Donegal style of play can’t be a top down issue, insists new boss

NEW Donegal manager Paddy Carr insists that a team’s style of play can’t be imposed on a set of players and it’s a concept needing full buy in from a squad.

Carr succeeds Declan Bonner with Armagh All-Ireland winner Aidan O’Rourke coming in as head coach.

Donegal haven’t won an Ulster title since 2019, losing finals to Cavan and Derry – after extra-time – since Bonner steered them to the top of the tree in Ulster.

“The emergence of the kind of football that I think Donegal are capable of and what that style can achieve is kind of an organic thing,” Carr replied when asked what Donegal would be like under his watch.

“It’s something that can’t be imposed from the top down. Of course, from ourselves, we have to give leadership, but it’s something that along with the players, they have to completely buy into it.

“We would be hoping that it will become self-evident in terms of what you see when it comes to that style. We could sit here to the dawn talking about what style of play is best suited for Donegal, but I think we need to talk that through with the players first.”

Carr was unveiled as manager on Monday night and also feels being Ulster’s last management team in place isn’t a big deal.

Outside of O’Rourke’s addition, the result of Carr’s backroom team has yet to be finalised.

“There’s not a county management team that wouldn’t like more time, that’s a given but it is what it is,” Carr said.

“What I would constantly remind ourselves is that we only have to be ahead coming around the last corner.

“I certainly don’t think we will be using that as an excuse. If we find that we are a little bit off the boil or a little rusty ahead of the National Football League, we will know why but there are things you can do about that. We are where we are and we will get going at it now.”

Carr, a native of Fanad, has been in the frame for the job before and he took in all four Donegal quarter-finals, seeing what talent will be at his disposal. His take on management is always keeping their pairs of eyes open for anyone out there who can add to the bigger picture.

“I was only talking to Aidan earlier about when Sean Boylan took that famous Meath team, he took eight or nine lads out of junior and intermediate teams.

“It’s not that you want to raise unrealistic expectations but we have to find a way of giving every club, whether it’s junior B up to senior, if there are people out there we need to create a path for them.”

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