U-21 championship up in the air

The Donegal U-21 football championship is still up in the air despite St. Michael’s losing their appeal against the decision to throw them of the championship.

The Donegal U-21 football championship is still up in the air despite St. Michael’s losing their appeal against the decision to throw them of the championship.

St. Michael’s were due to meet last night to consider their next option after their appeal to the Ulster Council against the decision of the Donegal CCC to dump them out of the competition was unsuccessful.

The Ulster Hearing Committee at their meeting on Thursday night upheld the decision of the Donegal CCC to throw St. Michael’s after they failed to field for their quarter-final meeting with Naomh Conaill.

A club spokesperson said last night ahead of the meeting that it was more than likely that they would be going further and the reason for the meeting was to explore their options. It would appear the GAA’s own independent Disputes Resolution Authority would seem to be the clubs only option at this stage.

The dispute has already delayed the championship by a number of weeks. And with CCC secretary Paul Melaugh confirming last night that no plans had been made to play the outstanding semi-finals it looks as if it could drag on for another few weeks at least.

Friel to be new minor manager

Meanwhile, Naomh Colmcille manager Stephen Friel is set to become the new Donegal minor football manager.

Friel, who guided the Newtowncunningham based club to a junior championship last season, has been recommended for the position after coming through an interview process. He was one of four people interviewed for the job last Tuesday night, which has been vacant since last May’s first round championship defeat by Antrim, in Ballybofey. His name is due to go before next Monday night’s county committee meeting for ratification.

“I’m delighted and feel honoured to get the opportunity to manage the county minor team. I have been working with this group of players since they were U-14, through the development squads and I was county U-16 manager last year,” said the new boss.

“I have a good backroom team and we hope to get down to work as soon as the appointment is approved by county committee. It is few years since we have enjoyed any success at minor level and we have received a tough draw in that we face reigning Ulster champions Cavan, in the preliminary round, in Cavan.

“But it is a challenge we are looking forward to and taking on and it is a matter of getting down to work as soon as possible.”

A native of Dungiven, in Derry, he lives in Drumkeen from where he runs his business consultancy business and has been involved in underage football both with St. Mary’s, Convoy and with regional and county development squads over the last four to five years.

He played both football and hurling with St. Canices and Kevin Lynch’s in Derry and also was a McRory and Mageenan Cup (Ulster College’s senior football and hurling competitions) winner with Derry’s famous nursery, St. Pats, Maghera.

Matt Gallagher a member of the previous holder of the position Charlie Mulgrew’s backroom team backroom team and a combination made up of Eamon O’Boyle and Michael McGeehin were the other candidates interviewed for the job.

The interview panel was made up of county youth officer Sean Connaughton, county development officer Michael McMenamin and Anthony Harkin. All- Ireland winner’s Declan Bonner, Barry O’Hagan, Gary Duffy, David Gillespie and Oliver Prunty are members of Friel’s backroom team