25 May 2022

'Ready to go': Donegal close to full-strength for Cavan

Donegal manager Declan Bonner says Jason McGee and Hugh McFadden will face the Breffni on Sunday

'Ready to go': Donegal close to full-strength for Cavan

Jason McGee in action for DOnegal against Armagh and (inset) Hugh McFadden

Jason McGee and Hugh McFadden have been passed fit to face Cavan in Sunday’s Ulster SFC semi-final in Clones (throw-in 4pm).
McGee and McFadden both left the action early during the quarter-final win over Armagh a fortnight ago.
Both had injuries strapped with McFadden inhibited by a hand injury and McGee suffering a cut to the base of his foot. The midfield duo have been given the green light.

“Hughie and Jason are okay, they’re back training and ready to go,” Donegal manager Declan Bonner told Donegal Live. “It’s good to have more or less a full-strength squad for the weekend. The doctor and the physios have done great work to make sure the lads are available. We have plenty of headaches now in terms of picking a team.”

The only Donegal player who is set to miss out on Sunday is Oisin Gallen of MacCumhaill's with the suspended duo for the Armagh game, Odhrán McFadden Ferry and Neil McGee, back in contention to be included in the match-day 26.

There will be a tough call for Bonner and his assistants whether to bring McFadden Ferry back into the starting line-up. The Gaoth Dobhair man had established himself as a permanent fixture in defence.
Donegal laid down something of a marker with a 1-16 to 0-12 quarter-final win over Armagh. They had seven points to spare and the margin ought to have been wider. It was a day when Donegal were firmly in control.

“There was a definite edge in terms of our preparation,” Bonner said. “That edge is still there. We need to be at the levels every day we go out. We have to produce that and bring the edge again.”

Cavan have reached the semi-final with an equally impressive 1-20 to 0-10 win over Antrim in Corrigan Park and have a few newcomers from the side that defeated Donegal in the Ulster final of 2020.

Conor Moynagh is back for the Breffni men and they have a new free-scoring full-forward in Paddy Lynch. Cian Madden, who came off the bench to hit 1-2 in the 2020 final, was in the starting line-up against Antrim. Apart from that, much of the same personnel will represent Cavan this weekend.

"It's another big challenge,” Bonner added. “Cavan were very impressive in their win over Antrim and we know we have to meet that challenge. Preparations have gone well and we're again hoping that the Donegal support comes out to support both Donegal teams on Sunday. Reaching the Ulster final is what Sunday is all about and we know what is in front of us.”

Donegal will not want for leadership with a number of players building on some impressive championship appearances.
Sunday will see Michael Murphy lead out Donegal on Sunday, having missed just one Donegal championship game since his debut in 2007 - that was against Cavan in 2012. He has been captain of the since 2011, captaining Donegal out 58 times during his 74 championship games to date.

Meanwhile Ryan McHugh, according to Seán O'Gallchóir's stats, has played in all of Donegal's 47 championship games since his debut in 2013. They are chasing Neil McGee's numbers - 76 championship appearances while Patrick McBrearty is also going well on 57 appearances in the championship.

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