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Flynn returns to Donegal fold

By Niall Gartland

DONEGAL hurling manager Mickey McCann says they have a particularly strong panel of players this year.

He’s in his fourth year in charge of the team, and he’s happy to report that strength-in-depth isn’t any sort of issue this season.

Talented players like Tipperary native Davin Flynn have returned to the fold (he wasn’t available last year) while a number of players made their debuts in their resounding Conor McGurk opening day win over Antrim’s U-20 side (Brian MacIntyre, Conor Gartland, Daire O’Maoileidigh, Dean Harvey, Kevin Curran, Cathal Doherty and Liam McKinney).

Set to face Ulster University in their second Conor McGurk match this Saturday, it looks like it could be a good year for the sticksmen from Donegal.

McCann said: “I feel we’ve a good squad compared to the last couple of years. We’ve a lot of young lads on board and they’ve been doing well, and a couple of boys returning who’d taken time out. We probably have more options this year in terms of the bench.”

Donegal were highly impressive in their 5-16 to 1-10 victory over Antrim in their opening Conor McGurk game. The gulf in class took McCann by surprise, but he wasn’t getting carried away as the Saffrons fielded their U-20 team.

“It was a good result but we’ll be keeping our feet on the ground. Antrim are young and fit but we’re a senior team so we’re a bit more physical. It was a good enough performance but I wouldn’t read much into the performance.

“It’s hard to know how strong that Antrim U-20 team is.”

While Donegal are in good shape, McCann says consolidating their Division 2B status is their main priority in the league this year. He also said last year’s disappointing Nickey Rackard defeat to Tyrone was a motivating factor in his decision to stay put for another season.

“This is my fourth season. I was contemplating stepping down, but the defeat to Tyrone spurred us on to give it another shot.

“We’d love to finish in the top three in Division 2B as the second and third-placed team face off on a semi-final this year. That’d be an ambition but to be honest we’ll be quite content if we can maintain our status.

“If a promotion spot came up we’d love that but I’m not sure we’re ready for Division 2A. So staying in Division 2B and giving the Nickey Rackard a good rattle would be our target.”

 

 

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