of the panel from last year are still available," says Murray, who adds that he has a number of newcomers as well including Michael 'Sticky' Ward, Packie McGrath and Kerry Ryan of Aodh Ruadh; Brian McLaughlin of St. Michael's; Eddie Gallagher, St. Naul's and Eamon Doherty of Ardara is fully committed this year.

"We have been training at various grounds around the county and I would like to thank all of them for the use of their facilities. They have been very good to us.

Murray acknowledges that Paul Gallagher of Naomh Muire, as chairman of the group, has been the driving force behind the scenes for the Donegal team.

Donegal are involved in a group with Tyrone, Cavan, Monaghan, Antrim, Sligo, Leitrim Longford. Among the counties in the section section are Mayo, Westmeath, Roscommon, Galway and London.

Looking forward to the opening game, Murray is confident of starting well. "Hopefully, if we play to our ability, we should be able to get the two points.

"It's important to win your first game, and get a good start.

"Cavan got to the A final last year and they beat us by a point. Tyrone will always be good," said Murray, who felt they would be the three teams in contention.

It is hoped to have games every fortnight, but it will be dependant on dlub fixtures and many of the players are still playing at various levels for their clubs.