‘There’s nothing to be afraid of’ – Molloy

ANTHONY Molloy feels that Donegal have the belief that they can go deep into the All-Ireland Football Championship this season.

Donegal are the Ulster champions and are not getting ready for a jaunt at the Sam Maguire Cup.

Molloy was part of the five-man committee including then County Chairman Fergus McGee, Secretary Declan Martin, Anthony Doogan and Martin McHugh, who were tasked with finding the new Donegal manager last summer, and they got their number one target in Jim McGuinness to commit to the cause once again.


McGuinness has already sprinkled his magic in a short space of time working with the team, and with the Anglo Celt Cup already secure, Donegal are now looking to put their best foot forward in the All-Ireland Series.

You have to go back to 2014 since Donegal were last in an All-Ireland semi-final, so history shows it’s not easy to get the better of the elite counties, but Molloy feels no side will want to face off with McGuinness’s men.

“It’s been a fabulous season to date. It really has,” said the 1992 All-Ireland winning captain.

“We have won two trophies already with Division 2 of the National League and the Ulster Championship.

“I don’t think anyone seen that coming at the start of the year.

“It’s a massive turnaround from where things were 12 months ago. If we’re honest, it was heading towards the bottom of the barrel.

“Then Jim came in October, which isn’t that long ago altogether, and he has done trojan work with them since then.


“It’s been a great journey so far, and it’s a new team and a young team so that all augers very well.

“There is a very talented bunch of players there. Every group needs three things – ability, fitness, and belief and this Donegal group has all three.

“Jim has gelled the whole set-up together. Things are going right on the pitch and off it.

“There’s a good relationship there with the County Board and the supporters are on board as well which is very important too. Everyone is there for the right reasons.

“Jim believes that the team can go all the way now and win Sam and why not?

“There’s nothing to be afraid of. We are as fit as any team out there and the belief is there.

“I’ll say this, I don’t think any team would want to play them.”

Molloy, was one of Donegal’s finest ever midfielders, and few got the better of him in the middle of the park.

One of Donegal’s strengths during the championship has been the partnership of Jason McGee and Michael Langan at centre-field.

Molloy said: “I think they have been unbelievable to be honest.

“They are big men and they have the physicality and the height that you need.

“But they are natural footballers. They can kick scores themselves and set them up, and track back as well.

“You have to be able to move up and down the field and you have to be able to do that. We’re lucky to have them.”

Tyrone are the visitors to MacCumhaill Park today and Molloy foresees another close encounter.

Donegal saw off Tyrone by 0-20 to 0-18 after extra-time when the sides met in the Ulster Championship semi-final last month.

McGuinness’s men will start the game as favourites, but there will be nothing going handy when the ball is thrown in.

“It was a tight game in Celtic Park and it will be a tight game again this Saturday.

“I think most people can see that there is only a kick of the ball between the top teams in Ulster.

“You have ourselves, Derry, Tyrone and Armagh, and they are all four very good teams and there’s nothing really between any of them to be fair.

“Tyrone are a good team, and you’ll need the rub of the green in it with decisions and everything else. It will be a close game as well.”

Molloy has been enthused by the Donegal support during the Championship so far and he hopes to see even more green and gold on the terraces this week.

“It’s been great to see the support back out behind the team.

“If we’re honest about it the support probably had declined a bit over the last year or two.

“But it was just brilliant to see all the green and gold jerseys coming onto the pitch after the match in Clones. The amount of young people there supporting the team was amazing.

“Hopefully we will see them all there again on Saturday.

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