RYAN MCHUGH WALKED INTO the Donegal senior dressing room for the first time as a player not long after they’d won the All-Ireland in 2012.
His first year as a player was hardly the stuff his dreams were made of, as Donegal relinquished Ulster and All-Ireland titles in the space of a fortnight in 2013.
That year was a big learning experience for McHugh, who was Young Player of the Year in 2014 when Donegal wrestled back control of Ulster before reaching the All-Ireland final.
Picture caption: Ryan McHugh breaks for Donegal against Cork during Sunday’s game. Picture by Evan Logan
He’s established now and can appreciate the journey being embarked upon by those players now bidding to break into Rory Gallagher’s plans.
Among that group is Eoin McHugh, who has been superb in the wins over Down and Cork.
Last week, writing in his column in Gaelic Life, former Donegal player Kevin Cassidy said there was ‘something special’ about Eoin McHugh.
‘Eoin has natural ability in abundance and has pace to burn but the trait I admire most about him is that he always plays with his head up and he can see things opening up in front of him’, Cassidy penned.[adrotate group=”24″]
“Eoin is going well,” Ryan McHugh agreed after yesterday’s 2-14 to 1-7 win in Ballyshannon.
“He’s playing well in training and Rory rewards men who are going well in training. We pride ourselves in how we train and how we work – and that’s paying off on the field.
“You need the competition in any squad. We’re lucky that we have good experience in the team and we have good young blood coming into the suqad now as well. Long may it last.
“It is good. When I came into the squad it was the same, good experience and youth. We’re going well. The under-21s have come in now after some success and they’re pushing the rest of us on.”
Ryan’s brother, Mark, is also closing in on a return to competitive action. Having been working on an individualised programme away from the squad, Mark was back in collective training with Donegal last Tuesday night.
Ryan McHugh said: “Mark was off for a while with a few niggles and injuries, but he’s hit the gym hard and has himself in good shape.”Tags: