Hugh McFadden enjoying life on the edge of the square for Donegal


 March 21, 2017
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Hugh McFadden is loving his new role leading the line for Donegal.

By Chris McNulty, Donegal Sport Hub

The Killybegs man is better known as a midfielder and has been used by Donegal as a sweeper.

But, with Michael Murphy now spending his time around the middle of the park, McFadden seems to have found home inside.

He kicked two superb points on Saturday night in the 0-12 to 0-6 win over Tyrone in Ballybofey.

“I played a lot of club football around the square and I was happy to kick two points,” McFadden said.

“I have played a lot of football for Donegal in a very unselfish role and you learn a lot from playing the game as sweeper.

“You take on a lot of responsibility in communication and organisation.

“Probably now because Patrick (McBrearty) is injured and we wanted a more physical presence around the square I have got my chance.

“I probably should have caught one or two more long balls but overall I’m happy the way it has gone for me over the last two games.”

McFadden certainly gives Donegal a presence and power.

He missed a few years at Gaelic football while he was attempting to forge a soccer career at Sligo Rovers and he also spent some time on the books at Finn Harps.

A centre-back of some standing, he gave up on that move when Jim McGuinness came calling.

And his displays against Cavan and Tyrone are repaying the faith that Rory Gallagher is showing.

Donegal, despite the absence of McBrearty and Darach O’Connor, had eight different scorers against Tyrone.

McFadden said: “We are working on trying to get more capable shooters around the field.

“Rory has given guys a license to have a go and Ciaran Thompson showed it. Ryan (McHugh) got a point Cian Mulligan came on and shot straight away to kick a great score.

“We would be relatively happy with the result we knew it was going to be a titanic battle with Tyrone as it usually is.

“Rory pointed out that our conversion rate in the Ulster final was not good enough or the amount of chances we took.

“It was a difficult wind, it was not favouring anyone, the way it was swirling and we would be happy enough with our return, in the conditions.”

Donegal have certainly added a new attacking dimension in 2017 and Saturday’s was a significant scalp to claim – although McFadden is aware that Tyrone could be a different animal should their swords cross in the summer.

Donegal have beaten Tyrone in four of their last five Championship meetings, with Tyrone victorious in last year’s Ulster final.

McFadden said: “The media probably have over hyped Tyrone’s performances in the league so far. They are a very good team as we all know but they have not been as strong in the league as is being suggested.

“I think they will build now towards the summer and the weather and conditions favoured the team that took the initiative from the off and went three or four points up.

“We are still very aware that Tyrone team can be a massive threat to us in the summer.”

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