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Declan Bonner ratified as Donegal manager and vows to keep county competitive

Declan Bonner ratified as Donegal manager and vows to keep county competitive

first_imgDeclan Bonner says that Donegal can be ‘competitive’ after being officially named as the new senior team manager.Bonner was unanimously ratified as the new Donegal manager at a specially convened meeting of the county committee in Jackons’s Hotel in Ballybofey.The Na Rossa man has recruited Paul McGonigle as his number two and has been given a three-year term in the role, which will take him until the end of the 2020 season, with an annual review at the end of years one and two. “I hear the word transition mentioned,” Bonner told club delegates.“That is fair enough, but I would hope that we will be very competitive“We have taken a step or two back in the last couple of seasons and we have to look at that.  We have to adapt. We have become too one-dimensional and too predictable. That will take work on the training field.”Bonner has named Buncrana man McGonigle as assistant manager. McGonigle was a member of Jim McGuinness’s backroom in 2014 when Donegal reached the All-Ireland final. Bonner was proposed by Donal Breslin and seconded by Adrian Alcorn while McGonigle was proposed by Mickey McMahon and seconded by John Friel.Last month, Rory Gallagher – who has since been appointed as Fermanagh manager – stepped down following a meek performance in a 4-17 to 0-14 qualifier defeat by Galway.Bonner said: “A lot of things will have to change.“We have a fair idea of what is out there. I have been very close to the club scene and we hope to get players together sooner rather than later.”Bonner thanked his family, his employers, Findlater & Company, and his club, Na Rossa, for their support. The full make-up of Bonner’s backroom has yet to be confirmed. This will be done within the next fortnight with the October meeting of the county committee set to be put back to October 9 to allow for the ratification of the backroom team.Bonner had a previous spell as Donegal senior manager and was pipped to in the 1998 Ulster final by Derry during a three-year term.Bonner said: “It is an honour to be back as Donegal manager.“It is a big job and a big position. We have a lot of work to do. “It is a 24/7 job but I am prepared to give that commitment. That is what it takes.”It was here in the same suite of Jackson’s Hotel in 1997, on the night of his 32nd birthday, that Bonner was previously ratified as Tir Chonaill manager.Three candidates – Bonner, Cathal Corey and Sean Paul Barrett – were interviewed by the selection panel.Seamus McEnaney and Gary McDaid had been in the race initially before withdrawing their names before the interview process began.Donegal County Chairman Sean Dunnion said: “They put in a huge effort in coming forward. They presented themselves excellently and showed absolute passion for Donegal football and their vision for what they would like to bring. They had a huge effort in identifying members for their backroom team.“I know they are both very disappointed that they weren’t successful.”Dunnion refuted claims by Naomh Conaill delegate David Kelch that Corey, whom his club had nominated, was told at a second interview to strengthen his backroom team before being called back for a third time.Dunnion said: “He was not told to strengthen his backroom team. We discussed it but there was no indication that there would be a third interview.”It appeared likely that Donegal would hold off on making an appointment until the October meeting of the county committee – schedule for Monday-week, October 2 – but on Wednesday night, Bonner’s name emerged from the selection committee and a special meeting was convened.Bonner was the Donegal Under-21 manager for the last two years, winning an Ulster title earlier this year, while he won the Ulster minor title in 2014, when he took the Donegal minors to the county’s first-ever All-Ireland minor final.Bonner has been the front-runner for the post since the departure of Gallagher – who has since been installed as the new manager of Fermanagh – last month.Naomh Columba delegate Denis Ellis asked if any safeguards were in place to ‘protect clubs’ in relation to the availability of county players.Dunnion said: That was discussed with all the candidates. The conversation was more difficult this year as there is uncertainty in terms of what the playing season will look like.“We had discussions with all the candidates, but there is no absolute safeguards. We have a commitment to sit down with the CCC and the clubs to ensure maximum availability.”Declan Bonner ratified as Donegal manager and vows to keep county competitive was last modified: September 24th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Declan BonnerLettermacawardNa RossaRory GallagherSean Dunnionlast_img read more