Lacey seeking late return in bid to peak for summer
Karl Lacey is targeting a late return to the Donegal set-up in order to be in peak condition for the 2016 season.
The Four Masters man is yet to sit down with manager Rory Gallagher to plan out next year but would like to see his training load reduced in a bid to find his best form for the championship.
"I don't know what (Gallagher's) plans are - if he wants me back in November, December, January time for training I don't think my body will sustain that for the whole season," Lacey said at the announcement that the Kellogg's Cul Camps had attracted more than 100,000 children over the summer.
"So if we can come up with something maybe, sit down with himself, the coaches and the medical team and see what the best structure is to put in place for me.
"I want to be peaking around May, June or July time rather than during the National League.
"It's trying to take down the game-time a wee bit and the training load and the match-load or whatever.
"At my age now and with the amount of miles I have in my legs, taking that down a wee bit is probably the best way to go for me."
The former Footballer of the Year, who's just turned 31, also believes the other veterans in the squad like Neil Gallagher and Christy Toye have more to give to the cause as Donegal look to challenge for honours again.
"I think there is another year in these guys. It's about what approach is taken, game time, training wise that you're going to give them during the winter," he explained. "That's up to Rory but I think next summer time if the right approach is taken over the pre-season and winter, then definitely they have something to offer."
Lacey didn't work last summer after completing his Masters. And while he felt the decision aided his game, he admitted that such a course of action is unlikely to be an option next year due to financial constraints.
"I felt the League went well for me and training was going good so I didn't want to have any setbacks and commit to the football for the summer months," he said. "Looking back it was the right choice for me.
"In the Ulster final I tore my medial ligament and I recovered in 19 days and that was down to the fact that I was off, not working and could spend the full time doing recovery.
"A medial ligament is usually four to six weeks but I got back in 19 days and back for the Mayo game and that probably wouldn't have been possible had I been working. I look back now and I'm glad it's a choice I made.
"It's different if you are leaving a job to do it, that's a totally different scenario. I know Kieran Donaghy has done it and Darran O'Sullivan has done it too, but I know Darran is working on the same thing as me in the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme.
"I don't know how Kieran is finding it but it's a question that has been coming up a lot over the summer and I feel it benefits a player when you're not working and giving your full time to your training and your recovery.
"Performance-wise it is definitely beneficial but financially you can't do it for the next few years unless there is some other income coming in."