Donegal's MacNiallais planning time out as 'football is going to be the last thing on my mind'

Odhrán MacNiallais in Donegal colours. Picture: Sportsfile
By Steve Neville

Odhrán MacNiallais has said he "will have a few weeks out" from football following his club's exit from the All-Ireland Club Championship.

Gaoth Dobhair were defeated by champions Corofin to end hopes of a Croke Park outing on St Patrick's Day.

The loss brings an end to a difficult season for Gaoth Dobhair which saw them lose clubmate Micheál Roarty in a tragic accident in January.

Roarty, John Harley, Shaun Harkin, and Daniel Scott all died in a horrific car crash near Magheraroarty last month.

MacNiallais helped Donegal to an Ulster title in 2018 but as reported by the Irish Examiner, the midfielder plans to "take a while out" and see what happens.

"I just need a break, especially after the last few weeks," said the 26-year-old.

“It’s tough. I just need a bit of time out. There is a lot of pressure and I need to do a bit of relaxing."

Saying that it had been a long season, MacNiallais added: "Football is going to be the last thing on my mind for the next few weeks anyway.

"I just want relax for a few weeks now and see what happens. The appetite, I don’t think it’s going to be right for a few weeks especially after this defeat."

MacNiallais said that the weeks following the fatal collision had been a terrible time.

It’s been heartbreaking really. It puts football to the back of your mind really for the last few weeks. It really shows you what is important in life and it’s your family, your friends. Football, yeah it gives you a lift and it is enjoyable and all…

"But at the end of the day, Micheál was a very, very close friend of mine and you never, ever expect something like that to happen.

"It’s just heartbreaking. For family and everyone close to him. I just don’t know how… Your heart goes out to them."

MacNiallais added: "Micheál was only 24 years of age and a great footballer. He would have been involved with this group too only he couldn’t give the commitment.

"That’s a real loss, whereas that today is just football."

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