DONEGAL will be handed an extra motivational weapon to aid their attempt to win the Ulster football title for a third successive season if they are forced out of Ballybofey for their quarter-final clash with Tyrone.
They are entitled to home advantage but may lose out because of the limited capacity in MacCumhaill Park. Instead, the game may be played in Clones. "We have been unlucky the last two years getting drawn in the preliminary rounds. We have done it the hard way and it looks like we will have to do it the hard way again next year," said defender Karl Lacey.
"A home draw is a home draw and shouldn't be changed."
The Footballer of the Year, currently in New York with the All Stars, believes that even if MacCumhaill Park couldn't accommodate the anticipated attendance, the match should still be played there.
"If it's a sell-out, it's a sell-out. It's no different to an All-Ireland final, which is always a sell-out. We don't want to lose out on the chance to play at home.
"I think it is very unfair that we are being treated like that, especially when we are the champions," he added.
Previous All-Ireland champions have often discovered that the sense of obsession which helped them win the title in the first place wasn't there in the second year, but Lacey insists that won't be an issue for Donegal.
However, he accepts that opponents will bring added ferocity to every game involving Donegal next year.
"Teams are going to be out to get us – we'll have to be ready for it," he said.