MICHAEL MURPHY HAS backed Donegal’s decision to give Rory Gallagher a new, extended term as the county’s senior football team manager.
Last Monday night, Donegal’s clubs gave their backing to a recommendation by a County Board sub-committee to appoint Gallagher for a three-year term that has the option of a fourth year for the Fermanagh native.
Gallagher, who was Jim McGuinness’s assistant manager from 2011-2013, succeeded McGuinness as manager in October 2014. Donegal have contested the last two Ulster finals, losing to Monaghan in 2015 and missing out on the Anglo Celt to Tyrone in July this year.
With the squad in transition, Gallagher was keen for a lengthier tenure having just completed the second of what had been a four-year term.
“It was fairly crucial and fairly necessary,” Donegal captain Murphy said yesterday at a media briefing for the National Concussion Symposium.[adrotate group=”81”]
“I suppose his knowledge of the younger players, having worked with them at U-21 level, they take up a huge percentage of the squad now at the moment.
“I just think there’s an opportunity for them to develop, this year, next year, the year after, please God they’re going to take that and I suppose people look at the three-, four-year cycle again.
“It’s going to take something like that to try to develop things. Without a doubt, you’re going to go at it again next year, but for everyone to get their head and to get their chance I think it’s necessary.”[adrotate group=”38″]
Already, Colm McFadden and Eamon McGee have signalled that their inter-county careers are over, while others are expected to follow suit in the coming weeks and months.
With an emerging crop of youngsters, some of whom have been integral members of successful minor and under-21 teams in recent years, Murphy believes it was vital to retain Gallagher’s services.
The Glenswilly man said: “I suppose we were chatting about the three, four years and people look at it as a case that you’re not going to want to win anything next year or the year after, but without a doubt you’re going to go into it next year and go at it hammer for tong, to win whatever the hell you can.[adrotate group=”53″]
“I just think going into that cycle, you need to commit to going into that three, four-year cycle to try to push things forward. I think we’ve done it before back in 2010, you were committing to a cycle for a number of years.
“It just gives you a clear picture in your head as to what’s going to entail over the next number of years. That’s why I’m excited and looking forward to getting stuck into it.”
Donegal saw the likes of Eoin McHugh and Kieran Gillespie cement their stamp on the squad this year and will hope that others such as Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Stephen McBrearty and Ciaran Thompson can do likewise from 2017.[adrotate group=”83″]
Murphy said: “They’re huge additions to get them in and not only coming in just to play, but they’re hugely contributing and it’s a huge lift to us all in there.
“If they can add something and if we can throw a couple more of them into it, I do think they have the potential definitely to wear the jersey for a good number of years.”[adrotate group=”55″] Tags: