Saturday 16 December 2017

This can be stepping stone -- McFadden

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

REWIND to 2007 and Donegal are Division 1 league champions.

What followed was a miserable summer that included heavy defeats to Tyrone and Monaghan and extra-time with Leitrim.

Sitting in the Croke Park media room yesterday, Colm McFadden was determined that this year's good work won't go to waste in a similar fashion.

"The big thing is to learn that lesson (from 2007) and see where we can push on," McFadden said, after landing 1-3.

"The league is really a stepping stone for the championship.

"Hopefully we can take the form into the Antrim game and give the Ulster championship a good rattle."

Antrim, Cavan and either Tyrone or Monaghan stand between Donegal and a place in the Ulster final. McFadden (right) predicted earlier this year that Donegal would get promoted and while he wasn't making similar claims about the Ulster Championship, he was particularly pleased with the manner of their win.

"It was good to hold out and get the win. It's good to know in tight games we can hold on and get the victory," he said after his side played most of the second half with 14 men.

"Laois were really coming at us in waves then and they looked dangerous in every attack. They pulled us right back to a point and we were struggling to get scores at that time but we managed to tack on a few more."

Jim McGuinness was in a similar frame of mind, stating that the league success will be parked once the county regroup for training later this week.

"I won't really be talking about (2007) because it is not relevant to us. Every year is different, every group of players is different and every manager is different. "History is not going to dictate the game we play on May 15 (against Antrim). It will be our training between now and then that dictates how we do."

McGuinness also singled out Michael Murphy for special praise.

The Glenswilly star kept his nerve to convert a first-half spot-kick after missing one at the death in last year's All-Ireland U-21 final defeat to Dublin.

"It was great to see him lift the trophy first of all, because it was a very hard situation on him last year. He had the chance to win the game and we didn't manage to get the penalty into the back of the net. That's football and that won't be the last time that happens.

"Hopefully it will give him a lot of confidence going forward and erase any negativity that might be in his mind. He is a very nice lad and a good leader for his age."

Irish Independent

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