Donegal take on Mayo in the opening game of the National League on Saturday evening at 7.15 in MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey. Gates open at 5.45 – places in the Stand are on a first come first served basis and admission prices are as follows: adult €20; student/OAP €15; and juveniles are free. Advance purchase tickets, available in your local Centra and SuperValu stores, are €15.

With up to seven of last year’s panel likely to miss all of this year’s Allianz League programme and another two or three not likely to come into contention for another few weeks there will be opportunity for some of the new boys from the 2020 McKenna Cup Squad to stake a permanent claim to a place in the Donegal Squad. This week’s game in particular is likely to see one or more players make their debut in the Allianz League, either as starters or off the bench, with Brendan McCole and Conor Morrison also absent with the DCU Academy team in the Sigerson Cup final.

Seven players likely to miss all, or most of the league, are Paddy McGrath, Oisin Gallen, Ciaran Gillespie, Jason McGee, Stephen McMenamin, Paul Durkan and Conor O’Donnell – all featured in last year’s squad although the promising youngster from Carndonagh was injured before seeing any on-field action. Daire O’Baoill will also miss the early games while Paddy McBrearty is expected to return to training next week and will probably see action later in February.