Declan Bonner is already eyeing up 2019 with real optimism – and says his Donegal side must reach ‘the next level’.
Although Donegal are Ulster champions, Bonner was disappointed with his side’s failure to advance from their Super 8s group and will aim to win promotion from Division 2 next year, following their relegation in 2018.
“Against top teams, we came so close without beating them,” Bonner noted.
“We want to make sure that if we get the opportunity again that we can win those games.
“There is a gap, no doubt about it. We have to work extremely hard as a group. Is it achievable? Yeah, definitely. One of the challenges is to close that gap.
“We have every faith to take it to the next level. We have to improve now, we have to move on and we have to go to the next level.”
Donegal are due back in collective training in early December and will have former Mayo manager Stephen Rochford in the group this time.
Rochford guided Mayo to two All-Ireland finals and has been recruited as Donegal’s head coach for 2019.
“Once he stepped aside in Mayo, that became an option,” Bonner said.
“I met with him a number of days after that. He’s an excellent coach and he’s an exciting addition to Donegal. He’d have seen a lot of Donegal over the years.
“He knows what’s there and he’s excited, too. We hope to bring it to another level. We need to step it up.”
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