By Shaun Casey
NEW Donegal manager Jim McGuinness has received a major boost as key player Dáire Ó Baoill is set to return.
Gaelic Life had reported earlier in the summer that Ó Baoill, along with his Gaoth Dobhair club and county teammate Ódhran McFadden Ferry, were set to miss the club championship and potentially next season’s inter-county action as they were set to go travelling.
Ó Baoill will return ahead of the knockout stages of the Donegal SFC, although McFadden Ferry will miss out.
Rónán Mac Niallais’ side won three of their four group games, beating Dungloe, Cloughaneely and Sean Mac Cumhaills while also losing to table-toppers Ballyshannon in round three.
This weekend, Gaoth Dobhair once again take on Dungloe in the preliminary quarter-final, with the loser exiting the competition.
Ó Baoill, who featured in all but one of Donegal’s games this season and finished the year with 1-10, will be a huge boost for the 2018 Ulster champions.
Donegal suffered relegation to Division Two and lost to Down in the opening round of the Ulster Championship, but did earn two victories against Clare and Monaghan in the All-Ireland group stages.
Tyrone ended their run in the preliminary quarter-final and Aidan O’Rourke, who replaced Paddy Carr as manager midseason, stepped down. Since then, McGuinness has returned to the Donegal hotseat.