Gaoth Dobhair’s, Odhrán MacNiallais, has confirmed that he will not be part of Declan Bonner’s Donegal squad for the upcoming championship season.
The 26-year-old was a key player for his club as they reached the All Ireland semi-final where they were defeated by eventual champions, Corofin. His exploits earned him a spot at midfield on the 2019 AIB Club Team of the Year.
However, speaking to the Donegal Democrat, MacNiallais confirmed that he has informed Bonner that he will not be playing at inter-county level.
“No, I’m not going back. I spoke to Declan last week and told him I’m not going to play this year.
“I just have no real interest in football at the minute to be honest. The last few weeks, even training with the club, I haven’t really enjoyed it.
“I just don’t have the hunger or desire to give the commitment to Donegal. I explained that to Declan last week and he was very good about it.
“He just said, ‘that’s grand and take your time. If you ever need us we’re there for you.’ They were very good to me and I was chatting a few of the boys, even (Stephen) Rochford and Karl Lacey as well.”
His Gaoth Dobhair teammate, Mícheál Roarty, was one of four men killed in a road accident in Donegal in January and MacNiallais admitted he’s still coming to terms with the loss.
“It’s still tough. You wake up every morning and it’s still hard to believe it happened. It puts life into perspective.
“Growing up football was everything to me and that’s fading away a bit now.
“It’s hard to explain but I just don’t have the enjoyment and desire to play football. Football in the last few years is not as enjoyable as it used to be with the way that it’s played and that’s part of it too.
“All in all, I’m just not really mad to play football and go out and commit. The commitment levels with Donegal and county teams are through the roof so it’s tough and I just don’t have the hunger and desire to put it in.”