Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

McGlynn puts impetus on Donegal defence

Frank McGlynn has particular reason for satisfaction now that Donegal manager Jim McGuinness has added a fresh attacking dimension to his overall blueprint for the Ulster Championship.

Regarded as an out-and-out defender for the best part of the six years he has been involved with the squad, McGlynn is suddenly finding himself revelling in a more adventurous role to the extent that he was named man of the match following his team’s demolition of Derry earlier this month.

Now the stocky Glenfin man is hoping that Donegal can enhance their new-found image as a rather more flamboyant side when they meet Tyrone in the Ulster semi-final at Clones on Saturday.

But defensive duties will remain a priority for the stocky 26-year-old and his colleagues as they seek to hurdle what manager McGuinness refers to as “the real test” in their bid to land back to back provincial titles.

“I suppose you could say that we have been more attack-minded this time round,” reflects McGlynn. “We have been totting up bigger scores and more players are getting their names on the score sheet but against Tyrone we will certainly not be taking any chances.

“While it’s encouraging to be getting a bigger ratio of scores, it’s also important that at the same time we keep our defence as tight as we can.”

A snappy tackler, McGlynn’s defensive capabilities have helped to make him a key figure in Jim McGuinness’ line-up.

His ability to transfer the ball quickly out of defence and then get up in support of his attack was very evident in the Championship wins over Cavan and Derry to date.

But McGlynn admits that his chances of enjoying an attacking mission against Tyrone might be rather more limited.

“While I enjoy going forward and helping the boys up front, there is no doubt that against Tyrone it could be different. They are very good at putting pressure on players and we know that they can be lethal on the counter-attack. They can do a lot of damage with maybe three passes,” he said.

And the manner in which they beat Armagh has already served as a warning to Donegal, according to McGlynn.

“When you looked at the way they closed out that game, this shows you the kind of team they are. We have been knuckling down well in training and we have to be able to overcome Tyrone’s strengths,” states McGlynn.

It was Karl Lacey’s switch to centre-half-back that allowed McGlynn to succeed him at left-full-back, a position he has made his own. Yet despite his track record he takes nothing for granted.

“There are plenty of good players in this Donegal squad anxious to get into the side and the pressure is on every player to hold his place. This means total commitment in training and a willingness to give 100% per cent in every game,” adds McGlynn.

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