Jim McGuinness will assemble a largely new backroom team with the Donegal’s senior footballers following the news that Rory Gallagher and two other members have parted company from the set-up.
Maxi Curran, the video analyst, Francie Friel and assistant Gallagher will not be part of the backroom team for 2014. The reasons have not yet emerged but it’s understood the Donegal County Board are preparing a statement.
McGuinness confirmed on Saturday evening he will manage the county for a fourth year following a meeting with the clubs of the county over fixtures, who in turn voted in the proposal by 20 votes to six.
An agreement was reached to postpone the 2014 senior and intermediate championships until Donegal’s run in the Ulster and All-Ireland series is completed. McGuinness spoke publicly on the reappointment on Sunday, in the company of his backroom, about the need to regroup following Donegal’s 4-17 to 1-10 All-Ireland quarter-final loss to Mayo in August.
“We are happy with where we’re at,” McGuinness said. “We will look at everything in the next number of weeks. We’ve had a very good analysis since the Mayo game in terms of medical and in terms of team and of what happened in relation to the amount of sessions we did, how many training sessions each player was able to deliver on. We have a very good handle on that now, which is great.”
Gallagher took the position of assistant manager in January 2011 on the recommendation of the outgoing Peter McGinley, who worked with McGuinness with the Donegal U-21 panel in 2010.
Curran was part of that set-up in 2010 and is the current manager of the Donegal U-21 side, who reached the Ulster final last year before losing to Cavan. Friel joined the team at the beginning of this year.
More details to follow