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Clubs agree to McGuinness call on fixture issue

By John Campbell

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness is understood to have reached a compromise with club delegates at a meeting last night in relation to the staging of domestic league and championship fixtures while the county team is still involved in the Ulster or All-Ireland series.

But although the meeting was conducted against a more benign backdrop, it is believed that McGuiness has still to formally confirm that he will remain in his post for another year.

At an earlier meeting last week, McGuinness had reiterated his plea that no championship matches should be arranged while the county team is still in pursuit of summer silverware.

And he also made it clear that he would prefer that league games should be played on one allotted day rather than spread over a weekend.

While many delegates were unhappy with this request, they brought McGuinness's plea back to their clubs and it is now understood that the internal championship will be put on ice until after the county team's commitments have been completed.

McGuinness was less than happy earlier this year when a round of league games were staged that he felt conflicted with the county team's agenda and made his feelings known.

While something akin to an uneasy truce has been called, county chairman Sean Dunnion confirms that the staging of league and championship fixtures while the county team is still in action is "only one of a number of issues to be clarified" before McGuinness will commit himself for another year.

It had been thought in the immediate aftermath of his team's heavy defeat by Mayo in the All-Ireland quarter-final that McGuinness would have stood down.

Particularly as his wife has just given birth to twins thus meaning he now has five children as well as the responsibilities of his high-profile job with Celtic.

There is too the not insignificant consideration that several Donegal players might decide to call time on their careers.

So far, there are no firm indications that any players will step aside although Ryan Bradley and Ross Wherity have emigrated for employment reasons.

Karl Lacey was a high-profile absentee this year – because of injury – but is expected to line out again when he's fully fit next season.

Belfast Telegraph


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