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Gallen to miss out for Donegal as Bonner is philosophical over suspensions and appeals

Donegal manager Declan Bonner confirmed that Oisin Gallen will miss their Ulster SFC clash with Armagh through injury
GERRY McLAUGHLIN

DONEGAL will take on Armagh without one of their top forwards for Sunday’s crunch clash in Ballybofey.

Local boy Oisin Gallen will definitely miss the big date at his home club as he has “picked up a knock” that will see him out for a few weeks, revealed manager Declan Bonner.

Gallen has been plagued with injuries in recent times and the latest set-back is a big blow as he is rated as one of the top strikers in the county.

He scored two wonderful points when introduced as a sub in last year’s Ulster Championship and in this year’s Allianz League defeat of Tyrone and, but for a plethora of niggling injuries would be in strong contention for a starting slot.

In confirming Gallen’s absence, Bonner said: “The only one I would say for definite that is out is Oisin Gallen.

“He has picked up a knock so he is going to be out for a number of weeks. He has a number of issues that just need clearing up. Again it is muscular and it needs time.

“It is frustrating for Oisin, it has been a frustrating couple of seasons for him with injuries. It is just a recurrence again and it needs to get sorted now."

Gallen apart, Bonner has a pretty full deck to choose from.

And that means that the gifted Michael Langan, Jamie Brennan and Caolan McGonagle will all be available for selection which is a big plus.

The only other notable absentees are Odhran McFadden-Ferry and Neil McGee who are both serving one-match bans as a result of a schmozzle in their recent Allianz match with Armagh.

Unlike Armagh, Donegal did not choose to appeal the proposed one-match ban.

When asked about this decision, Bonner was quite philosophical.

“Listen, it is what it is. You just have to get on with it," he said.

“Our main purpose on the day was to get the result to stay in Division One. That is where we want to be and that is where we have ended up.

“After that game was over our focus just turned to the Championship. The rest of it is out of our control, to be quite honest.”

In deciding not to appeal the sanctions against McFadden-Ferry and McGee, Bonner cited the referee’s report.

“Listen, when a referee’s report goes in it is very difficult. You could be wasting a couple of weeks. The decision was made and just move on.”

But despite being given a proposed one-match ban by the CCCC, Armagh’s star forward Rian O’Neill has been cleared to play in Sunday’s clash on a the technicality that said the video evidence presented was “not official”.

Bonner said it did “not make much sense to him”.

“Ah listen, I don’t even want get to know this, I am in the game a long time and it still does not make much sense to me, to be quite honest. It is what it is," he said.

“It is not something I get too involved in to be quite honest.

“As I say, there are committees in place, appeals committees and everything else in place and sometimes you look at some of the suspensions that are handed out, and they just amaze you to be honest.

“But, no, you just move on from it, there is no point wasting too much time on it. It is something that is not in my control anyway so just move on and get on with it."

There is no doubt but the game in Letterkenny has certainly stoked up the heat.

“Well, there was always going to be a bit of bite between Donegal and Armagh," Bonner said.

“It doesn't really matter if Letterkenny happened, it is still Championship, it is Armagh, it is going to be a tasty affair, there is no doubt about that there.

“It is a huge match for both teams, two teams who are in the top flight and, yeah, it is probably the Championship match of the first round, there is no doubt about that. I suppose Galway-Mayo will have similar feelings you know."

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