17 July 2015 No Comments by The Northern Standard

The training is all done, the hours of hard slog and personal gym work have been put in and all of the bodies on the two panels for Sunday’s Ulster final are in tiptop shape and ready for what will be a draining encounter, both physically and mentally, as they battle it out to take possession of the Anglo Celt Cup over the winter.

Both managers have fine-tuned their tactics and will have been working on eradicating niggling errors and other frustrating things that peppered their games in the championship so far in the hope that by doing that and applying the predetermined tactics to best effect will be enough to get them over the line. Both managers too will be more or less decided on their starting formations although Donegal manager Rory Gallagher had indicated at the Donegal Press Night that he would not be finalising his formation until the week before the Clones showdown.

Both team managers and their extensive backroom teams will have been working with both sets of players to have them in tiptop psychological shape for the battle ahead because this is a game that is going to be played at a very high level of intensity and only those who are completely mentally tuned in and who can maintain that throughout, will succeed and will mount the steps of the Gerry Arthur’s Stand to take possession of the much coveted silverware.

While it might not be openly admitted both panels have key players as far as this contest is concerned and they will be the recipients of some special advice as plans will be drawn, tinkered with and perhaps redrawn to see where a chink in the armour of the opposition can be detected and how that chink can be exploited to best effect. It is generally expected that both sides will set up defensively and it could well be a matter of patience, particularly in the early stages, as to who can impose themselves to best effect.

From Donegal’s point of view there is no doubt that Michael Murphy is their go to man on the field. It does not need repeating that he is a big, powerful, skilful player who possesses a range of qualities that put …


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