Rory Gallagher’s resignation did not come as a big a surprise to veteran defender Neil McGee.
That does not mean the Gaoth Dobhair man is not disappointed that Gallagher has stepped down one year into his four-year term.
McGee had been in contact with Gallagher on a number of occasions last week following Donegal’s defeat to Galway on Saturday week last.
“I had chatted with him a few times after the Galway game and I knew he was weighing up his options,” said Neil.
“I knew from those chats that he was considering his position and what the way forward looked like. He has obviously decided that the best thing to do is to step down.
“I respect his decision and Donegal supporters should respect the decision too. I would prefer he had stayed on but he certainly walks away owing the county nothing.”
The defender added: “He rang me on Sunday to tell me that he had made up his mind and I was disappointed to hear it.
“But I respect his decision.
“His commitment was second to none and people don’t realise the amount of work that he put into the job over the last three years.
“Things did not work out this year in championship. But he did a lot of good work earlier in the year. He brought in a lot young players at the end of last year and he had them in training since last October.
“Those lads trained three to four times a week and Rory supervised every one of those sessions.
“It was very demanding on his time but he enjoyed it and all that good work will stand to those young lads going forward.
"It is a pity that he has stepped down but we have to respect his decision and move on.
“Hopefully, the new man will pick it up where Rory left off and will build on the rebuilding work done by him.”
Neil has not yet made up his mind on his own immediate future with the county team.
For now he is going to concentrate on the club scene and Gaoth Dobhair’s bid for championship honours.
“I will leave any decision on what I’m doing next year until after the club season is over,” he said.
“When I finish up with the club I will sit down and think about it, but not until then.”