GAA Football

Jamie Brennan happy to take lead role for Donegal

Donegal forward Jamie Brennan had an outstanding game against Armagh. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin.

WITH Michael Murphy and Patrick McBrearty both out injured, the weight of leading Donegal’s attack has fallen on the breadthening shoulders of Jamie Brennan. He’s carried it lightly.

Armagh couldn’t contain him in the first half on Sunday, a period during which he held the Tír Chonaill men together almost single-handedly in what was a very average team display up until that point.

He hit four points, one from a mark taken just inside the 45’, and pretty much everything that came his way stuck to him. It bodes well for Declan Bonner who looks set to be without Murphy for at least the early part of the league and McBrearty until summer time.

“You just have to step up to the mark. I would be putting a lot of pressure on myself,” said Brennan.

“I've been knocking about for three or four years now, so it's about time that I took a lead role.

“Other players will come in, and I've seen it all before, and I'll just hopefully keep playing well and try to keep leading.

“It takes time. You have to get used to playing with different players and building up different relationships.

“I've been playing with some of those (players at) under-21 and minor, and they know your movements a bit better.

“When the lads come back in now, it's just about getting a good bond. It's starting to come slowly and hopefully it will happen.”

The Bundoran man’s blend of pace, power and directness make him look James McCartan-esque at times. He has, he said, reached the point where he feels he has no more muscle mass to gain and doing so could become counter-productive.

“I actually had a shoulder injury for a good bit of the winter, so I took it easy and tried to get the body right.

“We had a few weeks in November and December but it was nothing crazy.

“I'm happy with where I'm at. I wouldn't want to be carrying too much more weight in case it affects my speed.

“The lads are super – Aaron Kyles and (Paul) Fisher. They're doing great work on power and speed and agility. I'll keep listening to them and hopefully keep it going.”

Brennan, who could be in action twice over the next eight days with Sligo IT in the Sigerson Cup, said making better use of the attacking mark – if it gets past Central Council on Saturday – is something Donegal might look to do in the League.

“We probably wouldn't use it enough. We're looking for the one bounce pass.

“For it to go straight into the chest, you need a good kicker of the ball.”

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