Hegarty expects better Donegal performance
HAVING helped Donegal to Ulster glory just 12 months ago, Michael Hegarty is well placed to assess how the Donegal 2012 model compares to that which tasted Anglo-Celt glory last season.
The former attacker believes that Donegal have taken more to the table this summer, and are a much more formidable force as a result.
“They’re playing a lot better, and I suppose they’re playing more openly this year as I think they have shown that in their games so far. Quite simply, I think it’s because they have moved on and are further down the line in their development.
“It’s not that Jim tried to make it scripted last year. I think it was because the players who were there were not necessarily that comfortable playing county football. It was new to them, and Jim had to build confidence in the players.
“He had to start somewhere, and their achievements last year mean that they are now playing with confidence, they’re playing good football and they’re able to express themselves on the field.”
Donegal displayed a level of calmness and assured play against Tyrone which confirmed to Hegarty that the best days could still be ahead of this Donegal team as they continue with their development.
“They were composed. They knew what was ahead of them, they knew what Tyrone were going to bring to them, and they were ready for it. It comes with a bit of success. Armagh and Tyrone had it for years, Armagh used to win games in the last two or three minutes of normal time. It comes from confidence within the team, and it’s what is going to make Donegal a very hard team to beat this year.”
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday July 19. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here