McGuinness: Ulster title “hugely significant”

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness says that both sides competing in the Ulster final have “huge aspirations” of winning the title. McGuinness returned to the Donegal hotseat this season having stepped down from his previous stint in 2014.

During his first tenure as manager, McGuinness guided Donegal to four Ulster finals, winning three. They also competed in two All-Ireland finals, winning Sam in 2012.

Armagh will take on Donegal in Sunday’s Ulster final and are hoping to end a 16-year wait for the Anglo Celt. Kieran McGeeney’s side reached last year’s decider but lost out to Derry after a penalty shootout.

“Obviously for Armagh it would be a hugely significant one as well,” McGuinness told Highland Radio.

“There’s a drought going on from their point of view in Armagh, a very proud footballing county. They have huge aspirations themselves and have been so close in the last number of years.

“Going to penalties last year and they have had huge battles with a lot of different teams around the country in championship football.

“We know what we’re going in against. A very seasoned team that understands these types of occasions.”

Previous meetings

The two counties faced off twice in the league and they couldn’t be separated the first day out at the BOX-IT Athletic Grounds. Donegal proved too strong in the Division Two league final however at Croke Park.

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness says that both sides competing in the Ulster final have “huge aspirations” of winning the title.
Photo Credit: Colin Molloy

The minimum of margins separated the teams that day, although it took a late surge from Armagh to keep them in contention. McGuinness believes that those previous two meetings are important ahead of Sunday’s Ulster final.

“The fact that we played Armagh twice already means that it’s a wee bit easier,” added the Donegal boss.

“Obviously, we’ll be doing our analysis, but you do know the players and you’ve seen the players up close and personal.

“How they move and how what they can do any stuff. That’s the same for Armagh with our lads so you’re not starting from ground zero which is very beneficial. But every single second counts at the same time.”