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McIver has handed Derry time as hunt for successor is stepped up

By Declan Bogue

So now that Brian McIver has stepped down as Derry manager, the hunt for his successor will begin to get under way.

McIver can be credited with more positives than many from the outside looking in would be aware of, but an added bonus he gifts the Oak Leafs is the precious commodity of time.

Take the example of Down this year; Jim McCorry only really got down to business in December, having spent the first few weeks double-jobbing with Kilcoo and recruiting a backroom team. The end result was a season that faltered and ended in Championship disappointment and an attempted night of the long knives.

What county boards crave more than anything is the space and time to make the right decision, and the time afterwards for the new man to get his structures in place.

Frontrunners for the Derry job will surely include a number of the vintage of 1993 All-Ireland winners. Enda Gormley has overseen a complete change in footballing culture through the under-age set-up at his club, Glen, in Maghera. Having parted ways with Tyrone club Carrickmore, he is already said to be keen.

Another man who is at a loose end at present is Gary Coleman. Sentimentalists would be taken with the idea of Eamon Coleman's son as Derry manager, and he has experience at, among others, Magherafelt, Greenlough and Glenullin, although he departed that job during the season.

There will be calls for Tony Scullion to make himself available. As someone who has held a role within the International Rules side and whose team talks are the stuff of legend, he would be welcomed by many.

His work with the Ulster Council may prevent him from taking up such a job, but there is the example of Pat O'Shea, who was allowed to manage Kerry from 2007 to 2008 while employed as a coach with the Munster Council.

The dark horses will be the Downey brothers, Henry and Seamus.

Their body of work with the Lavey under-age structures suggests they might want to bring that job to completion first.

Or maybe they might want to leave and come back to it in the future.

Those two, perhaps with Anthony Tohill involved, might be the ones to watch.

Belfast Telegraph


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