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Donegal GAA thread

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I think there is some substance to what rorysboys is saying. Behind the scenes it isn't just as cut and dry as Bonner being "sacked" and we go off and appoint someone new. There are important factors to consider when appointing managers chief among those financial. We're not so naive as to think that an outside manager will do it for nothing. Expenses will add up and any new manager such as that will be keen to have a bit of leeway.

We're also hindered by geography. Looking at it from the outside, it was a masterstroke by McGeeney getting Donaghy in. He has done it all as a player and I'm sure he has provided some invaluable input in terms of Armagh's direct kicking game. I know we had Rochford, and I'm not trying to be smart here, but it'd be great to know what his actual input was in terms of tactics?

Ultimately though, Bonner has had a good run of it. Even the best managers sometimes run out of road and things become stale. I think if he is to step away the manager will have to come from within, and some original thinking will be required in regard to the makeup of the backroom team. Interesting times ahead.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7880 - 17/06/2022 09:58:46    2425544

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Replying To TMcC:  "If you were at the game you would have seen the dirty off the ball stuff from Murphy, a man who has been an immense talent for years but whom can get away with murder, he nearly decapitated Folker with two feet in front of the linesman and nothing, from what I saw only he was booed and deservedly so imho. By the way we will miss your support!"
Poor wee Forker wouldn't hurt a fly sure... If Michael reacted badly to every time he has been insulted and assaulted on a football pitch Eddie Hearn would be giving him a shout.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7880 - 17/06/2022 10:01:20    2425546

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Replying To peiledoir20:  "McGuinness fundraised his own money you'll find."
Some of it yea. Not all.

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 1511 - 17/06/2022 10:36:14    2425557

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Replying To The keeper:  "We are using him as an example of what we want, no one said he would come back.
Do we settle for mediocrity and stay with our current management, or will we actually try and look for the next great manager.
I know what most Donegal supporter's want.
Better to have tried and failed than not try at all.
"
Hasn't the best interest of Donegal at heart says a man that doesn't go to matches. If you had the best interest of Donegal at heart you would be at games supporting the lads instead of berating management minutes after an Ulster final defeat. Nobody's interested in hearing about your fascination with Mc Guinness. Bonner showed he is a true Donegal gaa man. Tell me one person in Donegal who should get the job and what his experience is. He hasn't to be from glenties lol.

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 1511 - 17/06/2022 10:42:03    2425561

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Replying To JoeSoap:  "So you give him a three year deal because there's nobody else and we're skint?

Why not just wait out his current stint instead and see where we're at next year?

Throwing a three year deal at him off the back of the past three years is generous, and I'm being kind."
Tell me who you want well. If there's a new man he's going to get 3 years..

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 1511 - 17/06/2022 10:44:34    2425565

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I think there is a more fundamental issue to address than choice of management anyway. If we do appoint from within, what exactly will change in terms of style? I can't think of one club in the county who is playing a different style than what the county does. I know it's not easy - if teams are setting up defensively and playing a counter attacking style, the other team is pretty much compelled to do the same. So we're stuck in this infinite loop.

I think it will take a major change of mindset in terms of how we coach our young players and how that filters up to adult level. I'm not saying that we should just abandon all defensive coaching, far from it. If anything we should go back to coaching proper one-on-one defending. We have always produced players with flair, but at the moment our style is handicapping them. Noone can tell me that Derry or indeed Armagh have players that are all that much better than the likes of Langan, O'Donnell, Mogan, Gallen etc.

I've heard the question asked on a few different podcasts - are Donegal underperforming or have they just been overrated and playing at their actual level? I am still of the opinion that we have been underperforming. Thinking back, I would have said the same thing around the end of the 00's. We had quality players there, but there were some missing ingredients. Management is far from easy though, and it's easy for the likes of us to be sitting here waffling away. Another thing going into a dressing room full of strong characters and getting them all to buy in to what you're saying.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7880 - 17/06/2022 11:26:20    2425587

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If we are going to change the management team the sooner Declan steps down and we start the process of selecting a new manager the better before the club Championship starts.
Has anyone heard from Declan since the Armagh game?

Tirchonaill1 (Donegal) - Posts: 2066 - 17/06/2022 11:27:02    2425588

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Replying To rorysboys:  "Tell me who you want well. If there's a new man he's going to get 3 years.."
I've absolutely no idea. As you say O'Rourke or someone like that would cost and if we're skint it's a non-starter. So you're looking at someone younger, maybe getting in to senior inter-county for the first time. Who that would be I honestly don't know. Just because the club game in Donegal is chronic doesn't mean that is how managers would set the county team up. Just discounting everyone because they are unproven means you'll never push for higher standards.

I just don't see the point in giving Bonner a three-year deal based off what we've seen. It sends the wrong message out. "Aye this is all good enough, stay as long as you want, in fact bring Rochford back and everything, it's all working perfectly." If you're so adamant he's the best man for the job, just reset and have a rattle for next year and see how we go.

I believe if Declan wants to stay on the county board will let him stay on for this final year. But I think things have gotten severely stale within the setup, I don't think we will see much different next year if things aren't changed either with Declan or with his backroom team. It will be more of the same and Tyrone will be back and with the infusion of talent from their U20s so it will be even harder in Ulster.

There will be a new structure next year and maybe getting out of Ulster will suit us. Since Bonner took over we have only been knocked out by Ulster sides, other than Mayo in 2019. Tyrone twice, Mayo, Cavan and now Armagh. But I'm grasping for positives here. You are adamant we're not good enough to challenge for Sam and Declan is the only option for manager. Will you be happy again next year if we get knocked out at the round robin stage of the new structure? In the same whimper we've just seen?

I don't mind being knocked out. We've been knocked out so many times in my years following Donegal I'm well used to it. I wasn't calling for Bonner's head after the Tyrone match last year. I just hate seeing us give up, the way we lost to Armagh was awful and made me think these players need a change, a big change, because more of the same just won't cut it.

JoeSoap (Donegal) - Posts: 1410 - 17/06/2022 11:39:43    2425601

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "I think there is a more fundamental issue to address than choice of management anyway. If we do appoint from within, what exactly will change in terms of style? I can't think of one club in the county who is playing a different style than what the county does. I know it's not easy - if teams are setting up defensively and playing a counter attacking style, the other team is pretty much compelled to do the same. So we're stuck in this infinite loop.

I think it will take a major change of mindset in terms of how we coach our young players and how that filters up to adult level. I'm not saying that we should just abandon all defensive coaching, far from it. If anything we should go back to coaching proper one-on-one defending. We have always produced players with flair, but at the moment our style is handicapping them. Noone can tell me that Derry or indeed Armagh have players that are all that much better than the likes of Langan, O'Donnell, Mogan, Gallen etc.

I've heard the question asked on a few different podcasts - are Donegal underperforming or have they just been overrated and playing at their actual level? I am still of the opinion that we have been underperforming. Thinking back, I would have said the same thing around the end of the 00's. We had quality players there, but there were some missing ingredients. Management is far from easy though, and it's easy for the likes of us to be sitting here waffling away. Another thing going into a dressing room full of strong characters and getting them all to buy in to what you're saying."
I agree with you that management is a horrible, tough gig. But on many podcasts that I hear with ex-players talking, they say that they want to win and if a manager shows them the way, they'll do anything for that manager. At the minute we are losers. There's no getting away from that. 3 years of failure. So why would the players believe that next year will be different, if everything else stays the same?

I often hear ex-players talking about that lightbulb moment with a new manager or coach or whoever, they say that the manager will be telling you something - if you do x, I promise you that y will happen. So when you follow the instruction, and then the thing happens, the belief that results from that is huge, and you'll do anything.

The past three years, the thing hasn't happened for us. The belief must be drained out of them.

I think there is plenty of blame to go around. I am not pinning it all on Declan. He has been unlucky on occasion these past 5 years. There are big players that have gone missing at key key moments. The Super8s were a farce for us. Players have to take responsibility for failing but at some point, the man at the top has to accept something isn't working.

Can we honestly say, with belief, that if things are just the same next year, that we will see anything different?

There is plenty of talk of "abuse" and all the rest, that's all unacceptable and some faceless nobodies online. But does that mean we're not allowed be critical? Because if Bonner is sitting at home at the minute thinking that anyone criticising him is just an abusive troll, and that he doesn't need to change anything for the coming year, then god help us.

JoeSoap (Donegal) - Posts: 1410 - 17/06/2022 11:46:28    2425604

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Replying To The keeper:  "We are using him as an example of what we want, no one said he would come back.
Do we settle for mediocrity and stay with our current management, or will we actually try and look for the next great manager.
I know what most Donegal supporter's want.
Better to have tried and failed than not try at all.
Rorysboys is just an uneducated and unknowledable clown that is looking more to wind up posters, and hasn't the best interests of Donegal football."
I agree we should look to get the best , our players deserve that. Unfortunately , it looks like the county board are happy to settle for mediocrity, the cheaper options at all age levels!

greenfan (Donegal) - Posts: 101 - 17/06/2022 11:49:05    2425606

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In the aftermath of last Sundays defeat, I'm sure Declan and the players are hurting badly. In a way I accept that they don't want to speak to the media. Firstly I want to say that Declans reign started with 2 fantastic Ulster Titles, and we were playing an attractive and progressive style of football. But somewhere along the road, the wheels have come off, and we are now a pale shadow of the contenders we were at that stage.

My difficulty is, towards the end of the league, during the dispute between the GPA and Croke Park, our County Board Chairman was out front and centre doing media interviews. Where is he this week? Not available for comment.

If Declan stands down, we will be left with the situation that this Chairman, whose 5 year term has coincided with Declans tenure, will be responsible for appointing a new manager. Okay, a Sub Committee will probably be formed, but who picks the Sub Committee?

SouthOfTheGap (Donegal) - Posts: 239 - 17/06/2022 12:15:46    2425611

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "I think there is a more fundamental issue to address than choice of management anyway. If we do appoint from within, what exactly will change in terms of style? I can't think of one club in the county who is playing a different style than what the county does. I know it's not easy - if teams are setting up defensively and playing a counter attacking style, the other team is pretty much compelled to do the same. So we're stuck in this infinite loop.

I think it will take a major change of mindset in terms of how we coach our young players and how that filters up to adult level. I'm not saying that we should just abandon all defensive coaching, far from it. If anything we should go back to coaching proper one-on-one defending. We have always produced players with flair, but at the moment our style is handicapping them. Noone can tell me that Derry or indeed Armagh have players that are all that much better than the likes of Langan, O'Donnell, Mogan, Gallen etc.

I've heard the question asked on a few different podcasts - are Donegal underperforming or have they just been overrated and playing at their actual level? I am still of the opinion that we have been underperforming. Thinking back, I would have said the same thing around the end of the 00's. We had quality players there, but there were some missing ingredients. Management is far from easy though, and it's easy for the likes of us to be sitting here waffling away. Another thing going into a dressing room full of strong characters and getting them all to buy in to what you're saying."
Exactly.

I just can't agree with RoryStories (pun intended) that we don't have the footballers. We were serial losers and softies before McGuinness took over. He changed players mentally and physically. You say that we wouldn't have won an All Ireland without a young Michael Murphy, that may be so, but we definitely wouldn't have won it without the players who were previously also rans, and turned them into pedigree animals. Were Ryan Bradley, Rory Kavanagh and David Walsh better footballers pre McGuinness than what we have now? Do Michael Langan, Caolán McGonigle and Niall or Shane O'Donnell not posses as much ability? Theres not one single player on this years panel who doesnt have as much footballing ability to match what went before. But they just aren't matching them with the hunger, intensity and doggedness.

This week had been torturous, and reminded me of a chat i had a few years ago with a friend of mine, an intercounty player from outside Donegal, who marked Ryan Bradley on a number of occasions pre McGuinness, and was amazed to see the player he turned into. This led me to look at (google) the Donegal team that were hammered out the gates of Healy Park in 2007 by Monaghan. Have a look yourselves, and tell me if those players improved as footballers, or was it mentality? And to further emphasise my point, the aforementioned Ryan Bradley was taken off after 26 minutes that day.

Donegal have the footballers today. We need to get the right management team together in the next couple of weeks/months. And as I've stated on other posts, I don't think we have the County Board Officials in place to make these changes. Each Club Chairman over the next few weeks has a huge responsibility, it is they who must put their shoulders to the wheel, to get the wheels in motion.

SouthOfTheGap (Donegal) - Posts: 239 - 17/06/2022 12:29:21    2425615

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Lads ye have some quality players. Lots of teams play counter attack but the difference with ye is ye take zero risks. Its all too safe. Rarely quick foot passes up the field. Carry and hand pass to someone in the loop or if the shoulder.

Wouldn't take a lot to make ye a force. Just a few tweaks.

Mayonman (Galway) - Posts: 1623 - 17/06/2022 16:56:33    2425660

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "I think there is some substance to what rorysboys is saying. Behind the scenes it isn't just as cut and dry as Bonner being "sacked" and we go off and appoint someone new. There are important factors to consider when appointing managers chief among those financial. We're not so naive as to think that an outside manager will do it for nothing. Expenses will add up and any new manager such as that will be keen to have a bit of leeway.

We're also hindered by geography. Looking at it from the outside, it was a masterstroke by McGeeney getting Donaghy in. He has done it all as a player and I'm sure he has provided some invaluable input in terms of Armagh's direct kicking game. I know we had Rochford, and I'm not trying to be smart here, but it'd be great to know what his actual input was in terms of tactics?

Ultimately though, Bonner has had a good run of it. Even the best managers sometimes run out of road and things become stale. I think if he is to step away the manager will have to come from within, and some original thinking will be required in regard to the makeup of the backroom team. Interesting times ahead."
A good run of it? Will you come on.

Knocked out of the Super 8s due to poor performances after winning Ulster in 2018 & 2019. In three season since then, the team has gone backwards. That's the reality of the past five years.

greatpoint (USA) - Posts: 395 - 17/06/2022 18:22:43    2425670

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Replying To greatpoint:  "A good run of it? Will you come on.

Knocked out of the Super 8s due to poor performances after winning Ulster in 2018 & 2019. In three season since then, the team has gone backwards. That's the reality of the past five years."
Take off your blinkers lads, our decline has started with the decline of Murphy. Surely it's not hard to see that. Why has this last 11 years been so successful because of the emergence of a brilliant young player. Yea we always have good players and still have but Murphy was the player that glued it all together. A leader who every player looked up to.

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 1511 - 18/06/2022 09:01:20    2425690

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Replying To SouthOfTheGap:  "Exactly.

I just can't agree with RoryStories (pun intended) that we don't have the footballers. We were serial losers and softies before McGuinness took over. He changed players mentally and physically. You say that we wouldn't have won an All Ireland without a young Michael Murphy, that may be so, but we definitely wouldn't have won it without the players who were previously also rans, and turned them into pedigree animals. Were Ryan Bradley, Rory Kavanagh and David Walsh better footballers pre McGuinness than what we have now? Do Michael Langan, Caolán McGonigle and Niall or Shane O'Donnell not posses as much ability? Theres not one single player on this years panel who doesnt have as much footballing ability to match what went before. But they just aren't matching them with the hunger, intensity and doggedness.

This week had been torturous, and reminded me of a chat i had a few years ago with a friend of mine, an intercounty player from outside Donegal, who marked Ryan Bradley on a number of occasions pre McGuinness, and was amazed to see the player he turned into. This led me to look at (google) the Donegal team that were hammered out the gates of Healy Park in 2007 by Monaghan. Have a look yourselves, and tell me if those players improved as footballers, or was it mentality? And to further emphasise my point, the aforementioned Ryan Bradley was taken off after 26 minutes that day.

Donegal have the footballers today. We need to get the right management team together in the next couple of weeks/months. And as I've stated on other posts, I don't think we have the County Board Officials in place to make these changes. Each Club Chairman over the next few weeks has a huge responsibility, it is they who must put their shoulders to the wheel, to get the wheels in motion."
Now we r getting somewhere as regards a solution and moving things forward. The county board model of running county teams is outdated. This is what we need to look at and get modern structures in place to support our county teams. Most club chairman and officials are only interested in there own patch and what benefits they can get for there own club and they have very little interest in our county teams.

Derry are building a serious model off the pitch with the recent appointment of former chairman Steven Barker as head of operations. This is a paid salary and this is a professional person who is very capable. Dublin did this 20 years ago with John Costello. Cork are getting there act together off the pitch, as are Offaly, Louth, Limerick etc.

18 counties have commercial managers in place. This again is a paid salary where the person has responsibility for developing a long-term sustainable funding for the county teams. Again, a professional person and taken away from the county board.

Last year we appointed a full-time S&C coach for the 1st time. This is a welcome move but we are years behind other counties. Many other counties now have 2/3/4 full-time S&C coaches working with their county teams, it has evolved to this, they started with 1 and then seen their value and created more supports.

Another step in the right direction has been the appointment of Karl Lacey as head of football academy from u14s to u20s. This will take time to get right but have no doubt will prove very fruitful if fully supported. It took Limerick 9 years to get there under-age sorted and we are coming from a similar base to them. It is important that Karl Lacey is fully supported moving forward as we are lucky that he is willing to invest his time in developing a proper pathway for our players. It is important that his team-mates from 2012 get in behind him and put the shoulder to the wheel as well. Colm McFadden, Paddy McGrath, Frank McGlynn, Neil Gallagher, Leo McLoone, Rory Kavanagh, Eamon McGee has been involved with the u20s. They all have something to offer somewhere along the pathway.

We have reached 10/12 ulster finals and 4 of the last 5. When u look at the support structure in place off the pitch, we have been doing well to get where we are. My worry would be is that other counties are really starting to modernise and move forward, and we still have a massive way to go here.

Are the county board officials willing to let go of control and get professional people in to run the county teams? It is an outdated system and the sooner we get these things in place, then we r giving our current and future Donegal players the best chance to reach their potential.

ryan (Donegal) - Posts: 522 - 18/06/2022 09:54:00    2425703

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Replying To ryan:  "Now we r getting somewhere as regards a solution and moving things forward. The county board model of running county teams is outdated. This is what we need to look at and get modern structures in place to support our county teams. Most club chairman and officials are only interested in there own patch and what benefits they can get for there own club and they have very little interest in our county teams.

Derry are building a serious model off the pitch with the recent appointment of former chairman Steven Barker as head of operations. This is a paid salary and this is a professional person who is very capable. Dublin did this 20 years ago with John Costello. Cork are getting there act together off the pitch, as are Offaly, Louth, Limerick etc.

18 counties have commercial managers in place. This again is a paid salary where the person has responsibility for developing a long-term sustainable funding for the county teams. Again, a professional person and taken away from the county board.

Last year we appointed a full-time S&C coach for the 1st time. This is a welcome move but we are years behind other counties. Many other counties now have 2/3/4 full-time S&C coaches working with their county teams, it has evolved to this, they started with 1 and then seen their value and created more supports.

Another step in the right direction has been the appointment of Karl Lacey as head of football academy from u14s to u20s. This will take time to get right but have no doubt will prove very fruitful if fully supported. It took Limerick 9 years to get there under-age sorted and we are coming from a similar base to them. It is important that Karl Lacey is fully supported moving forward as we are lucky that he is willing to invest his time in developing a proper pathway for our players. It is important that his team-mates from 2012 get in behind him and put the shoulder to the wheel as well. Colm McFadden, Paddy McGrath, Frank McGlynn, Neil Gallagher, Leo McLoone, Rory Kavanagh, Eamon McGee has been involved with the u20s. They all have something to offer somewhere along the pathway.

We have reached 10/12 ulster finals and 4 of the last 5. When u look at the support structure in place off the pitch, we have been doing well to get where we are. My worry would be is that other counties are really starting to modernise and move forward, and we still have a massive way to go here.

Are the county board officials willing to let go of control and get professional people in to run the county teams? It is an outdated system and the sooner we get these things in place, then we r giving our current and future Donegal players the best chance to reach their potential."
Unfortunately I don't think the people in power in the county board will let go of power. They don't have the ambition to modernise the setup. That takes effort and serious money. Simple example... our centre of excellence doesn't have an-all weather pitch... compare it to the centres in Tyrone or Derry and u can see the limited ambition of our county board . We 'll always have players good enough to be competitive and stay around the top 8 or 10 in the country, the county board seem happy with that. Making the next step takes ambition, more effort and serious investment.

greenfan (Donegal) - Posts: 101 - 18/06/2022 11:12:35    2425723

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Most of the people who are coming up with all the solutions for next year were probably not even at the game last Sunday. It amazes me why they bother. Bonner alluded to it in his column yesterday about the hard core support Donegal have, who deserve praise for always attending. As for the rest of yous, yous have all the solutions and offer nothing .

rorysboys (Donegal) - Posts: 1511 - 18/06/2022 11:42:19    2425728

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It is amazing that the county chairman ,county board and the football management team are all sub standard and all the players are faultless and being held back.

gunman (Donegal) - Posts: 822 - 18/06/2022 12:18:31    2425735

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Some of the stuff here is really throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Even though donegal have not won much at underage level over the last few years they've still being very competitive. That under 20 team lost one game on extra time to the eventual all ireland champions, who were really smarting for their defeat in Letterkenny. They were clearly in the the top 2/3 teams in the country this year.

Donegal were the third best minor team this year in ulster and lost of penalties.

Donegal have a perfectly good centre of excellence. Down, armagh and cavan have pretty much nothing at the minute. The centre of excellence in mayo is the connacht and nothing to do with mayo. It's debatable whether AstroTurf pitches are actually that good for you. It will have the third pitch and have the money to finish off the car park. It's something to be really proud of instead of criticising. The county board did have the house draw that is the key funding in finishing it off.

Again they've introduced the s&c coach and the academy with one of best ever footballers involved and its still criticism. They created the link with lyit and they've been very competitive in sigerson with pretty much a full donegal team. Again something that is very progressive. They've land to develop their own facilities and hopefully that will happen soon.

This doesn't mean everything is right and mistakes are made by them. The club football, particularly the senior club final has been so tough to watch. I really hope it improves this year but if it doesn't and gaa don't look at the rules then maybe club chairman's, supporters and even players need to be having a word with managers to demand something better. And if clubs are happy enough with boring sideways, backways, possession based football with no risks and no kicking then how can we suddenly start lambasting the county when they do the same. One of the ironic things is that apart from this year they played plenty progressive football in the non covid years. If people want to see real change it starts at the club first. The administration to the county comes through the clubs and based on the level of criticism it would much easier to just not get involved.

Ulsterchamps_32 (Donegal) - Posts: 615 - 18/06/2022 12:53:00    2425740

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