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We'll give it everything we've got, vows Thompson


Fired up: Anthony Thompson can set the tone for his team
Fired up: Anthony Thompson can set the tone for his team
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Donegal 2012 All-Ireland winner Anthony Thompson believes his Naomh Conaill team colleagues will "give it everything" when they face Kilcoo in Sunday's Ulster Club Senior Football final at Healy Park, Omagh (2pm).

Thompson has played a big part in helping the Donegal champions mature further over the course of this year and points to their wins over Castlerahan and Clontibret in the provincial Championship to date in particular as evidence of their new-found confidence.

"This team now has no fear of anyone," states Thompson. "I think the way in which we built up a five-point lead early on in our semi-final against Clontibret showed the cohesion and spirit that we have, but we knew they would come back at us, which they did.

"We still held a four-point lead at half-time and we got the first score of the second-half, which left us very happy with the position in which we found ourselves then.

"I think in the second-half we turned them over in defence well and at the other end we showed in closing out the game that we have some top forwards."

Naomh Conaill may have charted a difficult course to reach Sunday's decider but Thompson is clearly in no doubt that their stamina-sapping itinerary has been accompanied by "a heap of positives".

And he is in no doubt that should his team engage their fluent rhythm from an early stage on Sunday, they should be in with a great chance of coming out on top.

"When you look at the three matches we had to play against Gaoth Dobhair before we eventually won the Donegal title, and the two games we have had in the Ulster Club Championship to date, you can see they were all difficult matches that tested us to the maximum both physically and mentally," insists Thompson.

"Yet at the same time we took a heap of positives from these matches and this has encouraged us in our preparations for the final. We have had a look at Kilcoo and we know they are a very decent side who do not give away too much.

"But at the same time we know the depth of talent we have in our own dressing-room. Once you come out of Donegal, you know you can reach for the stars. The support we have been getting of late has been unbelievable and no doubt it will be very much a case of same again on Sunday."

Thompson's brother Ciaran will skipper the side from midfield where he will operate alongside his fellow Donegal county player Leo McLoone.

Their partnership has been central to the progress that Naomh Conaill have made to date and much will depend on how well they can supply Eoghan McGettigan, Charles McGuinness and Brendan McDyer.

"We feel we have the right players in key positions and I think this will be reflected again in the final," points out Thompson.

"We have players who can shoot accurately from distance and this could prove a bonus for us at the end of the day."

Belfast Telegraph


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