Donegal bid for an Ulster U-21 Championship semi-final on Wednesday night with Derry providing the opposition in Sean MacCumhaill Park. (Throw-in 8pm)
Former All-Ireland winner Declan Bonner is the Donegal manager. He took over at the end of last season from Maxi Curran, who stepped down after four years in the job following the narrow Ulster final defeat to Tyrone, in Celtic Park.
Tyrone won the final 1-11 to 0-13.
Danny Rodgers, Conor Morrison, Jack O’Brien, Eoghan ‘Ban’ Gallagher, Ciaran Thompson, Lorcan Connor and Tony McClenaghan are the starting survivors from last year’s final available to Bonner again this year.
Eamonn McGrath, Stephen McBrearty, Jamie Brennan, Cian Mulligan and Caolan Mulligan, who saw action off the bench in the Celtic Park decider, are also in this season’s squad.
However, Tony McCleneghan is currently on the injured list and not in the reckoning for Wednesday night. McCleneghan joins long term injured Darach ‘Jigger’ O’Connor and St Eunan’s Rory Carr, who are both in rehab and currently not available.
Fergal McCusker, from the 1993 Derry All-Ireland winning team, is the Oak Leaf boss with Enda Gormley, another member of the all conquering Derry team of 1993.
Derry have the benefit of a preliminary round victory last Wednesday night ahead of this Wednesday night’s game. They defeated Antrim in Celtic Park by 0-15 to 0-11.
Donegal are bidding to bridge a six year gap since their last Ulster U-21 success. That was in 2010 when Jim McGuinness guided the Michael Murphy, Leo McLoone, and Mark McHugh powered side to a seventh Ulster title with a 2-8 to 0-7 win over Cavan.
Donegal went on to overcome Tipperary in the semi-final losing the final to Dublin in Kingspan Breffni Park.
Derry are also the holders of seven Ulster titles as well but they have to go back 19 years to 1997 for their last final day triumph.
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