Donegal Forum

Championship 2020

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Replying To gunman:  "Talking about injuries in training and that can happen.We have heard about how competitive training games are and the great competition for places and that is good.Brian Coady and Kilkenny built their success around that philosophy.But with the heavy grounds in recent weeks maybe it was time to ease off a little bit.Donegal and particularly Murphy looked a bit leggy yesterday.Is it possible even with all the expertise these days that they got it wrong."
I agree they are important but like you say the week between two games probably not the time. But we don't actually know what kind of intensity training was at just could have been one of those things. Either way those loses were absolutely massive especially Thompson. Plus I imagine Gallen would have been in sooner than the last two games. Agreed though Murphy did look leggy as well as some others. However pressure does that too so might not have been just doing too much.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2479 - 23/11/2020 21:09:58    2314310

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Replying To panamasam:  "Generally in agreement with most of what people are saying including Commodore, Ulster champs, Joe, Lock and Tyrion especially.

On a couple of the talking points. Eoin McHugh warranted his starting spot yesterday and he played well. However I didn't like his positioning personally speaking. It is imperative the management stay on given the short turn around. However players and management really need to reflect and act upon our mental failings. It isn't just a coincidence our season has ended when one game away from an all Ireland semi final regardless of the opponents. We were ravaged in the full back line so there is a element of bad luck there but not to the degree it cost us the game yesterday as defensively while far from perfect wasn't our downfall. However a half baked Paddy McBrearty and a couple of lads proven to be not sorted to that type of game was. We need to learn from this. Bringing on a Jamie Brennan or Niall O'Donnell in such a game against tired bodies could potentially be far more productive than starting. We were down a couple of lads who have the drive and sheer dogged nature such a game requires apart from Neil. Some of these lads need to develop this bit of nastiness as being nice footballers only gets you so far."
Kind of agree on the odonnell and brennan point though you still want your best players on the field and it can be a fine line. Gallen was doing that roll excellently and if you look back against tyrone he made a huge difference when he came on. He had two direct assists for points, a key play for another one and scored the last one. You can make an argument we would not have won without him. He has a bit of star dust about him. I hope he's ok as he's had injuries over the last while.

Ulsterchamps_32 (Donegal) - Posts: 350 - 23/11/2020 21:13:41    2314312

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Replying To benjyyy:  "Armagh won 3 in a row between 2004 and 2006. Beat Donegal for the first and third and I was in Croke Park to watch them both. Yesterday brought back the painful memories of them for sure"
Yep sorry benjyyy I forgot to include Armagh's 3 in a row. The 2004 Ulster final was a painful one in Croke Park, a lot of hype and excitement but Armagh destroyed us. I was glad to get the Ulster finals back to Clones after those years, was a strange move at the time

JoeSoap (Donegal) - Posts: 1161 - 23/11/2020 21:20:02    2314318

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Personally I thought NOD did ok yesterday all things considered for the year he has had. He took two nice scores in the first half. I think considering he was one of the few to come out of Castlebar with any sort of credit.. in my view I think he has a good mentality and heaps of ability. I hope he gets a clear run in 2021 to try and improve his physique as well.

Lots of good points here, I am still sick about yesterday and 2021 can't come quick enough, what I would give to have snuck over the line yesterday and be preparing for Dublin now

JoeSoap (Donegal) - Posts: 1161 - 23/11/2020 21:29:20    2314321

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Replying To jacktheboy:  "That team that took the field for Donegal yesterday didn't look like a team that was well coached in fact they played like a team that had no coaching"
What about the team that took the field against Tyrone a few weeks ago, did they look well coached as they responded to a sucker punch goal by reeling off 4 points against the wind?

JoeSoap (Donegal) - Posts: 1161 - 23/11/2020 21:39:35    2314332

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Replying To JoeSoap:  "What about the team that took the field against Tyrone a few weeks ago, did they look well coached as they responded to a sucker punch goal by reeling off 4 points against the wind?"
I wouldn't even bother Joe just playing the blame game without really offering anything of substance. Again pure nonsense like the S & C not up to scratch then Rochford etc.....

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2479 - 23/11/2020 21:55:54    2314347

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Replying To JoeSoap:  "Personally I thought NOD did ok yesterday all things considered for the year he has had. He took two nice scores in the first half. I think considering he was one of the few to come out of Castlebar with any sort of credit.. in my view I think he has a good mentality and heaps of ability. I hope he gets a clear run in 2021 to try and improve his physique as well.

Lots of good points here, I am still sick about yesterday and 2021 can't come quick enough, what I would give to have snuck over the line yesterday and be preparing for Dublin now"
I would have NOD in my starting 15 nearly every time. However my reply was one in agreement that is he one for a real dog fight? Maybe he will prove to be but also having him off the bench in such a game is certainly an option. Though with Thompson and Gallen out there was no other option. Definitely think Brennan should not be considered a definite starter in a dogfight kinda game. It has happened to him a few times now.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2479 - 23/11/2020 22:01:08    2314357

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Replying To jacktheboy:  "That team that took the field for Donegal yesterday didn't look like a team that was well coached in fact they played like a team that had no coaching"
The all blacks wouldn't have let that happen.

Ulsterchamps_32 (Donegal) - Posts: 350 - 23/11/2020 22:02:37    2314358

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Regarding other players in the squad, caolan Ward seems to be limited to league appearances only and is a good steady player with plenty of ability, saw no cship time. Dara OBaoill although he made a few sub appearances doesn't seem to be in the reckoning was outstanding for gaoth dobhair in 2018, perhaps he hasn't built on that form. Brendan mccole came in from the wilderness to start saw no game time at all recently had a stellar campaign for DCU, what's become of eoghan mcgettigan looked to be on the verge of breaking in at the end of 2019, was very good for letterkenny IT in their sigerson campaign another who didn't feature. Aaron Doherty is probably one for the future and not ready yet. Of course none of us are privvy to how all these lads are training and we can only assume none of them put their hand up.

Obviously McFadden Ferry, McMenamin, McGrath, Thompson we're all huge losses and all 5 would probably have started if 100 percent fit and available. Galway, Tyrone, Mayo and now cavan have all had the measure of us in do or die games in the last 5 years, the common denominator in all these losses is the fact that in all these games almost 70 percent of the team failed to turn up for whatever reason. I don't think it is anything to do with ability but more to do with belief..

totalrecall (Leitrim) - Posts: 529 - 23/11/2020 22:13:36    2314367

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Replying To Ulsterchamps_32:  "I also thought frank was injured for Castlebar. Though think it was a kind of a game that would have suited someone like Leo, at his dogged best. Although conditions were good and pitch was in good shape it's not summer football. A little like a club final conditions. Leo has form in dragging teams like this over the line in these type ot matches. Against eunans in one of the finals he showed great leadership to pull them through, it was a super performance. Whether he still has it i don't know but agree about trying to keep players on as long as possible.
When thinking about the kind of match it was it has me thinking about Micheal Carroll. Although gweedore lost last year in the final he showed great leadership in the third match and hit three great points. This year he looked to fall out with the club a bit and didn't play against mccumhaills. Is it just that he's not into the commitment required, does anyone know?

There's a a very good bbc clip showing cavan celebrating and murphy watching on - the agony and the ecstasy. Bonner also did an interview with the dl debate on highland a fair play tom him for that. He was clearly bitterly disappointed and got a sense that he's certainly not sure about staying on. The commitment levels just seem to off the charts and wonder us it worth all the hassle. Maybe some of the folks on here will get what they want. I hope he does stay on.

Stephen King (ex cavan great) was on the same program, he comes across as a true gentleman and a very gracious winner. I'm still gutted though we didn't beat them."
I just listened to it myself Ulster and indeed Stephen King spoke very well and a perfect example of being gracious in victory. To be fair I think most Donegal supporters have being gracious in defeat too despite the odd couple here and on social media as you would expect.

Fair play indeed for Bonner coming on and speaking. He was obviously both gutted and mystified which was to be expected. I think he will stay on and deserves to for the work he has done. Just makes no sense changing with such a quick turnaround between seasons. That is if of course he doesn't decide to go himself. There is the elephant in the room of a certain Jim McGuinness whom from listening to certainly still has his passion for GAA and Donegal but still has unfinished business with soccer.

On the show itself I would say BD was looking out for his club man by not really discussing the Cavan goal. We are all big fans of Patton but he needs to get his confidence back under the high ball. I am pretty certain he was always assured in this regard until Dublin in the league.

I think you're spot on as well as someone else pointing out that that game was made for Leo McClone. Seen him a few times revelling in those conditions and he certainly wouldn't be lacking in returning that tenacious bite. Plus offering a calm influence when the game was in the melting pot. Regarding Carroll it has been debated here before. The required commitment would certainly be an issue.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2479 - 23/11/2020 22:17:22    2314372

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Replying To JoeSoap:  "What about the team that took the field against Tyrone a few weeks ago, did they look well coached as they responded to a sucker punch goal by reeling off 4 points against the wind?"
Or the team that destroyed Armagh last week causing confusion in their defensive ranks with the fluid changes of positions with the Donegal players and utilizing the mark with different players....

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2479 - 23/11/2020 22:19:50    2314375

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Replying To jacktheboy:  "That team that took the field for Donegal yesterday didn't look like a team that was well coached in fact they played like a team that had no coaching"
The team took the field yesterday wasn't well coached but the team that beat Tyrone twice and Armagh in the semi final must have been well coached. It getting better this to mind is probably one of the best coached teams to come out of Donegal.. from reading through the Cavan forum after they got relegated there were a few posters calling for mickeys head but he's a hero today. Every county has them. I was talking to a few know it all's today and the rubbish they were talking would make you cringe. Why was gallen dropped, why was Thompson dropped, if you knew anything about football you would know that there had to be a reason for there omission. Lord help us

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 880 - 23/11/2020 22:59:41    2314396

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Replying To totalrecall:  "Regarding other players in the squad, caolan Ward seems to be limited to league appearances only and is a good steady player with plenty of ability, saw no cship time. Dara OBaoill although he made a few sub appearances doesn't seem to be in the reckoning was outstanding for gaoth dobhair in 2018, perhaps he hasn't built on that form. Brendan mccole came in from the wilderness to start saw no game time at all recently had a stellar campaign for DCU, what's become of eoghan mcgettigan looked to be on the verge of breaking in at the end of 2019, was very good for letterkenny IT in their sigerson campaign another who didn't feature. Aaron Doherty is probably one for the future and not ready yet. Of course none of us are privvy to how all these lads are training and we can only assume none of them put their hand up.

Obviously McFadden Ferry, McMenamin, McGrath, Thompson we're all huge losses and all 5 would probably have started if 100 percent fit and available. Galway, Tyrone, Mayo and now cavan have all had the measure of us in do or die games in the last 5 years, the common denominator in all these losses is the fact that in all these games almost 70 percent of the team failed to turn up for whatever reason. I don't think it is anything to do with ability but more to do with belief.."
I think mcgettigan has had injury challenges recently and this has been referred to in interviews with the manager. Mccole did play against kerry though a bit strange to have not have seen any championship and then start. The presumption would be that he would have replaced mcgee in the tyrone match and mcmenamin in the armagh match. Though whatever the reason it's hard not to see him not getting an opportunity in the league (assuming normal schedule). Aaron Doherty will be 21 next year so would be expecting him to see some time next year, assuming he's good enough.

-Conor odonnell (carn) probably going to start seeing some game time. I hope he's fully over his cruciate.
-Peter mceniff might get called up (seems like a very effective half back for eunans and was decent for the under 20s)
-know Colin mcfadden from st michaels was mentioned about having a good club championship.
- would be nice to see gillespie back but no idea where he is at with his injury
- would like to see a few marking defenders coming through. I though like gavigan looked decent for the under 20s.

Is there any other decent defenders at club level that could make the jump? I don't know.

Ulsterchamps_32 (Donegal) - Posts: 350 - 23/11/2020 23:42:51    2314412

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Thought O Donnell played well yesterday considering his illness all year. He nearly gets 2 from play every game. He needs to grab the game more and trust his ability. He can easily fire over a few long rangers but doesn't as I presume it's all about recycling and playing the safe option.

Positives this year was
Eoin MC Hugh. He's a man marker now who can put opposition on back foot.

Same with Mc Gonagle.played really well also ydau hitting 2 points and keeping Mc Kiernan quiet. Thompson and Langan are suited around the middle.

The development of Gallán and Mogan. Looks promising.

Mc Gee.great year by the fullback. Looks fit.
Injuries.

All going well we welcome back Mc Menamin, Gillespie, Mc Grath, Mc Fadden Ferry. Perhaps Ward also.

We can dream of Odhran Mc N and one or two others like Stephen Mc B also.

Hopefully lads like Ban and O Baoil raise their game even further to the next level.

Just a note of thanks to all players and management for providing great entertainment over the last few weeks, just a massive shame we don't get a crack at the Dubs.

We need Rochford and all coaches to stay and be interesting if Jim is still floating around Donegal next year.

TheRock2121 (Donegal) - Posts: 572 - 24/11/2020 00:59:44    2314429

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Replying To panamasam:  "Or the team that destroyed Armagh last week causing confusion in their defensive ranks with the fluid changes of positions with the Donegal players and utilizing the mark with different players...."
That's the thing with a straight knock out championship, you need to be on top of your game everyday you play. Be physically well prepared and not take teams for granted etc. Otherwise you'll end up on your backside like we did on Sunday. If you're happy enough for heartbreak each year keep cheerleading for the current set up. Some of us want to see an actual breakthrough which will take change.

peiledoir20 (Donegal) - Posts: 43 - 24/11/2020 07:43:55    2314442

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Replying To jacktheboy:  "That team that took the field for Donegal yesterday didn't look like a team that was well coached in fact they played like a team that had no coaching"
That is a lazy, ill-informed and frankly insulting statement to make. Firstly to suggest that men like Declan Bonner, Karl Lacey and Stephen Rochford are not equipped for their roles. Secondly, that even if there was an ounce of credibility to what you've said, that players like McGee and Murphy - who have seen it all, would tolerate sub standard coaching?
Laughable stuff.

I'd like the same management team in situ for 2021. I'd nearly be more concerned about losing Rochford at this point. The logistics involved for him must be very challenging. Perhaps a different aspect needs to be covered - that being the psychological one? Not for the first time we've seen players who we know are very talented develop lead in their boots when the ante was raised. Perhaps Jim could be tempted to come on board to help? It would be a massive call to make.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7105 - 24/11/2020 09:16:58    2314464

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Reading this morning that Bonner is weighing up his options.
Personally I'm in favour of him staying on if he doesn't I would love for rochford to take it solely on his own.

I have a feeling if Bonner does stay then that will mean that rochford will probably part ways. I have nothing to back that up its literally just a feeling

naomh_conaill_4 (Donegal) - Posts: 364 - 24/11/2020 09:18:08    2314466

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It is going to take a long time to get over that defeat, the management and players must be gutted with the performance. I still find it hard to explain the non performance of Donegal. Cavan were brilliant and absolutely hounded us all over the pitch but looked like we were not ready for that kind of a battle. It was similar to the game in Castlebar last year where we had a system malfunction up front. We actually had plenty of chances against Cavan despite playing poorly but scores that were going over against Armagh were all going wide - we have to assume that is pressure.

I don't think we can underestimate the influence of warriors like McMenamin, McGrath and McFadden-Ferry bring to the team. It's not only their defensive capabilities but they can burst forward from defence and bring the fight to the opposition. Also Gallen and Thompson picking up injuries was a blow. I still believe in these younger players and not sure going back to ex-players is the answer. We need the younger players to take responsibility and I feel going back to ex-players would not help in this regard. It may get you over the line in a particular match but not really a good long term strategy.

With the short turnaround to next season I feel it is better for Bonner to continue unless McGuinness wants the job. We were shambolic in 2017 under Rory and Bonner has done well, we are playing nice football and have had some great performances. Unfortunately we have thrown in a really poor performance in each of the last 3 years with a All-Ireland semi-final spot up for grabs. I had thought after we came from behind against Tyrone to grind out a win that we were mentally tougher but looks like there is more work to do.

Green_Gold (Donegal) - Posts: 1734 - 24/11/2020 09:45:08    2314479

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I like Declan, he has given so much to Donegal but sentiment has to be put aside , we havent passed any litmus tests under him from the minors in 2014 to a rainy day in Castlebar . No disrespect to Cavan but they were no test litmus . i know we seem to have injuries but Bonnar's obsession with small men has cost us again . He must be under the Mchugh /Kilcar mafia .

Especially in winter football , we had back line of the two Mchugh's , mogan and MaClean against a route one Cavan team , just simply ridiculous , when O Baoil , Ward , McGee and even Doherty sitting on the bench .

l love Ryan McHugh but we cant carry him in the back line , he needs a free role in the half foward and sometimes tbh the game wont suit and needs to be benched .
Whether you like it or not you cant carry too many small men , at max two out of your 15 .
For all patton's brillance how many times has he messed up under a high ball now , he did the same thing on St Eunans in the club championship massive weakness that needs to be addressed somehow .

i dont want Rochford either , i like our manager to come from within .

My team for 2021 :
Patton
Morrison
Gillespie
McMenamin
McClenaghan
Carroll
Ban Gallagher
Mcfadden
Caolan
R. McHUGH
Langan
Thompson
McBearty
Murphy
J. Mcgee

Get McNeillis back hopefully he will cop on to himself, Gallen , Campbell , Mulgrew , McCole, all lads that can push foward as well ..

ballyshannon (Donegal) - Posts: 152 - 24/11/2020 09:48:25    2314481

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Replying To Commodore:  "We are not far away, but management need to look at similarities in how we exited in 2018, 2019 and 2020, be very honest and brutal, and work hard to address it.

We have a great side, a very special crop of young players already with back to back Ulster titles already. I feel we are getting stronger year on year, but we need to embrace these arm wrestle matches more. We thrive in matches were teams allow us space, and we rack up cricket scores, but in these difficult tight defensive matches, our inside forwards seem to struggle.

If you told me before yesterday that we would only concede 1-13 yesterday, I would have smiled, as there is no way I would have thought we would be contained to 0-12 points by Cavan. The management team and players have my full backing, we just need to prepare for these types of matches better."
Was the first round against Tyrone this year not an arm wrestle match? It was a dogfight and they won it.

High_and_wide (Donegal) - Posts: 5 - 24/11/2020 10:00:08    2314488

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