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Lacey: “I’m available for selection”

A selection of Ulster Bank AA stars, Donegal's Karl Lacey, with behind from left, Galway's Finian Hanley, Kerry's Kieran Donaghy and Fermanagh's Tommy McElroy, gathered at a home outside Croke Park today to mark Ulster Bankís sixth year as official sponsor of the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship. As part of Ulster Bankís sponsorship, their GAA stars were on-hand to launch the ëUlster Bank Best GAA Homeí campaign, a nationwide search to find the best ëGAA Homeí on the island of Ireland. Throughout the Championship, Ulster Bank is asking supporters to Tweet, post on Facebook and email pictures of how they have decorated their houses, clubs and communities, with their beloved county colours. One overall winner will be selected to win Ä5,000 towards a home-makeover, as well as tickets and accommodation, for their family, to the GAA Football All-Ireland Final in Croke Park. Additional prizes will be given out regularly throughout the campaign.  Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

A selection of Ulster Bank AA stars, Donegal’s Karl Lacey, with behind from left, Galway’s Finian Hanley, Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy and Fermanagh’s Tommy McElroy, gathered at a home outside Croke Park today to mark Ulster Bankís sixth year as official sponsor of the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship. As part of Ulster Bankís sponsorship, their GAA stars were on-hand to launch the Ulster Bank Best GAA Homeí campaign, a nationwide search to find the best GAA Homeí on the island of Ireland. Throughout the Championship, Ulster Bank is asking supporters to Tweet, post on Facebook and email pictures of how they have decorated their houses, clubs and communities, with their beloved county colours. One overall winner will be selected to win Ä5,000 towards a home-makeover, as well as tickets and accommodation, for their family, to the GAA Football All-Ireland Final in Croke Park. Additional prizes will be given out regularly throughout the campaign. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

BY CHRIS MCNULTY

FOOTBALLER of the Year Karl Lacey says he’s ‘feeling good’ and is aiming to be selected in the Donegal team that takes to the field on Sunday for the high-octane Ulster Championship meeting with Tyrone in Ballybofey.

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A club League game with Four Masters two weeks ago against Kilcar is the sum total of the quadruple All-Star’s competitive action this year, after he underwent hip surgery in December.

His previous competitive outing had been the 2012 Donegal SFC semi-final against Naomh Conaill in late October.

Lacey has been in an intense rehabilitation programme since, though, and has played two challenge games – against Galway and Roscommon – in recent weeks as the countdown to Sunday’s game has narrowed.

With just five days to go, Lacey today gave the strongest word yet that he’ll be in line to go head-to-head with the Red Hands.

“I’m available for selection,” Lacey said.

“It is up to Jim and Rory to decide from looking at the sideline if I’m fit enough for Sunday and up to the sharpness with the rest of the lads.

“I’ve been training hard and it is feeling good. We have one more session on Wednesday night and if that goes well, hopefully I’ll get the nod for some game time on Sunday.”

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The Donegal squad spent last week at a training camp in Johnstown House in Enfield, Co Meath, where the battle plans were laid down.

Lacey said: “Jim has given us a game plan to do, we have been working on our fitness and it is up to us as players to execute that to the best of our ability. If we do that, hopefully it will be good enough.”

Donegal’s players meet just once this week, when they assemble for a light session tomorrow night.

Hear an interview with Karl Lacey by RTE’s Damien O’Meara, here: http://www.rte.ie/sport/player/809/451744/

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