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Donegal hit with yet another blow as All-Star McHugh departs panel

Ryan McHugh will play no part for his county this summer due to injury as more misery besets Ulster side head of Down clash

It has gone from bad to worse in Donegal with the news that Ryan McHugh will play no part with the county footballers for the remainder of the year.

McHugh had not featured so far in 2023 as he continued to nurse a groin injury but there were hopes that the Kilcar dynamo may return in time to play some part this summer.

The former Young Footballer of the Year has left the squad, though, with a combination of injury and work commitments resulting in his departure.

McHugh has decided to take up a job offer that will involve a fair degree of travelling while also revealing that he would have been unable to feature over the coming months due to nagging injuries.

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The absence of the two-time All-Star is yet another setback as joint-bosses Aidan O’Rourke and Paddy Bradley bid to pick up the pieces following Paddy Carr’s departure as manager last month, just five months after being appointed successor to Declan Bonner.

Donegal were relegated from Division 1 of the FL when finishing bottom of the table in the top tier with just one victory from seven games and it had been hoped that they might be able to turn a corner for the Ulster SFC.

McHugh, a three-time Ulster SFC winner, will not be involved when they make the tricky trip to Newry to face Down on Sunday fortnight, however, while there is a toxic vibe emanating around Donegal at present.

An independent team from Croke Park and the Ulster Council have commenced a probe into recent issues that have beset Donegal GAA with Karl Lacey’s departure as Academy Head sending shockwaves around the county.

The retirements of legends like Michael Murphy and Neil McGee at the end of the 2022 season have robbed huge experience form the dressing room while new captain Patrick McBrearty has also been struck down with injury.

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