Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Donegal boss must take good look at McFadden

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness has discovered the hard way that the time-worn GAA mantra 'fail to prepare, prepare to fail' still carries considerable currency.

Earlier this year McGuinness adopted a cavalier approach to the Dr McKenna Cup, placing selector Maxie Curran in charge of operations and subsequently paid nothing more than lip service to the Allianz League.

Yet even though Donegal made an ignominious exit from Division One, the belief persisted that normal business would resume in the Ulster Championship.

It did, but for an all-too-brief period. Wins over Tyrone and Down suggested a renaissance was gaining momentum, but Monaghan buried any notion that a third successive provincial title would head to north-west territory.

And if Donegal's reputation was savaged in Ulster, it was utterly mangled by a rampant Mayo in an embarrassingly one-sided All-Ireland quarter-final.

Since then Curran and Rory Gallagher, along with assorted ancillary staff, have departed, McGuinness has installed fresh selectors and now it remains to be seen if he will adopt a much more diligent approach towards the opening competitions of 2014.

He certainly can take a step in this direction by applying his analytical mind to Glenswilly's appearance in the Ulster club semi-final against Roslea on Sunday.

More specifically, a forensic examination of Gary McFadden's finishing skills should be sufficient to convince McGuinness that a call-up to the Donegal squad is a formality.

Alongside the imposing presence of Michael Murphy, McFadden's lively and lucrative style has played a big part in Glenswilly's arrival on the cusp of an Ulster club final appearance.

Manager Gary McDaid regards his side as being in "bonus territory" but for the free-scoring McFadden a much more handsome dividend than a casual bonus awaits. He will be handed a key role against a Roslea side that is anxious to prove its worth at this level – an ambition shared by Glenswilly, who feel they under-performed in the competition two years ago when they beat Cavan Gaels and then lost narrowly to Monaghan champions Latton.

A Glenswilly win will surely prove another stepping stone towards renewed credibility.

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