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Bonner believes U21s will be ‘in a much better position’ after McKenna Cup tests

first_imgDECLAN BONNER says the McKenna Cup experience means that his Donegal Under-21s will be better primed for their Championship assault, in spite of a mauling in Omagh last night.Donegal fell to a heavy 2-23 to 0-6 defeat by Tyrone at Healy Park, the venue at which they have to face Tyrone in the Ulster U-21 opener in mid-March.But Bonner, who was missing some of his own mainstays last night when Tyrone fielded the heavy artillery, believes his young guns have benefitted. “We will take a lot away from January,” he insisted.“We tried out 25 players and it has given us a good indication of where they are.“We will be going into February in a much better position than we did 12 months ago.A 23-point defeat against a vastly-experienced Tyrone senior outfit, starting with seven members of the 2016 Ulster SFC-winning team, saw Donegal make a tame exit from the competition. It was a night that saw many question just what Donegal will have taken from such a battering – but Bonner was in no way regretting the decision to enter the county under-21s in the McKenna Cup.He said: “We knew it was going to be tough. We knew that from the draw was made. It is a huge learning curve, but that’s what we wanted out of it. Tyrone are one of the top three teams in the country and we know how serious they take the McKenna Cup.“It was all about the experience and learning from that. It was never about winning. We were just never going to compete physically, but I can’t fault their commitment. January was always going to be bout learning – and it was a huge learning experience.“We had to try and stay as competitive as we could. The pace, power and physique of those lads made that very difficult. It will take a couple of years for our guys to get to that next level.”Bonner believes U21s will be ‘in a much better position’ after McKenna Cup tests was last modified: January 19th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Declan BonnerdonegalDonegal Under 21slast_img

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