McIver tips Donegal for Sam

New Derry manager Brian McIver at the Owenbeg Derry headquarters on Friday. Picture Margaret McLaughlin ? plesae by-line
New Derry manager Brian McIver at the Owenbeg Derry headquarters on Friday. Picture Margaret McLaughlin ? plesae by-line

Derry boss, Brian McIver, believes that Donegal should edge out Mayo in the final of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in Croke Park today (throw-in 3.30pm, live on RTE2 and BBC2).

McIver managed Donegal between 2006 and 2008 and said that although he’s a proud Derry man, he will be watching as the Tir Chonaill men attempt to lift the Sam Maguire trophy for the first time since 1992.

“I wholly expect Donegal to win the All-Ireland final,” he said.

“Both sides were very impressive in their semi-finals but I do think that most championship games come down to the last 10 or 12 minutes, and this year’s will be no different.”

McIver led Donegal to their first NFL Division One title in 2007 and believes that their “power, hunger and togetherness” will see them on their way to glory in Dublin later today.

“Mayo are a very good football side, as are Donegal, but I think Donegal’s extra strength, power, hunger and togetherness see them win it by two or three.

“Donegal are quite content to be within a couple of points of the opposition at half-time because they know that they will kick on in the second half.”

Donegal, now managed by Jim McGuinness, have been the dominant county in Ulster football for the last few years. Earlier this year they successfully defended their Anglo Celt title when they beat Down in Clones. Despite their strength and prowess, McIver believes that a few of the other Ulster counties will pose more of a threat next year.

“Ulster football is still the most competitive province of the lot,” he said.

“Donegal are Ulster Champions at the minute and rightly so but there are three or four Ulster counties that are capable of competing with them.”