Monday 18 December 2017

Donegal calendar must change – McEniff

Former Donegal All-Ireland winning manager Brian McEniff
Former Donegal All-Ireland winning manager Brian McEniff
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

FORMER Donegal All-Ireland winning manager Brian McEniff believes the decision by clubs in the county to postpone their championships until the inter-county footballers have concluded their campaign will be reversed in the near future.

Earlier this week, Donegal came under fire from director general Paraic Duffy in his annual report, because they had agreed to suspend the competitions until after Jim McGuinness' men exited the race for Sam Maguire.

"Long-term, it won't fit into the calendar of events," said 1992 winning manager McEniff. "The club comes first and I think it's important that we're playing championship in high season."

After winning the 2012 All-Ireland, Donegal played off the latter rounds of their championship in a matter of weeks and McEniff blamed that schedule for the injury that forced former Footballer of the Year Karl Lacey to miss large parts of last year.

"We'll take a look at it. Jim got the support because of the situation he was in, and rightly so, but it's going to condense the championship into a very short space of time and, if we look back to the year we won the All-Ireland, I would put that (schedule) down to Karl Lacey's long-term injury."

After last year's poor showing, McEniff believes the county will challenge for major honours again this term. "We played 15 competitive games last year and only won five," he said. "That was a kick-back from the All-Ireland success.

"I know Jim has worked hard with them and I can see them coming out of Division 2. We have the easier section, on paper, to get to an Ulster final, but Derry are one of those sides that there is always a good game in and we have to be wary of that.

"That's where it is at, but I would say we will be in an Ulster final for sure and then it depends on who comes out of the other side."

Irish Independent

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