Tuesday 12 December 2017

Former Donegal manager Rory Gallagher could be set for sensational return to Fermanagh

Former Donegal manager Rory Gallagher. Photo: Sportsfile
Former Donegal manager Rory Gallagher. Photo: Sportsfile

Declan Bogue

A sensational return to Fermanagh could be on the cards for Rory Gallagher – who stepped down as Donegal manager just five weeks ago.

Gallagher has already met with Erne officials with a view to becoming Pete McGrath’s successor, after the Fermanagh players held a meeting in which it emerged a significant proportion were unwilling to continue under the former two-time All-Ireland winner.

It is believed that while Gallagher had not been considering managing another county after his spell in Donegal, he is intrigued by the prospect of returning to take charge of his native county, whom he last played for in 2010.

Meanwhile, Tyroen county board will have a vote tonight to decide the future of senior team manager Mickey Harte, at the September county board meeting.

This comes 24 hours after the county football squad held a players’ meeting to debrief on the 2017 season, where they captured the Dr McKenna Cup, retained their Ulster title, but fell disappointingly to a heavy defeat from Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final.

At the end of last year, Harte (above) was keen for the county board to grant him an additional year prior to the 2017 season. However, it was decided to treat the cases of the minor, U-21 and senior management as a collective block and this request was not granted.

However, there is some doubt as to the length of term Harte may be granted this time. While previous arrangements were for two years, there is a chance he may only be given an extra year, although that remains to be seen.

Ultimately, the future of Harte will rest with club delegates. The last time his stewardship of the senior team was up for debate and decision, only two club delegates from Tyrone’s club’s voted against him. In the meantime, he has delivered two Ulster championships so his hand is considerably strengthened despite that humiliation against Dublin.

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