New Donegal manager John Joe Doherty has confirmed that Rory Kavanagh will captain the team when they get their Dr McKenna Cup campaign underway in January.
The 26-year-old from St Eunan's of Letterkenny will take the mantle from Kevin Cassidy, who is unavailable for the McKenna Cup campaign where Donegal will play University of Ulster Jordanstown, Fermanagh and Derry.
One man who might have challenged Kavanagh for the skipper's role was 2006 All-Star Karl Lacey.
However, the Four Masters clubman is currently taking a sabbatical in Australia and New Zealand, but has given his word to Doherty that he will return before the Ulster championship meeting with Antrim in June.
‘I spoke to Karl on two occasions before he left. He was hoping to be back by May. We hope he keeps that schedule and we would be very happy if he came back sooner,’ Doherty said.
Doherty has also named his panel for the McKenna Cup with Ciaran Bonner, Stephen McDermott and Brendan Boyle recalled to the fray, while Ross Wherity of St Eunan's is the new face on the 30-man panel.
Injury prevents Colm McFadden, Barry Dunnion, Michael Murphy and Michael Hegarty from joining the panel, although Doherty is hopeful the quartet will be available for Donegal's first NFL fixture of 2009 away to Kerry.