Departing manager Collie McGurk reflects on 'extremely difficult assignment' as Derry hurling boss
DEPARTING manager Collie McGurk says the crossover between the club and county seasons makes the Derry hurling job an “extremely difficult assignment”.
McGurk stepped down yesterday saying he had enjoyed his time at the Oak Leaf helm but admitting he had been frustrated by not having his best players available for prolonged periods of a difficult season.
“We’re extremely busy at the minute,” he explained when asked why he had stepped down.
“It was a decision that has been weighing on me for a while.”
McGurk’s Derry lost five games out of five and finished bottom Division 2B but they were transformed by the return of players from Ulster club champions Slaughtneil and won their relegation play-off against Armagh by 18 points. The Oak Leaf side went on to reach the semi-finals off the Christy Ring Cup before losing out to eventual champions Kildare.
“The team that started against Kildare, there were two of them pay against Down in the National League so I think that says it all,” said McGurk.
“You are playing the League without 90 per cent of your Championship team so it is an extremely difficult assignment for anybody coming in and we have made representations to Croke Park that things need to be sorted for the club season in the calendar year.
“We made representations to them at the end of the year so it is really up to Croke Park to get it sorted.
“I really enjoyed my time with the players and with the county board.”
A Derry County Board statement read: “Derry GAA wish to confirm that senior hurling manager, Collie McGurk, has stepped down from this position, with immediate effect.
“We would like to sincerely thank Collie, his management and backroom teams, and all the players who have represented their county during this period.
“Nominations for the position of Derry senior hurling manager will be sought from our clubs in the coming weeks.”