BY CHRIS MCNULTY AT CROKE PARK
JIM McGuinness says he will take some time to reflect on yesterday’s All-Ireland final defeat by Kerry before deciding whether or not to continue as Donegal manager.
The Glenties man has now come to the end of the fourth year of a four-year term. A year ago, McGuinness only agreed to staying on after an extensive review process.
Yesterday’s 2-9 to 0-12 defeat by the Kerry was only McGuinness’s fourth championship defeat as the Donegal manager during what has been a golden period for Donegal football.
“I will take my time now and think about this,” McGuinness said.
“I did that last year and I did it the year before. I’ll think about my own position, I’ll think about the players and about the squad we have.
“Do we want to move forward? Motivation, family, all these things come into it. I don’t think today is a day to make any decision, whether you’re staying or not staying. We will reflect and we will think about the game.
“We’ll reflect on the squad and once all of that is done we will see what’s the best way to move forward.”
Seven of the Donegal squad are in their 30th and nine of them have played in excess of 100 games for the county.
Yesterday was not the day for any of the veterans to announce their departure from the war zone.
McGuinness said: “I wouldn’t want them to do that in the dressing room after an All-Ireland.
“If you win a game, everything is brilliant. When you lose a game it’s a nightmare situation. 24 hours, 48 hours or a week, you might have a different perspective.
“No one has said anything and I wouldn’t want them to.”
McGuinness is a performance consultant at Celtic FC and has a young family himself.
Already with immortal status in the county, Donegal will hope to see him back on the sideline again next year.
McGuinness said: “We will stay together and we have done that all the way through the last four years. We will just stay close now and work through it. We have to take it on the chink and acknowledge that Kerry are the All-Ireland champions.”
DECLAN BONNER will look to collect the first piece of silverware from his second tenure in charge of Donegal.