Declan Bonner looks set to be ratified as new Donegal manager tomorrow

Declan Bonner is set to go before the clubs of Donegal with a view to being ratified for the position of county senior manager tomorrow night, writes Alan Foley.

Bonner was part of the 1992 All-Ireland winning panel who were the GAA’s Jubilee team at Croke Park on Sunday and has enjoyed success as manager of the Donegal minors and under-21’s in recent seasons.

Donegal won the Ulster U-21 championship this year and with Bonner in charge the county’s minors were provincial champions in 2014 and All-Ireland finalists, losing out to Kerry who have since gone on to win four-in-a-row.

Bonner, a clubman of Na Rossa, has managed Donegal seniors before, from 1997 to 2000 when the closest the county came to silverware was in the 1998 Ulster final, where a last-minute Joe Brolly goal saw Derry lift the Anglo-Celt Cup.

Donegal have been on the lookout for a new manager since Rory Gallagher stepped aside last month following their 4-17 to 0-14 fourth round qualifier loss against Galway in Sligo. Gallagher has since taken up the managerial post at his native Fermanagh.

Gallagher succeeded Jim McGuinness in the Donegal hotseat in 2014 and was pipped to Ulster success by Monaghan in 2015 and then Tyrone last year before losing a spate of McGuinness’s 2012 All-Ireland winners to retirement.

Bonner, Cathal Corey and Sean Paul Barrett were interviewed twice by the five-person selection committee. Seamus McEnaney and Gary McDaid withdrew from the race.

A special meeting of the Donegal County Committee has been arranged for the Villa Rose Hotel in Ballybofey tomorrow.

Clubs have not yet been notified of the agenda, but it is believed that just one item will be listed - the ratification of a new senior football team manager.


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