After 2017 ended with a bitterly disappointing 15-point defeat to Galway in round four of the qualifiers, a big twelve months await for the Tir Conaill men.
Now under the management of Declan Bonnar for the 2018 season, the men from the north-west are in preparations for another year in Division 1 of the National Football League.
With away trips to Kerry and Dublin either side of a re-match with the Tribesmen in their opening trio of NFL fixtures, Donegal will be eager to get the campaign off on the right foot and avoid being dragged into a relegation dogfight.
However, the first half of their spring series was dealt a blow with news emerging from the county this Thursday evening.
The Donegal Democrat is reporting that trio Michael Murphy, Frank McGlynn and Neil McGee are set to miss the start of the league.
Speaking to that newspaper, manager Bonnar said:
“They (Murphy, McGee and McGlynn) are all back in training and working on strength and conditioning in the gym for a number of weeks. But they have done no pitch work yet but are due back on the pitch next week and simply they won’t have enough pitch work done for (the) start of the league.”
While the league and the upcoming McKenna Cup are the more immediate concerns, eyes are always in the championship, where Donegal will face Cavan in the preliminary round for the right to face Derry in the quarter-final.
“We want to win every game. We want to do well in the league and stay up. But the championship is the bigger picture and all our concentration and focus is May 13 in Ballybofey against Cavan in the championship.
Donegal will be under strength when they kick off their 2018 season on January 3 when they face Queen’s University, Belfast.
With Murphy, McGee and McGlynn on the sidelines for the time being, there is ample opportunity for others to raise their hands and earn a spot on the team come the summer.
That said, the Tir Conaill faithful will be looking forward to seeing their full team in action, as the new GAA season is about to commence.