Sunday 19 November 2017

New twist to Donegal club row as games postponed

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness had proposed that the games could be played before the start of the Ulster championship. Photo: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
Donegal manager Jim McGuinness had proposed that the games could be played before the start of the Ulster championship. Photo: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

The ongoing problems over club fixture scheduling in Donegal has taken another twist with the postponement of tomorrow's planned programme in the all-county football league.

The decision was taken by the clubs following a request from the Donegal team management that the games be either deferred or played without inter-county representatives.

The clubs opted for a deferral, but Sunday's programme will go ahead as planned.

The Donegal squad returns from the Algarve today after a week-long training camp. They play Monaghan in the Division 2 Allianz League final on Sunday week, but the real focus of the warm-weather training was the Ulster championship quarter-final with Derry in Celtic Park on May 25.

Derry's impressive progress this year – they play Dublin in the Division 1 final on Sunday week – has increased the pressure on Jim McGuinness and his squad as they bid to revisit the peaks of 2012, which ended in All-Ireland glory.

Donegal's club arrangements for this season attracted the attention of Croke Park officials when it emerged late last year that no senior championship games would be played until after the county team had completed its All-Ireland programme.

McGuinness had proposed that two rounds be played before the start of the Ulster championship but the clubs opted to defer the entire competition.

Depending on Donegal's progress, it could mean that no championship games would be played until after the All-Ireland final, making it very difficult for the county to be represented in the Ulster club championship.

Now, league games have been hit, adding to the frustration country-wide over the ongoing uncertainty around club fixtures.

Irish Independent

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