Aidan O’Rourke and Paddy Bradley to take Donegal reins in league finale

Aidan O’Rourke (above) will take charge of Donegal along with Paddy Bradley for their final league match on Sunday. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Michael Verney

The Donegal senior footballers are expected to be led by Aidan O’Rourke and Paddy Bradley for their final Division 1 clash after Paddy Carr’s resignation yesterday.

O’Rourke, an All-Ireland SFC winner with Armagh, and former Derry star Bradley had worked under Carr and will take the reins for Sunday’s clash with Roscommon in Dr Hyde Park, with the situation set to be re-assessed after their league campaign.

The pair will need a miracle to maintain Donegal’s place in the top tier, though, as they sit bottom of the division following an 11-point loss to Mayo last Sunday.

That harrowing defeat in Ballybofey seems to have been the final straw for Carr, with the former Louth boss parting ways with the squad yesterday having overseen training earlier this week.

That decision came after consultation with a handful of senior players and it sees Carr depart having only taken over from Declan Bonner five months ago.

Donegal GAA spoke of their “regret” when announcing Carr’s resignation as well as a short statement from the former boss.

“Following a discussion with some senior members of the Donegal football team, I want to announce that I’m stepping away from the position of Donegal team manager with immediate effect. I want nothing more than the best for Donegal and that will never change,” Carr said.

Those at the coalface in the county have had a tumultuous time, with Karl Lacey stepping down as head of Donegal’s academy last month after relations with the county board soured.

Before news of Carr’s departure broke, Donegal GAA had confirmed a special meeting will take place tonight, with the academy the only item for discussion amid another mess after all the county’s coaches walked out in a show of solidarity with Lacey.

They now also have to worry about who will be leading them into Ulster SFC action next month when they make the trip to Newry to play Down on April 23.