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Quitting Cassidy wants Donegal clear-out

Donegal captain Kevin Cassidy has followed manager John Joe Doherty out the exit door and called for the county to undertake a “total rebuild” in the wake of their tame exit from the All-Ireland SF championship to Armagh in round one of the qualifiers in Crossmaglen on Saturday.

Doherty announced yesterday that he was stepping down from the post two years into a three-year term and, likewise, the Gaoth Dobhair clubman does not intend to make himself available for selection next season when a new manager is appointed.

“I just feel at the minute that I have too much played,” said the 28-year- old, whose wife is expecting twins in October. “We train as hard as everyone else and we have good players but we never seem to be able to put it together on the field. That makes these defeats all the harder to take.

“We've suffered a few heavy defeats recently. You get sick and tired of that. I think there has to be a total rebuild, a complete review that looks at the whole situation. We have to build from the bottom again. It's the only way.”

Although others on the panel have yet to announce their retirements, Cassidy - who lined out for the county side over 100 times — hinted that more withdrawals could be on the cards.

“I can only speak for myself but there's a lot of lads in the same boat as me and around the same age. It takes so much to be an inter-county footballer these days. Those lads are still good enough but they have to make up their own minds.”

Brian McIver had delivered a top-flight National League title in 2007 — their first national title since their first and only All-Ireland success in 1992 — but it wasn't enough to keep him in the job.

“Looking back, that probably did upset us. We had a good relationship with Brian,” added Cassidy.

“That's not to take away from John Joe, who did an excellent job, but what happened with Brian wasn't ideal.

“John Joe has taken a lot of stick in the last few weeks.”

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