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Jim McGuinness Was So Impressed By Donegal At The Weekend, He Even Praised Rory Gallagher

Jim McGuinness Was So Impressed By Donegal At The Weekend, He Even Praised Rory Gallagher
By Gavin Cooney

Rory Gallagher's job with Donegal is not exactly the easiest in the country. He succeeded one of the county's greatest ever managers in Jim McGuinness, attempting to emulate his success while McGuinness passed judgement in his hugely popular Irish Times column.

McGuinness has been unafraid of airing his opinions of Donegal since his departure, and also found himself at the heart of a public feud with Gallagher following the publication of his book, Until Victory Always. Gallagher questioned the factual accuracies of McGuinness' recount of the former's departure from the Donegal management team in 2013, while also expressing disappointment that McGuinness would reveal such details in public.

McGuinness refuted the claims, saying that "in terms of the protocol around that, I would consider it gold standard, absolutely gold standard. Every single thing was 100 percent done correctly, while stressing his belief that the book was presented factually, and not in a "tabloid" manner.

McGuinness has taken a similar tone in his Irish Times columns, the measured and analytical tone have set him apart as one of the best GAA writers in the country. In today's article, he was highly complimentary of Donegal's performance against Cork on Saturday: praise which extended to Rory Gallagher:

I was hugely impressed with how Donegal responded to that defeat in their win over Cork because losing an Ulster final can be absolutely soul-destroying. And Rory Gallagher had the task of putting them in the right frame of mind for that game. For all the talk of Donegal ageing, the team continues to get younger, which is interesting in itself.

Since he has become manager, Gallagher has introduced new players who have subtly but significantly altered the profile of the team. Eoin McHugh and Marty O’Reilly can inject serious pace while Odhrán MacNiallais and Ryan McHugh have become very important players. The win over Cork may have marked Paddy McBrearty’s true coming of age. So what he has managed to do is to quietly assemble a new team even while people are banging on about an old Donegal team.

McGuinness went on to discuss the tactics he believes Donegal will have to employ to have a chance at upsetting the Dubs. He is optimistic they can do it, however.


Read the full column here.

See Also: The Tipperary Footballers' Success Has Come In The Face Of Real Adversity

See Also: 6 Of The Greatest Enemies That Hill 16 Has Ever Known




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