Donegal GAA County Board PRO John McEniff presents Kilcar captain Brian O'Donnell with the All-County Football League Division 1 trophy
Brian O'Donnell missed out last year for Kilcar when recovering from a cruciate injury but he has roared back in 2022, taking the captain's armband with his side having a Donegal SFC semi-final against St Eunan's on Saturday evening in MacCumhaill Park.
O'Donnell has taken over at full-back with Conor McShane stepping down to the reserves and it has been a big plus for the Kilcar side. The semi-final clash with St Eunan's will be a bit more special for O'Donnell as he missed their meeting last year, which Kilcar won on a 1-14 to 1-12 scoreline.
"I missed out most of last year. I'm enjoying my football now at this stage and I will relish the challenge at the weekend, as will all the boys," said O'Donnell.
He has been to the fore in all of their games and was happy enough to get a comfortable 1-14 to 1-7 win over Killybegs in the quarter-final last weekend.
"We were comfortable for periods,” he added. “But I thought Killybegs fought back well in the second half. But at the end of the day we were happy to be in the next round. That's what we were looking for before the game. You can't ask for much more."
Patrick McBrearty was to the fore in the seven-point win over the Fishermen with 0-9, but O'Donnell feels they will have to provide more help to their main marksman going forward.
"You want your forwards scoring and everyone on the team has a license to shoot when they get in position,” he said. “But when you have a forward like Patrick, you have to give the ball and stand back. When he is going well, he is hard to stop.
"But look, going forward, we have to take some of the load off him, because he can't do everything for us. We have the players there to get scores for us."
The Kilcar captain feels that even though they gave away a penalty on Saturday last, their defence and midfield are working well.
"I thought the penalty was harsh enough,” he said of the award that was scored by Hugh McFadden. “We have worked on our defence over the year, we have worked on our midfield. I think we have the players there anyway and the focus now is getting the job done at the weekend really."
As for the challenge in the semi-final, O'Donnell feels that it doesn't really matter who you meet at this stage, as they will all be difficult.
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