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Tight-lipped, but Rory Gallagher remains the man in the frame for Donegal hotseat

Rory Gallagher

Rory Gallagher

BY CHRIS MCNULTY

RORY Gallagher is keeping tight-lipped on his bid to succeed Jim McGuinness as Donegal manager, but the Fermanagh native looks set to have his nomination formally submitted to the Donegal County Board before the deadline of 5pm today, Friday.

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Gallagher has not spoken publicly on the prospect of taking over from McGuinness, whom he assisted in 2011, 2012 and 2013 up to their split last autumn.

A fortnight ago, McGuinness confirmed that he was not going to seek a fifth year as manager, drawing to an end a golden era in the county that yielded three Ulster titles and the 2012 All-Ireland.

From early on, Gallagher has been the favourite.

Gallagher is known to be keen on the position and will be aware already of its demands given his close involvement with McGuinness. This week, the former Fermanagh star was said to be mulling over the ins and outs of the position and at the time of going to press yesterday, Thursday, he had yet to make any public utterances on the job.

The 36-year-old from Belleek is based in Killybegs and is currently the joint manager of the Kilcar senior team alongside John McNulty.

Gallagher has given serious thought to the job over the last two weeks and is said to have been teased out prospective candidates for a backroom team. Gallagher knows the Donegal players having worked with them for three years and will also be familiar with the relevant people in the County Board.

Nominations close at 5 o’clock this afternoon and the only nomination to have been confirmed is that of Paddy Carr.

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Carr has been put forward by the Fanad Gaels club. His nomination was forwarded on Tuesday to county secretary Aodh Mairtín Ó Fearraigh by the  club secretary, Fiona Shields.

“He seems to be interested in the job and he’ll now look at the pros and cons over the next few days,” Ms Shields said.

Carr is a native of Fanad, who guided Kilmacud Crokes to the All-Ireland club title in 2009 has an extensive CV at club level while he managed Louth in 2002 and 2003 and has also taken charge of the Meath minors. He guided Burren to this year’s Down final and has also taken charge of Tir Chonaill Gaels in the past.

Declan Bonner, Martin McHugh, James Horan and Damian Diver have ruled themselves out of the running.

“There hasn’t been much activity, although there have been a few indirect queries and enquiries,” a county board source said.

The Board’s three main officers – Sean Dunnion, Aodh Mairtín Ó Fearraigh and Cieran Kelly – will be a part of the five-person selection committee. A fourth person from the County Executive and a fifth, external, person will be added once the candidates are known. The selection committee will be rubber stamped at the Board’s next meeting on Monday night.

The County Board has confirmed that it will not be divulging the list of nominations for any of its positions.

However, it is known that Maxi Curran, Eamon O’Boyle and Gary Duffy are in the hunt for the Under-21 role while Declan Bonner and Shaun Paul Barrett are seeking the minor manager’s job for 2015.

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