Gary McDaid (second from right) is among the contenders for the vacant manager's job in Donegal.
The appointment of a new football manager is something officials must get right if Donegal are to qualify for next season’s Super 8 Championship.
That’s the view of former Glenswilly manager Gary McDaid, one of the leading contenders to replace Rory Gallagher.
The Letterkenny secondary school teacher is among the names being linked to the vacant position. Declan Bonner remains the front runner but Pete McGrath (Down), James Horan (Mayo), Shaun Paul Barrett (Milford), Charlie Mulgrew and Martin McHugh have also been mentioned as possible contenders to replace Gallagher this week.
McDaid, who has been involved in all three of Glenswilly’s Donegal Senior Championship victories, feels GAA officials now have an important decision to make.
“The Super 8 starts next year and it is important that Donegal qualify for the Super 8, otherwise it will have serious financial implications for the county,” McDaid said.
“The Super 8 is going to be financially very lucrative for the counties that qualify for it and that is why Donegal need to qualify.
“Without the money coming from the Super 8, Donegal could drop down the pecking order and that would not be good for the promotion and development of the game in the county.”
Gary McDaid is one of a long list of names that have already been linked with the vacancy following Rory Gallagher’s decision to step down on Monday night.
McDaid said he had received no approaches so far from anyone about the position and was non-committal on whether or not he would consider applying for the job.
“Being honest I think like everybody else, I’m still taking in the fact that Rory has stepped down,” he said.
“It was not something I was expecting and I was surprised when I heard it first.
“I haven’t been approached by anyone and as for going for the job myself it is honestly something I haven’t considered.
“But I would never rule anything in or anything out. It’s a huge job and looking in from the outside, it’s a very attractive job.
“Donegal are in Division One of the league but it is also a rebuilding job and it may take four to five years to build a team.
“And I’m not sure if the county has the patience to wait that long if the fallout from the defeat to Galway is anything to go by.”
Ex Donegal team boss Rory Gallagher says social media abuse not a factor in his resignation https://t.co/fPG32TNnvv— Donegal Democrat (@dgldemocrat) August 1, 2017
McDaid added: “There is a good crop of young players coming through and Rory has introduced them this season. With the group of older players already there, there is a good blend.
“Whoever gets the job is going to have make sure that the support and structures are in place so the players perform to the best of their ability.”
The senior position is one of three mangerial posts that are currently vacant in Donegal. The county U-17 and U-20 jobs will also have to be filled in the coming months.