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Hughes salutes Donegal's Covid testing programme


Darren Hughes

Darren Hughes

�INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Darren Hughes

Monaghan star Darren Hughes believes Donegal have done the rest of the country a service after revealing that a member of their senior football squad tested positive for Covid-19.

Tests were conducted on Thursday and news of a positive result in an asymptomatic player emerged over the weekend.

Donegal have suspended all training until public health authorities carry out their contact tracing and results from all panel members have been returned.

Hughes will return to county training with Monaghan at the end of this week after another successful club campaign with Scotstown, who saw off Ballybay in Clones in the Farney County SFC final on Sunday.

He believes the news from Donegal will see everyone redouble their efforts as the county GAA season's 'Operation Restart' comes into view.

"Fair play to them," Hughes said. "I think it's a credit to Donegal that they have come out and they have been open. First and foremost, they tested their players so they are trying to start off with a clean slate. They've announced that they have one player and there's nothing to be ashamed of. And fair play to them, they announced it and it puts the rest of us on our toes.

"I'm coming from a group of 35 or 40 here (with Scotstown) and I'm going into another group of 35 or 40 next week (with Monaghan). All the protocols are in place to avoid Covid as best as possible but fair play to Donegal, they opened everyone's eyes to it and there's no shame in it and it shows us how serious it is."

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Monaghan are set to face Kerry and Meath in their last two league games, where they'll look to rubber-stamp their Division One status for another season before tackling Cavan in their Ulster Championship opener on Halloween weekend - with both sides facing the prospect of four games in just 21 days should they keep winning after being drawn in the preliminary round.

"Donegal in 2011 were the first team to do it (win Ulster from the preliminary round), 2011 is a long, long time," Hughes adds.

"And maybe they won the All-Ireland from it in 2012, too. It was always said the preliminary round was death but, here, someone has to win it.

"We'll be there, we'll be fighting but we'll be looking no further than Cavan in the first round."

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