Murphy hints at extension to Gallagher term

Murphy hints at extension to Gallagher term
Tom Comack @dgldemocrat

Donegal GAA officials are to sit down this weekend with senior team manager Rory Gallagher for the first time since last month’s All-Ireland quarter final defeat by Dublin.

Chairman Sean Dunnion; treasurer Cieran Kelly, assistant treasurer Paddy Tinney, coaching officer Anthony Harkin and Ulster Council representative P J McGowan are due to meet with the Donegal boss tomorrow night (Friday).

This was confirmed by Sean Dunnion, who told the Democrat that it was just a standard end of season review with the team manager.

Rory Gallagher, who guided Donegal to a second Ulster final this summer and an Allianz League semi-final, has completed two of his three year term.

He also has an option for a fourth year, but the general feeling among keen observers is that with Colm McFadden and Eamon McGee having retired and a number of others expected to follow that Donegal are about to enter a rebuilding phase and that is more than a two year job.

This was raised by Donegal captain, Michael Murphy, in yesterday’s Irish Independent when he called on Donegal football administrators to take a long term view on the management position as the county faces into a period of transition.

“What is coming through is a number of younger players who have played minor level and who have showed over the last couple of years that they have potential,” Michael Murphy, told the Irish Independent.

“It is important now that a fairly steady platform develops over the next three to four years.

“Rory knowing them at U-21 level and being involved with the last couple of years, it would be very right for him to drive that on over two, three, four years. As players we would be keen for that to happen.”

However, the chairman insisted the matter had not been raised or discussed by Donegal officials.

“Rory was away on holidays and had only returned last week and the matter has not been raised and certainly had not been discussed with the manager,” said the chairman, who said the meeting on Friday night was just a standard review meeting that is held at the end of every season and looking to the year ahead.

The chairman would not expand any further on the agenda for the meeting. But in light of the county captain expressing the view of extending the manager’s term beyond 2017, it is likely that it will be discussed.

It is not known if the manager is interested in an extension to the term and he was not available for comment yesterday at the time of going to press.


Meanwhile, the Donegal boss made his end of season report to the Donegal county committee at their monthly meeting in the Villa Rosa Hotel, Ballybofey, on Monday night.

The manager told the committee that he was already looking ahead to next season and that he was on the lookout for new players to freshen up his squad.

He also told the committee that Donegal was about to go through a period of transition and that he was expecting a few more of the outgoing squad to join Eamon McGee and Colm McFadden in retirement and that he had planned drafting into the squad a number of young players from recent minor and U-21 squads.