Lacey says decision to go not tied to manager

DONEGAL defender Karl Lacey insists his decision to leave the county squad next season is not linked to the managerial controversy that has gripped the county this month.

Lacey featured in Ulster’s defeat to Munster in Saturday’s Interprovincial Football semi-final — his last game of football before he departs for New Zealand next month.

He said: “I’m heading off and I’ve no regrets about going away. I made my decision a few weeks ago before all this happened. Some people are saying that I’m walking away from it all. That may be the way it looks but all the lads on the panel know the way that it is and they just accept my decision.

“I was saying that to Nicholas Murphy after the match on Saturday that I’ll be throwing the boots in the bin now. That’ll be my last game now for a good while. I’m not going to say when I’m coming back because I don’t know. But we’ll see what happens next year, you never know I could play again at some stage.”

Lacey, who won a Sigerson Cup medal with UUJ last spring, expressed his dejection at the chain of events in recent weeks surrounding the appointment of Brian McIver’s successor as Donegal manager.

He also insisted the decision of the Donegal players to release a statement last week calling for club delegates to appraise the position of the county board executive, was not taken lightly.

“We didn’t just release to put it in the papers. We released it because we hope the club delegates will now take action. We want people to listen to what we have to say and then act accordingly. That’s why we put it out there. We don’t know what the story is now. It’s hugely disappointing as to what’s going on at the moment in Donegal GAA. But unfortunately from the player’s point of view, you have to ask: ‘What can we do?’ It’s not in our hands. There’s nothing we can do about it, it’s just up to other people to sort out this mess.

“But I’ve no doubt that come the start of the National League, Donegal will have a team featuring in senior football. Hopefully then we’ll go and have some success in the championship, and bring some silverware back to the county.”

Meanwhile Jason Ryan will be ratified for a second term in charge of the Wexford senior footballers at the next monthly meeting of the County Board.

Members of the county board were told at the October meeting that negotiations were ongoing between county board officers, the special committee and Ryan, with an announcement expected at the next meeting.

Ryan met with the committee once again in the past week and has agreed terms to remain for another season.


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