DECLAN Bonner says that Donegal will be unable to field in a Dr McKenna Cup semi-final on Sunday.
However, with over a dozen of his panel unavailable due to Sigerson Cup commitments with their colleges, Bonner insists that his team won’t be fielding on Sunday.
“We won’t have a team for Sunday,” Bonner said.
“We have 13 players playing Sigerson. That’s exactly where we are. I stated this very strongly on Sunday. Something needs to be done. We just don’t have the numbers.
“We had 23 players togged out tonight. We didn’t fill the 26 and it’s very difficult.”
Bonner spoke with the Donegal county secretary, Declan Martin, and Ulster Council delegate, PJ McGowan, on the matter immediately after tonight’s game.
Options appear thin on the ground, although Bonner suggested that moving the game back to next Tuesday or Wednesday may be a solution.
He said: “Whoever fixed the Sigerson in the middle of this, it is absolutely ridiculous. It has left us in this situation now.
“These young lads are on scholarships and they have to play for the colleges. That’s the bottom line.”
Michael Lynch, Eoghan McGettigan, Peadar Mogan and Michael Langan are among those concerned with the quartet set to play Sigerson football for Letterkenny Institute of Technology.
Paul Brennan and Andrew McClean are at IT Sligo, while Shaun Patton is part of the Garda panel.
Defenders Brendan McCole, Conor Morrison along with forward Oisin Gallen (who is out injured at the moment) are named on the DCU squad and Aaron Deeney is at Queen’s University. Niall O’Donnell, meanwhile, is attend ending Maynooth University.
Bonner said: “A lot of them are playing an awful lot of football. Some of those boys might play four games in the space of 10 days. It’s crazy, absolutely crazy. It’s very, very difficult. We have to manage that and be careful of player welfare. As it stands, we just won’t have the numbers to field.”
The competition has proved useful so far for Bonner, who has been able to field experimental sides, but still claim two victories.
He said: “We always treat the McKenna Cup with respect, but if you can’t put out a team, you can’t put out a team. I’m not going to go around now and ask club players who have done no work to fill numbers. We’ll wait and see.”