Donegal veterans won’t rush to exit door

Mark McHugh insists Donegal’s stable of veteran stars won’t make any snap retirement decisions.

Half a dozen All-Ireland medallists from 2012 including ex-Footballer of the Year Karl Lacey are 30 or more.

Colm McFadden and Christy Toye are 32 and the longest serving members of the squad having made their Championship debuts 13 years ago.

It’s already been reported that three of the six veterans are set to retire while goalkeeper Paul Durcan, 31, is apparently considering a job offer in Dubai.

But former All Star McHugh said it was made clear in the dressing-room immediately after Saturday’s crushing quarter-final defeat to Mayo that decisions won’t be made any time soon.

“It’s a tricky one, we chatted about it after the Mayo game in the dressing-room,” said McHugh. “We pretty much said that decisions won’t be made today or tomorrow.

“Everybody is going to play their club championship and we’ll sit down as a team and a panel and a group after that, put everything on the table that needs to be said, see who is thinking what and who wants to do this or whatever and re-evaluate it then. We can’t say anything now because we don’t know anything.

“I know journalists love asking managers after losing games if they’ll be back next year.

“But that’s not really the way for players, that you make snap decisions like that.

“Lads will go and play the club championship and see how things are sitting for them in a few months’ time.”

Donegal have already lost Rory Kavanagh from the 2012 team and an exodus of players now could spell the end of their recent golden era.

McHugh rejected the suggestion Donegal ultimately paid a high price for a fatiguing provincial run that included battling wins over Tyrone, Armagh and Derry before playing Monaghan.

“I don’t agree with that, I don’t agree with it at all,” said McHugh.

“This is what we trained for, we trained for games at this time of the year. Personally, I’d rather have games than training sessions. Some training sessions are maybe harder than a game.”

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