But the Glenties man says he will accept nothing than victory in September.
“It’s fantastic to be in the final – it is all these boys have dreamed about and now we must win it,” he said.
“The players are physically shattered as they really had to dig deep and they gave their all.
“We were a bit nervous in the first half but became smoother going forward after the break and our defensive display was better in the second half.”
Donegal will play the winners of next weekend’s second semi-final between champions Dublin and Mayo.
Karl Lacey praised the county board, his fellow players and the supporters in what was his 100th game for Donegal.
H even broke into a version of Rory Gallagher’s Jimmy’s Singing Matches as the huge Donegal support joined in.
Mark McHugh now aims to follow in his own father Martin’s footsteps.
“I can’t remember the 1992 win so this is a whole new experience for me,” he said.
“No matter if its Dublin or Mayo, we are looking forward to it.
“We’ll need to improve for the final and we have a massive four weeks ahead of us.”