By Chris McNulty
FORMER Westmeath star Jack Cooney has joined Rory Gallagher’s backroom team in Donegal.
Cooney was ratified as a coach/selector at a meeting of the Donegal county committee in Ballybofey last night.
A star with the Lake County in the 1990s, Cooney was a selector with Westmeath during the managerial reigns of Luke Dempsey and Páidí Ó Sé, during what was the county’s most successful period, including the capture of their first Leinster title in 2004.
Cooney has managed his native Coralstown/Kinnegad and Kildare side Celbridge. Cooney went for the vacant Westmeath job last year, but was pipped to the post by Tom Cribben in November.
But Cooney, whose wife hails from Kilcar, is now set to team up with Gallagher’s new-look set-up in Donegal.
Gallagher and Cooney are joined in the managed team by Gary McDaid, who guided Glenswilly to Donegal SFC titles in 2011 and 2013.
“Jack is a fella that I’ve known over the years,” said Gallagher.
“He’s been coming to Kilcar for a long time now. I’m looking forward to settling in and working with him.”