BY CHRIS MCNULTY
THE Donegal County Board meets tonight to finalise the selection committee that will oversee the appointed of Jim McGuinness’s successor as Donegal manager.
The county’s three main officers – chairman Sean Dunnion, secretary Aodh Mairtín Ó Fearraigh and treasurer Cieran Kelly – have already been appointed to the committee.
Tonight, a fourth member of the Executive will be added as will a fifth, non-executive, person.
It is expected that interviews for the position could get underway later this week and the same committee will speak to candidates for the senior, under-21 and minor manager posts, which are all up for grabs.
While the Board has opted not to publicly divulge the identity of the nominees, four candidates for the senior role are known.
Job favourite Rory Gallagher joined the race at lunchtime on Friday after being nominated by Kilcar. Gallagher, assistant to McGuinness in 2011, 2012 and 2013, joined Paddy Carr and Cathal Corey in the running.
Also on Friday, Ardara man Anthony Harkin, who trained the All-Ireland winning Donegal team in 1992, became a surprise candidate.
While former Armagh ace Tony McEntee, currently managing St Brigid’s in Dublin, made initial enquiries into the vacancy, it is understood that his interest went no further.
Former manager McGuinness said over the weekend that the position would be ‘a brilliant job’, but the Glenties man won’t play a part in selecting the new boss.
He said: “The key thing for me is not to be involved in the process in Donegal. I know everybody who is in for the job. I won’t be an ex-manager who will be interfering or hanging about or an ex-manger who will be around the county board.”
McGuinness, who won three Ulster senior titles, an Ulster Under-21 title and Sam Maguire in 2012, has not ruled out a return in the future.
He said: “I love my county and I love the people of Donegal. I loved everything about the last five years. I would never rule it out. It’s the right time for me now. I would never say never in terms of going back to Donegal – absolutely not.”
For the under-21 role, Maxi Curran – manager of the county’s under-21s for the last three years – faces competition form Eamon O’Boyle and Gary Duffy.
Minor boss Declan Bonner has expressed a wish to stay on, but Shaun Paul Barrett is now also in the mix.