Brendan Devenney isn't playing down the excitement about this Donegal team

Former inter-county star looks ahead to Ulster Championship campaign and is optimistic

Donegal, GAA, gaelic football,

The Donegal team stand for the national anthem ©INPHO/Tom Beary

Former Donegal footballer Brendan Devenney is excited by the prospect of what is to come for his county as they prepare for their 2017 Ulster Championship opener against Antrim.

That games takes place on Sunday and ahead of it, Devenney and ex-Mayo footballer Billy Joe Padden joined forces to preview the weekend's action with Off The Ball.

Rory Gallagher's Donegal have some exciting young talent coming through and finished third during the Allianz Football League which has led to the blossoming of anticipation.

"It's an exciting time. I think it's one of the most exciting times I can ever remember being a Donegal fan coming into Championship," said Devenney.

"From a Donegal point of view, they're such a young team that's fresh, that were supposed to be in transition but these guys have been coming through successful Minor and Under-21 teams and have come in ready.

"Physically, maybe what they'll be in a few years but they're playing in a system where you don't tend to get isolated one on one. They're able to cope with it. There could be as many as five debutantes in the Donegal team to face Antrim. They've already shown in the league that they're more than capable and I think anything's possible for this Donegal team."

He added that "it was a brilliant league for Donegal to learn and they matched up against the best teams in the country".

And he feels there is "a bit of flair back about them again" in comparison to last year's more laboured showings.

"You have to have that attacking style and I think that's what Donegal have," he said.