GAA – DR MCKENNA CUP
BY RYAN FERRY
It is just over three months since Donegal tasted All-Ireland heartache, but the journey to the third Sunday in September begins again on Sunday.
The 2014 campaign is now retired to the archives and thoughts of ‘what could have been’ will soon diminish.
The glorious Jim McGuinness era has concluded and the county team now moves in a new direction, under his former lieutenant Rory Gallagher.
It’s Gallagher’s first senior managerial role, but he dons the bainisteoir bib after carving out a reputation as one of Ireland’s most knowledgeable coaches.
He has brought in Glenswilly’s Gary McDaid as his second-in-command, and there is no doubt that Donegal will approach every game with immaculate preparation under their tutelage.
It is a new era for Donegal and they will do things their way.
Will expectations be lower this year, than under McGuinness? Possibly. It’s no secret that Donegal are not the youngest team in the country and they will have to plot their way through the tough side of the draw, if they hope to lift the Anglo Celt Cup for the fourth time in five years.
Yet, the murmurs of negativity may be premature. Donegal have been dining at the top table for the last four seasons and the players won’t be satisfied with second best now.
How many counties can boast players of the calibre of Michael Murphy or Karl Lacey? And how many have up-and-coming stars like Paddy McBrearty and Ryan McHugh?
Donegal still have plenty of talent and they won’t necessarily go off the map now that McGuinness has left for pastures new.
Gallagher named his panel last week after a thorough search of the county. Anyone who was deemed to have potential was