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27th Jun 2023

Aidan O’Rourke on the crazy time demands of being a county manager

Lee Costello

“It is absolutely a full-time job.”

Aidan O’Rourke has stepped down as manager of Donegal, and has revealed that he cannot commit to the crazy time demands of the role.

O’Rourke was initially brought in as an assistant manager under Paddy Carr, but when the players voted for him to leave earlier in the year, the Armagh man stepped up to take on the role.

Donegal had a disastrous start to the year, getting relegated from Division One, the situation with Carr, off-field problems around the county development academy, and crashing out of Ulster to Down.

However, the 2002 All-Ireland winner did manage to turn things around as they pulled off impressive victories over Clare and Monaghan to make the preliminary stages.

Aidan O'Rourke

Defeat at the hands of Tyrone however has ended their season, and O’Rourke’s time in charge.

“I think I have done what I can,” said O’Rourke after the 1-18 to 0-13 lossDonegal have a lot of soul-searching to do in terms of what happens next, on and off the pitch.

“And I suppose it’s time to thank the people who supported me and Paddy and the backroom team whenever we did the role. I want to thank Paddy Carr for asking me to get involved as well.”

The former Armagh star works as a full-time GAA development officer with Queen’s University, and admitted that it was difficult to juggle of his commitments.

“I never intended to be managing Donegal at any stage this year. There were a lot of moving parts all year.

“It is absolutely a full-time job, managing an inter-county team. I was going to say at this level, but at any level really, at this point.

“And that’s just the facts of it. You need a lot of time on your hands or to be retired to really do this properly. And from a pressure point of view, it was really tough from that time on.

“I have to tip my hat to my family at this stage because they have seen virtually nothing of me between trying to do my job half decently as well as trying to keep the wheels moving here.”

Listen to Stephen O’Neill in studio, as he chats to the two lads about last weekend’s action, his incredible county career, and all of the latest talking points on the GAA Hour.

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