BY GERRY MCLAUGHLIN
Donegal senior football manager Paddy Carr has responded to reports that two members of his backroom team were part of the interview panel that selected him as county team manager in October.
The Gaeil Fhanada took over from departed team boss Declan Bonner, who stepped aside in July.
Media reports stated that both Michael McGeehin and Dr Ken van Someren, who had been part of the three-man interview panel who interviewed Carr for the post, are now part of his backroom team.
Recently departed county chairman Mick McGrath was the third member of that committee.
Carr told the ‘Irish News’ that Michael McGeehin, who is Sport Ireland’s Director of Coaching and has worked with various county teams down the years, will be “a big addition” in a logistical role.
It was reported that Dr Ken van Someren, a lecturer at ATU with over 25 years’ experience working with high-performing sportsmen and women across the globe, has a role also.
Responding to the reports Carr, who suffered a family bereavement on Wednesday, said:
“I saw the article this morning and it was fine but we are actually doing our best to do the best for Donegal.
‘The media should give us a little bit of understanding and a little bit of encouragement.
“The facts are that Michael McGeehin is appointed by the County Board as a Liasion Officer with us.
“It is a county board appointment so it is not the backroom team as such if you know what I mean.
“That was only ratified the other evening at a county board meeting.
“As Liaison Officr it invariably involves logistics with the squad, what we can do for matches etc and the things that we will need from time to time.
“There has to be a link person with the county board and that is Michael’s role.
“So while he will be dealing with the squad it is an appointment from the county board.”
In relation to the second member of the interview panel, Dr Ken van Someren, Carr said the latter was vastly experienced and ‘we will be having him in a consultancy role from time to time’.
“It is only an advisory consultancy role, and he would not have any involvement in the backroom team in terms of day-to-day activity.
“We can go to someone like him and say this the way we are doing things, and do you have any suggestions or opinions as you can understand managing a county team, a backroom team and what goes on the football field is quite a task.”
When asked if the fact that the two afore mentioned were on the interview panel that appointed him, made Carr pause for thought over its optics, he said.
“To be honest that was neither my business nor my concern what the county board want to do in terms of who they want to appoint.”
When put to him that he at least effectively appointed van Someron, Carr said.
“We spoke to him if he would open to advising us from time to time and it is only a consultancy role and there is no day-to-day involvement with the county team.”