Donegal on the hunt for new manager

By Niall Gartland

THE Donegal County Board have set the wheels in motion for the appointment of a new senior intercounty manager and a number of names both inside and outside the county have been linked to the post.

A five-man interview panel has been assembled with a view to finding a new manager, and it emerged earlier this week that Donegal GAA have received nine expressions of interest for the vacancy.

It is unclear at this stage whether that refers to nine separate applications but the rumour mill is in full swing and a number of names have been mentioned at this point, including 2012 winning manager Jim McGuinness.

Earlier this year, McGuinness revealed that he was part of a potential new Donegal management team involving Rory Kavanagh and Karl Lacey in the lead up to the ill-fated Paddy Carr appointment.

When Kavanagh pulled out of the race McGuinness said he was willing to assist whoever took over, but claims that the county board never called him back.

It remains to be seen whether he’d have any interest this time around. Kavanagh has already ruled himself out, while there is much uncertainty surrounding Karl Lacey’s involvement with the county following his decision to step down as the Head of Donegal’s Academy back in February.

Other names bandied about are Conleith Gilligan, the former Derry footballer who helped steer Kilcoo to All-Ireland glory in early 2022, Shaun Paul Barrett and his son Luke, who have extensive experience managing Donegal underage teams. Mark McHugh, who coached an improving Roscommon side this year alongside manager Davy Burke, has also been mooted as a potential candidate. Michael Murphy, meanwhile, has stated that he has no interest in taking the Donegal job at this point in time. Other possible contenders include Malachy O’Rourke, whose stock continues to rise following his achievements with Glen, and Sligo boss Tony McEntee.

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