Thursday 14 December 2017

Door still open for McHugh

MICHAEL Murphy says the Donegal door is open should Mark McHugh wish to return prior to next Sunday week's Ulster SFC final with Monaghan but insists he has yet to hear anything to suggest such a development is in the offing.

2012 All Star McHugh is currently in New York playing with the Donegal club having elected to temporarily leave Jim McGuinness' squad in May, although rumours circulated last weekend that he may be on the way home and could even return in time for the provincial decider.

"It's the same story," Murphy stressed. "The door is always open for Mark. As far as I know, he's in New York and I suppose that's the first and last that I've heard of it."

Murphy says he unaware, meanwhile, but also unsurprised, at reports suggesting McGuinness could be in line for a more substantial coaching role next season at Celtic.

Initially, the resignation of Neil Lennon - who brought McGuinness into the Scottish Premier League team's management set-up in 2012 - as manager was adjudged to have negative potentially implications for the Donegal manager's employment.


But since taking over last month, Celtic's new Norwegian boss, Ronny Deila has stated publicly that he wants to persist with and possibly even upgrade McGuinness' role.

Some reports have suggested that McGuinness - who has worked almost exclusively in Celtic's youth coaching system - could be promoted to a first team role.

"I'm not surprised," said Murphy, "but he wouldn't be coming home and telling all us about it. It's been fantastic for him and he's been an absolute credit.

"His enthusiasm is brilliant and he's never missed a training session in two years. Testament to the man.

"Making that initial decision, he had to weigh up all the options. We see the best of him here and I'm sure Celtic see the best of them there.

"I'm sure he's brought some of their learnings to us. They're different sports but it's a team environment and he's such a great teacher."

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