Kevin Cassidy

KEVIN CASSIDY: Contenders to get their hands on Dr Maguire

AS we gear up for the club championship here in Donegal, I’d like to take a look at the movers and shakers heading in to this year’s opening round of action this weekend.

Before this, you could read a lot from league form. Now it’s different, since the majority of the teams were minus a lot of their big players for most of the season due to county commitments and then, later, travel so it’s hard to go on current form.

Having looked at all squads and who will be available as players return from the states over coming days. Here is my top five.


1 St Eunan’s

Although they were easily beaten by Glenties in the league final a few weeks ago, I still feel that this St Eunan’s team are dangerous when they get their full complement back.

They have been missing a number of the key players for most of the league as the likes of Niall and Conor O’Donnell opted to travel to the US for the summer.

Rory Kavanagh will be keen to get those boys back into the mix this week and start to gear up for. championship.

This is his third year in charge, so the pressure is slightly on them to deliver this time around and I expect a kick from this St Eunan’s team once the business end of the championship comes into view.

2 Naomh Conaill

After winning the league, a lot of people will probably have them as favourites to win the championship but news broke through this week of a possible injury to key forward Eoghan McGettigan. If that is the case, then it’s a massive blow as he is their main scorer.

They have introduced a number of younger players over the last year or two, but the majority of this team are still driven by the old guard. They have been fantastic servants to the club and that never say die attitude and know how to win makes them extremely difficult to beat in this competition.

3 Gaoth Dobhair

I would like to see us a little further up the pecking order, but, being realistic, this is where I see us sitting at the minute.

We have been down a number of our are you bigger players during the league due to travel commitments but we have also lost two massive players and Daire Ó Baoill and Odhrán McFadden Ferry who have emigrated to Australia for the time being, so that’s why I have placed us at number three.

We have some very good young players coming through, but if we had a full squad to pick from and everyone at home then I believe that we would be higher up the list of contenders, but I’m still confident that out lads will give it a good rattle this year.

4 Kilcar

I’m just not sure what to expect from them this year as they have been a real mixed bag during the year.

Then again, they have been also missing some key individuals. I watched them a number of weeks ago in the league as they played our lads in Gaoth Dobhair and they were extremely disappointing that day out.

When I look at their team, they have a lot of running power, but they are overly reliant on Patrick McBrearty inside to get their scores and this is why they are at number four as we had into to the championship opener.

5 Aodh Ruadh

That top four have been best four teams in Donegal for the best part of a decade now, but if any team can break into the top four it’s Aodh Ruadh, Ballyshannon.

This young Aodh Ruadh team have been coming over the last year or two and I feel that this could be their year to make a proper mark on the championship.

They do not have any standout individuals like some of the other teams, but what they do have as a real cohesive unit, and they are extremely athletic and powerful.

There will no doubt be some shocks along the way, but when is all boils down to it, and it comes to the business end of things then these five teams will be to the forefront of the competition.

Pull quote

Rory Kavanagh will be keen to get those boys back into the mix this week and start to gear up for. championship.

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW