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Published: 10:00 | 25/9/17

Bonner expects Donegal to be competitive


New Donegal football manager Declan Bonner expects the Tir Chonaill to be "very, very competitive" in 2018.

1992 All-Ireland winner, who was appointed as Rory Gallagher's successor on Friday, believes Donegal will be a major force during the 2018 Championship summer despite a disappointing 4-17 to 0-14 defeat to Galway in the All-Ireland qualifiers this season.

"We have a lot of young lads, but there are a lot of experienced lads too, and that will be very important going into 2018," he told eir Sport.

"We hope  2018 will be a competitive season for Donegal football. People are on about transition but I still believe we can be very, very competitive.

"We have an awful lot of work to do, both on and off the pitch, but we  are  prepared to put in that work. 

"We have the nucleus of a good squad, and we hope to blend that together."

Donegal captain Michael Murphy is keen to start work under Bonner, and add another All-Ireland medal to the one he won in 2012.

"After watching the All-Ireland final last weekend, the first thing any inter-county footballer does is to turn to the new season, he told eir Sport.

"The new manager will be formulating his backroom team, and we as a group of players are mad to get going again."

Missing the Championship already? eir Sport will broadcast up to 30 games from the AIB GAA Football and Hurling Club Championships in 2017. Coverage continues on Friday, 29 September on eir Sport 2 with the Dublin club football championship quarter-finals between St Vincents and St Sylvesters [throw-in 6.45pm] and Castleknock and Kilmacud Crokes [throw-in 8.15pm] from Parnell Park. On Saturday, 30 September, eir Sport 2 are showing the Kilkenny club hurling championship quarter-finals between O'Loughlin Gaels and Erins Own [throw in 2pm] and Ballyhale Shamrocks and Clara [throw in 3.45pm] from Nowlan Park. Later on Saturday, eir Sport are showing the Donegal club football championship semi-final between Naomh Conaill and Gaoth Dobhair [throw in 7.30pm] from MacCumhaill Park. 

Image: Inpho/John McVitty

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