Gaoth Dobhair players to make return to Donegal training next week

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Donegal’s Gaoth Dobhair contingent will return to county training next week.

Declan Bonner is in no rush to get game time for Neil McGee, Cian Mulligan, Odhran McFadden-Ferry, Micheál Carroll and Daire Ó Baoill.

The five all featured for Gaoth Dobhair in Saturday’s All-Ireland club semi-final loss to Corofin in Carrick-on-Shannon and have been excused from county duty this week.

“It will take a couple of weeks to get back in with us,” Bonner said.

“It’s very difficult to step in. Even though they’re playing a very high level of club football, it’s still a big step.. We’ll monitor it closely.

“we have been working off the squad we’ve had and that was always the way it was going to be. They were never going to come in the week after they exited  the championship.

“Unfortunately for Gaoth Dobhair it was last weekend but it could have been the 17th of March. They were always going to get a couple of weeks off.”

Odhrán Mac Niallais will take an extended break, but Bonner says he expects him back in time for the start of the Ulster Championship in May.

Kieran Gillespie is another Gaoth Dobhair man who would’ve been included, but for a cruciate injury. Gillespie had surgery in December and, Bonner says, is ‘on the road to recovery’.

Bonner said: “Kieran does tend to heal fairly quickly but the cruciate is a difficult one and you are looking at anywhere between six, seven or eight months

“It depends on where we are at and we will definitely target getting him back in.”

In the case of McFadden-Ferry, who will be stepping into the senior ranks for the first time, Bonner insists there will be no temptation to throw him in at the deep end before he’s ready.

He said: “Ideally you would like to get him playing, but I’m not going to be put under any pressure.

“If they are right and ready as a management team and the medical team feel they are right they will go back in – but not before they are ready.”

For Sunday’s game against Fermanagh in Letterkenny, Bonner will be operating from the same squad as that which faced Tipperary on Sunday-week past in Thurles.

Michael Murphy, Paddy McGrath and Frank McGlynn are close, but not quite close enough to make an appearance against Rory Gallagher’s Erne at O’Donnell Park.

Bonner said: “They’ll be in before the end of the League.”

Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.

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