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Patrick McBrearty of Donegal in action against Michael Jones of Fermanagh 2018 Ulster SFC Final. 
Patrick McBrearty of Donegal in action against Michael Jones of Fermanagh 2018 Ulster SFC Final. 

Patrick McBrearty fit to face Armagh

By John Harrington

Donegal star Patrick McBrearty is fit again and available for selection for Saturday’s Ulster SFC semi-final against Armagh.

The talented attacker missed the Ulster SFC quarter-final victory over Tyrone as well as Donegal's two recent League matches with a quad injury, but according to Donegal manager Declan Bonner he’s ready for action again.

“He’s back training and he’s ready for action,” said Bonner today. “He has been training since the Tyrone game. It’s always a concern when he doesn’t have serious game time. He’s been training well and he’s a top-class player. He’s ready for action on Saturday.”

The only player that Bonner is resigned to being without for the Armagh clash is defender Paddy McGrath.

“Everyone is okay, bar Paddy McGrath,” said Bonner. “He’s the one who’ll miss out.

"Paddy has picked up a knock. He has a soft tissue injury from the weekend. It’s nothing too serious, but the turnaround for this weekend is too quick.”

Donegal are gunning for a third Ulster title in a row and are favourites to overcome Armagh, but Bonner is very wary of the threat posed by a side that gained promotion to Division 1 of the Allianz Football League this year.

“There is no doubt they have quality all over the field,” he said. “They have been together for five or six years under Kieran (McGeeney).

“Some of the younger lads have only come in, but take Jamie Clarke, Oisin and Rian O’Neill, Stefan Campbell, Rory Grugan they’re top-class players. We’re definitely aware of the task ahead of us. We have to get our own performance right to be in with a chance.

“We played Armagh a number of times between McKenna Cup and League. They’ve always been close affairs. We expect nothing less this weekend.

"Our preparation started right away after we got over Tyrone. We have to hit the ground running.

“In the Ulster Championship, every match is dangerous. We saw what happened in Munster at the weekend. There is nothing granted in Championship football. Every day you go out, you have to prepare properly and deliver a performance.”

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