The accolades just keep on coming for Donegal football team manager Jim McGuinness.
As he laps up the plaudits following his team’s stunning All-Ireland quarter-final victory over Kerry, the Glenties man now finds himself the recipient of the Ulster GAA Writers Association monthly merit award for July, the month in which his side clinched back-to-back Ulster titles for the first time in history.
In overcoming Down in the final, Donegal sealed their reputation as the dominant force in Ulster, having assumed the mantle held by Tyrone and Armagh since the dawn of the new millennium.
Their Ulster championship triumph not only cemented the team’s reputation as one of the best-organised, most focussed and fiercely competitive in the country but shortened the odds on their prospects of winning the Sam Maguire Cup for the second time in their history.
McGuinness, while happy to accept the honour, preaches caution as the last four battle looms.
“While we had a terrific month in July we had to step up a gear to beat Kerry and now we face a huge task against Cork who are quite rightly the favourites in the eyes of many people to win the All Ireland title,” says McGuinness.
“For me to be getting the writers’ honour is a good bonus after that provincial title win but hopefully we can keep in the hunt for the bigger trophy.”
In winning the writers’ award, McGuinness actually fended of a stiff challenge from three of his own players Frank McGlynn, Mark McHugh and Ryan Bradley all of whom were nominees.
He received an engraved Belleek Living vase, specially designed silver cuff links from Omeath jeweller Garrett Mallon, a UGAAWA Sports Voucher and training gear from O’Neill’s International Sports at a special presentation function in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny.