Donegal Forum

NFL 2020

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What county has a real marquee chb at the minute. Boyle is vg for mayo but he's an unfortunate injury. I couldn't really tell you who Tyrone or monaghan consider their chb. Who do Dublin play there now I'm not quite sure and would gavin crowley be considered as top quality. Karl lacey was a rolls royce generational player and probably not realistic to expect someone of his quality. Most teams rely on a sweeper, the likes of colm cavanagh and cian o'sullivan spring to mind. Donegal have utilised Hugh mcfadden and in the championship he's covered us off not too bad. We are definitely playing more offensive under bonner so we will concede more goals.
In saying that it would be great to have some additional to play around that position.

We definitely have lacked physicality in the league matches so far and possibly ran out of a bit of gas. The missing players probably have an impact on this. I don't necessarily agree that mchugh has to play half forward, he's had excellent games there say against kerry last year but also some great games playing deeper and controlling the game. I'd tailor it a bit depending on the opposition.
A team of say patton, mcgrath (if fit)/mc ff, mcgee, mcmenamin, daire obaoill, eoghan ban, ryan mchugh, mcfadden, mcgee, langan, niall o'donnell (playing like he did in club championship), Thompson, brennan, Murphy, brennan with the likes of gallen pushing is a decent team. They just can't really afford injuries and players have to be all firing. This being the case they will give anybody a rattle.

Ulsterchamps_32 (Donegal) - Posts: 381 - 13/02/2020 22:26:35    2267590

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Replying To DLlegends:  "I think sometimes we get carried away with both the positive and negative talk about our team.

Dublin, Mayo, Kerry and Galway are all probably ahead of us. They have the right mix of physicality and flair that you need. Ourselves Tyrone and Monaghan are all on par and could beat one another on any given day.

Our Half back line has not near physical enough. Where is our Lee Keegan, John Small or Paddy Durcan. Eoin Ban is not a corner back. Conor O Donnell is not a centre half back. Ryan Mc Hugh needs to play in Half forward line.

Full Back line of McCole (needs experience quickly) Neil for experience and Mc Menamin. Paddy Mc Grath for McGee if fit. McCole full back.

Half back line of Ban one side and Mc Fadden Ferry the other side ( two serious engines and pace to burn). Centre half I don't know, (Michael Murphy????)

Midfield of McGee and Hughie

Half forward line of Langan, Mc Hugh and Thompson.

Full Forward of Mc Brearty, Murph and Brennan.

That leaves NOD, COD, Gallen, Mc Gonagle, Eoin Mc Hugh, Neil Mc Gee or Paddy Mc Grath all left to enter games and make a real difference. Also liked the looked of Jack Mc Kelvey in Mc Kenna cup, positional sense was excellent.

For me it's crucial we find a hard hitting athletic centre half. Who??????"
I do agree with your opening line but not sure I can agree with you about Mayo and Galway being ahead of us. Dublin are still out on their own and Kerry are only slightly ahead of the rest of the chasing pack with ourselves as good as what's in that. For me Ryan McHugh plays his best football from half back as he can control the temp of the game from there and is harder to track when he makes his runs forward. Assuming we have a full panel to choose from come May then I would go with the following:

1. Patton
2. McGrath
3. McMenamin
4. McFadden Ferry (Neil to start certain games horses for courses)
5. Ryan McHugh
6. Eoghan Ban (Closest we've had to Lacey)
7. Daire O'Baoil
8. Hugh McFadden
9. Jason McGee
10. C Thompson
11. M Langan
12. Niall O'Donnell (This will be his breakout year)
13. McBrearty
14. Murphy
15. Brennan

We will still have impact off the bench with Gallen, Eoin McHugh, C Ward, McGonagle, C O'Donnell and hopefully the likes of Michael Carroll can have an impact this year. For us to get beyond the super 8's I do agree with what others have said we cannot afford too many injuries and none to our key 5 or 6 men.

Mobot (Donegal) - Posts: 459 - 14/02/2020 10:04:25    2267620

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Replying To Mobot:  "I do agree with your opening line but not sure I can agree with you about Mayo and Galway being ahead of us. Dublin are still out on their own and Kerry are only slightly ahead of the rest of the chasing pack with ourselves as good as what's in that. For me Ryan McHugh plays his best football from half back as he can control the temp of the game from there and is harder to track when he makes his runs forward. Assuming we have a full panel to choose from come May then I would go with the following:

1. Patton
2. McGrath
3. McMenamin
4. McFadden Ferry (Neil to start certain games horses for courses)
5. Ryan McHugh
6. Eoghan Ban (Closest we've had to Lacey)
7. Daire O'Baoil
8. Hugh McFadden
9. Jason McGee
10. C Thompson
11. M Langan
12. Niall O'Donnell (This will be his breakout year)
13. McBrearty
14. Murphy
15. Brennan

We will still have impact off the bench with Gallen, Eoin McHugh, C Ward, McGonagle, C O'Donnell and hopefully the likes of Michael Carroll can have an impact this year. For us to get beyond the super 8's I do agree with what others have said we cannot afford too many injuries and none to our key 5 or 6 men."
Challenge for Donegal is to balance the desire for attack with the need to defend. Ban, Ryan and Dara are all great at going forward and attacking but not at defending - as we have seen in the league to date.

None are man markers and lack defensive physicality. Dara and Ban has attacking physicality in that they can break a tackle going forward and Ryan can avoid the tackle and win frees. But, none of the three are adept at physically stopping an opposition attack.

Bonner is developing a team for the Super 8's based on speed of transition and attack but needs to have some sort of defensive plan for between our own 20yrd and 50yrd line.. We have seen Mayo and Galway get goals unchallenged with runners up the middle. If that balance can be found then we are in a very good place to be serious contenders

LKGael (Donegal) - Posts: 234 - 14/02/2020 11:53:13    2267642

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I think a successful year will be staying in Division one and going the next step in the super eights. The best way to do this is by probably winning Ulster. One group is likely to include Kerry and Dublin which will be difficult. Not just because of the opposition but playing both those teams will with it bring attrition and potential injures. Hopefully we can have some luck in that regard but all out of it at the moment considering the last couple of years and our under twenties this year. I genuinely think the gap to Dublin is closing but they are still out their on their own followed by Kerry. Then not much between ourselves, Galway, Mayo and Tyrone. I have already raised concerns about the mental toughness of seeing out games which is obvious given the games we have lost or drawn lately. Also like to see a higher conversion rate of the many goal chances created. Big problem last year and one on the evidence of this year continued into this.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2519 - 14/02/2020 12:37:08    2267652

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Replying To LKGael:  "Challenge for Donegal is to balance the desire for attack with the need to defend. Ban, Ryan and Dara are all great at going forward and attacking but not at defending - as we have seen in the league to date.

None are man markers and lack defensive physicality. Dara and Ban has attacking physicality in that they can break a tackle going forward and Ryan can avoid the tackle and win frees. But, none of the three are adept at physically stopping an opposition attack.

Bonner is developing a team for the Super 8's based on speed of transition and attack but needs to have some sort of defensive plan for between our own 20yrd and 50yrd line.. We have seen Mayo and Galway get goals unchallenged with runners up the middle. If that balance can be found then we are in a very good place to be serious contenders"
Fair points made here. Ryan definitely lacks a bit of defensive physicality but I have noticed improvements in his defensive game in the last year or so but the way he plays teams are more likely to try and mark him rather than him man marking someone but his positional sense is the main area defensively in which I have seen improvement and he puts pressure on the ball. An example of this would be v Kerry in the super 8's last year when he forced Paul Geaney to shoot high when a certain goal looked on.

As another poster pointed out the traditional centre half back is no longer really used by teams. Hugh McFadden occupies this area more than anyone else for us and I think he is improving all the time. I think Ban suits a central role because of his speed so that he can cover both flanks of the pitch quicker than most and help other defenders who might look isolated at times. Then when is possession he can pick his moments to drive forward on one of his now typical lung busting runs to set up attacks. He really is a classy footballer and like Ryan I think he is improving defensively. He is also a very strong player for his build and can handle the physical stuff.

Daire O'Baoil is a little behind in terms of his experience playing at this level but after a few nervy performances in the 2019 championship I thought he was showing signs of what he can offer going forward in his performances v Kerry and Mayo in the super 8's. I thought he done a good job on Stephen O'Brien when he came off the bench in the Kerry game and then also won a penalty. He was one of our top performers v Mayo in a day the team struggled. He definitely doesn't lack in the physicality stakes and I think if he was instructed to man mark someone he has that in his game.

I understand you concerns as we have looked open during this league campaign and at times over the last 2 years but if Hugh can get some help from Thompson, Langan and McGee with Murphy dropping back at times we have plenty of physicality in the team. If we can get to Croke Park this summer with that half back line (and a full team) I think we'd be a difficult proposition for anyone. I think we have to play to our strengths and having a pacey footballing half back line suits us.

Mobot (Donegal) - Posts: 459 - 14/02/2020 14:11:12    2267673

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Replying To panamasam:  "I think a successful year will be staying in Division one and going the next step in the super eights. The best way to do this is by probably winning Ulster. One group is likely to include Kerry and Dublin which will be difficult. Not just because of the opposition but playing both those teams will with it bring attrition and potential injures. Hopefully we can have some luck in that regard but all out of it at the moment considering the last couple of years and our under twenties this year. I genuinely think the gap to Dublin is closing but they are still out their on their own followed by Kerry. Then not much between ourselves, Galway, Mayo and Tyrone. I have already raised concerns about the mental toughness of seeing out games which is obvious given the games we have lost or drawn lately. Also like to see a higher conversion rate of the many goal chances created. Big problem last year and one on the evidence of this year continued into this."
I appreciate this post and although it is only the league (and several key players are still to come back) I am alarmed, but not surprised at the matches being thrown away.

We have the best footballer in the country in Michael Murphy, an All-Ireland winning captain at the peak of his powers. Outside of Dublin, we have one of, if not, THE biggest panel of young talent in Ireland. Our clubs are performing well in Ulster and Nationally.

Winning Sam has to be seen as the be all and end all this year. Winning Ulster is of so little importance to us at this stage. Players like Michael Murphy, Ryan McHugh, Paddy McBrearty, and Sean Patton do not come around often.

This is Bonner's 3rd year in charge of the seniors, and Rochford's 2nd year working with the team. Although harsh, I sympathise with the poster who dubbed Bonner and Rochford as professional losers. They seem to get it wrong all too often when games are tight towards the end. The management has my full support for the year ahead, and I genuinely enjoy Bonner and Rochford's brand of football, and the players seem to buy into it. But we can't afford to wait about for years for it to come to fruition when Michael Murphy is turning 31 this August. If the management can't evolve and mature into winners this year then I feel like it's time to start over again.

SurelyToGod (Donegal) - Posts: 210 - 14/02/2020 14:31:19    2267683

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Pace is vital but so is raw physical aggression at times. A half back line of Ban, Daire and Ryan won't cut it in my eyes with the big teams when we have to defend. Really good footballers but not aggressive enough.

Dublin will play Small CHB and at times move Johnny Cooper out also. Two physically aggressive players. Mayo have Keegan and Durcan, again really aggressive when required. Galway are playing Daly and Gary O Donnell there who can play ball and mix it up. Kerry have Crowley I think it is. Was injured last year.

That's why I think Mc Fadden Ferry has to play in the half back line. That and he is not a corner back. Hughie plays as a sweeper at times, completely different to CHB position. Lacks pace.

DLlegends (Donegal) - Posts: 492 - 14/02/2020 14:51:32    2267686

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Replying To SurelyToGod:  "I appreciate this post and although it is only the league (and several key players are still to come back) I am alarmed, but not surprised at the matches being thrown away.

We have the best footballer in the country in Michael Murphy, an All-Ireland winning captain at the peak of his powers. Outside of Dublin, we have one of, if not, THE biggest panel of young talent in Ireland. Our clubs are performing well in Ulster and Nationally.

Winning Sam has to be seen as the be all and end all this year. Winning Ulster is of so little importance to us at this stage. Players like Michael Murphy, Ryan McHugh, Paddy McBrearty, and Sean Patton do not come around often.

This is Bonner's 3rd year in charge of the seniors, and Rochford's 2nd year working with the team. Although harsh, I sympathise with the poster who dubbed Bonner and Rochford as professional losers. They seem to get it wrong all too often when games are tight towards the end. The management has my full support for the year ahead, and I genuinely enjoy Bonner and Rochford's brand of football, and the players seem to buy into it. But we can't afford to wait about for years for it to come to fruition when Michael Murphy is turning 31 this August. If the management can't evolve and mature into winners this year then I feel like it's time to start over again."
What do you call success obviously winning ulster means nothing. We have two all Ireland's since it started. Do you really think that we have to win an Ireland to call it a successful year. We must think we're Kerry. I would love to see Murphy win an all Ireland before he retires but I'm being realistic and doubt if we will, as I said we need a lot of things to go right for that to happen. Don't really agree with your opinion that outside Dublin we have one of best underage talent, Kerry have the best under age talent. Add in Galway mayo Tyrone after that. We have good talent coming through but so have all the top teams. Just look at underage success compared to those teams.

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 945 - 14/02/2020 16:05:23    2267708

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Replying To rorysboys:  "What do you call success obviously winning ulster means nothing. We have two all Ireland's since it started. Do you really think that we have to win an Ireland to call it a successful year. We must think we're Kerry. I would love to see Murphy win an all Ireland before he retires but I'm being realistic and doubt if we will, as I said we need a lot of things to go right for that to happen. Don't really agree with your opinion that outside Dublin we have one of best underage talent, Kerry have the best under age talent. Add in Galway mayo Tyrone after that. We have good talent coming through but so have all the top teams. Just look at underage success compared to those teams."
Did Donegal not draw with Kerry last year in Croke Park with 4 or 5 starters missing? Why would they not think that they have talent as good as Kerry?

greatpoint (USA) - Posts: 345 - 14/02/2020 16:40:26    2267715

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Replying To rorysboys:  "What do you call success obviously winning ulster means nothing. We have two all Ireland's since it started. Do you really think that we have to win an Ireland to call it a successful year. We must think we're Kerry. I would love to see Murphy win an all Ireland before he retires but I'm being realistic and doubt if we will, as I said we need a lot of things to go right for that to happen. Don't really agree with your opinion that outside Dublin we have one of best underage talent, Kerry have the best under age talent. Add in Galway mayo Tyrone after that. We have good talent coming through but so have all the top teams. Just look at underage success compared to those teams."
Winning Ulster is important, but in my opinion, an Anglo-Celt means nothing to this current crop if they aren't genuinely contesting for the All-Ireland.

I understand that we are in the era of the possibly the greatest squad that's ever played the game in Dublin, but in the last two years we've taken two Ulster titles, quite comfortably, yet we've been knocked out in crunch matches of the All-Ireland Series by teams that weren't even provincial finalists.

I really believe that a team with Michael Murphy and Ryan McHugh, along with a very talented and motivated panel of nearly 30 players, should be considered as a genuine contender, and I believe that they left so much behind after the exits in 2018 and maybe even more so 2019.

SurelyToGod (Donegal) - Posts: 210 - 14/02/2020 16:46:45    2267716

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Replying To SurelyToGod:  "Winning Ulster is important, but in my opinion, an Anglo-Celt means nothing to this current crop if they aren't genuinely contesting for the All-Ireland.

I understand that we are in the era of the possibly the greatest squad that's ever played the game in Dublin, but in the last two years we've taken two Ulster titles, quite comfortably, yet we've been knocked out in crunch matches of the All-Ireland Series by teams that weren't even provincial finalists.

I really believe that a team with Michael Murphy and Ryan McHugh, along with a very talented and motivated panel of nearly 30 players, should be considered as a genuine contender, and I believe that they left so much behind after the exits in 2018 and maybe even more so 2019."
I'd swap the lot barring Murphy for Our Naomh Conaill Herous.

gaanervous (Donegal) - Posts: 186 - 14/02/2020 17:23:46    2267721

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Replying To greatpoint:  "Did Donegal not draw with Kerry last year in Croke Park with 4 or 5 starters missing? Why would they not think that they have talent as good as Kerry?"
If we had as good as talent as Kerry how come they win 5 all Ireland minors in a row and all we have to show is 2 Ulster's... I'm not saying we haven't good young talent but as I already said all the top teams have as much if not more. That's being realistic

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 945 - 14/02/2020 18:05:33    2267723

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Replying To rorysboys:  "If we had as good as talent as Kerry how come they win 5 all Ireland minors in a row and all we have to show is 2 Ulster's... I'm not saying we haven't good young talent but as I already said all the top teams have as much if not more. That's being realistic"
No doubting Kerry have great talent coming through but if you took Clifford out of the equation in those teams not sure the 5 in a row would have been achieved the final in 2016 against Galway (who beat us). However one thing those young Kerry players have is great resolve and mental toughness in adversity. The Monaghan minor game in 2018 a prime example. Against the same opposition our minors snatched defeat from certain victory by kicking the game away. I do think our talent is as good as any especially when you are looking at 2-3 players to bridge the gap which we are surpassing.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2519 - 14/02/2020 18:24:29    2267731

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Replying To Ulsterchamps_32:  "What county has a real marquee chb at the minute. Boyle is vg for mayo but he's an unfortunate injury. I couldn't really tell you who Tyrone or monaghan consider their chb. Who do Dublin play there now I'm not quite sure and would gavin crowley be considered as top quality. Karl lacey was a rolls royce generational player and probably not realistic to expect someone of his quality. Most teams rely on a sweeper, the likes of colm cavanagh and cian o'sullivan spring to mind. Donegal have utilised Hugh mcfadden and in the championship he's covered us off not too bad. We are definitely playing more offensive under bonner so we will concede more goals.
In saying that it would be great to have some additional to play around that position.

We definitely have lacked physicality in the league matches so far and possibly ran out of a bit of gas. The missing players probably have an impact on this. I don't necessarily agree that mchugh has to play half forward, he's had excellent games there say against kerry last year but also some great games playing deeper and controlling the game. I'd tailor it a bit depending on the opposition.
A team of say patton, mcgrath (if fit)/mc ff, mcgee, mcmenamin, daire obaoill, eoghan ban, ryan mchugh, mcfadden, mcgee, langan, niall o'donnell (playing like he did in club championship), Thompson, brennan, Murphy, brennan with the likes of gallen pushing is a decent team. They just can't really afford injuries and players have to be all firing. This being the case they will give anybody a rattle."
No paddy Mc b ???

Can't be taking this serious

eunans4ever (Donegal) - Posts: 1185 - 14/02/2020 19:12:06    2267740

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Watched a recording of the Galway game and it is really unbelievable that we couldn't win that game.Apart from a spell after our goal we were in control.A lot has been made about the concession of the two goals.Their first goal was well worked but the second one was bad defending,there was no cover,the danger not being spotted in time.It had nothing to do with the much talked about lack of physicality .Despite the two goals 2-8 was not a big score to better.There was 19 mins of play left after Galway's last score and in that time we scored 1 point and we had an extra man for the last 10 mins.
Apart from our own shortcomings the officials had a bad day.The two footed tackles for our penalty and the one on O'Baoill in the second half should have been red cards.There was a blatant pick up off the ground on the goal line,The quick free to Murphy should not have been called back and there was a black card offence on Owen Ban.
There was no camera evidence but it is unlikely that Murphy was in the square before the ball was kicked.
A bad day but I would be confident that we will be much better going forward.

gunman (Donegal) - Posts: 730 - 14/02/2020 21:19:31    2267753

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I don't think there is any doubt that Sean o'shea and in particular David Clifford elevated some of the kerry minor teams. Without them kerry didn't shoot the lights out at under 20 over the last two years. Now it also highlights what a superstar Clifford can be and he'll be able to carry a brave bit to a senior all ireland win.

Daire obaoill is a 100% a wing half balk and as been mentioned that match against kerry highlighted that. Obrien was causing all sorts of problems scoring maybe three points. Obaoill came on and really quietened him down and think obrien scored 1 point for the rest of the game. Obaoill is plenty big and can cause damage offensively and a good half back has to be able to defend and attack.

Mcfadden-Ferry has played 7 games for donegal and writing him off as corner back is way to premature. He's very quick, very tough and with a little more time and coaching can evolve into a very decent corner back. He may also suit a half back but just don't want to write him off as a corner back.

I don't we should focus too much on minor successes and more on developing decent players. You'd ultimately rather one very good or great player from a bad team than a few ok players from a good minor team. Last year's minors might ultimately not have been successful but there were plenty good players on it and a few who will become very decent senior county players.

Overall donegal have plenty potential to do well this year. Put the head down and work hard.

Ulsterchamps_32 (Donegal) - Posts: 381 - 14/02/2020 21:24:43    2267755

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Replying To eunans4ever:  "No paddy Mc b ???

Can't be taking this serious"
Don't know what you're talking about. Paul Brennan in one corner and Jamie in the other corner. Couldn't ask for better than that!!!!

Ulsterchamps_32 (Donegal) - Posts: 381 - 14/02/2020 21:26:00    2267756

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Replying To gunman:  "Watched a recording of the Galway game and it is really unbelievable that we couldn't win that game.Apart from a spell after our goal we were in control.A lot has been made about the concession of the two goals.Their first goal was well worked but the second one was bad defending,there was no cover,the danger not being spotted in time.It had nothing to do with the much talked about lack of physicality .Despite the two goals 2-8 was not a big score to better.There was 19 mins of play left after Galway's last score and in that time we scored 1 point and we had an extra man for the last 10 mins.
Apart from our own shortcomings the officials had a bad day.The two footed tackles for our penalty and the one on O'Baoill in the second half should have been red cards.There was a blatant pick up off the ground on the goal line,The quick free to Murphy should not have been called back and there was a black card offence on Owen Ban.
There was no camera evidence but it is unlikely that Murphy was in the square before the ball was kicked.
A bad day but I would be confident that we will be much better going forward."
Spot on gunman, totally agree with everything you said. Nice to get a balanced view now and again.

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 945 - 14/02/2020 21:27:07    2267757

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I do think for us to win an-Ireland in the next two years two things need to happen. 1. Jimmy mcGuinness back at the helm. 2 Odhran is back in the panel. Both I don't think will happen unfortunately. I just remembered in 2012 All-ireland quarter final against a star studded Kerry team threw everything at us in the last 10 minutes and we didn't flinch. That's what mcGuinness brought to Donegal team..and I don't think Delcan can do the same..

RoryGall35 (Donegal) - Posts: 109 - 14/02/2020 22:07:27    2267764

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Replying To rorysboys:  "Spot on gunman, totally agree with everything you said. Nice to get a balanced view now and again."
And for the 2nd goal the Galway man took at least 8 steps. Although saying that, he should never have been allowed to waltz through like that.

SouthOfTheGap (Donegal) - Posts: 142 - 14/02/2020 22:37:00    2267768

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