The build-up to the Ulster Championship is starting and in two weeks’ time we will know who our opponents in the first round will be.
Fermanagh and Antrim meet and going by what I have seen in recent weeks, I expect that Fermanagh will come through and be our opponents in the quarter-final. We must be very wary of Fermanagh who will have no fear of Donegal. I remember them coming to Ballybofey back in the early part of the new millennium and turning us over and they also did it in Enniskillen.
It is time for us to get our house in order and be ready for them. A number of players are struggling with injury so hopefully we will have a fully fit squad for June 12th.
Looking at the big picture at the moment, Dublin are an awesome force and it is hard to see if there are any teams out there to compete with them. There certainly isn’t anything in Leinster and Kerry age profile in the defence was badly exposed in the league final.
In Connacht, Mayo are still the team to beat and the All-Ireland U-21 win will be a fillip for them. They have the defence and the midfield and if they can unearth a couple of forwards from U-21, they might be the team to trouble Dublin. At the moment it is Dublin followed by Mayo and Kerry with others like Donegal and Tyrone in the next group.
On the home front, there is a similar gulf, as I have seen in the first six league games. There are about six clubs in Donegal and then there is a gulf. It is difficult for the teams at the bottom to compete with those top clubs, although it has been nice to welcome the top clubs to Bundoran, something which we didn’t have for a while. Some of these clubs, like Kilcar and Gaoth Dobhair, have four or five intercounty players in their squad.
Congratulations to the hurlers on their win in the Nicky Rackard Cup. It has been a difficult year for them but they are a dedicated bunch and hopefully they can build on the win.
Congrats also to Luke Gavigan and the U-16 footballers on qualifying for the Buncrana Cup finals with good wins over Tyrone and Fermanagh on Saturday.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Peter Campbell
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