Cloughaneely man Jason McGee has pledged his allegiance with the Donegal Under-20 team for the upcoming campaign.
BY CHRIS CANNON
The big midfielder came onto the senior scene last year and played an important role in Rory Gallagher’s side, particularly impressing against Dublin and Meath.
A hip injury before the season started halted the young man’s pre-season. An awkward fall in the opening league game against Kerry caused a re-occurrence of the injury and meant McGee wasn’t able to get many minutes under his belt.
The decision will come as a great boost to Under-20s manager Gary McDaid. McGee played a vital part when this side won the Ulster championship at minor level. He joint-captained that side with Niall O’Donnell who is still part of the senior panel.
The new rules for this year mean that no player can feature in championship for both the Under-20 and senior teams. This left McGee with a conundrum but he chose to go for the option which he felt would give him more game time.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, I could potentially miss out on a lot at senior level but I suppose I just went with my gut feeling,” he said.
“Playing as much football as possible is important to me, I didn’t have an ideal start to the season with injuries but now I just want to get out on the pitch and give my all to the county.
I know a lot of the lads in this Under-20 side and we’ve got a good set-up in place so I’m hoping the decision pays off,” he added.
McGee felt that now was the perfect time for him to declare to the Under-20 side to ensure as much preparation as possible for the Cavan game. “It’s something that was bugging at me for a wee while there, it’s not easy to please everyone but I had to make a call and the longer I left it the worse it would’ve been for me and the team.”
For McGee now it’s a matter of achieving as much as possible with the Under-20 team in the campaign ahead.
“It’s going to be strange because it’s the first year the competition has been run like this. Our team that won Ulster at minor level were successful yeah, but that’s all gone now. There’ll be new faces in the side and faces gone.
“We’ll put in as much effort as we can and see where it gets us at the end of the year, that’s all we can do. I’ll still be watching all of the senior games and I hope they have a good year too. My relationship with the squad and Declan (Bonner) is brilliant and he respects my decision,” he concluded.
McGee is another loss for the senior team with both Micheal Carroll and Peter Boyle leaving the squad in recent weeks as well as Eoin McHugh at the start of the season.