Donegal usually have one good performance - McFadden

Donegal usually have one good performance - McFadden
Tom Comack sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Donegal usually have at least one good game in them and former star forward Colm McFadden hopes it is this Saturday evening against Galway in Sligo.

Donegal face the dethroned Connacht champions in Markievicz Park. (Throw-in 7pm)

The 2012 All-Ireland winner and All-Star forward has played against the Tribesmen four times in the championship.

On two of those meetings he was introduced from the bench.

They were in the early days of his Donegal career; the 2003 All-Ireland quarter-final in Croke Park and the replay in Castlebar, won by Donegal.

He didn’t score in either of those two meetings but he most definitely found the target in the two more recent meetings.

He hit six points in the 0-14 to 0-13 2009 Qualifier win in Sligo.

And he was also on the scoresheet when the sides met again in a quarter=final Qualifier in Croke Park in 2015.

On that afternoon he hit a more modest 0-4 in Donegal’s 3-12 to 0-11 victory in Croke Park.

“It is hard to know what to make of Galway after their Connacht final defeat by Roscommon,” said Colm, who attended College in Galway and is a Sigerson Cup winner from his days lining out for NUI Galway.

“They were expected to kick on this year after winning the Connacht championship last year but they were well beaten by Roscommon.

“That was a surprise result especially after Galway had played well to beat Mayo in their first game. They also went into the championship on the back of a good league run and they beat Kildare in the Division Two league final. I thought Kildare looked decent enough last Sunday against Dublin.

“They will find it difficult to pick themselves up after that defeat to Roscommon. Roscommon won that game by nine points and could have won it by more if they had taken all their chances.”

As for Donegal, the St Michael’s man feels that Donegal showed signs of having left the ghost of the nine point drubbing handed down by Tyrone in the Ulster semi-final.

“They didn’t play well against Longford but they still won by six points. But that was a difficult game and it was just a matter of getting back out playing again and getting the result and moving on to the next game.

“They played a lot better against Meath the last day which was a tough enough draw away from home.”

McFadden made 64 championship appearances for Donegal and was the top scorer en route to the county’s second All-Ireland title in 2012.

POSITIVE SIGNS

While he feels Donegal have still a way to go to being championship contenders he does feel there were positives signs against Meath.

“I know there was only a point in it and Meath are a Division Two team, I still think there were signs in that game that we they were coming back to themselves.

“Patrick (McBrearty) played well and kicked some very good scores and looked like he had regained his form.

“Ryan McHugh scored the goal and overall the performance was a big improvement from the Longford game. I always found it took a couple of games to get a defeat like the Tyrone one out of the system.

“I would expect Donegal to kick on now and to step up a notch or two again from the Meath game.

“The young lads have all played four games and will have a learned a lot in those four games and should be better players as a result.

“It is a first game back for Galway after a disappointing defeat and we all know how difficult that can be.”

However, he does caution that Donegal should be aware that Galway can be dangerous and can be unpredictable.

“They are a bit like we used to be ten to 12 years ago and are capable of pulling out a big performance from no where and when it is not expected of them.

“This is a big game for Galway but it is a big game for us too. If we could get a win on Saturday evening and avoid Kerry until the semi-final we could build up momentum and you would never know how the championship would open up for us.

“We usually have one good game in us and I do expect us to win on Saturday evening. I think the signs were there against Meath that we have turned the corner,” said McFadden.