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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 training well with Donegal


By John Harrington

Donegal footballer, Stephen McMenamin, says Paddy McBrearty is motoring well in team training sessions.

McBrearty hasn’t played a match since tearing his cruciate ligament in last year’s Ulster SFC Final win but is nearing a return to action.

He won’t play a part in Sunday’s Allianz League Division Two Football Final against Meath, but McMenamin is confident the Kilcar club-man will be back at full pelt in time for the Ulster SFC Quarter-Final against, ironically, Fermanagh on May 26.

“Paddy has been back running and back training,” said McMenamin.

“I’d say last week and this week he’s easing himself in, he’s not going to go full tear at anything.

“I’d say he’s going to step into drills, step out of drills, he’s going to pace himself, he’s not going to rush in to anything.

“I’d say Paddy’s plan is to be back for Championship first round against Fermanagh.

“Paddy knows himself that if he’s not right, he won’t be risking it. Paddy will be a massive addition to the Donegal team whenever we get him back.”

The Donegal forwards motoring well at the moment without McBrearty, racking up 1-20 against Kildare on Sunday as 18-year-old Oisin Gallen caught the eye with a four-point haul from corner-forward.

Once McBrearty is back up to speed, Donegal will have some serious options in attack.

“It's another place up for grabs,” said McMenamin. “The forwards at the minute will be looking over their shoulders seeing Paddy back training.

“Paddy is going to be coming back thinking he'll need to earn his sport. The training (sessions) have been getting better and better.

“Even getting the likes of Michael (Murphy) back there in the last few weeks, Frank (McGlynn), training is always improving and that's how we improve in a team.”

Stephen McMenamin of Donegal pictured at the 2019 Allianz Football League Finals event in Croke Park.
Stephen McMenamin of Donegal pictured at the 2019 Allianz Football League Finals event in Croke Park.

Murphy has looked especially sharp since he returned to the Donegal team at the start of the month.

Not only has he provided a real focal point in the Donegal attack, according to McMenamin he’s raised the game of everyone around him.

“Michael is always pushing you," said McMenamin. "He is always looking to get the best out of everyone. Not that he's not always happy but he always can see that we need improvement. I think that's what drives everyone on.

“He's a real leader. If something isn't going right, he's guaranteed to be the man to point it out. If you are ever looking for anything, you are probably going to Michael and ask him and he's going to have the answer for you.

“You definitely want to do everything right. Not that he's an angry man or anything, he has that respect around everyone - even the management.

“Everyone respects him. He just wants to win everything. I think it's brushing off on the rest of us. Everyone wants to win and we're all taking it off him.”

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