Donegal U-20s face Tyrone in curtain raiser in Brewster Park on Sunday

It may be a case of shadow boxing as they are likely to meet in the championship later in the summer

Tom Comack


Tom Comack


Donegal U-20s face Tyrone in curtain raiser in Brewster Park on Sunday

Midfielder Ronan Docherty to miss Sunday's game through injury

Donegal are chasing a second win in the Philly McGuinness U-20 Development League when they face Tyrone on Sunday in Brewster Park.

The game is the curtain raiser to the meeting of Donegal and Fermanagh in the Ulster senior championship.

The game was originally pencilled in for MacCumhaill Park for Saturday. But it was moved to Enniskillen following a request from Donegal.

It is a third game in the competition for Donegal. They lost their opening game against Mayo in Ballina on the May Bank Holiday, Monday. Mayo won the game 4-9 to 2-9 after Donegal finished the game with 13 players.

But they bounced back six days later with a resounding 8-9 to 2-9 win over Roscommon, down in Dr Hyde Park.

Mark McAteer and Paddy Dolan scored three goals each with Colin McFadden and Shane Gilolespie raising the other two green flags against the Rossies.

Donegal are managed by Gary McDaid, who is in his second year managing the U-20s and the Glenswilly man is using the league to develop a squad for the championship which is later in the summer.

“It wasn’t the end of the world when we got beat by Mayo, and it’s not the start of a revolution when we beat Roscommon the last day. It’s a work in progress for us,” the Donegal boss said this week.

“We’re just trying to instil a wee bit of confidence in them, the boys haven’t had many big days out, probably none at all.

“Sunday will provide a nice wee platform for them, to get in before the seniors play Fermanagh.

“There will be a good test with a nice wee crowd in for the second half of the game, so it will be a massive experience for them.

“You have to give the hierarchy in Croke Park the credit for providing these extra games.

“Last year made no sense at all, when you might have had just one game. Okay we got two out of it. I think a round robin championship is the way to go, so each team will get at least three games.”

Sunday’s game is a first in the competition for Tyrone who are managed by former Tyrone player Paul Devlin.

The former Red Hand defender feels the advantage is with Donegal on Sunday given they have two games under their belts and Tyrone are only getting out of the blocks.

“Donegal have had a chance to gel together, but we haven’t had any foothold in football yet,” said Devlin.

“Donegal have a good run of lads coming through, a good conveyor belt of talent, and they’re always able to fill the gaps with new faces for boys that have moved on from last year.

“I know they lost their first game against Mayo, but they came back strong against Roscommon, and they have an experienced manager in Gary McDaid.

“It’s all about getting things prepared for the championship, and using these games as best we can, getting the focus and giving the lads a chance to see where they are at”

Donegal have lost midfielder Ronan Docherty to injury. The Milford man injury to his Achilles in the Roscommon game and this has been confirmed by Gary McDaid and the management were keen to wish him well. He had surgery this week and will be out for a fairly lengthy period.