Paddy McBrearty believes Donegal cannot afford to be purely satisfied with promotion back to the Allianz Football League Division 1 ahead of the second tier final with Monaghan in Croke Park on Sunday.
The 2012 All-Ireland champions secured their place back in the top flight with five wins in the league this year, including one against the Farney County.
But ahead of another meeting with their UIster rivals, McBrearty said a divisional final win can give extra momentum ahead of the Championship meeting with Derry this summer.
"The day we played Monaghan in the Ulster final, they were fully deserving of their win" - Paddy McBrearty
He told RTÉ Sport: “Things didn't go our way last year at all through injuries and what not. The day we played Monaghan in the Ulster final, they were fully deserving of their win.
“They were outstanding, the intensity they brought that day was unbelievable. We got one up on them this year by beating them in Letterkenny in the third league game.
“We're happy with where we are at. Our first objective at the start of the year was to get back up to Division 1 which we've done.
“It'd be an extra bonus to get back as champions and get momentum leading into the Championship.
“There is a lot of freshness within the squad this year. There is five or six new leads and they've brought a competitive edge. They're young and enthusiastic.
“They want to get into the team which is obviously bringing up the level of training. We're in a really good place. We have Derry in four weeks which is our ultimate goal.
“But make no mistake, we are taking Sunday very seriously against a top team in Monaghan.”
McBrearty is expecting a much more difficult game in a neutral venue on this occasion, highlighting Monaghan’s attacking threat which has seen them bag 107 points, as well as three goals, in the league thus far.
“We had home advantage during the league campaign - once you get to Croke Park it's a completely different story,” McBrearty said.
“There is a lot of top players in their team - the likes of Conor McManus and Kieran Hughes up front - two top players who would get in most teams in Ireland. There is a lot of experience in there.”
Donegal had a week-long training camp in Portugal earlier this month as they gear up for the Ulster quarter-final with Derry on 25 May in Celtic Park.