Donegal manager Declan Bonner expects Odhrán Mac Niallais to rejoin his panel for the start of the 2019 Ulster Championship.
Mac Niallais indicated that he wants to take ‘a break’ from football after Gaoth Dobhair’s All-Ireland semi-final loss to Corofin on Saturday.
Mac Niallais had a long campaign with county and club from early 2018 and has also been trying to come to terms with the tragic death of his close friend Micheál Roarty, who was one of four men killed in an accident last month.
Bonner has spoken with Mac Niallais – who came back to the Donegal squad in 2018 after opting out in 2017.
“I expect him to come back,” Bonner told Donegal Daily/Donegal Sport Hub.
“It was always the plan that he’d take a couple of weeks after Gaoth Dobhair went out, regardless of they won or lost against Corofin.
“That is nothing new to me. I knew that anyway.
“He has had a very difficult time over the last few weeks. We have to give him space now. I’ll be chatting to him again. There’s no real rush to have him back.”
On the possibility of Mac Niallais returning to action during Donegal’s Division 2 campaign, Bonner said: “We’ll wait and see. It’s not in stone that he won’t play in the League, but the possibility is slim enough. It’ll probably be the Championship.”
Mac Niallais was Man of the Match as Donegal won the New York county final in 2017.
While there were fears that he could again go to foreign shores, Bonner is confident that Mac Niallais will be back to boost Donegal’s chances of retaining their Ulster crown.
He said: “Odhran Mac Niallais is a class act. He’s one of these players that don’t come around too often. He was key for us last season and was key for Gaoth Dobhair right through their campaign.
“When he’s ready, there is no doubt that he’ll be a real addition to the squad. We look forward to that.Tags: