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McElkennon rejects offer of linking up with Donegal

By John Campbell

Leading Ulster trainer Martin McElkennon has turned down an invitation to join Rory Gallagher's backroom team in Donegal.

McElkennon has been pondering over the chance to link up with the reigning provincial champions but family commitments coupled with travel demands have led him to forgo the opportunity.

The Ballygawley man has worked with Monaghan and Meath of late while Seamus McEnaney was in charge and has not altogether ruled out the prospect of returning to the inter-county scene.

Gallagher, meanwhile, is understood to be putting the final touches to his backroom team to which Gary McDaid was his first appointee.

McDaid is expected to serve in the role of selector given his vast knowledge of Donegal club football.

For the moment, though, Gallagher is keeping his focus on tomorrow's Donegal Under-21 championship football final in which the Kilcar team he manages will take on St Eunan's Letterkenny.

The Kilcar side includes senior Donegal county players Patrick McBrearty and Ryan McHugh as well as their talented younger brothers Stephen McBrearty and Eoin McHugh.

Because they reached the All- Ireland final, in which they lost to Kerry, Donegal are not permitted to resume senior squad training until next weekend.

It doesn't give them long then to get the machine cranked into gear again as it is just a week before the Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup competition commences.

Donegal are due to meet Derry in their opening game and because of the limited time in which they have been afforded to prepare for the competition, the Donegal side may be very much of an experimental nature.

Meanwhile, it is understood that Armagh skipper Ciaran McKeever may be switching club sides in Dublin.

The St Patrick's, Cullyhanna man transferred to Parnells in the city during the summer but is now believed to be linking up with Oliver Plunketts.

Plunketts are clearly a team on the up having lost two weeks ago to St Vincent's in the Dublin Senior Football Championship final.

McKeever's commitment to Armagh remains firm, though, and just recently he was among the few high-profile players who made themselves available for the Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup launch in Belfast.

The player missed almost four months of action earlier in the season because of injuries and is already on record as saying that he is committed to striving to bring more success to the Orchard County men in 2015

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