DONEGAL remain confident that Patrick McBrearty will feature in Sunday’s Ulster Championship showdown with Tyrone in Ballybofey.
McBrearty has not played since having to be withdrawn from a challenge match against Roscommon earlier this month.
A quad muscle injury has kept the Kilcar forward sidelined, but Donegal manager Declan Bonner says he is ‘hopeful that he will be involved’.
McBrearty has won five Ulster titles since breaking into the team as a teenager in 2011.
Donegal put their Ulster crown on the line on Sunday and, with no second chances this year, Donegal will want the 2019 All-Star nominee to be involved.
“One of the top teams will go out on Sunday afternoon and we’ll be doing all in our power to make sure we’re getting ready for semi-final,” Bonner said.
“We pride ourselves on Ulster and it’s a very important competition for us. It’s going to be a really difficult route this year if we want to achieve that. We can’t look past Sunday. We’ll be tested to the limit.”
Paddy McGrath and Michael Langan played in Saturday’s League defeat against Kerry and are back in the frame for a Championship jersey this weekend.
Donegal are on the quest to win a third successive provincial title for the first time in history.
The teams were originally slated to face-off in May before the Covid-19 pandemic saw the postponement of the Championship.
Now, they’ll meet against a backdrop of silence at Sean Mac Cumhaill Park.
Bonner said: “It’s different circumstances but the intensity levels on the pitch won’t be any different that it would be at the height of the summer in front of a full house at MaCumhaill Park.
“It’s basically winner takes all and that’s what we’ve been gearing to.
“You’ll always get an edge come championship week and it’s no different say compared to the start of the summer. It’s a great place to be.
“When the summer was running through we wondered was there going to be a championship. What a match to start it off in Ballybofey against our near-neighbours Tyrone.
“It’s different in every aspect – the pre-match, getting changed on the pitch side, water-breaks, no spectators – so it’s a different environment we’re in. That’s going to be huge. In a championship match against Tyrone there’s hardly moving space around the town. That’s not going to be the case on Sunday and we have to adapt to that.”
Bonner reported that squad members Conor O’Donnell and Eoghan McGettigan are ‘still struggling’ and believes Sunday’s game will come ‘too quickly’ for consideration.Tags: