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23rd Aug 2023

Eamon McGee believes Jim McGuinness will go after retired stars

Lee Costello

“Obviously the big one is, will he look at Michael Murphy?”

Former Donegal star Eamon McGee believes that Jim McGuinness may go after retired county players to bolster his squad for his first season back.

McGuinness previously managed Donegal from 2011-2014, in a time where he won three Ulster titles and the county’s second ever All-Ireland.

McGee was a big part of those teams, so he has first hand experience when it comes to working with the Naomh Conaill clubman.

Speaking on Highland Radio, the ex-defender said that McGuinness may seek to bring some of the former stars out of retirement.

“He will,” said McGee. “He’ll look around and obviously the big one is will he look at Michael Murphy? You’d imagine he probably has had conversations and sounded him out.”

It’s hard to say no when someone as respected as McGuinness asks you to come back, but McGee believes that Murphy will do just that.

“No, no, I don’t (think Murphy will return),” he continued. “That’s just my own opinion on it. I think Michael has given his time, he’s done his service so we need to start going in other directions and looking for other leaders now.

“And lads will step up. Michael has trailed the path for them on what to do and how to do it, so the lads will step up. I think we need to put it to bed fairly early.

Jim McGuinness

“Michael is probably not going to come back playing. It’s up to him. It’s a conversation that Jim and him will have to have.

“I think the majority of teams are playing fairly similarly so Jim will not deviate too far away from it,” said the former defender.

“At the end of the day, most of the teams….Kerry and Dublin are probably a wee bit out of everybody, then there’s a block falling in behind them and most of them ability-wise are sitting at about the same level.

“You have to get that mentality, the mentality that goes with it and I felt that’s been one of the criticisms around Donegal this last few years, the mentality.

“And there’s nobody better in the country than Jim McGuinness to find that mentality and really harden it and make it that winning edge.”

It’s not yet confirmed who will join McGuinness on his backroom team, but it’s expected that a few names from the 2012 All-Ireland winning team will be a part of it.

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