Kyle Coney backs Donegal's talented forwards to get them back on track 1 week ago

Kyle Coney backs Donegal's talented forwards to get them back on track

One thing for sure is that Donegal were fired up on Sunday.

Oisin Gallen punched the air when he scored the last point of the game, his fourth of the day and a point that put them five clear of Clare. Alongside him, Ciaran Thompson let a roar out of him.

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You look to the sideline, just seconds after the final whistle, and you see wing back Odhran Doherty making his way to his manager Aidan O'Rourke, before wrapping his arms around him.

This was the Donegal senior football team's first win in four months. It was plain to see how much it meant.

The last game they'd won was their very first competitive match of the year, when they stunned Kerry in Ballybofey.

After that, everything went downhill.

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Paddy Carr left, they were relegated from Division One and then they were dumped out of the Ulster championship by Down. But, if nothing else, this All-Ireland group stage format gives them a chance, and after this win they'll have some momentum.

Speaking on The GAA Hour, former Tyrone footballer Kyle Coney says that now, in a group with Derry, Monaghan and Clare, they're not a team he'd discount.

"You go through the Donegal team - yes they have injuries, and injuries happen to every team - but Oisin Gallen - he's an absolutely clinking player on his day, I know he's been struggling with a hamstring injury," said Coney, referencing the fact that Gallen kicked four from play vs Clare.

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"You have Daire Ó Baoill, Jamie Brennan - Jamie was a thorn in Tyrone's side when Donegal nipped us a few times in the Ulster championship.

"And he was one player we really struggled with, he has that low centre of gravity, he has a real art in kicking the ball with a real low back-step, a bit like how David Clifford does it he doesn't need a big backswing, he can pop it over from 30 yards from very little room."

Bundoran player Brennan didn't score at the weekend, but his creativity assisted his team-mates on a number of occasions and Coney is backing him to return to his 2019 form, when he was the in-form players in the country.

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"Donegal have very, very good players," adds Coney, who feels that they went too far away from their traditional style during the League.

"My take on it was that they were caught between two stools. (Over the years) They run the ball every single time, run it hard, they have their loop runners, Michael Murphy and McBrearty come off the loop on either side and they get their scores that way.

"A new manager came in and they decide right we're going to put Hugh McFadden in the full forward line, and I was at a few of their League games and that was it, just lumping high ball in - It's very easy for a full back line or a keeper just to get a hand in, and it's away."

As a sign of their changed tactics, McFadden was more often out around the midfield at the weekend.

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"Hugh McFadden is a strong ball-winner, takes the free kicks for his club, but there's a way of getting that ball in so they were caught between a running and kicking game - and progressing with neither.

"At the weekend, they churned out the result.

"Clare is never an easy place to go, so Aidan O'Rourke and Paddy will be delighted the win, number one, but also to get a few players back on the pitch again - Thompson and Gallen had been struggling.

"But they have the forwards that can hurt you on any day. It's whether they've got that system that they can stick to and zone in on because, as I said, earlier in the year, they were caught between two stools."