Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Curran remains committed to Donegal cause

Ulster Minor Football Championship Quarter-Final 26/5/2013
Donegal  
Selector Maxi Curran and manager Jim McGuinness celebrate
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie
Ulster Minor Football Championship Quarter-Final 26/5/2013 Donegal Selector Maxi Curran and manager Jim McGuinness celebrate Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Maxie Curran permits himself the merest hint of a smile as he continues to listen to suggestions that he should wash his hands of Donegal.

After all, it's no laughing matter when you have to all intents and purposes been discarded as part of your county's management team.

But far from lobbing in the towel following Jim McGuinness's purge that saw himself, assistant manager Rory Gallagher and team attendant Francie Friel head for the exit door, Curran now finds that his commitment to Donegal is as great as ever.

That's because he has committed himself to a third year in charge of the Under-21 side.

While McGuinness begins plotting future success after bringing on board Damien Diver from Ardara, John Duffy from the Aodh Ruadh club in Ballyshannon and Buncrana's Paul McGonigle, Curran has vowed to unearth a fresh reservoir of talent which he hopes will ultimately bring further Ulster and All-Ireland titles at senior level to the county.

"People think I have turned my back on Donegal because of what has happened but I can honestly state that nothing could be further from the truth," declares Curran.

"I am already laying my preliminary plans for 2014 and I would like to think that I can play a part in helping to fashion Donegal senior teams of the future. The Under-21 sector has acquired considerably enhanced status within the GAA and I'm delighted to be part of it."

Curran points to the fact that no fewer than seven players – Paddy McGrath, Leo McLoone, Mark McHugh, Michael Murphy, Dermot Molloy, Declan Walsh and Daniel McLoughlin – played on the 2010 Donegal side managed by Jim McGuinness which lost narrowly to Cork in the All-Ireland U21 final.

"All those players will, I feel, continue to serve Donegal well at senior level just as they have been doing of late," stresses Curran.

"It is my aim to keep the conveyor belt moving and produce more players of similar ilk for the senior squad."

While Curran admits he was disappointed at the recent turn of events within Donegal's managerial set-up, he is even more annoyed because of what he feels is the "total lack of credit given from certain quarters" to Rory Gallagher's contribution to the county's All-Ireland title and two Ulster crowns annexed within the past three years.

"I think that Rory made an enormous contribution to Donegal's success as a tactician, coach, motivator and diplomat," declares Curran.

"He did not spare himself in bringing Donegal right up to the top and yet he is just let go. There was a total lack of credit given to him from certain quarters.

"I cannot speak highly enough of him and I consider it an honour and a privilege to have worked alongside him. He will undoubtedly be a massive asset to any club or county side fortunate enough to engage his services."

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