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Make your mind up time in Kerry and Donegal

By John Campbell

Donegal have yet to formally confirm that John Joe Doherty has taken over as new football boss in succession to Brian McIver.

But irrespective of the appointment, the fall-out from the process followed will linger for some time.

The Donegal players have made their views known on the subject very forcibly and if Doherty takes the post, he faces the difficult task of trying to establish unity and repairing the relationship between the county board and the players - assuming, that is, that he will select the bulk of this year’s squad to do duty for him in 2009.

And while the Donegal pot continues to boil, Kerry still hope to have their new football manager in place early next month even though Sean Geaney has ruled himself out of the race to succeed Pat O’Shea.

The Dingle clubman was one of the early favourites to become next Kingdom boss but he has now confirmed he is no longer interested in the post.

Pat O’Driscoll from Ardfert has now suddenly emerged as one of the strongest candidates as the county board aims to get its man in place by November 10. Neither Ger O’Keeffe nor Eoin Liston have shown any interest in the job and the idea of re-installing Jack O’Connor looks like a long shot.

Meanwhile, Peter Canavan, a man who has heaped agony on Kerry in the past, yesterday tackled his first Dublin city marathon to raise funds for his chosen charity.

The former Allstar will boost funds for the Spirit of Paul McGirr charity. Paul was a former Tyrone minor goalkeeper who died tragically ten years ago.

Canavan admits that he has a dislike for long distance running, but was determined to complete the run.

"My ex-team-mates will have had a few laughs when they found out about me running the marathon. I find distance running difficult. It is a completely different exercise to what I would have been used to. The long runs are monotonous but it is something I have had to get used to," said Canavan.

The charity raises funds and sends volunteers to support communities in Lusaka, Zambia where training programmes are run to help the younger generations gain skills in areas such as bricklaying, baking, horticulture and farming.

“It is a very worthwhile charity and I would hope that the coffers can be further boosted now,” says Canavan who led Tyrone to ‘Sam’ in 2003.

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