News has just broken that Jim McGuinness has stepped down as Donegal manager after four years in the post.
The Glenties man informed the Donegal Co. Board this evening (Friday) and also texted the players that he would not be seeking a further term.
The news brings to an end the greatest era of Donegal football with three Ulster titles in four years and an All-Ireland senior win.
McGuinness took over at the end of 2010 after previously managing the U-21s. He completely turned around the fortunes of the county, winning the Anglo Celt Cup in his first year, before winning the Sam Maguire in 2012.
2013 will be remembered as the year that no silverware came to the county under McGuinness, but this year he led Donegal to the All-Ireland final, only to lose out narrowly to Kerry.
The news came as a shock as it was felt that no decision would be made until the end of the month.
With the draw for the 2015 Ulster Championship being made on Thursday next, the race to succeed McGuinness will begin immediately.
A county board statement read: “CLG Dhun na nGall wish to announce that Jim McGuinness has formally stepped down from his position as Senior Football Team Manager with immediate effect.
“CLG Dhun na nGall wish to thank Jim for his massive contribution during his tenure over the last five years, as Under 21 and Senior Football Team Manager.
“During his term he has brought unprecedented success to our county and has made every Donegal person accross the globe very proud of their county and their players.
“During his tenure he has guided our Under 21 footballers to an All-Ireland final, having won the county’s first U21 provincial title since 1995.
“As senior team manager, he guided the county to four provincial finals, winning three of them, and guided the county team to a record two All-Ireland final appearances in the space of three years, winning a historic second All-Ireland for the county in 2012.
“We wish Jim and Yvonne and their family every success in the future.”