Ardara appointment marks another new challenge for Damian Devaney

Stranorlar man recovers from health scare to take charge at Pearse Memorial Park


Damian Devaney - the new manager at Ardara

The appointment of Damian Devaney as the new manager of Ardara senior footballers marks the beginning of a new chapter in the career of the popular Stranorlar man.

The former joint manager of Donegal’s senior lady footballers, was ratified as the new manager of Ardara at the club’s AGM on Sunday night.

And after a year in which football had to be put on hold while he battled back from a serious health scare, Devaney says he can’t wait to get going in his new role.

This time last year, the 39-year-old was preparing to undergo major surgery after being diagnosed with the early stages of bowel cancer. 

He was diagnosed with crohn's disease a number of years ago, but while undergoing routine checks, his medical team discovered pre-cancerous cells in the bowel.

“It was a tough time,” Damian said.

“I was three weeks in hospital in Galway where I underwent major surgery last January.

“Not surprisingly the football had to take a back seat. The treatment went on for some time. The pre-cancerous cells had developed into the early stages of cancer, but thankfully, it was discovered early so I didn’t require chemotherapy or radian treatment.”

He was back in Galway again in March for treatment on his wounds and spent a further nine weeks in hospital in Galway before being allowed home to begin his recovery.

Towards the end of last season, Devaney was back on the sidelines, and helped out as part of Adrian Brennan’s backroom team as Ardara retained their senior championship status.

His appointment as manager was confirmed at Sunday night’s club AGM and he said he's really looking forward to the new challenge.

“Adrian had got the team back up from Division Two into Division One, but last year, the league was played out on a regional basis,” Damian said.

“I’d say by the look of things, it’s going to be the same again.

“The championship has to be the main focus, and we’d love to get ourselves into a position where we can qualify for the knock-out stages. That has to be our aim.”

Devaney has previously managed MacCumhaill's and Na Rossa and was team trainer with Donegal Ladies under Micheál Naughton before being appointed joint manager with Maxi Curran.

He has also coached with Glenswilly and was part of Michael Murphy’s backroom team at Letterkenny IT.

Devaney’s backroom team at Ardara will include Declan Gallagher, Stephen Boyle, Emmett Byrne, Joe McLaughlin, David Hennigan and Daniel Sweeney while Anthony Harkin will be reserve manager.

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