By Michael McMullan
THE new Donegal senior manager looks set to be without two key players when their promotion challenge commences in the new year.
Gaelic Life understands that Gaoth Dobhair duo Daire Ó Baoill and Odhrán McFadden Ferry are set to miss the club championship.
New manager Rónán Mac Niallais makes his championship bow with his native club when Sean MacCumhaill travel to Magheragallan on Sunday.
Ó Baoill and McFadden Ferry have plans for an extended spell of travel that would almost see them miss the county season.
McFadden-Ferry made his name as one of the county’s key man markers after Gaoth Dobhair’s run to the Ulster Club title in 2018.
Ó Baoill – who started all but one game for Donegal in 2023 – hit all 1-10 of his tally coming from play including a fine performance and three sweet scores in the championship defeat to Down in Páirc Esler.
Donegal were relegated from Division One after a 2023 that saw a raft of players unavailable for a number of reasons.
They bowed out of the championship at the hands of Monaghan after they’d salvaged some level of progression in the All-Ireland group stages.
Paddy Carr stepped down in mid-season with interim managed Aidan O’Rourke ending his tenure after their championship exit.
Speculation is mounting across the county of a return for All-Ireland winning manager Jim McGuinness.
The Donegal News are reporting this morning that McGuiness could be appointed in the coming days.
Former skipper Michael Murphy has ruled himself out of the role. So too have Martin Regan and Rory Kavanagh, who have steered their native Naomh Conaill and St Eunan’s to the last two county titles.