The outgoing Donegal Coaching Officer, Anthony Harkin, has called for second level students in the county to be given the chance to play at the highest level in Ulster.
In his final report to Donegal GAA Convention, Harkin, who was trainer of Donegal when they won the first All-Ireland in 1992, calls for the participation of two amalgamated teams from the county in the Ulster Colleges MacRory Cup competition.
Harkin has served five years as coaching officer and in a comprehensive final report, he gave a rundown on the health of Donegal underage football.
He looked back on what has been achieved and in looking forward, he feels that second level students should be given the opportunity to play at the highest level with “amalgamated Donegal North and Donegal South in Ulster schools, similar to Colaiste Inis Eoghain.
“Apart from Co. Vocational, only one Donegal team has won Ulster A school medals in 100 years,” stated Harkin.
Another target which the outgoing coaching officer has set is the winning of an All-Ireland minor championship; having a clear pathway for coaches working with U-14 up to minor, U-20 and senior and links between them all; have more games at Primary School level and the need to seek funding for more coaches in large urban areas, such as Letterkenny.
In looking back over his five years in the role, Harkin said that much progress had been made with more coaches working in primary schools and an important link with Letterkenny IT established.
“Our coach education system is, I believe, the best in Ulster with more Level 2s and Level 3s than any other.
“Donegal has won ten underage titles in Ulster in the last five years, better than ever before,” said Harkin in his report.