By Shaun Casey
MAXI Curran has stepped down as Donegal Ladies manager following six years in charge. Curran’s resignation follows Donegal’s recent 3-12 to 0-6 defeat to Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-final.
During his tenure, Curran led the Tir Chonaill ladies to three Ulster titles and reached the last four of the All-Ireland series twice. Of Curran’s three provincial wins, this season’s was perhaps the sweetest.
Armagh were huge favourites leading into the game and aiming to collect their fourth Ulster crown in a row, but a late goal from Ciara McGarvey sealed the deal for Donegal.
“It was a rollercoaster and a huge privilege to be involved with that group and we had some girls come in there that were absolutely amazing,” said Curran, who was also part of Jim McGuinness’ coaching set up that led Donegal to the Sam Maguire in 2012. They can see the year out with their heads held very high and that’s all you can ask of your players, to give their level best and give everything and our girls did that so it’s the greatest compliment I can give them.”
Curran’s departure could signal a changing of the guard in Donegal. Geraldine McLaughlin started against the Dubs but saw very little game time this season while Tanya Kennedy was another big name missing.
“There are a couple of older ladies that their days are coming to an end and that’s always sad but that’s what happens every team, you go into a transition and cycles and there’s a new one coming in Donegal,” added Curran.
“We have a minor team in an All-Ireland semi-final on Wednesday night and that’s the future now and we have to really tip our hat and bow our heads down to the service some of the older girls have given.
“Clap them on the back if they decide to ride off into the sunset because they’ve earned that right to do so, and we just have to get excited and get right behind the younger group and try support them and get them to a level where they’re able to get to quarter-finals and semi-finals in the years ahead.
“I think that’s our fifth All-Ireland quarter-final in-a-row so they’ve done their bit, and everybody can hold their heads up high in terms of effort, we didn’t get over the line and sometimes you just come up against a superior opponent on the day and I think that’s what happened.”