Jim unlikely to decide until end of September

Jim unlikely to decide until end of September
Donegal GAA bosses are hoping to have further contact with Jim McGuinness this weekend to conclude the review of the year.

Donegal GAA bosses are hoping to have further contact with Jim McGuinness this weekend to conclude the review of the year.

However, it is unlikely that Jim McGuinness will decide whether he will stay as Donegal manager until a Fixturtes Forum is held in the next few weeks.

The Donegal manager has made a number of requests at his end of year review with the Co. Board and it is believed one of those is a request to meet the clubs over fixtures for 2014.

The three main officers - chairman Sean Dunnion; secretary Aodh Mairtin O’Fearraigh and treasurer Grace Boyle met the Donegal management team last weekend and then reported back to the Donegal GAA Executive on Monday night.

After that Executive meeting the Donegal GAA Co. Board issued a statement showing their full support for the county manager.

“It was the unanimous view of Coiste Banistí CLG Dhun na nGall at their meeting on Monday that Jim McGuinness should remain as senior football team manager for 2014,” read the statement.

“Further discussions with Jim McGuinness will now take place in due course.”

When contacted yesterday by the Donegal Democrat, county chairman, Sean Dunnion, said that there had been no further contact with Jim McGuinness this week as he was in Scotland.

However, the chairman did reveal that they would be hopeful that further discussions will take place at the weekend and that there should be information for delegates for the September Co. Committee meeting which is scheduled for the Villa Rose Hotel on Monday night next.

The chairman did reiterate something he said last week that they want the matter put to bed as quickly as possible.

“That would still be the case. We don’t want this dragging on. It is in everybody’s interest that it is finalised as soon as possible,” said the chairman.

The chairman agreed that there is a huge groundswell of goodwill behind Jim McGuinness remaining as manager, but that the decision was his. Dunnion added that they were very aware that it was a big decision for Jim McGuinness with his family and Celtic commitments.

Fixtures Forum

The Fixtures Forum believed to be in the planning stages will probably be outlined to the clubs at Monday night’s Co. Committee meeting.

It is believed that one of the requests that the county manager is putting forward is that the senior championship become a knock-out championship along the lines of the Tyrone senior championship.

The issue of club fixtures and their clash with the preparation of the Donegal senior team has been an issue for some time. As recently as June of this year, there was a major clash between the manager and the CCC (Competitions Control Committee) over league fixtures on Sundays.

These are the type of issues that can and should be addressed at a fixtures forum.

It seems that Jim McGuinness will not make his final decision whether to continue in charge of the Donegal team until after this forum takes place.

That would mean that it is unlikely, despite the urgency pointed out by Co. chairman, Sean Dunnion, that any final decision on who will be in charge of the Donegal senior team for 2014 will be made until the end of September.

What we know at this stage is that the Donegal Co. Executive have more or less ratified Jim McGuinness to complete his fourth year in charge of the county, but the final decision will be made by Jim himself, most likely after he gets the chance to address the clubs at this forthcoming Fixtures Forum.