Donegal All-Ireland winning manager Jim McGuinness is expected to meet again with Donegal GAA officials this weekend.
This was confirmed yesterday by Donegal board chairman Sean Dunnion following Tuesday night’s decision to delay the start of the Donegal intermediate and senior championships until Donegal have completed their championship campaign.
“I spoke to Jim immediately after the meeting and conveyed the outcome to him and we have provisionally set a meeting for the weekend,” the chairman told the Democrat.
“We are anxious to have the matter wrapped up as soon as possible and Jim feels the same way. But as people will appreciate following the birth of the twins last weekend and given all he has on his plate, we decided to provisionally hold the meeting.
“Hopefully it will go ahead but we are willing to give Jim the time and space and we will have the meeting when it fits into his schedule.”
At Tuesday night’s meeting, the county’s senior and intermediate clubs voted overwhelmingly in favour of not playing games in the intermediate and senior championship until Donegal had completed their championship campaign.
The vote was 20 for with six against. There were two proposals before the meeting which was a follow-on from last Friday night’s meeting between the Donegal manager and the clubs.
The first proposal was the request from Jim McGuinness to play one and possibly two games in both championships at the end of April and the beginning of May and then park it up until after Donegal’s championship is over.
The other, which emerged from last Friday night’s discussion, was to delay the start of the championship until after Donegal exit the All-Ireland series.
After an hour long discussion on the matter and some trenchant opposition from a number of clubs, most notably Ardara and Killybegs, the meeting voted in favour of the delayed start.
It is also believed that Kilcar voted against the delay.
“It’s not the ideal situation. But the matter has been thrashed out and discussed and the clubs have had their say. It’s a matter of moving on now,” said county secretary, Aodh Mairtín O’Fearraigh.
Donegal officials have pledged to hold a number of fixture forums in the coming months to find a way of implementing the changes that have been proposed.
“We can’t do anything really until the Ulster draw is made and we find out the dates. Once the Ulster draw is made and we know when we are out in Ulster we will be in a better position to plan for next year,” added the county secretary.
“This will be done in consultation with the clubs and I suppose among the things we have to look at is if we were to get to the All-Ireland final, whether we can play off the senior championship in the current format.
“We may have to decide to go to straight knockout. But this will be all discussed over the next couple of months so that we come up with a solution that is acceptable to the majority.”
The secretary went on to say that the important thing was that the clubs had their say on the matter and had made the final decision.
Despite his proposal not receiving the backing of the clubs, the general consensus is that the Donegal boss will be happy with Tuesday night’s outcome.
His main concern in seeking the change to the scheduling of the championships was to give him a free run to prepare his team unhindered by the distraction of club championship for next season’s Ulster championship.
After Tuesday night’s decision the ball now is back in the manager’s court.
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