Donegal boss Declan Bonner says Shaun Patton has the capability to become Donegal No.1 after the Letterkenny man joined the county squad.
The 22-year-old Patton has linked up with the Donegal panel for 2018 having spent this year at League of Ireland side Sligo Rovers.
Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan was keen to recruit Patton, while League of Ireland champions Cork City showed enough interest to meet with the player, who has decided to vie for a spot in Bonner’s team.
Patton has played just two GAA games in recent years – in 2014 when he lined out for St Eunan’s against Roslea and Omagh in the Ulster Club Championship – but Bonner has challenged him to step up.
“Shaun had a lot of thinking to do, but he decided to throw his lot in with us and we’re delighted to get him on board,” Bonner said.
“Shaun comes in highly rated. He hasn’t played much GAA in the last few years, but it won’t take him long to get up to speed.
“The more competitive games we can get, the better. We’re looking for all the new players to stand up and be counted.”
Patton is currently recovering from an ankle injury sustained in Sligo’s final game of the season against Drogheda, but could make his Donegal debut this month.
“We could, possibly, expect to see him get some game time towards the latter end of the McKenna Cup,” Bonner said.
“He’s been out of commission since the last game of the season with Sligo Rovers, but he’s been back running and the next step is getting him back kicking the ball again.”
With Danny Rodgers not part of the set-up for 2018, Patton joins Mark Anthony McGinley and Peter Boyle in battling for a spot.
Bonner said: “We have three keepers now and we’re very happy with the quality.
“Anyone of them can be the number one. It’s up to whichever of them want it badly enough.”
The news will also serve as a big boost to St Eunan’s, who will be able to call on Patton for their Donegal SFC bid in 2018.Tags: