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Attritional football hampers Bundoran’s run

Bundoran still have a solid chance of maintaining their place in division one this year according to manager Niall Dunne.

The top tier new boys Bundoran have won four of their ten games so far this season, and that has put them in sixth place in the division, four points ahead of the bottom two teams.

“Coming up from division two meant that we were always going to be under pressure,” Dunne said.

“Staying up is our main priority.

“We have got four wins, two at home, and two away. It has been a fragmented season. Two points can be hard to come by in these matches.

“I think we can compete, we just have to take it one game at a time and get players ready. We are missing county players and we have picked up injuries.”

Bundoran lost to Kilcar last weekend, 3-16 to 1-13, but before that had beaten Cloughaneely and ran Gaoth Dobhair close.

They are due to play St Eunan’s at home on Friday night.

They have managed to gain their place in this year’s league despite suffering a number of injuries.

Their one big long term injury is Peter McGonigle who is out for the foreseeable future.

Michael McEniff was out with a hamstring problem, while Cian McEniff had a virus. Ciaran McCaughey broke his cheekbone after an unfortunate collision while playing against St Michael’s. Gary Clancy was also sidelined with a broken foot.

Manager Dunne said that injuries were to be expected, but they felt that they have had more than their fair share this season.

“You would expect division one football to be highly attritional.

“It is a bit unfortunate that we have had so many injuries. But we have to deal with it.”

They have been dealing with it by drawing upon the younger members of the team.

In fact, from the start of the season, Dunne has called in a lot of young players to the senior team.

“They have taken to division one like ducks to water. That is good for the panel. The squad is a lot younger than it was. Most of them wouldn’t have experience of playing in division one. They have taken to it well.

“The plan was to get them experience of playing at that level. A lot of them trained well in pre season and they were able to keep their places on the squad.”

That so many young players were able to compete in division one suggests that there is a lot of good work being carried out in underage coaching at the club.

Dunne pointed out that a team will never see a full group of underage players moving into the senior team, but that they were picking up a handful every year.

Lads like Oisin Walsh. Aidan Duffy and Mattie Gallagher have made the transition.

But the club also needed the older players like Tommy Hourihan, Shane McGowan, and Ciaran McCaughey to help guide those younger players, and they are doing so.

“The older players are massively important. Their input in training is crucial, they are vital to the development of those younger players.

“You can’t win anything just with youth. You need a blend.”

r.scott@gaeliclife.com

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