Thursday 8 December 2016

Michael Murphy urges Donegal to stick with Rory Gallagher for 2017

Published 07/09/2016 | 02:30

Michael Murphy. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael Murphy. Photo: Sportsfile

Michael Murphy has urged Donegal's football administrators to take a long-term view as they face into a potentially tricky transition period over the next number of years.

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Murphy feels Donegal require stability at the helm to help smooth over the inevitable change in personnel that the county is now likely to see.

The 2012 All-Ireland-winning captain says the current players would be happy to see Rory Gallagher extend his time in charge beyond 2017, the last of the three years he agreed when he took over from Jim McGuinness after the 2014 season. Gallagher addressed a county board meeting on Monday night as part of a review process.

But with Colm McFadden and Eamon McGee confirming their retirements after the defeat to Dublin, Rory Kavanagh likely to have played his last game and others set to follow, Murphy has stressed the importance of long-term stability.

As Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice was confirmed last night for a further two years in charge, Murphy says it's important that Donegal take a similar approach to the Munster champions who are also facing significant personnel changes.

"What is coming through is a number of younger players who have played at minor level and who have showed over the last couple of years that they have potential," he said.

"It's important now that a fairly steady platform develops over the next three or four years. Rory, knowing them at U-21 level and with being involved over the last couple of years, it would be very right for him to drive that on over two, three, four years. As players we would be keen for that to happen."

Murphy was speaking as he confirmed that a recent knee injury was diagnosed as a grade one medial ligament tear that hasn't laid him up for long.

"As much as anything you'll be striving to be successful but likewise you have to be realistic and say that there are players that will maybe need time to bed in, things mightn't just happen instantly.

"We'll be striving to make it happen but they need a steady platform and chance to continuously develop over the next two to three years. Rory, having been involved with a lot of them, I think it's vital that his team is at the helm."

Irish Independent

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