McGlynn nears return as Donegal squad begins to take its summer shape

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Donegal star Frank McGlynn is inching ever closer to a return to competitive action.

The 2012 All-Ireland winner and former All-Star has yet to feature for Donegal in 2019, but the Glenfin man was in the squad for last Saturday’s win over Cork at Pairc Ui Rinn.

Donegal manager Declan Bonner could spring the Glenfin man into action on Sunday, when Donegal host Kildare in Ballyshannon (2pm).

“Frank isn’t far away,” Bonner told Donegal Daily/Donegal Sport Hub.

“It’s a matter of trying to get him some game time. He’s coming back in after a winter break and with Frank it’s much the same as last year.

“We’re looking at the bigger picture of the Championship coming in eight weeks’ time.”

McGlynn’s fellow All-Ireland winners Paddy McGrath and Neil McGee appeared for the first time this year in Cork last weekend.

Bonner said: “You can’t beat the experience of having men like that coming back into a squad. The intensity and the quality has been improving.”

A 1-19 to 1-12 win for Donegal, who were five points behind at the break, means they have their destiny in their own hands heading into Sunday’s last round of games in Division 2. A win over the Lilywhites and Donegal will be heading back to Division 1 – and will be looking forward to a place in the Division 2 final.

Bonner said: “We have plenty of improving to do. We showed good character in Cork and the experience contributed massively. Having the likes of Michael (Murphy), Leo (McLoone) and Paddy (McGrath) – who came in at half-time – was huge for us.

Donegal manager Declan Bonner

“Cork will have brought a lot of players on. It was great to get Daire (Ó Baoill) in and he had a very good second half, Niall O’Donnell kicked a number of very good scores. That game will bring them on a lot and will help their confidence.”

With the exception of long-term injury victims Patrick McBrearty and Kieran Gillespie, Bonner has a full arsenal now.

The Donegal manager said: “We have more or less everyone back now. That’s fairly positive for us and we’ve had a good week since.

“We had a decent display in Cork, but it’s winner-takes-all on Sunday. We’re in a situation that we wanted to be in at the start – going into our last match with it all in our own hands. We have to go out now to get a performance that will get us a win.”

Jason McGee is back from suspension and in line to face Kildare, while Mark Anthony McGinley will not be a part of the panel and it is thought that the St Michael’s goalkeeper has left the squad.

While Paul Durcan is poised to return to the Championship panel, Naomh Colmcille’s Michael Lynch will deputise for Shaun Patton this weekend, as he did in Cork.  

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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