Brendan Devenney says Declan Bonner only genuine candidate for Donegal job

Declan Bonner
Declan Bonner previously managed Donegal from 1997 to 2000

Former Donegal forward Brendan Devenney believes Declan Bonner is the only genuine candidate to become the county's new football manager.

Donegal are searching for a new boss after Rory Gallagher's departure on Monday but Devenney says that Bonner is the man they should be looking to.

"There is one manager candidate (Bonner) now and if he doesn't want it, we're in trouble," said Devenney.

"The only candidate that suits for me at the moment is Declan Bonner."

Devenney believes that the Donegal GAA board will have to "look outside the county" if Bonner does not accept the job.

Bonner previously managed Donegal from 1997 to 2000 when his reign included an unlucky 1998 Ulster Final defeat by Derry.

While his closing two years in the Donegal job were less successful as, in those straight knockout days, the team suffered Ulster quarter-final defeats by Armagh (after a replay) and Fermanagh, Bonner has re-established his managerial credentials with impressive work with the underage squads in the county.

Bonner guided the Donegal minors to the 2014 All-Ireland Final where they lost narrowly to Kerry while his under-21 team won this year's Ulster title.

Devenney believes Bonner's knowledge of the young players in Donegal makes him the perfect fit for the job.

"Declan has worked with a lot of these guys from under-16, minors and the under-21s and had success with them."

Former Ireland International Rules player Devenney says the likelihood of further Donegal retirements in the coming weeks only increases Bonner's suitability for the role.

"You may basically be talking about a brand new team from 2012 (Donegal's last All-Ireland Final win) apart from (Patrick) McBrearty and (Michael) Murphy.

"The new manager will certainly have to be given time."

Gary McDaid and Paul McGonigle have also been mentioned as possible candidates after previous backroom roles with Gallagher and Jim McGuinness respectively while former Mayo boss James Horan has also been suggested as a possible contender for the role.

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