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Published: 09:07 | 11/1/17

Donegal trio call it a day

Rory Kavanagh, Christy Toye and David Walsh have opted out of the Donegal senior football panel for 2017.

Donegal will be without eight of last year's panel with Odhrán MacNiallais and Leo McLoone unavailable for personal reasons and Colm McFadden and Eamon McGee both calling time on their inter-county careers, while Anthony Thompson will miss the early part of the year.

News that Kavanagh, Toye and Walsh have become the latest to retire means Donegal are in transition and manager Rory Gallagher believes they face a challenging year as they look to rebuild the squad.

"It is a big sea-change of players coming in and out. We knew in 2014 that there was 18 or 24 months in a lot of them. We felt there was going to be a break up and it's a challenge now to rebuild the team," Gallagher is quoted as saying in the Irish Independent.

Kavanagh originally retired after the 2014 All-Ireland final but returned for the 2016 campaign, while Toye has endured a difficult few years as he has dealth with injury and illness.

Paying tribute to the pair, who made over 309 appearances between them, Gallagher said: "Christy and Rory are two of a kind - we've become accustomed to seeing them in training and in games. They owe no-one anything."

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