Thornton excited to be working with Donegal

Thornton excited to be working with Donegal
Tom Comack @dgldemocrat

Donegal's new coach/trainer, Richard Thornton, feels Donegal are one of the top teams and he is excited to be joining the backroom team.

Speaking to the Donegal Democrat yesterday (Wednesday), the Coalisland teacher revealed that he had been approached by Donegal manager, Rory Gallagher, before the Derry county final. At that stage Thornton was coaching Loup and didn't want to make a commitment.

“We discussed what was involved and Rory told me what he was looking for,” he said.

“ I was interested but that was just before the Derry final.

“I wasn’t prepared to make any decision while Loup were still in the championship," said Thornton, who has had a big involvement in coaching in Tyrone over a number of years.

“After Loup lost to Slaughtneil we talked again and I decided that it was the right move for me at this moment in time,” he said.

“After I quit playing football I got involved in the coaching side of things and I really enjoy it.

“It’s a new challenge for me and an opportunity to work at the top level with a talented squad of players.

“It was a natural progression to try and prove myself at the highest level and I will get that chance with Donegal playing in Division One of the National League.

“Donegal are one of the top teams in the country and I know from my involvement in schools’ football that a lot of quality footballers have come through in Donegal in the last few years.

“I have to say that I’m excited by the challenge," said Thornton, whose playing career was cut short by injury.

Now 37, Thornton won an All-Ireland U-21 championship medal with Tyrone in 2000, and was a member of the senior panel for a number of years.

He will take up his appointment in Donegal when the county resumes collective training some time in early December.

(See Page 69 for more)