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Major boost for Donegal as Odhran MacNiallais returns to Declan Bonner’s panel for 2021 season

MacNiallais

MacNiallais has not played for the county since 2018.

Donegal have received a significant boost with Odhran MacNiallais set to Declan Bonner’s panel ahead of the 2021 season, according to Highland Radio.

The Gaoth Dobhair man has been out of the inter-county picture since opting out of the Donegal squad ahead of the 2019 campaign.

Having spent the 2017 summer in the United States, MacNiallais proved a key figure for Donegal in 2018 as they captured the Ulster title.

The 28-year-old’s ability to operate in midfield and further forward will give Bonner another option as Donegal attempt to pick up the pieces following their shock Ulster final defeat by Cavan in November.

The news comes less than a week after it emerged that 2012 Footballer of the Year Karl Lacey will not be a part of Bonner’s backroom team during the upcoming season due to family and work reasons.

Collective training put on hold

MacNiallais and his Donegal teammates will have to wait until February before they can meet up for collective training after the GAA delayed inter-county training as a result of a surge in coronavirus cases.

MacNiallais

“As you are aware the current Level 5 restrictions in the South will run until January 31 at which point the GAA will review the current situation and any further advice in this context will be provided,” said GAA Director-General Tom Ryan.

“Finally, it is important to note that outdoor gatherings on GAA property are not permitted – the only current exemption to this is for walkways (which may stay open for use by the community with social distancing in place) and for clubs registered for the ‘Ireland Lights Up’ walking initiative.

MacNiallais: “I Just Have No Real Interest In Football At The Minute”

“I fully appreciate the frustrations these additional restrictions may place on our inter-county players and management teams.

“However, the safety of everyone in the game and indeed the broader community has to be our primary focus. It has never been more important for our players, coaches and officials to follow both the Government guidelines and our own provisions around training.”

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