Thursday 18 January 2018

Where are they now?

Gerry McGill
Gerry McGill

Gerry McGill (Former Donegal footballer)

There have been a lot of career highlights for Gerry McGill. And while seeing the Dublin ladies team he managed being crowned All-Ireland champions was undoubtedly a big one, he's had plenty as a player too.

The Donegal man is a goalkeeper and always has been. He started off playing between the posts in Glencolmcille, where he grew up, first in the school playground and then with his club Naomh Columba.

He made his senior debut when he was 15 but never made any underage county squads. In the late 1990s, he enrolled in UCD and started playing Sigerson and also League of Ireland football with the college. From there he was noticed by the Donegal under 21 management, selected for the squad and very quickly progressed to the senior team.

"Nothing beats playing for your county," says McGill. "I'll never forget my debut for Donegal, it was in October 2001 in a relegation play-off; it was one of the best experiences of my life."

However, McGill's career with Donegal was short-lived. In 2003, he transferred to St Vincent's in Dublin and that same year he finished with his county. A couple of years later he bought a house in Carlow and moved down and joined éire óg, with whom he won a county title. It was the second in his career as he'd won a Dublin championship with UCD in 2002.

His first foray into management was in UCD; during his time there he managed several teams including the ladies with whom he won the O'Connor Cup on three occasions. He then went on to manage some club teams as well as the Laois ladies before getting the job as the Dublin ladies manager.

"Management is like teaching and it's great when you see people benefiting from what you put in place. Even if it takes four years, like it did when I took over the Dublin ladies," explains McGill.

Two years ago, he took a job as principal in Scoil Ruain in Tipperary. He moved to Portlaoise and is currently player-manager with Emo. He is also a selector with the Tipperary senior and under 21 footballers along with the ladies intermediate team who are in action in the All-Ireland final today against Cavan. As for the senior final, McGill is going for Monaghan.

"Cork have the potential to do a lot of damage in the first ten and last ten. However, if Monaghan can stay within touching distance for as long as possible and don't concede a goal, they will win."

Sunday Independent

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