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McBrearty hoping for better luck in 2017 final

Stephen McBrearty in action against Aidan McDevitt in last year’s final

KILCAR star Stephen McBrearty hopes that his team have learned from last year’s mistakes as they gear up for the Donegal SFC final on October 15.

McBrearty and his teammates were in fine form last Saturday as they cruised into the final at the expense of St Michael’s.

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However, that triumph evoked memories of their 2016 semi-final victory over Naomh Conaill, when they also played some scintillating football.

Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t repeat that performance in the final against Glenswilly, and will be hoping for better this year when they take part in the showpiece event.

“We’re delighted to be in the final for the second year in-a-row.

“But we were in the same position last year when we won the semi-final by a good bit, but then unfortunately it didn’t go our way in the final.

“Hopefully we won’t let that happen again this year.”

It was an awesome display from Kilcar and any day you hit 2-16 in a county semi-final and win by 15 points has to be filed under the ‘impressive’ category.

However, it was their workrate and defensive steel that McBrearty felt deserved most of the plaudits.

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“You could compliment us on a number of things to be fair.

“We took good scores, but I thought our defence were very solid. We all know the scoring potential ‘Michael’s have.

“They only scored seven points and we kept the goals out, which is what you want.

“Overall it was a good display, but we haven’t won anything yet. It’s going to be a tough final against Glenties or Gaoth Dobhair, who ever it is.

“We’ll do a bit of recovery this week, and I’m sure we’ll go to the other game (on Saturday). We’ll just prepare as best we can for whoever comes through it.”

Kilcar lost last year’s final on a damp windy day in Ballybofey, and there is a theory that with all their fast and skilful players, the Towney men aren’t as formidable in poor conditions.

However, they made light work of the wet weather on Saturday night against St Michael’s, and McBrearty hopes that will have helped to dismiss any talk that they can only hit form on nice, pleasant days.

“I’m hearing that a lot. People reckon we don’t like the wind and the rain.

“But I was glad it rained because we showed we can play in it, and we put up a good score. It’s not a problem for us.”

McBrearty showed what he could do with an impressive attacking performance.

He kicked two super scores in the first half, and added a third after the break following a lovely dummy.

“It was a hit and hope more than anything.

“The game was more or less over at that stage, so I just thought why not go for it at that stage.

“When you have the pace of Ryan and Eoin (McHugh), and Paddy (McBrearty) as well, they’re hard to stop when they get going.

“They put up big scores on big days, and that’s what we need from them.”

McBrearty was part of the Donegal panel at the start of the season, but only made three late appearances during the league against Kerry, Dublin, and Tyrone.

He decided in May to leave the panel and head away to the US for the summer.

The world is a bigger place than just Kilcar and Donegal, and while he didn’t land a championship title with Donegal Boston on his travels, the 21-year-old still spoke fondly of his hiatus in the States.

“I really enjoyed it. I think after the season Donegal had, I would have regretted it if I didn’t head away.

“It was always in the back of my mind to go, so I thought why not this year.

“It was good for me. You were playing 13-a-side out there and it was nice wide open football out in 30°C heat.”

Since the news of Declan Bonner’s appointment as Donegal senior team manager last week, there has been a lot of talk of players returning to the fold next season.

The main focus is on Odhrán MacNiallais and Leo McLoone, but McBrearty is another that could get the call once again.

The Kilcar man knows Bonner very well and was a pivotal player in Donegal’s underage success in recent times.

McBrearty was vague on whether or not he would like to join up with the panel again in 2018, but did say that he felt the selection committee got the right man.

“I’ll see later on. I’m glad that he got it. He was the hot favourite and probably the best man to get it.

“I’ve had him as a manager since I was Under 15 so I know him well.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how things go, and what kind of season Donegal will have with him in charge.”

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