Rory Gallagher has been appointed as the new manager of the Derry Senior football team, following a meeting with the Derry County board.
All-Ireland winning coach Rory Gallagher has been appointed on a three-year term. Gallagher will lead an experienced management team that includes All-Ireland club winner and former Derry All-Star footballer, Enda Muldoon.
Ciaran Meenagh who has already worked with the Derry senior footballers during the 2019 season will also be part of the management team.
Gallagher enjoyed success with Donegal. The former Cavan and Fermanagh forward was a selector under Jim McGuinness. After the departure of McGuinness, Gallagher was appointed the new manager of the Donegal senior football team in October 2014.
Coincidentally Gallagher's first competitive game in charge of Donegal was in the National League against his new employers, Derry.
The Derry side Gallagher inherits is in a very different place. Derry have not won the Ulster Championship since 1998.
That game against Donegal in 2015 was in Allianz National League division one. Last year Derry were in division four. The Oak Leaf did secure promotion to division three after winning seven out of seven in the football league basement.
The Ulster championship started with a loss to Tyrone in the preliminaries. The qualifiers campaign started much better for Derry. They secured a comfortable 4-16 to 10 point away win in Innovate Wexford Park. The were knocked out by Laois in the second round of the qualifiers.
The appointment of Gallagher was not entirely straightforward though. The Derry clubs threatened to derail the process. Gallagher was not one of the original nominees put forward by clubs. There was briefly the potential scenario of Derry clubs could taking the unusual step of refusing to ratify the county committee’s choice. That situation did not come to pass.
Gallagher takes over from Damian McErlain. McErlain had been in charge for two years experiencing both relegation and promotion in the league during that time.