Donegal pick U21 squad for Dr McKenna Cup campaign which starts on Sunday

Declan Bonner
Donegal under-21 boss Declan Bonner will be in charge of the county's McKenna Cup team

Donegal have followed through with their plan to field a under-21 squad in their McKenna Cup campaign which starts against Ulster University on Sunday.

Killybegs' Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Kilcar's Stephen McBrearty and Gweedore's Michael Carroll are the only squad members with senior experience.

Under-21 boss Declan Bonner will be in charge of the team in the competition.

The Ulster University squad includes the McHugh cousins Ryan and Eoin plus another Kilcar man Patrick McBrearty.

A number of other Donegal players including Martin O'Reilly of Queens, will play for third-level teams in the January season-opening competitions which also include the O'Byrne Cup in Leinster and the Connacht League.

The Donegal McKenna Cup panel includes Inishowen-based players Tony McClenaghan, Dylan Doherty, Ciaran Diver (all Moville), Danny Monagle (Carndonagh) and John Campbell (Buncrana).

Last month, Tyrone manager Mickey Harte said that he was "sceptical" following reports that Donegal would use an under-21 squad in the McKenna Cup.

However, Donegal manager Rory Gallagher is said to have taken decision in order to give his experienced players an extra break prior to the start of the Football League in early February.

Holders Tyrone open their McKenna Cup defence against Cavan at Breffni Park on Sunday.

Antrim's Section B opener against St Mary's has been switched from Corrigan Park to Glenavy.

Donegal McKenna Cup panel: Danny Rodgers (Dungloe), Daire O'Baoill (Gweedore), Tony McClenaghan (Moville), Niall Friel (Gweedore), Stephen McMenamin (Ballyshannon), Ciaran Gibbons (Glenswilly), Colm Kelly (Ballyshannon), Michael Lynch (Newtowncunningham), Conor Morrison (St Eunan's), Danny Monagle (Carndonagh), Andrew McClean (Kilcar), Eoghan Ban Gallagher (Killybegs), Stephen McBrearty (Kilcar), Jamie Brennan (Bundoran), Michael Carroll (Gweedore), Dylan Doherty (Moville), Christian Bonner (Na Rossa), Daniel Clarke (Newtowncunningham), Niall O'Donnell (St Eunan's), Naoise O Baoill (Gweedore), Michael Langan (St Michael's), Ciaran Diver (Moville), Jason McGee (Cloughaneely), Brendan McCole (St Naul's), John Campbell (Buncrana), Ethan O'Donnell (Naomh Conaill).

2017 Dr McKenna Cup

Round 1: Sunday, 8 January, 14:00 GMT

Section A

Down v QUB (at RGU Downpatrick)

Derry v Armagh (Owenbeg)

Section B

Antrim v St Mary's (Glenavy)

Monaghan V Fermanagh (Clones)

Section C

Cavan v Tyrone (Kingspan Breffni Park)

Donegal v Ulster University (Pairc MacCumhaill)

Round 2: Sunday, 15 January

Section A

Down v Derry (Pairc Esler)

Armagh V QUB (Athletic Grounds)

Section B

Antrim v Monaghan (Corrigan Park)

Fermanagh v St Mary's (Brewster Park)

Section C

Donegal v Cavan (Pairc MacCumhaill)

Tyrone v Ulster University (Healy Park)

Round 3: Wednesday, 18 January

Section A

Derry v QUB (Owenbeg)

Armagh v Down (Athletic Grounds)

Section B

Fermanagh v Antrim (Brewster Park)

Monaghan v St Mary's (Inniskeen)

Section C

Cavan v Ulster University (Kingspan Breffni Park)

Tyrone v Donegal (Healy Park)

Semi-finals: Sunday, 22 January

Section C Winner V Best Runner Up

Section B Winner V Section A Winner

Final: Saturday, 28 January

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