McGuinness seeks club fixture schedule assurances

Donegal boss Jim McGuinness has told county board officials the local club championship will have to take a back seat if he is to remain in the job.

McGuinness seeks club fixture schedule assurances

The Glenties manager expressed frustration at the scheduling of club games during this summer’s Ulster championship, indicating to the board this issue must be addressed should he commit to a fourth year at the helm.

Donegal were the only Ulster county to schedule club fixtures during the provincial campaign, the source of McGuinness’ angst, according to county board treasurer Grace Boyle.

Twelve of the 16 teams competing in the Donegal senior championship were forced into action just six days after the county’s first round win over Tyrone on May 26, with a second round of fixtures taking place the following weekend. Indeed, the final round of group games were scheduled the weekend subsequent to semi-final victory over Down.

McGuinness told BBC Northern Ireland preparations for their defence of the Sam Maguire Cup were hindered somewhat during the summer, hinting, no doubt, at the fact that his squad were club-tied for three weekends of the provincial campaign.

Treasurer Grace Boyle, present alongside county chairman Sean Dunnion and secretary Aodh Máirtín Ó Fearraigh at Saturday’s meeting with the Donegal management, revealed McGuinness wanted the club schedule cleared during the summer months.

“Across Ulster you will find Donegal were the only county to play club championship during the provincial championship.

“If other counties in Ulster don’t play club championship prior to exiting the Ulster or All-Ireland championship, then what do you think Jim is looking for.”

Boyle, who could not confirm whether McGuinness continues to have the backing of the 15-man executive, said there is no timeline on finalising the manager’s position.

“There is no rush to ratify Jim,” she added.

The Donegal County Board met last night to discuss the issues raised by McGuinness on Saturday.

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