6 January 2017 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Talk of binning the GAA’s subsidiary competitions refuses to go away and the news that Donegal will field their current under 21s in this year’s Dr.McKenna Cup is the last thing supporters of the longest running pre-season football competition would have wanted to hear.

Ulster football folk have warmly embraced the Dr. McKenna Cup since its inauguration in 1927. Last year, over 7,000 of them turned up to see Tyrone and Donegal meet in the final. But Tir Chonaill’s mandarins have done the competition no favours by handing the anti-burnout brigade a post-Christmas present.

In the last couple of years, a lot of GAA supporters across the country turned against the Galway hurlers and the Mayo footballers for shafting their management teams. Donegal will probably not be getting any Happy New Year cards from your commoner-garden Ulster GAA supporter. Indeed, for those removed from the far north-west of the country, the clarion call might well be ABD or Anyone But Donegal this season.

Donegal’s decision to pick from just their under 21 players can only be viewed as a snub to Ulster’s secondary competition. It smacks of disrespect too to not only the likes of the Ulster University players who will take them on this Sunday but also to the ‘overage’ Donegal players who could be considered to be on the fringe of first-team action with their county.

One can also only imagine what Donegal’s senior players who are aged 22 and over this year thought when they became aware that they wouldn’t be getting…

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