The Donegal County Board have confirmed they want Jim McGuinness to take charge of the senior footballers next season.
A brief statement from the county board, following Monday night’s scheduled meeting of the executive, stated they will now enter into discussions with McGuinness in regards continuing as manager for a fourth season in 2014.
“It was the unanimous view of Coiste Bainistiochta 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.”
McGuinness was initially appointed manager of Donegal in July 2010 and asked at the time for a four-year term, winning Ulster titles in 2011 and 2012 and the All-Ireland last year.
However, Donegal’s attempt at winning a third successive Ulster championship fell flat this summer with a 0-13 to 0-7 loss to Monaghan in the provincial final in July before they lost their grip on the All-Ireland following a 4-17 to 1-10 hammering by Mayo in the quarter-final.
In the immediate aftermath of that match, McGuinness said it was his intention to conduct an annual appraisal with his players, management and medical staff, as has been the case every year under his management.
On Saturday morning, McGuinness, video analyst Maxi Curran and goalkeeping coach Pat Shovelin met the senior panel at Letterkenny’s Mount Errigal Hotel. McGuinness’s assistant Rory Gallagher is currently on holiday in the United States.
The Donegal management team then met county chairman Sean Dunnion, treasurer Grace Boyle and secretary Aodh Mairtín O’Fearraigh in a meeting that is said to have lasted 75 minutes.
McGuinness, who works as a performance consultant with Celtic FC in Glasgow, was non-committal on his future on ‘The Championship’ on BBC Northern Ireland on Sunday in a role as analyst for the All-Ireland semi-final between Mayo and Tyrone.
“I haven’t decided yet to be honest,” he said when questioned whether he would be at the helm for a fourth season. “At the end of the year we do an analysis of players, medical, staff and so forth. That hasn’t been finalised yet.
“All the systems have to be in place to prepare the team properly and I don’t think we got that this year at some levels. So that is one of the issues we will have to look at.
“I have had a couple of fantastic years and I have enjoyed every minute of it. It was a fantastic journey but the reality is everything has to be right to prepare teams. I don’t want to be Donegal manager for the sake of being Donegal manager.
“I have had a couple of fantastic years and I have enjoyed every minute of it. It was a fantastic journey but the reality is everything has to be right to prepare teams. If conditions are correct (I would stay on, but I don’t want to be manager for the sake of being county manager.”