A New Year dawns and those GAA heads among us won’t have long to wait for the first action of the new season.
Donegal play Queen’s University on Wednesday night in Ballybofey in our opening game in the Dr McKenna Cup.
As always, I’m looking forward to the first game of the New Year and I hope we will see a big Donegal turnout in Ballybofey on Wednesday night.
I expect Declan (Bonner, Donegal manager) will go with a new look team. We will probably see a mixture of players that have been on the fringes of the last few years and a number of the younger lads that Declan has drafted he in.
It is an opportunity for players like Ciaran McGinley, Kilcar, though I hear he might be injured, and our own Paul Brennan (Bundoran), to step in and grab the opportunity.
As we all know there are gaps to be filled in the team and these are the players that we are hoping will fills those gaps.
We don’t know much about Queen’s at this stage. But the one thing we can be sure of is that they will be fit and in good shape.
They are in the middle of their season. They had their league before Christmas and now they are sharpening up for next month’s Sigerson Cup.
And besides we have always found them a tough enough nut to crack.
We then face Monaghan in Clones on Sunday and finish off with Fermanagh, who are now managed by our former boss Rory Gallagher, the following Wednesday night.
They are two more good tests before we head to Killarney at the end of the month and our first game in league.
We have a tough league ahead of us with four away games and three at home.
Kerry, Dublin, Tyrone and Monaghan are the away games with Galway, Kildare and Mayo, the home games.
Looking at the draw, the one thing for sure is that we are going have to win the home games to be in with a chance of holding on to our top flight status.
The one good thing is that we are getting Kerry and Dublin early and we would always fancy our chances against Monaghan. The only problem with that is Monaghan don’t hold any fear of Donegal.
I know it is not the end of the world if we were relegated. Personally, I would like to stay in Division One if at all possible.
Finally, a happy and peaceful 2018 to you and hopefully I will see you all out in large numbers during the year and that we have something to crow about.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.