Rory Gallagher says his new-look Donegal side will play without fear as they go looking to maintain their good record in the Ulster SFC this Sunday.
Donegal have been in the last six Ulster finals, winning three of them, and they take on Antrim in Ballybofey on Sunday to begin their assault on the 2017 version.
Nine of Gallagher’s 2016 squad stepped off the inter-county carousel in the winter and Donegal head into the summer minus the likes of Christy Toye, Eamon McGee, Colm McFadden, Rory Kavanagh, Neil Gallagher, Leo McLoone, Odhrán Mac Niallais, Anthony Thompson and David Walsh.
“The young lads are genuinely excited about it,” Gallagher says as a new era dawns.
“There is a real freshness and excitement about it.”
Donegal had a good League campaign, although Gallagher does see room to improve.
He said: “Overall, I’d be really pleased. The big disappointment was that we were in positions to win the last two games in Monaghan and Mayo. We didn’t score enough, but it was a learning curve for us.
“We can’t play with fear. We need to get our hands on enough ball to get scores. We have put more scores into the team. We have a breed of player coming through who are prepared to pull the trigger.”
Although many view Sunday’s clash with Antrim as being a formality, Gallagher said: “We have been successful because we have done our homework and treated every opponent with the respect that they deserve, regardless of who they are.”
Listen to the full interview below …