Eoghan Ban Gallagher has been part of the Donegal senior panel since 2015, with the attacking-minded defender now being viewed as an established member of the squad.
Gallagher has been a key feature in how Donegal set-up, his pace is been an important facet to how the side break forward.
When Gallagher joined up with the senior panel for the first time he was just 19. He admitted that at the time it was daunting walking into a dressing-room full of players who had been massively successful with Donegal.
“Whenever I came in the first time they were still a team just coming out of an All-Ireland final, I had immense respect for them.
“Myself and Ciarán Thompson were called up from the U-21s at the same time so I ended up sitting beside him in the dressing-room.”
The Killybegs man went on to add that as time went on he began to realise that he was there on merit and the time came to stop marvelling over those who were his childhood heroes.
“Getting to train with them and getting to know them a bit better they become your friends and teammates.
“I just aim to improve every year, I think I have improved some aspects this year but some might have suffered.”
Comparisons were made between Gallagher and Karl Lacey as players but also due to the fact that both have donned the park in Donegal colour sporting white boots.
Lacey is now a coach with the Donegal team and Gallagher says that he has benefitted greatly from the knowledge that the All-Ireland winner is sharing with the team.
“Defensively you see how much he thinks about it, his hunger to turn the ball over. He’s brought great energy to things, it’s very positive to have him involved.”
For the past few years the league has been viewed by Donegal managers as a secondary competition to the championship. Gallagher said that this outlook remains the same and that he has his eyes set on getting as far as possible in the championship this year.
“Last year we went well in the league then we fell massively in the championship.
“This year we didn’t do so well in the league even though we performed well we just fell short in a lot of games. But at the end of the day it’s all about championship.
“To win the Ulster Championship would be a good achievement and we’ll just take it from there.”
Gallagher spent two weeks in Australia with the Brisbane Lions last year after Donegal got knocked out of the championship by Galway.
Although he stated that it was an opportunity that he will never forget, he has added that it is in the past and that he is completely focused on playing GAA for Donegal in the foreseeable future.
“It’s something I put out of my mind, I was over there and I thoroughly enjoyed it, I looked at it as a positive experience.
“I haven’t dwelled on it at all and it hasn’t entered my mind since. If I heard something that would be great and I would think about it and take it on board,” he concluded.Tags: