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Donegal GAA thread

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Replying To GreenandRed:  "Apologies for going on a tangent TírChonaill. How many more years do you think will Michael Murphy continue playing for Donegal? Would him being player manager to succeed Declan Bonner ever be an option? Murphy surely has the respect of everyone in Donegal and much further afield and has said it's a job that interests him in the future. Not knowing anything about Donegal football politics other than the county board, seemingly, hampered McGuinness's efforts in 2013,but would Michael Murphy be a viable option to take the job?"
Sure Michaels too busy. He's that aul golfing malarkey on the side as well. Winning the masters and and being right up there in the US open!

Ulsterchamps_32 (Donegal) - Posts: 615 - 19/06/2022 15:49:12    2426098

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What do Donegal people want regarding they're teams style of play?
Does this style which hasn't changed in years going to bring you on now as everybody knows what you're doing and once you come out of Ulster it stalls.
Would a new manager help this and would he be given time to change this over 2/3 years or is it all about now?

Yourjoking (USA) - Posts: 586 - 19/06/2022 16:05:33    2426105

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Replying To Yourjoking:  "What do Donegal people want regarding they're teams style of play?
Does this style which hasn't changed in years going to bring you on now as everybody knows what you're doing and once you come out of Ulster it stalls.
Would a new manager help this and would he be given time to change this over 2/3 years or is it all about now?"
It's not even so much about the style of play, but it's more to do with the ability to adjust it on occasion, if and when required. What I personally would be looking for is a change of mindset, to instill a tough edge to Michael Langan, Jason McGee, Caolán McGonagle, Jamie Brennan etc etc. In general, our age profile is good, a lot of guys in their mid 20's, I don't think a huge overhaul of personnel is required, but a change of approach mentally and physically.

SouthOfTheGap (Donegal) - Posts: 239 - 19/06/2022 17:33:31    2426130

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Replying To Yourjoking:  "What do Donegal people want regarding they're teams style of play?
Does this style which hasn't changed in years going to bring you on now as everybody knows what you're doing and once you come out of Ulster it stalls.
Would a new manager help this and would he be given time to change this over 2/3 years or is it all about now?"
The style of play was very enjoyable in 18 and 19 and really couldn't comment on it too much in 20 and 21 with covid. They scored really heavy in 2018 (highest points scoring ever by an ulster championship winner) and also conceded quite a bit. Mcbrearty getting injured while being in such good form was a tough blow. We just didn't have the strength in depth. Mayo bullied us in 19 and we didn't have the composure in the second half when they ran out of gas.

I think it's fair to say murphy, mcbrearty, mchugh (and mcniallais gone) aren't at the same level as these years now. I would agree with south of the gap the next bunch who are coming into their prime lack the edge required. That has to be instilled or they will only go backwards.

Ulsterchamps_32 (Donegal) - Posts: 615 - 19/06/2022 19:07:45    2426156

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I just get the feeling that despite how well we are playing in a game, the second we are put on the back foot, we revert to type...slow laboured lateral possession football, passive defense, short kick outs etc. We went back to type in the ulster final when 2 points in front. Very institutionalized.

Donegalman (None) - Posts: 3826 - 19/06/2022 21:44:06    2426209

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Replying To GreenandRed:  "Apologies for going on a tangent TírChonaill. How many more years do you think will Michael Murphy continue playing for Donegal? Would him being player manager to succeed Declan Bonner ever be an option? Murphy surely has the respect of everyone in Donegal and much further afield and has said it's a job that interests him in the future. Not knowing anything about Donegal football politics other than the county board, seemingly, hampered McGuinness's efforts in 2013,but would Michael Murphy be a viable option to take the job?"
Not a good idea, while many people would view Michael Murphy as a future Donegal GAA manager at some point, bit like many Tyrone fans assumed the same about Peter Canavan years ago when he was retiring from Inter-county management, Michael needs to cut his teeth properly in Club management before stepping up to take on that responsibility.

Commodore (Donegal) - Posts: 843 - 20/06/2022 07:42:37    2426222

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Replying To rorysboys:  "I'm not like everybody else on this forum. I answer questions. My basis is he's better than anybody else in the county. Go outside the county say Malachi o rourke you'll be looking at big money. And with Donegal finishing off convoy the money is not there. Wee example of the county purse strings at moment when Mc Guinness was there Donegal went to Johnston house under bonner they went to an cuirt in gweedore.. big difference"
Question: Who would you replace Declan Bonner and his team with?

I would disagree that you are the only person on here who answers questions, there are many posters on here who answer questions and have sensible debates (Lockjaw, Gunman etc)

As for the Donegal team, In my opinion we have the players in the County to challenge for and win All Ireland titles, I don't believe Declan Bonner and his team had the vision to see that, quite often they would pick names over talent.

Commodore (Donegal) - Posts: 843 - 20/06/2022 07:50:18    2426223

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Replying To SouthOfTheGap:  "It's not even so much about the style of play, but it's more to do with the ability to adjust it on occasion, if and when required. What I personally would be looking for is a change of mindset, to instill a tough edge to Michael Langan, Jason McGee, Caolán McGonagle, Jamie Brennan etc etc. In general, our age profile is good, a lot of guys in their mid 20's, I don't think a huge overhaul of personnel is required, but a change of approach mentally and physically."
I agree about the age profile, during the Ulster final against Derry there was a lot of commentary about Donegal's greater experience, but in terms of the average age of both teams, there wasn't much difference to be fair.

We have problems in both attack and defence.
Defence our half back line often lacks the physicality to stop powerful runners from opposition teams, which kind of leaves us seeming very exposed at times. Ryan McHugh and Peadar Mogan are always played as wing backs, this is guaranteed in every game, very predictable and is part of the reason we stumble outside of Ulster.

Attack has been very stale, when Murphy wanders out the pitch, we have nobody inside and not every game suits Jamie Brennan and Paddy McBrearty is just too predictable when we play any decent side, and they can keep him under a tight leash. Oisin Gallen has been plagued by Injuries and good alternatives like Eoin McGeehan (St Eunans) and Benny McLaughlin (Malin) haven't been part of the county setup for whatever reason.

My suggestion would be to reintroduce high intensity and high workrate football, stop copying the other teams who mostly all play this same style of football we currently play (Albeit most do it better), instead shake it up and try to put our own spin on it. Our back six should play with more ferocity and our attack needs to be more dynamic and fluidic, harder to predict and really pull opposition defenses out of position and confuse them.

Commodore (Donegal) - Posts: 843 - 20/06/2022 08:09:27    2426227

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Replying To greenfan:  "Like a lot of others Devenney is an expert on the radio, never managed a team himself. Plus your team that you are picking tomorrow has 3 injured players in it who haven't been available this year. I guess it's easy to be an expert on here or on the radio, in the real world its a bit trickier"
In fairness to Brendan Devenney, Kevin Cassidy and Aaron Kernan, while none of them may have much management experience, they all know their football and have as much of a right to comment as anybody else.

Commodore (Donegal) - Posts: 843 - 20/06/2022 08:21:18    2426231

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "I think there is some substance to what rorysboys is saying. Behind the scenes it isn't just as cut and dry as Bonner being "sacked" and we go off and appoint someone new. There are important factors to consider when appointing managers chief among those financial. We're not so naive as to think that an outside manager will do it for nothing. Expenses will add up and any new manager such as that will be keen to have a bit of leeway.

We're also hindered by geography. Looking at it from the outside, it was a masterstroke by McGeeney getting Donaghy in. He has done it all as a player and I'm sure he has provided some invaluable input in terms of Armagh's direct kicking game. I know we had Rochford, and I'm not trying to be smart here, but it'd be great to know what his actual input was in terms of tactics?

Ultimately though, Bonner has had a good run of it. Even the best managers sometimes run out of road and things become stale. I think if he is to step away the manager will have to come from within, and some original thinking will be required in regard to the makeup of the backroom team. Interesting times ahead."
The general consensus around the County at the moment seems to be that a change is needed, I think everyone has huge respect for Declan Bonner and his team, they have landed us 2 Ulster titles, Division 2 league title and McKenna Cup title, but I think the last 3 years has lead to successive frustrations and a general feeling that this talented team are under-performing. And despite him being in the job for 5 seasons now, he doesn't seem to know his strongest 15, particularly at his strongest back 6.

Commodore (Donegal) - Posts: 843 - 20/06/2022 08:34:48    2426235

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Replying To leitrimforsam:  "I've brought this up before.

The Donegal GAA website is terrible.
Look at the sites from other counties.

You may not concur with me.

Of all the 32 counties the Donegal GAA site would not be in the top 30.

It is shocking.

Wrong results on it.

The league tables.

You would needed 5 minutes to get to study them and establish the findings on the table.

The site is not clear on matters.
Its not friendly for someone browsing it.

I'd say I'm certain people from all over country go on your site as well as others,as I do.

I'd say their visit to it would be once and once only.
I keep looking at it because I'm interested in Realt na Mara, Aodh Ruadh and Naomh Brid.

Just look at other county sites.

I'm honesty not been bias.
Look at the Leitrim site.

Do you agree with the poor quality of your site."
Totally agree. It is a complete shambles. The user experience is woeful.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7880 - 20/06/2022 09:29:14    2426255

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Replying To Commodore:  "I agree about the age profile, during the Ulster final against Derry there was a lot of commentary about Donegal's greater experience, but in terms of the average age of both teams, there wasn't much difference to be fair.

We have problems in both attack and defence.
Defence our half back line often lacks the physicality to stop powerful runners from opposition teams, which kind of leaves us seeming very exposed at times. Ryan McHugh and Peadar Mogan are always played as wing backs, this is guaranteed in every game, very predictable and is part of the reason we stumble outside of Ulster.

Attack has been very stale, when Murphy wanders out the pitch, we have nobody inside and not every game suits Jamie Brennan and Paddy McBrearty is just too predictable when we play any decent side, and they can keep him under a tight leash. Oisin Gallen has been plagued by Injuries and good alternatives like Eoin McGeehan (St Eunans) and Benny McLaughlin (Malin) haven't been part of the county setup for whatever reason.

My suggestion would be to reintroduce high intensity and high workrate football, stop copying the other teams who mostly all play this same style of football we currently play (Albeit most do it better), instead shake it up and try to put our own spin on it. Our back six should play with more ferocity and our attack needs to be more dynamic and fluidic, harder to predict and really pull opposition defenses out of position and confuse them."
What back 6 do you want? We don't have out and out defenders, that's the reason the smaller lads are played there. Mc Menamin miles of the pace all year bar The Cavan game when he kept Mc Kiernan to 2 points from play. He got dropped for the Armagh game as he would have been ate alive. Caolon Ward was very poor against Armagh. At fault for the opening goal and his man kicked 2 or 3 from play. He got subbed but should have been subbed earlier. Decent on the ball but doesn't do enough as evident vs Derry. There's a reason Mc Guinness, Gallagher and Bonner (up until this year didn't start him regularly) didn't play him often. Mc fadden Ferry costs us about 3 to 4 points a game fouling and giving away frees. He's not an inside defender. Mc Cole has improved but needs cover sweeping or he gets roasted also. He's fine in a zonal defence or with a sweeper doubling up, but when we chased the game vs Armagh and he was left one in one he was very exposed. We played mid block vs Cavan and we was exposed again. I still like Mc Cole and he'll improve.

Who does that leave? Mc Gee has no pace left and has been a great servant but he's done. Lads like Paul Brennan and lately bucks like Tony Mc Clenahan has been given opportunities but have been left out for various reasons.

Quite simply we don't have the players. We double down and play Mogan, Ryan etc in our back line because defence is the best way of attack, especially when you don't have defenders in the first place.

Ban is our best defender but we need him going forward.

Maybe next year with Conor Morrison back and Jamie Grant coming through, these lads could add much needed steal to our team. Add in Mc Colgan who looks likely and maybe one or 2 of that 20s team, Jack Gallagher from Glenswilly. Donal Mc Bride from Gweedore is another option.

The other option is look at what Tyrone and Armagh do. MAKE/TRAIN defenders. Morgan is a forward for Armagh club team but is a great full back also. Hampsey plays midfield for club but is full back for county. Etc etc

We aren't creative enough to do this.

TheRock2121 (Donegal) - Posts: 824 - 20/06/2022 10:30:39    2426280

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Replying To TheRock2121:  "What back 6 do you want? We don't have out and out defenders, that's the reason the smaller lads are played there. Mc Menamin miles of the pace all year bar The Cavan game when he kept Mc Kiernan to 2 points from play. He got dropped for the Armagh game as he would have been ate alive. Caolon Ward was very poor against Armagh. At fault for the opening goal and his man kicked 2 or 3 from play. He got subbed but should have been subbed earlier. Decent on the ball but doesn't do enough as evident vs Derry. There's a reason Mc Guinness, Gallagher and Bonner (up until this year didn't start him regularly) didn't play him often. Mc fadden Ferry costs us about 3 to 4 points a game fouling and giving away frees. He's not an inside defender. Mc Cole has improved but needs cover sweeping or he gets roasted also. He's fine in a zonal defence or with a sweeper doubling up, but when we chased the game vs Armagh and he was left one in one he was very exposed. We played mid block vs Cavan and we was exposed again. I still like Mc Cole and he'll improve.

Who does that leave? Mc Gee has no pace left and has been a great servant but he's done. Lads like Paul Brennan and lately bucks like Tony Mc Clenahan has been given opportunities but have been left out for various reasons.

Quite simply we don't have the players. We double down and play Mogan, Ryan etc in our back line because defence is the best way of attack, especially when you don't have defenders in the first place.

Ban is our best defender but we need him going forward.

Maybe next year with Conor Morrison back and Jamie Grant coming through, these lads could add much needed steal to our team. Add in Mc Colgan who looks likely and maybe one or 2 of that 20s team, Jack Gallagher from Glenswilly. Donal Mc Bride from Gweedore is another option.

The other option is look at what Tyrone and Armagh do. MAKE/TRAIN defenders. Morgan is a forward for Armagh club team but is a great full back also. Hampsey plays midfield for club but is full back for county. Etc etc

We aren't creative enough to do this."
I'm saying it all year we'll go nowhere till we get defenders who can man mark. That first goal shudnt have happened. We need big dominant defenders who are comfortable with a high ball. Are there many young lads about to emerge im afraid not there's very few. Jamie grant hopefully but he's young. Conor Morrison out too long , could take him a while to get back if ever.. what really bugs me is a lot of people saying that we have a very talented team. How can we when we are poor man to man. Mogan and Mc Hugh are in defence for a reason there are better than what's there. I asked the question umpteen times to name our 6 best defenders very few can come up with good alternatives the same with choosing a manager.. easy talking about the problem but finding a solution is a different story.

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 1510 - 20/06/2022 11:08:52    2426306

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Replying To TheRock2121:  "What back 6 do you want? We don't have out and out defenders, that's the reason the smaller lads are played there. Mc Menamin miles of the pace all year bar The Cavan game when he kept Mc Kiernan to 2 points from play. He got dropped for the Armagh game as he would have been ate alive. Caolon Ward was very poor against Armagh. At fault for the opening goal and his man kicked 2 or 3 from play. He got subbed but should have been subbed earlier. Decent on the ball but doesn't do enough as evident vs Derry. There's a reason Mc Guinness, Gallagher and Bonner (up until this year didn't start him regularly) didn't play him often. Mc fadden Ferry costs us about 3 to 4 points a game fouling and giving away frees. He's not an inside defender. Mc Cole has improved but needs cover sweeping or he gets roasted also. He's fine in a zonal defence or with a sweeper doubling up, but when we chased the game vs Armagh and he was left one in one he was very exposed. We played mid block vs Cavan and we was exposed again. I still like Mc Cole and he'll improve.

Who does that leave? Mc Gee has no pace left and has been a great servant but he's done. Lads like Paul Brennan and lately bucks like Tony Mc Clenahan has been given opportunities but have been left out for various reasons.

Quite simply we don't have the players. We double down and play Mogan, Ryan etc in our back line because defence is the best way of attack, especially when you don't have defenders in the first place.

Ban is our best defender but we need him going forward.

Maybe next year with Conor Morrison back and Jamie Grant coming through, these lads could add much needed steal to our team. Add in Mc Colgan who looks likely and maybe one or 2 of that 20s team, Jack Gallagher from Glenswilly. Donal Mc Bride from Gweedore is another option.

The other option is look at what Tyrone and Armagh do. MAKE/TRAIN defenders. Morgan is a forward for Armagh club team but is a great full back also. Hampsey plays midfield for club but is full back for county. Etc etc

We aren't creative enough to do this."
I disagree, Ryan mcHugh has an automatic place in our half back line year after year despite rarely performing well, the only games he has performed well in during the last 6 years have been matches were lesser opposition gave him a free reign, he hasn't once shown up against any of those big sticky matches. It's comical that people talk about our defensive weakness, and totally overlook the obvious problem with our half back line.

Gaelic football evolved after 2012, bigger, powerful and more athletic half backs and sweepers were deployed by Dublin, Mayo, Tyrone etc, yet Donegal stuck with smaller half backs with the mentality that we need those small players for better counter attacking......Which I disagree with. The likes of powerful half backs like Tony McClenaghan dropped out of the panel during the Ulster Championship due to being fed up with getting no game time despite looking great when featuring during the McKenna Cup and League. Jack McKelvey looked phemomenal during the league, but he can barely get game time during Championship.

Donegal has had a bad run of injuries in the last 8 years with potentially great full backs, losing Luke Keaney, Kieran Gillespie and Conor Morrison with serious injuries at various times, and we may have better individual defenders than some guys who currently feature for the County team, but the players currently starting are also there or thereabouts.

Commodore (Donegal) - Posts: 843 - 20/06/2022 11:15:46    2426312

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Replying To rorysboys:  "I'm saying it all year we'll go nowhere till we get defenders who can man mark. That first goal shudnt have happened. We need big dominant defenders who are comfortable with a high ball. Are there many young lads about to emerge im afraid not there's very few. Jamie grant hopefully but he's young. Conor Morrison out too long , could take him a while to get back if ever.. what really bugs me is a lot of people saying that we have a very talented team. How can we when we are poor man to man. Mogan and Mc Hugh are in defence for a reason there are better than what's there. I asked the question umpteen times to name our 6 best defenders very few can come up with good alternatives the same with choosing a manager.. easy talking about the problem but finding a solution is a different story."
Defence starts at corner forward, and works its way back. This was the main reason we were successful under McGuinness (and all other top teams), tigerish tackling out the field, stopping the danger at source. As I've said previously, our defence is too passive and zonal, and we do too much shadowing instead of tackling. Until that happens, I wouldn't get too hung up on personnel changes.

SouthOfTheGap (Donegal) - Posts: 239 - 20/06/2022 11:32:00    2426324

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Replying To SouthOfTheGap:  "Defence starts at corner forward, and works its way back. This was the main reason we were successful under McGuinness (and all other top teams), tigerish tackling out the field, stopping the danger at source. As I've said previously, our defence is too passive and zonal, and we do too much shadowing instead of tackling. Until that happens, I wouldn't get too hung up on personnel changes."
I would agree with this point about too much shadowing and not enough full contact further out the field.
In fact this was something that Jim McGuinness himself was on about on Sky Sports a few weeks ago, which he attributed to the coaching on the training field.

Commodore (Donegal) - Posts: 843 - 20/06/2022 13:20:18    2426363

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Replying To SouthOfTheGap:  "Defence starts at corner forward, and works its way back. This was the main reason we were successful under McGuinness (and all other top teams), tigerish tackling out the field, stopping the danger at source. As I've said previously, our defence is too passive and zonal, and we do too much shadowing instead of tackling. Until that happens, I wouldn't get too hung up on personnel changes."
There comes a time in a game when our defenders have to man mark and don't have protection. The first Armagh goal being the perfect example. That's my point, we don't have these defenders to take us the extra step.

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 1510 - 20/06/2022 14:13:56    2426384

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Replying To Commodore:  "I disagree, Ryan mcHugh has an automatic place in our half back line year after year despite rarely performing well, the only games he has performed well in during the last 6 years have been matches were lesser opposition gave him a free reign, he hasn't once shown up against any of those big sticky matches. It's comical that people talk about our defensive weakness, and totally overlook the obvious problem with our half back line.

Gaelic football evolved after 2012, bigger, powerful and more athletic half backs and sweepers were deployed by Dublin, Mayo, Tyrone etc, yet Donegal stuck with smaller half backs with the mentality that we need those small players for better counter attacking......Which I disagree with. The likes of powerful half backs like Tony McClenaghan dropped out of the panel during the Ulster Championship due to being fed up with getting no game time despite looking great when featuring during the McKenna Cup and League. Jack McKelvey looked phemomenal during the league, but he can barely get game time during Championship.

Donegal has had a bad run of injuries in the last 8 years with potentially great full backs, losing Luke Keaney, Kieran Gillespie and Conor Morrison with serious injuries at various times, and we may have better individual defenders than some guys who currently feature for the County team, but the players currently starting are also there or thereabouts."
I agree, we need physical lads and out and out defenders in defence. I also agree that at times Mogan and Ryan hasn't worked at half back and when put on the back foot they are vulnerable.
I'm highlighting we don't have the type of player we need for the half back line. If Mc Clenahan and Mc Kelvey were playing well, they would have been selected. Mc Kelvey is fairly small but yeah prob better defender than the 2 above. I don't think Mc Kelvey or Mc Clenahan is the answer. I have no doubt if Gillespie was fit he'd start. We've been unlucky with injuries but also we don't have the defenders.. Currently anyway.

TheRock2121 (Donegal) - Posts: 824 - 20/06/2022 14:25:11    2426391

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Replying To SouthOfTheGap:  "Defence starts at corner forward, and works its way back. This was the main reason we were successful under McGuinness (and all other top teams), tigerish tackling out the field, stopping the danger at source. As I've said previously, our defence is too passive and zonal, and we do too much shadowing instead of tackling. Until that happens, I wouldn't get too hung up on personnel changes."
We've been playing zonal for 5 years because our defenders aren't good enough one on one. The game has changed. If we want to play direct football and kick pass they ball more, like the modern gaa team, we need lads ahead of the ball, not 2 or 3 men in the Corner back position sweeping because our corner back can't mark.

I do agree that our defence is too passive and zonal. I do agree we need more intensity.

Zonal defence is grand until you have to chase a game. Look at the Armagh game.

TheRock2121 (Donegal) - Posts: 824 - 20/06/2022 14:28:34    2426394

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Replying To rorysboys:  "There comes a time in a game when our defenders have to man mark and don't have protection. The first Armagh goal being the perfect example. That's my point, we don't have these defenders to take us the extra step."
The throw in is a specific set play, where the team that wins it has a unique opportunity; the planned match ups haven't yet been picked up, and you can isolate certain players. On the other side of the coin, If Jason McGee had knocked the ball down to Michael, we have a similar attack, i think with Michael Langan in deep. I don't think any defender can fully prepare for those circumstances. It's a risk and reward strategy.

SouthOfTheGap (Donegal) - Posts: 239 - 20/06/2022 14:45:00    2426405

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