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Donegal captain Michael Murphy looks forward to rebuilding job under Rory Gallagher

Gaelic Games

By Declan Bogue

Donegal captain Michael Murphy has hailed the agreement that locks Rory Gallagher into a four-year arrangement as the county manager as "necessary" as he begins a rebuilding job in the north-west.

"It was fairly crucial and fairly necessary," says the 2012 All-Ireland winning captain of Gallagher's county board vote to continue after his first two years in charge, which has brought two Ulster final defeats and All-Ireland quarter-final exits.

Murphy explains: "I suppose his knowledge of the younger players, having worked with them at U-21 level, they take up a huge percentage of the squad now at the moment.

"I just think there's an opportunity for them to develop, this year, next year, the year after, please God they're going to take that, and I suppose people look at the three, four-year cycle again.

"It's going to take something like that to try and develop things. Without a doubt, you're going to go at it again next year, but for everyone to get their head and to get their chance I think it's necessary."

Under Gallagher, Donegal have already begun a period of reconstruction, with Eoin McHugh, Ciaran Thompson, Mark Anthony McGinley and Ciaran Gillespie granted significant gametime in 2016.

Murphy is glowing in his praise of the youngsters.

"You see them coming into training and you do feel they have a hell of a lot of ability. Maybe you don't realise it at the present how good they are actually are," he said.

"You look at the players that started last year with us, the likes of Ciaran Gillespie and Eoin McHugh, Ciaran Thompson came in, you know, they're huge additions to get them in. They're contributing.

"If they can add something and if we can throw a couple more of them into it, I think they have the potential to wear the jersey for years."

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