Donegal may have collected a raft of annual awards over the past month following their double triumph in winning the Ulster and All Ireland football championship titles this year but manager Jim McGuinness has confirmed that it will be “back to porridge” when the squad return from their holiday.
McGuinness has collected two Manager of the Year accolades within the last fortnight while Donegal were chosen as the Team of the Year following a public vote by phone and text during the live broadcast of the high-profile RTE Sports Awards of the Year show.
And at the recent Ulster GAA Writers Association banquet Donegal captain Michael Murphy carried off the prestigious Personality of the Year prize while Colm McFadden took the Player of the Year honour and Paddy McBrearty was named the Young Achiever of the Year winner.
Donegal’s fairy tale year is to be the subject of an RTE documentary which will air on January 3. ‘Jimmy's Winnin Matches' will tell the story of the county's second Sam Maguire Cup success.
But while the celebrations have been in full swing for the past three months, manager McGuinness has urged his players to now focus strongly on the 2013 campaign.
Donegal’s participation in the Power NI Dr McKenna Cup has been delayed until Wednesday January 9 when they will take on Peter Canavan’s Fermanagh side at Brewster Park, Enniskillen and while McGuinness will be denied the services of a number of his regulars for the competition for a variety of reasons, he is nonetheless keen to see the side make an impact in the competition.
“We will be running our eye over several players and we will see how things go but it is important that we try and get back into our rhythm as soon as we can.
“I know that all teams will be taking the McKenna Cup very seriously indeed. It's back to porridge for us now,” states McGuinness.
Mark McHugh, Michael Murphy, Frank McGlynn and Neil Gallagher are among the high-profile players who will miss the opening matches in the competition.
Several players such as Marty Boyle, David Walsh, Daniel McLaughlin, Stephen Griffen and Adrian Hanlon are expected to be afforded game time.