Jamie Brennan is quite content to spearhead Donegal’s attack in the absence of Michael Murphy and Patrick McBrearty.
That totemic duo will be out for a while yet, with Murphy not slated to return until after the break in the Allianz League and McBrearty, rehabbing from a cruciate injury, pencilled in for a Championship comeback.
Picture: Jamie Brennan receives the Man of the Match award following Sunday’s game against Armagh. Picture by Geraldine Diver.
But Brennan is taking it all in his stride.
He hit 1-4 last Wednesday against Cavan and followed it up with an impressive four points against Armagh in a lively display.
“You just have to step up to the mark,” the Bundoran man said.
“I would be putting a lot of pressure on myself.
“I’ve been knocking about for three or four years now, so it’s about time that I took a lead role.
“Other players will come in, and I’ve seen it all before, and I’ll just hopefully keep playing well and try to keep leading.
“When the lads come back in now, it’s just about getting a good bond. It’s starting to come slowly and hopefully it will happen.”
Brennan carried a shoulder injury for much of the off-season, but he’s back with a bang to carry the can in the final third for Donegal.
He’s happy with his own frame these days and while he might lack the imposing presence of some of his peers, the dynamic Brennan wants to keep improving his own strengths.
He said: “I’m happy with where I’m at. I wouldn’t want to be carrying too much more weight in case it affects my speed.
“The lads are super – Aaron Kyles and (Paul) Fisher. They’re doing great work on power and speed and agility. I’ll keep listening to them and hopefully keep it going.”
Brennan is facing into a busy spell.
On Sunday-week, Donegal go to Clare for their Division 2 opener but before that Brennan has to report for Sigerson Cup duty. On Thursday, he’ll line out for IT Sligo against Garda in Templemore.
He created a little nugget of history on Sunday, scoring Donegal’s first-ever point from a ‘mark’ in the McKenna Cup semi-final loss to Armagh.
Fetching the ball on the turn just on the ’45, Brennan didn’t think twice, promptly sailing the ball over the bar from the resulting kick.
“I missed a handy mark after that, and I was disappointed with that,” he noted.
“I don’t know if they will be kept for the league. We haven’t really been looking at it too much.
“We probably wouldn’t use it enough. We’re looking for the one-bounce pass.
“For it to go straight into the chest, you need a good kicker of the ball.”
Even though Donegal lost 0-14 to 1-10, Brennan was named the Man of the Match.
He said: “I wouldn’t take too much from it. You’re looking for a team performance and to get the win, and unfortunately today, it didn’t really happen.
“Armagh brought a good intensity and a good edge, and with that breeze in the first half, we probably didn’t score enough.
“That was probably a three or four-point win but we didn’t do enough, and it put us on the back foot.
“You want to win every game you play in and it’s disappointing not to get to the final after last year when we won the McKenna Cup.
“It was a proper test and we can take that forward and Clare will be the main focus in two weeks.”