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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 21 October, 2019

Mark McHugh 'needed a bit of time out' as shock exit from Donegal panel confirmed

Donegal have been rocked ahead of their Ulster championship opener against Derry.

Mark McHugh 'needed a bit of time out', says Donegal selector Damien Diver.
Mark McHugh 'needed a bit of time out', says Donegal selector Damien Diver.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MARK MCHUGH’S SHOCK exit from the Donegal panel was last night confirmed by Donegal selector Damien Diver, who revealed the player ‘needed a bit of time out’.

Four players have departed the Donegal panel in the aftermath of last Sunday’s league final loss to Monaghan and the development has rocked their preparations ahead of their Ulster championship opener against Derry on May 25th.

McHugh is the most high-profile loss and the departure of the 2012 Allstar is a major setback to the Donegal squad.

“You don’t want to be losing players,” admitted Diver. “I know he had bother with injuries and his form was a bit indifferent. I suppose he felt that he needed a bit of time out.

“Maybe he just was not enjoying it at the moment between injuries and that kind of thing. I just think he missed the Armagh game because he pulled the hamstring on Tuesday night and that was it He missed just 20 minutes of the last game because he came on after 20 minutes of the final.”

Mark McHugh leaves the field Mark McHugh was a key player in Donegal's 2012 All-Ireland triumph. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

When pressed on whether McHugh had been dropped from the squad or departed on his own terms, Diver stated, ‘I would not be privy to that kind of information at all’.

But Diver did outline that there could be a chance for McHugh to return to the fold.

“I would say no more than any other player in the county, the door is always open.”

Thomas McKinley, Gary McFadden and Anton McFadden are also understood to have departed the Donegal panel.

Shock in Donegal as Mark McHugh exits panel weeks before Ulster opener

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Fintan O'Toole

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