Donegal’s U-14 lady footballers get their competitive season underway this Saturday when they play host to Down and Cavan at O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny.
The games are part of the first day of Ulster LGFA’s U-14 Festival of Football competition.
Each team in Ulster will host a day of football over four weekends during which each county will play all other eight counties in the province.
At the end of the Festival of Football, the position of each county will determine what level of competition they will be involved in at All Ireland level during the summer.
The Donegal U-14s are under new management with Aidan McAteer now in charge.
The Gaeil Fhanada clubman has assembled a very talented squad of young players and while he would have liked to have had more time preparing for this competition, he said the attitude of his players in training and challenge games has been excellent.
“There are some counties who have been together for a number of months but for different reasons, we’ve only been training since the beginning of December,” Aidan said.
“But we’ve put in plenty of hard work over that time and we’re looking forward now to Saturday.”
Donegal warmed up for this weekend with a challenge game against Sligo which was played in Grange last Saturday. It was the last of a number of challenge matches which has allowed Aidan and his backroom team run the eye over his young players in match situations.
This Saturday, those young players will test their skills against quality Ulster opposition.
Donegal and Down will get the action underway at 11.30am; Down will meet Cavan at 12.30pm and the final match will see Donegal up against Cavan at 1.30pm.
Donegal’s U-16s, under manager Liam Skelly, began their Ulster campaign last month when they drew with Tyrone.
Donegal’s Minor team, which is managed by Declan McDermott, are preparing for their Ulster opener away to Down on Saturday, April 1st.
Donegal U-14s squad: Ellie Anne McFadden (Cloughaneely), Sarah Black (Milford), Aoibhinne McCann (Dungloe), Nicole Bonner Gillespie (Dungloe), Aoibhine Wallace (Burt), Laura Boyle (Naomh Columba – Captain); Cliona McColgan (Naomh Padraig, Muff), Laura Quinn (Four Masters), Laoise Foy (Aodh Ruadh), Toni Boyle (Dungloe), Sophie Doherty (St. Eunan’s), Heidi McHugh (Killybegs), Ellen Monaghan (Aodh Ruadh) Mia O’Donnell (Dungloe), Kate McCafferty (Termon), Áine Chambers (Red Hughs), Rachel Gillespie (Aodh Ruadh), Cadhala Gillespie (Aodh Ruadh), Orla Ward (Malin), Ava McNamara (Bundoran), Grace Begley (Gaeil Fhanada) Ciara Daly (St. Eunan’s), Ava McGonagle (Carndonagh), Dayna Clerkin (Dungloe), Hannah Friel (Cloughaneely), Kirstie Boyle (Dungloe), Iona McHugh (Ardara), Hannah Friel (Cloughaneely), Sophie Campbell (Naomh Conaill), Aoibhinne McCauley (St. Eunan’s), Caoimhe Gallagher (Dungloe), Evangeline McDermott (Moville), Emma O Donnell (Aodh Ruadh), Emily Davenport (Naomh Padraig, Muff) Cayla McFadden (Termon), Mary Bridget McGeever (Downings), Pia Rose McDaid (Moville).
Manager: Aidan McAteer (Gaeil Fhanada);
Backroom team: Kieran Gallagher (Glenswilly), Dessie McNamara (Bundoran), Joe Friel (Cloughaneely), Chantelle McCauley (Naomh Padraig, Muff), Joe Boyle (Dungloe), Paul Gillespie (Aodh Ruadh), Sally-Anne McFadden (Termon), Niall Quinn (Robert Emmetts), Tracy McBride (Gaeil Fhanada), Peter McHugh (Ardara), Ken Monaghan (Aodh Ruadh) Blaine Mulligan (Cloughaneely), Roisin McCafferty (Termon).