Donegal’s McFadden still has the hunger

Donegal midfielder Hugh McFadden says his hunger is as prevalent as ever as he marks ten years on the senior intercounty panel in 2024.

McFadden played minor football for Donegal after initially concentrating on soccer.

He then enjoyed a great championship run with Killybegs in 2013 as they went all the way to the County Final.


That earned McFadden a call-up from Jim McGuinness and he was part of the panel that reached the All-Ireland Final in 2014.

It was a few years before McFadden established himself but he has played regularly over the last eight years for the county.

McGuinness is back in the hotseat now, and McFadden like everyone else is keen to impress and earn a starting berth.

“It’s hard to believe. The time is ticking on.

“We were taking Seanan Carr over the road to training a few nights, and we were asking what year was he born, and it gets a bit scary when you hear boys are ten or eleven years younger than you.

“I’m feeling good and the hunger is there as much as it has ever been.

“Jim has really brought a massive appetite back for us all this year and there’s great buy-in.


“I’m enjoying it and hopefully there are many more years to go yet.”

McFadden was one of the senior players who tried to keep the show on the road last season when things were at a low ebb.

After a disastrous league and Ulster Championship, the team did rally during the All-Ireland Series, but there was too much work to do in not enough time.

Standards had slipped on and off the field but there is a totally different feel in 2024 with Jim McGuinness back at the helm.

McGuinness and his backroom team bring a hugely professional approach, and that helps the players to focus solely on matters on the field.

“There’s no point hiding it, the last 12 or 14 months has been a patchy spell.

“To have someone like Jim with his leadership and direction back in charge is a massive help but it’s also the people he brings with him, and the clarity he gives to the people he’s working with, who then provide us with the best support they can.

“There’s great peace of mind knowing that you are working with people who are in it for the right reasons and that just gives us a freedom to go and try and impress as best as we can.”

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