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Donegal put their faith in McGlynn to play a dual role and make the hard yards

By John Campbell

It's not often that a player wearing the No 4 shirt is listed among the chief scorers in a team’s championship campaign.

But then Frank McGlynn is no ordinary player.

The Glenfin clubman may to all intents and purposes be viewed as Donegal’s left-full-back yet he is anything but.

The stocky 26-year-old instead fulfils the role of a wing-back who remains in perpetual motion throughout the course of a game and invariably makes his mark where it matters most — on the scoreboard.

And it is no surprise that, given his huge input into Donegal’s progress, McGlynn is now being touted as one of the frontrunners for the Ulster Player of the Year award.

When he lines out in Sunday’s All-Ireland final against Mayo, McGlynn will not only be tasked with attempting to curb a Mayo half-forward line that embraces two of the outstanding players in the country in Alan Dillon and Kevin McLoughlin but will also shoulder the responsibility for supporting an attack which has benefited considerably from his contribution to date.

Not too many players who are perceived as out and out defenders manage to get on the score sheet in four championship matches but McGlynn defies convention in this respect.

He scored his first-ever point in championship football against Cavan in the early part of the summer, then landed a fine point against Derry and followed this up with a quite spectacular goal against Down in the Ulster final before rifling over a splendid point in the dramatic All-Ireland semi-final win over Cork.

If his scoring ratio brings an element of quiet satisfaction to the modest and unassuming McGlynn, then it elicits glowing praise from manager Jim McGuinness.

“Frank has been a revelation both in defence and attack this year and the fact that he has managed to get on the score sheet so often underlines his work-rate,” states McGuinness.

“He has been very consistent for us and is among the hardest-working players you will come across.”

Six years in the Donegal squad have hardened McGlynn to setbacks so the team’s stunning back-to-back Ulster titles have afforded him particular satisfaction.

But an All-Ireland medal on Sunday would see a dream come true for the schoolteacher.

“We have raised the bar for ourselves all along the line and now we want to get our hands on ‘Sam’.

“Jim McGuinness has us believing in ourselves, we take great pride in what we do but we know that in Mayo we will be facing a side with a great hunger to win the title,” acknowledges McGlynn.

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Donegal supporters have been hit with a ticket tax ahead of Sunday's All-Ireland football final against Mayo.

Every one of the 12,362 tickets distributed to clubs throughout the county over the last few days has been subject to a €5 (£4) levy, which will help to supplement the county's training fund.

The fund stands to gross over €60,000 (£48,500) from a measure right out of a budget airline’s handbook of hidden costs.

Other counties have imposed such levies in the past, but some Donegal supporters feel disgruntled that they have already had an expensive summer following the county in a six-match campaign that has taken them in large numbers to Clones and Croke Park twice and Cavan.

The €5 levy will push the price of tickets for Donegal supporters up to €85 (£69) for the stands and €45 (£36) for Hill 16.

The levy is mandatory, and ticket purchasers will be entered free into a draw.

Still, the demand for tickets in both counties is unprecedented.

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