ELEVEN months ago, Kilcar toppled Gaoth Dobhair to reach the Donegal SFC final.
And then: Nothing.
The 2020 final was originally due for the end of September 2020, but after a positive Covid-19 case in the Kilcar squad, it was moved to October 7.
A subsequent CCC meeting switched the game to October 11, but when the GAA announced a nationwide cessation of club games, the final was among the high profile casualties and it has been on the back burner ever since.
The 2021 season began with Kilcar’s 2020 season – and its biggest game – still up in the air.
On Saturday evening, they dance at last with Naomh Conaill, the 2019 champions.
“You have to break it down into small bits and you don’t look too far ahead with your training and your Zoom meetings,” McNulty said.
“When you are in a final, like everybody else you are just looking forward to playing in it at that time.
“And you were always going to be getting ready for it and irrespective of when it comes along, we were always going to be ready for it.”
Kilcar are still without Brian O’Donnell and Aodhán McGinley, both on the long-term injury list.
The timeless Michael Hegarty and the ever-green Conor McShane continue to be key cogs in the wheel. Both are likely to have a big say as Kilcar go in search of a seventh SFC title.
McNulty said: “When the younger players see them training and the pace that they can go at, it is massive.
“It’s a serious motivation for the young lads to have.”
The last year has brought many challenges, not least the unknown.
The buzz dimmed a little in the wake of a 0-14 to 1-6 win over Gaoth Dobhair, but Kilcar are gunning for Dr Maguire this weekend.
The return of the likes of Patrick McBrearty, Ryan McHugh, Eoin McHugh and Andrew McClean from Donegal duty has added another pep to the steps.
“You just do what you can and keep focusing on that date,” McNulty said.
“We were waiting on news and dates to see when things were happening, and you were judging your training on that.
“But then you had your lockdown, and it was very difficult, and individual training for some people is a lot tougher than group training.
“You can have a very good collective, but some people find it difficult to do it on their own.
“But we have really enjoyed the training all year since we have got back, and we have the county boys back for about a month and that ups the training up a notch.
“So, we are really looking forward to the final now.”
McNulty has won Under-21 and Minor Championships with Kilcar as manager and he was in charge alongside Rory Gallagher when they scooped the Division 1 League title.
Adding Donegal football’s biggest prize would certainly add considerable weight to his honours list.
It has been suggested that Kilcar prefer the dry sod, but it ought to be reminded that their semi-final win over Gaoth Dobhair last year came in dreadful conditions.
He said: “Some of that is a myth in my eyes, and I think we can perform any day of the week.
“Everybody likes to play on the nice summer days. We are just pleased that it is going to be played.”
They’ve waited long enough.Tags: