SEAN FRIEL is the only survivor from the Letterkenny Rovers side that reached the semi-final of the FAI Youth Cup last season.
From the squad that lost 3-1 to Kilreen Celtic last April, Anthony Gorman saw 11 players leave.
Friel was the one regular from last season to stick around and the Raphoe man was one of the heroes of the hour yesterday as the class of now booked a place in the last 16 of this season’s competition.
Friel saved a penalty from Dean Ivory after Codey Brogan struck what proved to be the winner for Rovers, who play Ballinroad from Waterford next weekend in the round of 16 at home.
“It’s been a hard year for us, losing a lot of players to League of Ireland clubs, but the lads have come in and done brilliant,” Friel told Donegal Sport Hub.
“The effort is there and it’s great to see.
From last year, BJ Banda and Gareth Doherty were among a plethora who left for Finn Harps, with Luke Nelis, Ciaran Kelly, Jason McGee, Eoin Slevin, Paul Ferry, Daire Ó Baoill, Jeaic Mac Ceallabhuí and Ryan Finn also moving to Finn Park, while Adrian Delap headed for Derry City.
Goalkeeper Friel is aiming to make his mark at Rovers.
He said: “I’m in my third year at the club and I want to stay loyal to them, keep putting in the work and cement a place for myself in the Ulster Senior League.”
Listen to the full interview below …