Mark McHugh rules himself out of any involvement in the next Derry managerial set-up

The former Donegal player has been linked with a role in the backroom team of former boss Rory Gallagher, if he returns

Donegal manager Maxi Curran (right) with Donegal selector Mark McHugh before the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship semi-final between Donegal and Meath at Croke Park in Dublin. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Mark McHugh (left) has had spells with backroom teams in Donegal (ladies), Fermanagh (minors) and Roscommon (seniors) but he insists that he won’t part of the next Derry senior management team PICTURE: SPORTSFILE

MARK McHugh, Donegal’s former Allstar and All-Ireland winner, has ruled himself out of any involvement with the next Derry backroom team.

As part of a possible return for Rory Gallagher, it has been rumoured that McHugh, a player with Donegal when Gallagher managed them, could form part of his backroom.

McHugh is currently involved with top Galway club side Moycullen having worked with Davy Burke’s Roscommon in 2023 and, prior to that, the Fermanagh minors and Donegal ladies.

Speaking at an AIB promotion ahead of this weekend’s All-Ireland SFC semi-finals, McHugh ruled out working with Derry.

“I’m involved with Moycullen now, I’m still playing senior club football for my club at home and we’re 100 years old this year so we’re trying our best to do right by that,” said McHugh.

“That’s where my focus is right now and I’ve had no contact on anything to do with Derry, I’ll be straight on that. That’s being open.

“But listen, I don’t know what the future holds. The way the game has gone there’s jobs coming up all the time and it’s whatever one you think might suit you best. I’ve a young family at home and see when I finished (playing for) Donegal, I’ve been on the road every year since so maybe a break.

‘’But I’ve a long summer ahead, between playing for my club and coaching with Moycullen, but after that I’ll reassess then. But I definitely won’t be heading to Derry.”

McHugh said ‘rumblings’ of discontent coming out of Derry throughout the season didn’t bode well for the team, or Harte.

“Was I surprised?” he asked, regarding the Tyrone great’s departure. “I suppose in the long run, no, because you were hearing rumblings in the last number of months about different stuff that was going on in the camp, there’s no point lying about that.

“You hear different stuff is going on, you don’t know if it’s true or false but you don’t hear anything coming out of the four teams left, put it like that.

“Usually when you hear things like that, there’s a wee bit of unease. So listen, probably just for his own sanity he might have thought, ‘I don’t need this in my life’, and he decided to step away.”