The coaches, performance support and logistics support involved in the Donegal Academy are stepping down from their duties with immediate effect.
They informed the Donegal GAA Secretary today that they are offering their full support to the Head of Academy Development, Karl Lacey, who stepped down from his role last Friday.
Lacey had only been in place since early 2021, but had put in good structures and recruited excellent coaches to help develop players from Under 14 up through the ranks.
However, it’s understood that the 2012 Footballer of the Year’s relationship with elements of the County Board had become strained in recent months.
Lacey told his coaching staff: “I am so proud of what we have achieved and feel sad that we have not been supported in continuing to impact our young players by giving them the opportunity to grow and develop through the positive learning environments you all created every single day.
“I hope for the sake of the wonderful young people we worked with that our brilliant progress will not be in vain and they will get the support it deserves.”
The coaches, performance support and logistics support who were in place previously have now stepped down but that doesn’t include Under 20 manager Leo McLoone or minor boss Luke Barrett and their respective backroom teams.
The full correspondence is as follows:
9th February 2023
Rúnaí CLG Dhún na nGall,
We regret to inform you that the coaches, performance support and logistics support involved in the Donegal Academy are stepping down from their duties with immediate effect. Our under 20 and under 17 coaches and management teams will remain in place as they are in season, and the integrity of our competitions must be preserved.
We would all like express our full support for the Head of Academy Development and are extremely disappointed in how he was treated in his role. However our deepest regret lies with the approx. 350 young Donegal players which are currently at standstill, who we coached and bonded with over the past 18 months and indeed their parents/guardians who were equally as committed.
However, the coaches, performance support and logistics support feel that the development vision and pathway for Donegal is not aligned with or supported by the leadership within the county. As a group, we have lost all confidence in governance of Donegal GAA.
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