Everything in place for McGuinness as he accepts invitation for year four

Alan Foley

Reporter:

Alan Foley

Everything in place for McGuinness as he accepts invitation for year four
Donegal manager Jim McGuinness will continue in the post for 2014 after reaching agreement with the county’s clubs over fixtures.

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness will continue in the post for 2014 after reaching agreement with the county’s clubs over fixtures.

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.

“The systems are the big and the wee of it really,” McGuinness said. “We wanted to make sure we gave ourselves the best opportunity of being successful.”

“That’s the No 1 thing behind the thinking. I’m happy now we’ll be able to build the thing properly.”

McGuinness stated that between the weekend of May 26, when his side opened the Ulster championship, and their All-Ireland quarter-final 4-17 to 1-10 loss against Mayo on August 4, his players had played championship - for club or county - on nine of the 11 weekends.

“Every Tuesday night at training after championship matches you write it off because of the physicality of the game and what they put their bodies through,” he added. “That had a big impact on our training.

“The opportunity to prepare the team and get that two, three or four-week run-in for a game, and build week on week and night on night to prepare, wasn’t there.

“People might look at the Mayo match and think the players didn’t give it anything or leave it out there on the pitch.

“We had nine players in the middle three lines who had collectively missed 41 per cent of all training over the summer. You can’t miss that amount of work and go in and compete with teams who are just priming themselves for the August Bank Holiday.”

It’s also expected that county management will have access to county players one day per weekend with all club matches taking place on either a Saturday or a Sunday.

McGuinness doesn’t expect there to be retirements, although Ryan Bradley has emigrated to Abu Dhabi and Ross Wherity to Philadelphia.

“I wouldn’t have considered going back if there wasn’t the same hunger from the players,” McGuinness added.

“The players have given everything for the last three years and it’s the exact same thing now.”