Kevin Cassidy

KEVIN CASSIDY: It’s time to park it and move on

BY the time news broke last week of Paddy Carr’s departure, my article was on its way to publication, so therefore I didn’t get the proper opportunity to dig deep into things.

News has filtered through since that three senior players met with Paddy Carr to inform him that the squad no longer had faith in him, and Paddy did exactly what I would have done myself, shook their hands and walked away.

Let me also state that the three lads in question should not be held accountable for this, because obviously the squad as a whole had decided this and the task of carrying the news to Paddy lay with the more experienced players so therefore, it wasn’t entirely their fault.

This situation is not black and white, and what I mean by that is that there is more at play here than simply performance and results on the playing field.

For weeks now the fallout from the academy has turned toxic here in Donegal with people taking sides and snipping cheap shots at one another. Whether we want to admit that or not, this severely affected the progression of the Donegal senior football team this year.

I totally get the fact that former teammates and certain people in the media wanted to stand behind Karl and that’s 100 per cent.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but when that turns into what appears like a series of attacks in the media then that’s a recipe for disaster.

I tweeted last week about how Jim McGuinness came out stating that he wasn’t approached to help when he offered his services. This only heaped more pressure on the county board and, in particular, Paddy Carr and his young squad.

So, therefore, my point was, if you want to talk and say that you’re willing to help then step up now when your county needs you most.

The problem here in Donegal, and no one is willing to admit it, is that there is a group who want to control everything from the county board right down to the coaching structures at underage. Those people need to understand that that will never be the case, so there’s no point in fighting for it.

Everyone must try and work together to achieve what the good GAA people in Donegal want to achieve.

The idea of one group controlling all might sound good in your head or even look good on paper, but eventually that pack of cards will come crumbling down because if you continue to say yes to every single thing then eventually something is going to give.

It was announced on Tuesday that Aidan O’Rourke and Paddy Bradley will be staying in charge of things here in Donegal for the championship. The people of Donegal owe these two lads a great deal of credit for doing so because, I’ll tell you what, if I was in their shoes I’d be out that door as quick as I could get.

I am very good friends with Paddy Bradley, but out of respect for him and Donegal GAA I have never asked them about GAA matters here because it’s not fair putting him in that position because I know he would have to lie to me.

For those two lads to stay on shows something about their character because, like I said, if I was coaching in a different county under a manager who had just been chased then I wouldn’t stick about for the target to turn to my back.

With the two lads staying, it’s obvious that the squad are fully behind them and have asked them to do so.

Now, the best we can do is get behind this team and hope for a half decent summer and in the meantime try and mend all the bridges that have been destroyed over the last few weeks in the hope of getting Donegal football back on track once more.

The National League come to a close this weekend with two interesting tussles on Sunday.

Galway and Mayo should be a classic, but I’m even more excited to see how Derry and Dublin goes in the Division Two final because I get the feeling that the Dubs are building something special behind the scenes. I’ll go for Mayo and Dublin to come through.

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