DECLAN Bonner’s young charges will head into the lion’s den tonight to face Tyrone in their final Dr McKenna Cup group game at Healy Park (throw-in, 8pm).
Bonner admits his under 21 team face a daunting task against a Tyrone side that place a lot of emphasis on the pre-season competition, and who will be looking to rack up a big score to secure a place in Sunday’s semi-finals.
“It is (daunting), there’s no doubt about it, but we have to get ourselves ready, and worry about our own end, and try and get a performance.
“It’s a great learning curve for these lads to be playing and getting the exposure of the McKenna Cup.”
Donegal were well beaten by Cavan last Sunday, but they were without Cian Mulligan and Caolan McGonagle (DCU), Eoghan ‘Ban’ Gallagher and Jamie Brennan (Sligo IT), and Christian Bonner and Colm Kelly (NUI Galway), who were committed to their colleges.
They should be available tonight, but Kieran Gillespie won’t play after damaging his hamstring against the Breffni county, and he joins Stephen McBrearty and Mark Coyle on the injury list.
“We should have most of the guys back from their college commitments.
“I know we will be without the injured lads, but I think Niall Friel will be ok to tog on Wednesday.
“It’s another opportunity for the lads, and there will be a few more changes.
“I’m happy enough with where the boys are at. They’re improving all the time and they’re playing against really good quality opposition.”
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