Monday 24 July 2017

'Two of the lads went for two pints because it was Mayo' - Eamon McGee on Donegal's 2012 final preparation

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Ahead of Mayo's eighth All-Ireland final appearance in 27 years on Sunday, one of their old adversaries has revealed how some players prepared ahead of a clash with the men from the west.

The 2012 All-Ireland final was eagerly anticipated, with Donegal's efficient machine looking primed for glory after powering past Kerry and Cork. Facing them was an upstart Mayo side, who had stunned Dublin with a deserved victory in the semi-final.

Read more: Confusion reigns as Ex-Mayo star now denies Jim McGuinness met the team

Donegal were 4/9 to win the game - strong favourites, but not outrageously short odds - and one of their players has shed some light on how some squad members prepared for the game.

Speaking to Off The Ball this afternoon, Eamon McGee claimed that two of his team-mates went for a social drink the night before the game 'because it was Mayo'.

Prior to the 2012 final, Mayo were seen as somewhat of a soft touch after two final trouncings at the hands of Kerry in 2004 and 2006.

While they have subsequently transferred into a formidably physical outfit, McGee revealed that the Donegal team were supremely bullish heading into the decider - unlike two years later, when the prospect of facing Mayo was considerably more daunting.

"When we got Mayo in 2012, we were pretty confidant," McGee said.

"Two of the lads went for two pints the night before because it was Mayo.

"In 2014 we feared Mayo and Kerry threw it back in our face."

McGee, who retired at this end of Donegal's season, also said that he felt the team would have been better served had current manager Rory Gallagher remained on as Jim McGuinness' assistant in 2014.

Gallagher departed from the management team after Donegal were soundly beaten by Mayo in the All-Ireland quarter-final in 2013.

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