Donegal midfielder Katy Herron believes Donegal are better prepared for Saturday’s showdown with Mayo, than they were for their last two quarter-final outings.
Katy Herron was captain when Armagh pipped Donegal by a point in the 2015 quarter-final.
And she was in her regular midfield berth last season when Donegal went down by three points to Dublin.
“We are definitely fitter, stronger and more experienced this time around than we were back in 2015 or last year,” said Herron.
“We had won Ulster for the first time in 2015 and we went all out to beat Armagh and came very close, we just lost by a point.
“Again last year we ran Dublin close and there were only a few points between us in the end. But like the year before we were not far away.
“The thing we learned from those games was that we were right up there with the top teams and it gave us the confidence to keep going.”
Donegal are Ulster champions once again. They defeated Monaghan just over six weeks ago; it will be seven by the time the weekend and Mayo come around.
“It has been a long break alright since the Ulster final but between training and a couple rounds of club championship games we have been kept busy.
“We worked on fitness for the first two weeks after the Ulster final before rejoining the clubs for a couple of weeks.
“We returned to training last week and we have put in a couple of good weeks, mostly ball work and we also played a couple of challenge games.
“We played Tyrone and Sligo and won both but we would not be happy with our performances in either of the games.
“We are going to have to step up a good bit from those two games for Mayo. But we are looking forward to the game and with all the training we just can’t wait for the game to come.
“We are fresher with the break and we are hungry for more success and we want to get over the Mayo hurdle and make the semi-final. I think if we do win it will be a first All- Ireland semi-final.
“We know Mayo are a good side; they have been up at the top for a good few years. All the chat about Mayo is about Cora Staunton and the threat she poses..
“She is a quality player and we are fully aware of how good she is.
“But we have a lot of quality in our squad too and we have a number of players that also carry a big threat.
“We are focussing on our own game and getting it right and hitting the ground running on Saturday from the moment the ball is thrown-in.”