Donegal GAA Masters team
Donegal Master footballers, the reigning All-Ireland Shield champions, are gearing up for the new season and are getting ready to get back into training next week.
However, they have a problem. They don’t have a manager. The man who guided them to their All-Ireland success last season, John McNulty, has gone back into club management.
The Kilcar man is now managing St Naul’s in Division Three of the Donegal All-County Football League and in the Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure Intermediate Championship.
So the hunt is on to fill the vacancy left by John MacNulty.
“We have everything in place except for a manager,” Paul Gallagher, chairman of the Donegal Masters’ Gaelic Football Association, told the Democrat.
“We had a good season last year and we have 40 plus players. All of last year’s squad that beat Offaly in the Shield final are back again and we also have a number of new player.
“Brian McLaughlin from St Michael’s and Mickey ‘Sticky’ Ward from Aodh Ruadh, have committed for the season. So we have a good squad of players and they are all rearing to go.
“We also have a venue to train; we are going to train again this year in the Coláiste Ailigh grounds n Letterkenny.
“We are starting back training next Wednesday night and we also have a sponsor in place. A manager will now be the final piece of the jigsaw.”
The Donegal Masters’ Association held their annual general meeting recently. Paul Gallagher is once again the chairman; John McNulty is the vice-chairman; Sinead Boyce is the secretary; Paul McMullan is the treasurer and Chris Doherty is the PRO.
The other members of the committee are assistant secretary Liam Breen and assistant treasurer Sean McDaid.
“We have a very good committee in place and we are hoping to build on last year and the success we enjoyed.
“Last year was Donegal’s first time back in the Masters Championship and it was all new to all of us involved and it took us some time to get organised. This year we are in a much better position in that we know what to expect and overall when it comes to the committee and the squad we are much better organised.”
The Gaelic Masters’ Association is not recognised by the GAA.
However, there seems to be a renewed interest in the competition that had not been run for a number of years.
Twelve counties competed in the Masters last year and four additional counties have registered for the competition in 2017.
“Kildare, Roscommon, London and Fermanagh have all entered teams this year.”
The Masters Championship is due to get up and running in early July. The fixtures and draws for the new season are due to be unveiled at a meeting in Cavan on Friday night.
The 12 teams last season were divided into two groups of six and Paul Gallagher expects this year’s teams will be divided up as well.
Among the other counties from last year that will compete in this year’s Masters are Galway, Leitrim, Sligo, Mayo, Offaly, Westmeath, Longford, Antrim, Cavan and Tyrone.
Paul Gallagher is taking applications for the position of manager. Anyone interested can either ‘phone Paul on 087-9604817 or you can email him at email@example.com