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Lee Keegan Has Interesting Theory On Michael Murphy Donegal Retirement

Lee Keegan Has Interesting Theory On Michael Murphy Donegal Retirement
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Donegal don't seem to be in a great place at the moment. They currently sit bottom of Division 1, winning only one of their five games up to this point.

Results on the pitch are certainly a concern, but their current circumstances at county board level are arguably an even bigger issue.

The county was rocked recently when it was announced that Head of Academy Development Karly Lacey had stepped back from his role, with the county's underage coaches also stepping down in solidarity with their former colleague. As a result, many of the underage teams in Donegal have yet to return to any sort of organised training this season.

Not only that, but Jim McGuinness revealed this week that he was part of a proposed coaching ticket for Donegal this year alongside Lacey and Rory Kavanagh. He was not happy with the way the process was handled.


In short, all is not well in the Ulster county.

Lee Keegan has theory on Michael Murphy Donegal retirement

Of course, Donegal are also without Michael Murphy this year, with their talisman ending his 15-year inter-county career at the end of last season.

Could the dysfunction in the team and county board have had something to do with that? Lee Keegan feels it might have.


Writing in his column with RTÉ, the former Mayo star said that the lack of evolution in the Donegal team in recent years was likely to have contributed to the Glenswilly man's decision.

There are stories bubbling up in the background about Karl Lacey quitting the academy set-up. We've had Jim McGuinness revealing (in the Irish Examiner) that he had been involved in a prospective coaching ticket with Lacey under Rory Kavanagh and then criticising the county board for their handling of the process.

It's often remarked these days that Donegal are in transition. And yet they haven't changed their style of play in years.

Transition is often about style of play, structure, set-up, as opposed to simply being about a raft of new players unseating the older generation. New players have arrived but the style hasn't changed.

To be honest, I feel that was one of the reasons Murphy left when he did. One of the greatest forwards who ever played the game and yet they were so reliant on his influence, he was asked to play midfield, roaming around the middle third, performing donkey work.

It wasn't sustainable for him to do that. I think if Donegal had been more ambitious in the latter part of the last decade, they would have plonked Murphy on the square and approached games with a more attacking mindset.

They've been stuck in a rut since 2014. I know they've won a couple of Ulster titles but haven't really challenged at national level since that year's All-Ireland final defeat.

The Jim McGuinness revolution delivered Donegal an All-Ireland title - you can never challenge that. But I don't think they've adapted to the way the game has evolved since.

It will be interesting to see if Donegal can salvage their 2023 season, but regardless of how things go in the months ahead, it seems that major changes will be needed away from the pitch.


Considering the playing resources they have had, it is fair to say that they should have performed much better in recent years.

SEE ALSO: 'I Woke Up After A Galway Game, And There Was A Scout In My House'



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