Disappointed and saddened is how former Donegal manager, Brian McEniff, said he felt on hearing the changes to Jim McGuinnness’s management team.
The 1992 All-Ireland winning manager, who drafted McGuinness into his squad out of minor ranks at the end of 1991, also said that the news that Rory Gallagher, Maxi Curran and Francie Friel had departed was totally unexpected.
“It came as a real shock, when I heard it first on Tuesday evening and I have to say it was totally unexpected,” said Brian.
“I thought everything had been sorted last week when the clubs agreed to delay the start of the championship until next August, that everything was sorted, and that it was onwards and upwards.
“I was really happy when the clubs voted so overwhelmingly in favour of delaying the championship. It was a big decision on their part and I know that from being back in club management with Bundoran this year.
“I felt the decision had cleared the way and that everything was in order for next season and that it was a matter of Jim and his backroom team getting down to work and preparing for next year.”
The 1992 boss also admitted that it came as a surprise to him because he felt that Jim had a good backroom team and that himself and Rory Gallagher, in particular, were a good team and seemed to get on well together.
“They were a good twosome, as I saw it. Rory is not only a good coach but also a good football man and has a good knowledge of the game and was a vital cog in the set-up.
“Maxi is a good football man, too, and well got and has a good knowledge of video analysis. The two of them are going to be hard to be replaced. The only thing is that Jim has a bit of time to play with it in finding replacements and hopefully he will.
“The only other thing I will say on it is that a selector is easy enough to get but a mentor is a horse of a different colour altogether. A good mentor is not as easy to find and it is a similar story with a coach.
“There are plenty of coaches out there with the qualifications and the certificates, but that does not mean they are good coaches. Good coaches and ones capable of coaching a county team are not all that plentiful.”
However, the Bundoran man accepted that Jim McGuinness was within his rights to make the decision he did if he wanted to freshen his management team up.
“In a strange way it might not be a bad thing. Management teams need freshening up from time to time and we see it happen all the time and I wish Jim well in putting his new team in place.
“My only wish now is that the decision is made that he is allowed move on and is given the time and space to put the new management team in place.”
He also paid tribute to the departing trio and wished them well in the future too.