DONEGAL MANAGER Declan Bonner is hopeful that Odhrán Mac Niallais can be tempted into a return to his panel in 2020.
Mac Niallais took a break from the inter-county rigours in 2019 and has not played for Donegal since an August 2018 loss to Tyrone in the Super 8s.
Bonner has spoken to the Gaoth Dobhair man and says he is ‘quite hopeful’ of the player coming back into the fold.
In April, Mac Niallais admitted that he had ‘no real interest in football at the minute’.
“All in all, I’m just not really mad to play football and go out and commit,” he said at the time.
“The commitment levels with Donegal and county teams are through the roof so it’s tough and I just don’t have the hunger and desire to put it in.”
The 27-estear-old score two goals from penalties on Sunday as Gaoth Dobhair squeezed past Bundoran in an extra-time classic in the Donegal SFC quarter-finals and will meet Kilcar next weekend in a semi-final.
“I have spoken to Odhrán,” Bonner told Donegal Daily/Donegal Sport Hub.
“I wouldn’t rule it out.
“He’s in the middle of the Club Championship at the minute.
“We’ll sit down with him again in a week or two and I would be quite hopeful.”
Bonner is also confident of having veterans Neil McGee and Frank McGlynn on his ship next year.
He said: “A lot depends on injuries and how they get through the next couple of months. I see no reason why not. A fully fit Frank McGlynn and Neil McGee have a huge amount still to offer Donegal football.
“It’s important that we get all the players back and it looks like we will.”
Donegal will play in Division 1 of the Allianz Football League in 2020 and will open their campaign with a home game against Mayo.
After a Super 8 defeat to Mayo in Castlebar ended their involvement in this year’s race for Sam Maguire, Donegal will be well primed for that clash in Ballybofey.
Bonner said: “There will be no extra motivation needed for that first game against Mayo.”
Donegal will also have home games against Galway, Monaghan and Tyrone and will be away to Dublin, Meath and Kerry.
Bonner said: “It’s exciting looking forward to the National League and getting the boys back in. The last two seasons, we are definitely heading in the right direction. it’s great to be going into Division 1 against the top teams and it’s a really exciting time to be a part of Donegal football.”
There was a further boost for Donegal recently when it was confirmed that head coach Stephen Rochford had reaffirmed his commitment to Donegal. There had been strong speculation that Rochford was set to be named as Galway’s new manager, but those reports were wide of the mark.
Bonner said: “I met him two or three days after the Mayo defeat. There was no doubt in his mind that he was committed. I knew that he was going nowhere. It’s great to have that experience on board again.”Tags: