Donegal Club Championship is not getting respect it deserves - Gary McDaid

Peter Campbell


Peter Campbell

Donegal Club Championship is not getting respect it deserves - Gary McDaid

Gary McDaid . . . feels games in club championship should be staggered more

With the race for the Dr. Maguire beginning in earnest next weekend, one of the top coaches in the county feels the competition is not getting the respect it deserves.

Gary McDaid, who has been involved in three Glenswilly triumphs, feels that the way the fixtures are structured does not do the competition justice.

“The Dr. Maguire is the golden nugget of club football in Donegal and we need to showcase it right.”

McDaid was part of the backroom team last year when Michael Canning managed Glenswilly to a third senior championship against the odds, with a final win over favourites Kilcar.

While not involved this year with Glenswilly, the teacher at St. Eunan’s college still has a huge interest in his club. However, he feels that the way the fixtures are being handled means that the attractiveness of the games is not being maximised.

“In the first round all the games were on at the same time which meant that it was impossible to take in any more than one game.

“Look at what is happening in Derry at the weekend. They have structured their club championship that it is possible, if you wanted, to attend every single game, with games over Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“Thankfully, next weekend the Donegal CCC have made some effort to stagger games, but surely it would help if the games in each group were staggered, with one on Saturday evening and one on Sunday,” said McDaid, who felt this would allow team mentors and supporters to attend the other game in their group.

“We should remember that the championship gates are now very important for club finances. League attendances are falling, which is due to the fact that county players are not playing league football.

“That is why the club championship gates are so important and to stagger games. Clubs need to fight for that in the future,” says McDaid.

McDaid said he was looking forward to the games next weekend with the crunch game in Group C - the Group of Death - taking place in Magheragallon on Sunday evening when Gaoth Dobhair host Glenswilly.

“I’m sure the players won’t be very happy to be waiting around until 6.30 p.m. on Sunday evening, but it is a massive game,” said McDaid.

For full preview of games in the Michael Murphy Sports & Leisure Senior and Intermediate Championship see Thursday’s Donegal Democrat.