Donegal Forum

Championship 2020

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Had not got the heart to come on here yesterday as still trying to process the disappointment of Sunday and trying to fully understand where it came from.

On the face of it the game had shades of the final with Monaghan in 2013 where we are just rocked to our boots by the sheer intensity and hunger to win of the opposition and allowed our own game to disintegrate. We are not out there playing them for 6hrs. Its a 70mins battle, if you don't match the intensity levels fairly quickly you are going to find yourself in bother and most likely beaten.

Lets start with the team selection- when i see a team beaten, doesnt matter if its Donegal, Man Utd or Ireland all i ever hear is " Why wasnt he picked" etc etc. The reality is that we have a decent squad but a small pool of players who in reality are ready to start. To lose Gallen and Thompson during the week to injury is a blow and as was proven yesterday and left us with nothing on the bench attacking wise. It is a reasonable to question why McCole was flung in ahead of McKelvey for his first Championship start of the season, I can only assume it was because hes a bigger stronger man- but dont forget McFadden-Ferry came in from nowhere in last years Ulster Final so its not something the management are afraid of if they feel someone is performing well in training.

Regarding Paddy McBrearty i think there is a decision to be made.... do we start with him in order to get the game won inside an hour, or do we hold him back as a game changer if things are not going our way? The sight of McBrearty departing with his race ran on the hour and the game in the balance, is proof this decision was got wrong. He should have been held back on the day to finish the game and give us a spark when required, if as has been proven now- he was not match fit.

In the first half we have lost 5 points from play inside the first 10mins of action, a woeful start similar to Tyrone which would come back to haunt us later. Make no mistake about it, until the first Black Card we are struggling. What happens then sees us rattle off about 7 points in the next 15mins and by the 25min mark we are on 9pts kicked and well on the way to double figures half time score which is where you want to be at half time- well on the way to the 20pts required to win any game,

The whole thing then collapses, and from roughly the 25min mark we kick ONE more score from play in the entire match inclusive of 4 additional minutes at the end of each half. Why did this happen???

Inside forward line starved of ball, trying to break through tackles instead of keeping the ball moving out the field, and afew players including Mogan who has an infuriating habit, of solo-running the ball back the way. Actually picking up the ball on the attacking 45- running it back the way 15 or 20m to offload to another man who has a defence set up square in his face and can see him coming a mile off. Without wishing to be to criticial, Sunday is not the first time Patton has had a complete nightmare under a routine high ball. Of the top of my head he has cost a goal against Dublin in the league which lost the game, and was simply blessed not to do the same against Tyrone afew weeks ago. Teams have identified this now and are willing to throw a hail mary at him in the knowledge hes well able to fold.

Donegal apart from that 15min purple patch where we completely lorded it, had no right to win the game over the remaining 55mins + of action. We could have fluked the win particularly if Ban or Brennan (who had a nightmare from the off) had managed to take one of their goal chances but that is more akin to a soccer smash and grab where you are on the ropes at 0-0 and nick a goal against the run of play. That does not happen as much in a higher scoring game where you have to get scores consistently throughout and as i said earlier, 1 score form play and 2 frees from the 25th minute of the game on would not win a competitive game of any nature. Worth noting at this point we couldnt even call for a single point to be kick by a sub, Cavan had a man on and off as a blood sub who helped himself to 1-2.

The question going forward that needs answered, is why are we choking with an All Ireland Semi Final in sight.
How could the Kerry performance in Croke Park be follow up by what we saw in Castlebar?
How could the Tyrone/Armagh performances this season be followed up by Ulster Final defeat when 1/14 Favs??

Its clearly not a coaching thing, surely the preparation for all those games is hugely similar- its got to be a mentality thing, a fear that comes over us when a real big prize comes into sight and our natural game or our form which preceded it goes out the window and we are left with this unrecognizable bemusing performance, littered with mistakes which spreads like wildfire very early in a game.

It will be the same again next year, there will be games we are left purring at the quality of our play, but always in the back of the mind for a big game in future- are these boys going to fold today? and that is something that is going to take time to put right because its been a number of years (3) at least in the making.

Its still hard to believe and hard to take.

ManusFromHeaven (Donegal) - Posts: 326 - 24/11/2020 10:07:35    2314494

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Replying To ManusFromHeaven:  "Had not got the heart to come on here yesterday as still trying to process the disappointment of Sunday and trying to fully understand where it came from.

On the face of it the game had shades of the final with Monaghan in 2013 where we are just rocked to our boots by the sheer intensity and hunger to win of the opposition and allowed our own game to disintegrate. We are not out there playing them for 6hrs. Its a 70mins battle, if you don't match the intensity levels fairly quickly you are going to find yourself in bother and most likely beaten.

Lets start with the team selection- when i see a team beaten, doesnt matter if its Donegal, Man Utd or Ireland all i ever hear is " Why wasnt he picked" etc etc. The reality is that we have a decent squad but a small pool of players who in reality are ready to start. To lose Gallen and Thompson during the week to injury is a blow and as was proven yesterday and left us with nothing on the bench attacking wise. It is a reasonable to question why McCole was flung in ahead of McKelvey for his first Championship start of the season, I can only assume it was because hes a bigger stronger man- but dont forget McFadden-Ferry came in from nowhere in last years Ulster Final so its not something the management are afraid of if they feel someone is performing well in training.

Regarding Paddy McBrearty i think there is a decision to be made.... do we start with him in order to get the game won inside an hour, or do we hold him back as a game changer if things are not going our way? The sight of McBrearty departing with his race ran on the hour and the game in the balance, is proof this decision was got wrong. He should have been held back on the day to finish the game and give us a spark when required, if as has been proven now- he was not match fit.

In the first half we have lost 5 points from play inside the first 10mins of action, a woeful start similar to Tyrone which would come back to haunt us later. Make no mistake about it, until the first Black Card we are struggling. What happens then sees us rattle off about 7 points in the next 15mins and by the 25min mark we are on 9pts kicked and well on the way to double figures half time score which is where you want to be at half time- well on the way to the 20pts required to win any game,

The whole thing then collapses, and from roughly the 25min mark we kick ONE more score from play in the entire match inclusive of 4 additional minutes at the end of each half. Why did this happen???

Inside forward line starved of ball, trying to break through tackles instead of keeping the ball moving out the field, and afew players including Mogan who has an infuriating habit, of solo-running the ball back the way. Actually picking up the ball on the attacking 45- running it back the way 15 or 20m to offload to another man who has a defence set up square in his face and can see him coming a mile off. Without wishing to be to criticial, Sunday is not the first time Patton has had a complete nightmare under a routine high ball. Of the top of my head he has cost a goal against Dublin in the league which lost the game, and was simply blessed not to do the same against Tyrone afew weeks ago. Teams have identified this now and are willing to throw a hail mary at him in the knowledge hes well able to fold.

Donegal apart from that 15min purple patch where we completely lorded it, had no right to win the game over the remaining 55mins + of action. We could have fluked the win particularly if Ban or Brennan (who had a nightmare from the off) had managed to take one of their goal chances but that is more akin to a soccer smash and grab where you are on the ropes at 0-0 and nick a goal against the run of play. That does not happen as much in a higher scoring game where you have to get scores consistently throughout and as i said earlier, 1 score form play and 2 frees from the 25th minute of the game on would not win a competitive game of any nature. Worth noting at this point we couldnt even call for a single point to be kick by a sub, Cavan had a man on and off as a blood sub who helped himself to 1-2.

The question going forward that needs answered, is why are we choking with an All Ireland Semi Final in sight.
How could the Kerry performance in Croke Park be follow up by what we saw in Castlebar?
How could the Tyrone/Armagh performances this season be followed up by Ulster Final defeat when 1/14 Favs??

Its clearly not a coaching thing, surely the preparation for all those games is hugely similar- its got to be a mentality thing, a fear that comes over us when a real big prize comes into sight and our natural game or our form which preceded it goes out the window and we are left with this unrecognizable bemusing performance, littered with mistakes which spreads like wildfire very early in a game.

It will be the same again next year, there will be games we are left purring at the quality of our play, but always in the back of the mind for a big game in future- are these boys going to fold today? and that is something that is going to take time to put right because its been a number of years (3) at least in the making.

Its still hard to believe and hard to take."
Brilliant post Manus and I would not disagree with a single thing. I alluded to it myself in a couple of other posts, it's a fragility of mentality that is the problem when the temperature rises. Whilst easy to identify perhaps a lot harder to remedy. Do we need a few more Thomas Galligan types in the squad? Maybe not the most blessed technically but a pure warrior who'll put his head where it hurts?

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7194 - 24/11/2020 10:37:22    2314514

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Leo and Frank in 2020 are not the same players they were in 2018, nevermind 2012. I think calls for having them included are fairly desperate when you look at the number of good quality half backs there are in the squad. You can't ask men in their early to mid-30s to stick about the squad on the off-chance they'll get minutes off the bench if the back line all pick up injuries. That's the job of the development squad who have the potential to uproot the bench players next season.

It's not fair on retirees to claim that things could be better if they stuck around.

SurelyToGod (Donegal) - Posts: 202 - 24/11/2020 11:01:00    2314529

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Great post Manus always enjoy your insights.

On Patton, I think he has been told to punch it away but I think he has to read the game and learn a bit of game management. He was under very little pressure there and when I played (a longer time ago than I'd like to admit) our coach used to tell us "If you can get two clean hands on it, you catch it". He has a good leap and the Cavan forward was not too close to him, defenders around as well, he could have caught it and support would be there to play it out. However if the instruction is strict "just punch it away and defence will reset", then he has to punch it left or right, not back down the middle. It's the same principle in soccer for goalkeepers, if they make a save to push it away from the goal so he should be well used to the concept.

I don't want to be too critical of him either as he brings so much to us with his kickouts and his shot stopping is also excellent. To be completely honest when I watch Patton the past two years I am reminded of Stephen Cluxton in the 00's. An undoubtedly talented keeper that brings a lot to the side but mistakes are there. In fairness even throughout the 10's there are mistakes in Cluxton.

I really really hope he doesn't have too much of a confidence knock as a result of this one. As you say Manus this has happened him before but for it to happen at such a crucial juncture in the Ulster final will hurt him, especially considering he had just pulled off a big big save a minute or two before.

JoeSoap (Donegal) - Posts: 1162 - 24/11/2020 11:03:38    2314530

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Replying To High_and_wide:  "Was the first round against Tyrone this year not an arm wrestle match? It was a dogfight and they won it."
It was High_and_wide which makes this one harder to take again, I thought we had come through a do-or-die game with huge credit, they played brilliantly and came back from quite a few tough positions in that game to win it. I don't know whether we just don't fear Tyrone, or there's a different focus for the group with them, how do you explain it.

I do think we have a decent squad but if a few go down the drop off is very noticeable. When you think of who stood up in that Tyrone performance, who were the matchwinners, and how many of them were available there on Sunday? Losing Gallen and Thompson is a huge blow when you think of it, when you are struggling for scores against a mighty hungry Cavan setup, those lads are game changers.

From listening to Declan the focus was there for the Ulster final, I do wonder if the lads felt the weight of history in terms of the three-in-a-row. We have to remember as well that Cavan are a sleeping giant, they had great underage success that hasn't really translated to senior before now. I have a funny feeling that they are going to replace Monaghan in terms of being a regular challenger for Ulster over the next 10 years and we will be sick of the sight of them before long!

Hopefully we get a clean run in terms of injuries in 2021. I would love to see what we are capable of with a full panel for one of these big matches. Even when you think of the wonderful Kerry performance in Croke Park, when you think of the injuries that day too.

I also think Paddy McBrearty was our only bright spark up front. He scored one in the first half from play that was pure brilliance in terms of his movement and Ryan McHugh played a lovely hand pass in to him for it. To be honest considering how we started, I think Paddy would have been on the pitch by 20 minutes gone anyway. I wonder if Jamie Brennan would benefit from a break, he seemed to struggle mightily this championship although the work rate was still there, you could see him busting a gut chasing his man quite a few times.

A team I would love to see:

Patton

McMenamin
Neil McGee
McFadden-Ferry

Ryan McHugh
Paul Brennan (I think he has been excellent and proven me wrong, the 6 jersey is his until someone takes it from him in my view)
Eoghan Bán Gallagher

Hugh McFadden
McGonagle

Langan
Niall O'Donnell
Thompson

McBrearty
Murphy
Gallen

I think Gallen has a bit of stardust about him and we need to start him next year. I would also love Kieran Gillespie to get a free run at it as he would add an awful lot to the team, I have watched him many times and I think he is special.

It hurts a little bit less today folks, but it only a little.

JoeSoap (Donegal) - Posts: 1162 - 24/11/2020 11:14:07    2314540

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I see Declan is going to have a think over his future. Does anyone think about having Jimmy McGuinness back. Would he be the answer off getting over this slowly getting bigger mental block of missing out on All-Ireland semi finals.. Remember this is only semi finals..This team with the talent should be contesting finals. I hope when when we get over this All-Ireland semi finals metal block that we don't start to get a mental block for the final then as I couldn't take the pain of that either :(

RoryGall35 (Donegal) - Posts: 104 - 24/11/2020 12:18:50    2314608

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It's Tuesday but still hurt about Sunday. As I'm saying all along we just can't a bit of the rub of the green. Especially under this management they must seemed cursed take 2018 flying in ulster lost paddy in final him really playing well and then in the Tyrone game that year losing Mc niallas at a vital point. Last year had a brilliant run through ulster till the Tuesday night after the final when we lost four of our starting team in one night. We played Kerry on the Sunday and play brilliantly with a depleted defence to get a draw which I've no doubt we would have win and progressed to an all Ireland semi final. Then this year . Mc fadden ferry was always going to be a loss. Up till the Armagh game I must say that the team we had starting and the strong bench we had made we realise that this was a very good team who on there day were capable of putting up a fight maybe not quite beating them but certainly going very close to them. But that was start of our injuries this year. Losing Mc menamin who is probably the best corner back in Ireland was bad enough but then for Mc grath gallen and Thompson getting injured on the Tuesday was a very severe blow. People will say I'm only making excuses for management that every team gets injuries. I'm not I'm just pointing out that our luck has to change because as I said if we can get a good run with injuries were as good as anybody. Nothing wrong with management or our squad these are dedicated people who put Donegal football ahead of anything else. I like good constructive debates if it's backed up. But what I've seen on line this last few days especially about bonner and rochford would really annoy me. I don't know any of them personally but for two great men to have there named blackened by spineless keyboard warriors is the pits and is just an example of the world we live in.

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 895 - 24/11/2020 12:39:36    2314617

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I don't think anybody was calling for Leo and Frank to come back. Both came into conversation regarding players possibly going too soon with Neil McGee in mind. I certainly hope he stays on as he looks as fit and as sharp as he has ever done. In my mind Leo and Frank still had plenty to offer. Personally speaking while reflecting on the game I thought they were two guys we could have done with in last Sunday's game rather than making a call for them to come back. Frank not just for his class and experience but also because of the missing players, and Leo because that was his kinda game where he really comes to prominence. Think the posts regarding both were more about reflecting and reminiscing rather than calls to have them back.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2492 - 24/11/2020 13:28:24    2314661

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Replying To SurelyToGod:  "Leo and Frank in 2020 are not the same players they were in 2018, nevermind 2012. I think calls for having them included are fairly desperate when you look at the number of good quality half backs there are in the squad. You can't ask men in their early to mid-30s to stick about the squad on the off-chance they'll get minutes off the bench if the back line all pick up injuries. That's the job of the development squad who have the potential to uproot the bench players next season.

It's not fair on retirees to claim that things could be better if they stuck around."
As above I don't think anybody was calling for them to be included. The discussion started from hoping that hopefully Neil McGee to stick around if willing to do so rather than calling them back. There is no reason for players in their thirties to be retiring if they still want to play, retain their ability and of course injury free. There seems to be a thing driven by the media that you automatically should be retiring when you hit thirty. Sure I read it myself regarding players including Frank when he was still in his late twenties.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2492 - 24/11/2020 13:35:00    2314667

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Replying To peiledoir20:  "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."
Ya but the team were physically well prepared and I have no doubt they didn't take it for granted either. You're playing the blame game like jack.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2492 - 24/11/2020 13:43:28    2314672

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Replying To naomh_conaill_4:  "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"
I would disagree I would say Bonner will be looking for Rochford to stay too. The turnaround is just too short to stay then making big changes. If Rochford does decide to go then I imagine they might look at getting in Buckley again. There is an elephant in the room being your club man. Though I am pretty certain he will want full control rather than being in the backroom. But I think the decision will be Declan's and rightfully so as he has earned it.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2492 - 24/11/2020 13:53:14    2314680

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Replying To ballyshannon:  "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 .."
Sorry but this is an obvious anti Kilcar/Bonner rant. Lack of height in defense didn't cost us no more than the Kilcar players you mention. If anything taking Eoin McHugh off was costly as Reilly got more into the game than before. Plus McClean didn't start and when he did come on he actually looked to get on the ball and take it to Cavan. We only conceded 13 points. While Cavan made a couple of poor shot selections some of their scores were of the top drawer. I am not saying defensively we were magnificent but from a scores allowed perspective you would be ok with that. Again the goal was down to poor judgement from one player rather than the players you name. Did you watch the league game against Kerry? The likes of Doherty, Ward and O'Baoill played themselves out of contention. Declan has consistently picked and shown faith in all 3 but it wasn't a championship or draw that allowed him to play them into form. Maybe there was an argument to get them on for the last 10-15 minutes against Armagh to potentially ignite something but that didn't happen. Then the final point about Rochford why? Have you seen Donegal club football especially in the latter stages or some of the all Donegal set ups particularly at minor recently?

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2492 - 24/11/2020 14:15:25    2314699

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Replying To panamasam:  "I would disagree I would say Bonner will be looking for Rochford to stay too. The turnaround is just too short to stay then making big changes. If Rochford does decide to go then I imagine they might look at getting in Buckley again. There is an elephant in the room being your club man. Though I am pretty certain he will want full control rather than being in the backroom. But I think the decision will be Declan's and rightfully so as he has earned it."
you're right Bonner will want him but what i mean is i think Rochford will want to have a go at managing again rather than being a coach.

naomh_conaill_4 (Donegal) - Posts: 366 - 24/11/2020 14:21:52    2314706

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Replying To ManusFromHeaven:  "Had not got the heart to come on here yesterday as still trying to process the disappointment of Sunday and trying to fully understand where it came from.

On the face of it the game had shades of the final with Monaghan in 2013 where we are just rocked to our boots by the sheer intensity and hunger to win of the opposition and allowed our own game to disintegrate. We are not out there playing them for 6hrs. Its a 70mins battle, if you don't match the intensity levels fairly quickly you are going to find yourself in bother and most likely beaten.

Lets start with the team selection- when i see a team beaten, doesnt matter if its Donegal, Man Utd or Ireland all i ever hear is " Why wasnt he picked" etc etc. The reality is that we have a decent squad but a small pool of players who in reality are ready to start. To lose Gallen and Thompson during the week to injury is a blow and as was proven yesterday and left us with nothing on the bench attacking wise. It is a reasonable to question why McCole was flung in ahead of McKelvey for his first Championship start of the season, I can only assume it was because hes a bigger stronger man- but dont forget McFadden-Ferry came in from nowhere in last years Ulster Final so its not something the management are afraid of if they feel someone is performing well in training.

Regarding Paddy McBrearty i think there is a decision to be made.... do we start with him in order to get the game won inside an hour, or do we hold him back as a game changer if things are not going our way? The sight of McBrearty departing with his race ran on the hour and the game in the balance, is proof this decision was got wrong. He should have been held back on the day to finish the game and give us a spark when required, if as has been proven now- he was not match fit.

In the first half we have lost 5 points from play inside the first 10mins of action, a woeful start similar to Tyrone which would come back to haunt us later. Make no mistake about it, until the first Black Card we are struggling. What happens then sees us rattle off about 7 points in the next 15mins and by the 25min mark we are on 9pts kicked and well on the way to double figures half time score which is where you want to be at half time- well on the way to the 20pts required to win any game,

The whole thing then collapses, and from roughly the 25min mark we kick ONE more score from play in the entire match inclusive of 4 additional minutes at the end of each half. Why did this happen???

Inside forward line starved of ball, trying to break through tackles instead of keeping the ball moving out the field, and afew players including Mogan who has an infuriating habit, of solo-running the ball back the way. Actually picking up the ball on the attacking 45- running it back the way 15 or 20m to offload to another man who has a defence set up square in his face and can see him coming a mile off. Without wishing to be to criticial, Sunday is not the first time Patton has had a complete nightmare under a routine high ball. Of the top of my head he has cost a goal against Dublin in the league which lost the game, and was simply blessed not to do the same against Tyrone afew weeks ago. Teams have identified this now and are willing to throw a hail mary at him in the knowledge hes well able to fold.

Donegal apart from that 15min purple patch where we completely lorded it, had no right to win the game over the remaining 55mins + of action. We could have fluked the win particularly if Ban or Brennan (who had a nightmare from the off) had managed to take one of their goal chances but that is more akin to a soccer smash and grab where you are on the ropes at 0-0 and nick a goal against the run of play. That does not happen as much in a higher scoring game where you have to get scores consistently throughout and as i said earlier, 1 score form play and 2 frees from the 25th minute of the game on would not win a competitive game of any nature. Worth noting at this point we couldnt even call for a single point to be kick by a sub, Cavan had a man on and off as a blood sub who helped himself to 1-2.

The question going forward that needs answered, is why are we choking with an All Ireland Semi Final in sight.
How could the Kerry performance in Croke Park be follow up by what we saw in Castlebar?
How could the Tyrone/Armagh performances this season be followed up by Ulster Final defeat when 1/14 Favs??

Its clearly not a coaching thing, surely the preparation for all those games is hugely similar- its got to be a mentality thing, a fear that comes over us when a real big prize comes into sight and our natural game or our form which preceded it goes out the window and we are left with this unrecognizable bemusing performance, littered with mistakes which spreads like wildfire very early in a game.

It will be the same again next year, there will be games we are left purring at the quality of our play, but always in the back of the mind for a big game in future- are these boys going to fold today? and that is something that is going to take time to put right because its been a number of years (3) at least in the making.

Its still hard to believe and hard to take."
Fantastic as usual Manus. I am certainly feeling you and Joe's pain. Certainly not helped by a couple of messages from Cavan friends a couple of which forgetting the free ride I gave them last year and the year before. I actually find this forum helps to some degree but still feel sickened. Saying that in such times I am keeping it to the Donegal forum. I absolutely agree with most things you say. I haven't had the stomach to watch the game back yet but will keep eye out on Mogan which I didn't initially pick up on. Regarding McCole and Paddy I cannot help but feel both were picked with an eye on Dublin. While knowing the group and management I am sure nothing was taken for granted but hard but think they had Cavan and Dublin in their minds. Paddy as a necessity to get game time especially if the injury to Gallen left him out. Similar sentiments regarding McCole as he offers height and a physical presence to replace McMenamin. I think most of us are in agreement and have alluded to the biggest problem which is how do you fix what seems to be a mental failure? I don't have the answer unfortunately.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2492 - 24/11/2020 14:36:18    2314712

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I think regarding Bonner/Rochford. It would be foolish for Bonner who is more of a manager than a coach to roll the dice again for another year WITHOUT Rochford. You would then in effect be looking for progress with a diluted coaching team.

Declan does have another year on his contact, he was given that extension after Castlebar last year as a reward the for progress in his first 2 seasons of an initial 3 yr term.

I would be hopeful given that Rochford had no commutes to make at all to Donegal between April and September for training that the appetite to give it another go with the promise of a more fulfilling traditional season free from the shackles of Covid.

There are no other top jobs out there unless he fancies applying for Tyrone!!. Dublin, Galway, Mayo jobs unlikely to be available for next year so to keeping himself involved at the top end and remaining with Donegal next year and seeing what the lay of the land is at the end of Bonners contract in 2021 might be his best opinion in terms of a return to the hotseat himself.

ManusFromHeaven (Donegal) - Posts: 326 - 24/11/2020 14:46:06    2314716

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Replying To RoryGall35:  "I see Declan is going to have a think over his future. Does anyone think about having Jimmy McGuinness back. Would he be the answer off getting over this slowly getting bigger mental block of missing out on All-Ireland semi finals.. Remember this is only semi finals..This team with the talent should be contesting finals. I hope when when we get over this All-Ireland semi finals metal block that we don't start to get a mental block for the final then as I couldn't take the pain of that either :("
I think Declan deserves the opportunity to have a think and stay on if he decides to. I imagine if he does stay on he will be looking to keep his backroom together. The window between now and next season is so short that he would want that continuity. Of course with Rochford commuting not a given he will stay. However given the short fractured nature of this season I would be hopeful he feels fresh enough to give it another crack. In relation to Jim speculation will surely ramp up if Declan does decide to vacate. While there is no doubt he could be the man to break down that mental barrier it would be difficult for me to see him involved without a bigger control than just filling a performance psychologist role.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2492 - 24/11/2020 14:47:32    2314717

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Replying To naomh_conaill_4:  "you're right Bonner will want him but what i mean is i think Rochford will want to have a go at managing again rather than being a coach."
I actually disagree there. I think coaching is Rochford's bread and butter. Think it was the management side with Mayo he didn't enjoy so much if remembering correctly. Besides there really aren't any inter county gigs going that might appeal. I think if Declan stays alot of his decision will be based on who stays with him. Trying to get in replacements between now and when the season starts again could be too much stress than its worth.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2492 - 24/11/2020 14:54:32    2314724

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I think we have the plenty of talent, granted we were missing key men, if we were doing what we should be out the field the odd mistake from the goalie wouldn't mean as much, he contributes a lot to the team otherwise. I think if Declan stays on we will end up the same again next year, shooting the lights out at times and then when the crunch comes we fold up like a paper bag,
bad enough getting beat but to see us crumple into a heap with fellas looking like lost sheep is sickening.
I seen enough days with the 'party' boys in years gone by, plenty of talent and potential too but let down by a lack of discipline and leadership, McGuinness changed that, now we have a similar situation, we are in an even better position talent wise, not as many tough characters though.
McGuinness trained that weakness out of them, changed the whole mentality, that's what we need again, if Declan continues we will lose another year, maybe we'll win Ulster again but we will buckle when the chance for All Ireland success is in front of us again.

Tirchonaill1 (Donegal) - Posts: 1206 - 24/11/2020 15:37:38    2314751

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It will be interesting to see what the Ulster draw will be like in 2021.
Can you imagine the craic if we drew Cavan at home?

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7194 - 24/11/2020 16:19:09    2314777

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "It will be interesting to see what the Ulster draw will be like in 2021.
Can you imagine the craic if we drew Cavan at home?"
I'd love that. And please god crowds are back.

I was going to wait until after the dublin game (and, however unlikely, all ireland final) to ask this on the Cavan forum, but do ye see Cavan as potential challengers next year? Are we here to stay?

My own opinion is that Mickey Graham is an amazing manager. And he's shown that before. It'll come down to how much the players want it again. If we can replicate the passion, commitment, desire and BELIEF, I think we can move consistently to the levels of Tyrone and Donegal of the past few seasons.

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 4376 - 24/11/2020 16:55:20    2314798

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