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Derry to follow example of Ulster rivals

By John Campbell

The Derry board may be persuaded to cast their net beyond the county boundary in their trawl for Brian McIver's successor as football boss.

Not since the 1996-1998 period when former Dublin player Brian Mullins was in charge have Derry gone for an 'outside' appointment.

But while the board intend to ensure that due process is followed in relation to finding a new manager, the recent achievements of three other Ulster counties currently under the baton of non-native bosses are being digested by Oak Leaf officials.

Donegal have retained their place in Division One of the league and reached the Ulster final to date this year under the command of Fermanagh-born Rory Gallagher, who is in his first season in charge, while Fermanagh have attained promotion to Division Two and reached the last 12 of the All-Ireland title race with Down legend Peter McGrath calling the shots.

But by far and away the most impressive accomplishment has been that of Malachy O'Rourke, yet another Fermanagh native, who has just steered Monaghan to their second Ulster title in three years after they had endured a 26-year barren spell.

O'Rourke has hoisted himself up among the ranks of the elite managers and his fruitful tenure with Monaghan is being closely followed by other counties, Derry among them.

McIver's exit has, not surprisingly, triggered speculation that his successor could come from outside the county although it is expected that nominations from clubs will be sought in the traditional manner, not least because the Croke Park authorities tend to monitor such procedures.

Interestingly, two home-grown Ulster managers are finding themselves in somewhat uncomfortable positions right now.

Down boss Jim McCorry held onto his job thanks to a 22-20 vote at a county board meeting this week after the management committee failed to endorse his retention, while Armagh's Kieran McGeeney has been under fire following his side's exit from the All-Ireland qualifiers.

Belfast Telegraph


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