Friday 18 January 2019

Donegal on the hunt after shock Gallagher exit

Rory Gallagher resigned last night
Rory Gallagher resigned last night

Donegal have joined the long queue of counties on the search for a new senior football manager after the surprise resignation last night of Rory Gallagher.

The Fermanagh native was expected to attend a meeting of the Donegal county committee in September to deliver an end-of-season report but news of his departure was communicated to the squad yesterday evening.

Gallagher had been in charge since taking over from Jim McGuinness at the end of the 2014 season.

He was ratified for another four years just last September and proceeded to undertake a huge renovation job on the Donegal panel.

Colm McFadden, Eamon McGee, Rory Kavanagh, Christy Toye and David Walsh all retired at the end of last season, which finished in defeat to Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-final.


Leo McLoone, Odhran MacNiallais and Anthony Thompson meanwhile, were all unavailable to Gallagher this season for various reasons.

With just seven of the 2012 All-Ireland winning team still playing, Gallagher managed to keep the team in Division 1 this spring, finishing third in the topflight while blooding a number of new players.

However, Donegal's form nosedived dramatically this summer and defeats to Tyrone and Galway by nine and 15 points respectively drew local pressure on Gallagher.

"Whatever comes, comes," Gallagher said pre-emptively after the Galway hammering in Markievicz Park.

"I'm around long enough now. That's the nature of it," he added.

Declan Bonner, who managed both the 2014 Donegal minors and this year's Under 21 to Ulster titles, is considered the frontrunner to take over.

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