McGuckin analyses Donegal's defence
Former Derry defender Kevin McGuckin experienced the full extent of Donegal’s defensive system in last year’s Ulster final against the Tir Chonaill men at Clones.
The Ballinderry Shamrocks man, who has since hung up his county boots, admits that playing in defence against Donegal can be a lonely enough kind of place when the opposition withdraw so many men from your end of the field. Unlike many pundits and players though, McGuckin chooses not to be critical of their approach.
“Obviously Donegal’s tactics last year were a new system. A defensive system which saw them breaking up the pitch. I was in the full-back line, and Ciaran Mullan went with [Michael] Murphy.
“It was a bit of a surprise to us that Murphy went out the pitch, as we were expecting Murphy to stay in on the edge of the square alongside McFadden. Murphy went away out around wing-forward and midfield, especially for the kick-outs, and it was McBrearty who played further up the field playing off McFadden.
“I was left one on one with McFadden, with Donegal obviously trying to play the long ball in and then have runners coming in support. It can be a wing-forward, a midfielder, a wing-back or a corner-back, it makes no difference because they all come bombing at you.”
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday June 4. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here