JIM MCGUINNESS HAS continued his spat with third level football and says he would prefer forfeit the Dr. McKenna Cup campaign if college teams are involved.
McGuinness had a hig-profile falling out with DCU boss, Niall Moyna, earlier this month over the availability of Martin McElhinney and this further swipe at the involvement of colleges is thought to be another veiled swipe at that situation
The Ulster council allows players make the choice between county or college in the competition. But speaking at the opening of the Allianz National Football League, McGuinness bemoaned the state of affairs where a division one county is forced to plan around third level institutions.
That situation, he says, is not only interfering with inter-county preparations, but also leaving supporters short-changed:
“We had a bout 3,500 people in Letterkenny for the first game.” the Donegal boss told Today FM, “It was the first game after Dublin match, so there was a good buzz, people had the Christmas over them and they wanted to get out and watch a football match.
“We hadn’t anywhere near a squad, Jordanstown beat us at home. That’s a downer, you could hear the moans and groans from the crowd – they’re paying good money (but) they’re only seeing half their team. It just doens’t make sense.
“We’d be better off forfeiting that there and letting people save their hard-earned money and just training ourselves, collectively, when we can get everyone together and build towards the national league that way and bring it forward as a group rather than what’s going on at the moment.”
McGuinness’ abrasive style has ensured he is never far from controversy. Last year he expelled his captain, Kevin Cassidy from the county panel after his revealing -but hardly harmful – collaboration with Niall Bogue in the book This Is Our Year.
However, at the event McGuinness hinted at a possible return for Cassidy after mentioning previous disciplinary scenarios involving Eamonn McGee and Adrian Hanlon who have since returned to the fold.