Mark hoping to take lessons learned by dad in quest to beat Cork

Mark hoping to take lessons learned by dad in quest to beat Cork

Mention the McHugh name and Donegal in the same sentence and invariably 1992 All-Ireland SFC winner and GAA Analyst Martin springs to mind, but the next generation of McHugh's are hoping to make their mark as Donegal's bid for a first All-Ireland title in 20 years steps up a notch in Croke Park this weekend.

Martin's sons Mark and Ryan have been pulling on the Donegal jersey for underage sides in recent years, with the former a vital part of the senior squad in the past two seasons which has helped claim back-to-back provincial successes for the first time.

The 22-year old forward Mark says it's great to follow in his dad's footsteps.

"From a young age nothing but football was talked about in our house," he said.

"Between myself, Ryan and Rachel it is all we talked about. Dad has learned everything about the game. What I have seen over the years I have learned everything through him and that has definitely made me a better player today than I was and I have to thank him for that."

Mark is hoping those lessons can be put to good use against the Cork defence this weekend.

"Cork have a phenomenal bunch of players from one right up to 15 they are big men and they can move the ball fast.

"They move it quick and move it long and do nearly whatever they want to do in football.

"I've grown up looking up to those boys no more than I have looked up to Kerry. It's going to be a different story on Sunday going toe to toe with them.

"Their defence is second to none and we are going to have to come up with a ploy or a tactic to counteract that.

"We have full confidence that the boys will come up with something."

McHugh says that if Donegal's All-Ireland ambitions are real, teams of the calibre of Cork were always going to have to be beaten if their goal is to be achieved.

"When the quarter-final draw came out and we got Kerry, we knew that we would have to beat three tough teams along the way if we were to win an All-Ireland.

"No one can ever take it away from us if we do it, but we are still a long way away from that.

"We have a big 70 minutes on Sunday and if we get through that we have another massive game ahead of us then.

"We are not looking past Cork, because nobody could look past them because they are too big!"

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