BY CHRIS MCNULTY
JIM McGuinness has warned that he will only continue as Donegal manager ‘if the conditions are correct’.
The 2012 All-Ireland winning boss met with both his squad and members of the Co Board on Saturday, but has not made a decision on whether he’ll stay in the position.
McGuinness was a guest on BBC’s Championship coverage of the Tyrone-Mayo All-Ireland semi-final this afternoon.
It was clear that McGuinness wasn’t happy with certain things, pertaining to the preparation of his team, over the last year.
“All the systems have to be in place,” he told presenter Austin O’Callaghan.
“The biggest thing for me is to be able to prepare the team properly.
“I don’t think we got that this year on some levels. That’s one of the issues we’ll be looking at and there are also a few other things.”
While McGuinness would not be drawn on the sources of his frustration, it is believed that the county’s club fixtures programme is high on his list.
All three first round games in the Donegal SFC were played during Donegal’s Ulster Championship campaign and this is understood to be one of the bug bearers.
He said: “I don’t want to go into it now, but it’s something I raised with the county board yesterday (Saturday) and spoke about with the players. We’ll see what happens during the week.”
Following a meeting with his players in the Mount Errigal, McGuinness – accompanied by goalkeeping coach Pat Shovelin and video analyst Maxi Curran – sat down with the Co Board’s three main officers, Chairman Sean Dunnion, Secretary Aodh Mairtin O Fearraigh and Treasurer Grace Boyle.
His number two Rory Gallagher is currently out of the country on holiday.
The Co Executive will meet tomorrow night where the findings of Saturday’s talks will be discussed and the Donegal News understands that there will be further dialogue between the parties before any confirmation is forthcoming with McGuinness not now expected to address the Donegal county committee until its October sitting.
The next county committee meeting is on next Monday, September 2nd, but it is not expected that management will be present.
McGuinness said: “I’m still thinking things through. It’s very important to do that.
“I haven’t decided yet. At the end of every year we do an analysis of everything -players, medical and staff. That hasn’t been finalised yet.
“I don’t want to be Donegal manager for the sake of being Donegal manager.
“I want to be there for the right reasons and also for every system to be in place to be successful.”
McGuinness does appear still have a desire to stick with his side, beaten by 16 points in the All-Ireland quarter-final three weeks ago by Mayo.
“If the conditions are correct and you feel that you can do the job,” he cautioned.
McGuinness also has his personal situation to consider: He is employed by Celtic FC in Glasgow as a performance consultant, while his wife Yvonne is expecting twins with the couple already having three young children.
Jim McGuinness was appointed Donegal senior football team manager in July 2010 and given a four-year term.
He won a National League Division 2 title in 2011 before leading Donegal to a first Ulster SFC title in 19 years that summer.
In 2012, McGuinness took Donegal to the Promised Land, retaining their Ulster title before going on to win Sam Maguire last September.
He said: “I’ve had a couple of fantastic years and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
“We’ve had a fantastic journey but the reality is everything has to be right if you want to prepare a team and bring them forward. That’s the most important thing for me.”
Posted: 9:30 pm August 25, 2013
DECLAN BONNER will look to collect the first piece of silverware from his second tenure in charge of Donegal.