With 2023 well underway and the NFL about to start this weekend what are your expectations for the year ahead, both for your own county and overall? It will be a bit of craic to revisit this thread in about 8 months time.
I'm anticipating a tough year ahead for Donegal. We've lost our best ever player to retirement and have a new management team in place. There is still a bit of uncertainty as to whether a few players will be available or not (The two O'Donnells from Eunans and Peadar Mogan). There is also a big question mark about how we'll play. There is a school of thought that we should play more expansively but we wouldn't be as strong defensively as we have been in the past to adopt that approach.
A very good year for us I feel would be to:
- retain Div 1 status
- beat Down in Ulster quarter final
- beat Antrim/Armagh/Cavan in Ulster semi final
- have a good crack at the Ulster final
- emerge from AI group and get a quarter final berth
Worst case scenario would be to be relegated from Div 1, lose to Down and then fail to get out of the group.
Div1 Winner: Kerry
Relegated: Roscommon & Monaghan
Relegated: Clare & Louth
Relegated: Longford & Antrim
AI Winner: Kerry
Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 8282 - 23/01/2023 12:21:05
Good year- find 3 new championship starters during the League. Win Leinster. Make an AI final
Bad year- find no new championship starters during the League. Finish 4th in Round Robin.
Good Year- get promoted from div4. Beat Laois in Leinster. Get to Tailteann Cup semi final.
Bad Year- fail to get promoted again. Lose 1st game in Leinster and lose 1st game in TC.
Leinster- Champions- Wexford
Runner up- Galway
Munster- Champions- Limerick
Runner up- Clare
Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 6691 - 23/01/2023 14:25:38
I think the most intriguing thing about this year's football league is division 2. Excluding Dublin and Derry, any two of the other six could be relegated. And surviving in Division 2 won't guarantee Sam Maguire participation either. I can see the other six Division 2 teams all taking points off each other.
bruffgael (Limerick) - Posts: 72 - 23/01/2023 14:41:50
Yes indeed that is a very interesting subplot. Even more to play for than usual in Division 2 this year.
Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 8282 - 23/01/2023 14:55:11
I agree with your Provincial Winners except for Tyrone. I'm taking DERRY to win Ulster.
Trump2020 (Galway) - Posts: 1660 - 23/01/2023 15:17:50
Yeah Ulster is as competitive as I can remember. I'm not sure what's going on in Tyrone. They were a mess last year but I do think if they can get themselves back on track then panel wise they're probably the strongest in Ulster. They should have a few of their successful u21s pushing through soon as well.
Derry will not give up their title without a fight.
We all saw what Armagh were capable of last year when they got on a run.
Cavan will always fancy themselves in one off Championship games.
Down should be imprpoved under Laverty.
Monaghan are never easily beaten, different voice this year under Corey.
Donegal - who knows? Still plenty of talent there but they need to go out and prove it.
Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 8282 - 23/01/2023 15:36:41
Dublin - Win.
TheUsername (Dublin) - Posts: 4312 - 23/01/2023 15:41:19
Dublin look like the likely AI winners.
I can see Kerry in trouble as I have not seen a replacement for David Moran on the panel. He did all the horse work at mid-field.
Gaa Fan (USA) - Posts: 697 - 23/01/2023 16:14:51
Good Year for Dublin - Win Sam Maguire
Bad Year for Dublin - Fail to win Sam Maguire
It really is that simple imo.
When you factor in the fact we will have two of the very best players in Ireland over the last decade back with the squad - both of whom were not available to us for the previous two campaigns, there really is no reason why we cant win it this year! So our priority this year absolutely must be to regain Sam!
We were so close last year without those guys along with Con O'Callaghan - small margins. These guys could swing it in our favour. Whether Dessie is the man to navigate us to the holy grail remains to be seen.
So yeah, personally anything other than an all Ireland i will be disappointed most likely!!
ConnollyDub (Dublin) - Posts: 2004 - 23/01/2023 16:22:29
Yes Dublin will be boosted by the return of McCaffrey and Mannion no doubt. Plus an injury-free Con is like having another big player back. My only worry with Dublin is that they might be a bit under-cooked going into the business end of things. Without being disrespectful to the other teams in Division 2, Dublin should win it at their leisure and Leinster won't be a big obstacle for them either.
I suppose the AI group stage will be when they start to ramp things up.
Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 8282 - 23/01/2023 17:02:05
In years gone by he did, but he wasn't a huge factor in last year's win. He was taken off with a good chunk of the semi-final left and whipped off at half-time in the final. He didn't seem to have the legs for the big days in Croke Park anymore.
The likes of Jack Barry and Diarmuid O'Connor have the engines to do the work. I'd be interested to see if Okunbor can get some game time this year too.
WanPintWin (Galway) - Posts: 1627 - 23/01/2023 18:46:59
All Ireland Dublin
Kickitout (Galway) - Posts: 657 - 23/01/2023 19:02:12
I am expecting Derry to continue improving and hopefully prove a match for most top sides. The semi-final maybe came a year or two early last season but I would be expecting us to be there or thereabouts at the business end of things. We should be promoted from Division 2 and another final appearance in Ulster will definitely be well within out grasp. We need more firepower in attack but with some young guys breaking through the future is positive. I wouldn't put it past us making the final next July and I never thought I would utter those words.
Dublin. With the return of McCaffrey and Mannion plus Con O'Callaghan hopefully staying fit the Dubs will take all the beating. I can see them retaking their Crown this season.
Louth. Early days to call I know but I can see Louth being relegated from Division 2 and with Mickey Harte's know how they would be my shout for the Talteann.
One to Watch:
Cork. They look like they have potential to push on this year and could well be a dark horse to upset a few along the way.
Armagh. I just have a feeling this is their year. If they can reign in some disciplinary issues then they are the team to beat in Ulster. They have a bit of everything throughout the team and in Riain O'Neil one of the best in the country.
Galway. A serious side with serious firepower. Ian Burke has returned as well adding depth. They will be up against a rejuvenated Mayo of course but I expect them to beat them.
Dublin. Usual really.
Kerry. Usual really.
Jazzyjeff (Derry) - Posts: 11 - 23/01/2023 19:52:13
Finalists: Kerry v Galway
Relegated: Roscommon and Monaghan.
Finalists: Dubs v Derry
Relegated: Limerick and Clare
Finalists: Down v Westmeath
Relegated: Antrim and Fermanagh
Finalists: Laois v Sligo
Ollie2 (Louth) - Posts: 622 - 23/01/2023 20:42:11