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Dublin: 18 °C Sunday 12 July, 2020

Missing out on the New York game due to exams and listening to Marty Morrissey's commentary on the radio

Sligo defender Kevin McDonnell was one of the players to miss out on the game due to his studies.

WHILE SLIGO WERE lifting the curtain on the 2017 All-Ireland senior football championship in the Bronx, Kevin McDonnell was tucked away in Galway studying for his final year exams.

Kevin McDonnell Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The 22-year-old full-back is studying physics in NUIG, and exams meant he missed out on the 1-21 to 1-13 victory over New York in Gaelic Park.

But McDonnell did manage to catch Marty Morrissey’s commentary on RTÉ Radio 1. The home side took a shock lead in the final quarter, but Sligo eased home in the end.

“I tried to get the local radio as much as I could, but I had bad coverage, so (I listened to) Marty, yeah. I wasn’t too worried, I was kind of confident.

He continued: “We have gone behind a good few times this year, we finished a few games strong so I was confident enough we’d comeback at least and the boys finished strong.”

McDonnell was introduced to the senior squad in 2013, while he was still a minor and in his Leaving Cert year. He managed to play minor, U21, junior and senior for Sligo that season, before stamping down a role at midfield under Pat Flanagan in 2014.

Kevin McDonnell and Enda Smith McDonnell races after Enda Smith in 2015 Source: James Crombie/INPHO

McDonnell has since established himself on the last line of the Sligo defence. He’s come a long way in a short space of time and recalls the county’s Connacht triumph in 2007 as a 12-year-old.

“I was at the game, it was unbelievable. That is why I’m here, that was my big moment which inspired me to really push on to get involved with Sligo GAA. I was involved with other sports, but I focused on GAA after that.

“We are a bit starved of success at the minute, we need a big game to push things on, to get boys and young fellas interested in GAA in Sligo.

“It would be massive (to beat Mayo), that is what young guys need. Something to aspire to, something to look up to, a big win like that would be massive for us.”

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