By Michael McMullan
DERRY GAA have appointed Matthew Godfrey as their new Lead Athletic Development Coach as senior football manager Mickey Harte makes additions to his management team.
It comes two weeks after Harte was ratified on a three-year term with Gavin Devlin on board, who had been with him in both Louth and Tyrone.
Godfrey was ratified on Tuesday night with news that Enda Muldoon has been retained from Rory Gallagher and Ciarán Meenagh’s tenure.
Godfrey was the Lead Academy Athletic Development Coach in a 10-year stint with Ulster Rugby and also spent a season with Irish Rugby, working with their underage teams.
He takes over from Peter Hughes who departed the post to take up a role as Rehabilitation Physiotherapist with New Zealand Rugby.
Muldoon’s former Derry teammate Paul McFlynn has been added to the ticket. He spent time coaching Antrim under Liam Bradley and had a stint as manager of Antrim club Creggan.
Also on board is Murtagh O’Brien who was part of Derry’s minor All-Ireland management under Damian McErlain last season.
Derry will find out their opponents for the defence of their Ulster title later this month when draws for the provincial championships take place on Saturday, October 21.
Martin Boyle and his management team have stepped down from the u-20 football post with the vacancy yet to be filled.
Boyle stepped in last year after a three-year stint at the helm with the minors that saw the 2020 Ulster and All-Ireland minor titles come to the Oakleaf County.
“It is an honour to be involved with your county team,” Boyle said, in a statement to Gaelic Life.
“As a management team, we enjoyed every minute of it and it was a privilege to get to know and work with the quality of player we did.
“It has been a very satisfying few years seeing the progress made by all Derry teams and the future looks to be really exciting. It’s a great time to be a Derry supporter.”
Damian McErlain will remain as Derry’s minor football manager after guiding the county to last year’s Ulster and All-Ireland titles in his second stint in the post.
With the exception of Murtagh O’Brien moving up with the seniors, McErlain’s management team remains the same – Antoin Moran, Eoin McNicholl, Gavin McGeehan, Lawrence O’Kane and Johnny Kelly.
On the hurling front, Johnny McGarvey will remain as the senior hurling manager after coming on board at the eleventh hour ahead of the 2023 season.
McGarvey took the Oakleafers to the Christy Ring Cup final where they were defeated by Meath and they also came close to retaining their status in Division 2A despite a season of transition with a new-look panel.
His management team of Conor Murray, Gareth O’Kane and Strength and Conditioning Coach Oisin Quinn remains the same.
Ryan O’Neill will remain as the county’s u-20 hurling boss after steering last year’s team to the All-Ireland B title, a first in Derry’s history.
Kevin Kelly, John O’Dwyer and Martin Birt will again form his management team with former Derry ‘keeper Kieran Stevenson in as goalkeeping coach after having some involvement last season.
Danny McGrellis will also stay on board with the county’s u-17 hurlers and is currently finalising his backroom team.
It comes after news that former Derry and Ballinderry forward Conleith Gilligan has joined Kieran McGeeney’s management team in Armagh.
Former Down manager James McCartan was last night ratified under new Louth manager Ger Brennan who was appointed two weeks after Mickey Harte stepped down from the post.