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Monday, 2 September, 2002, 21:14 GMT 22:14 UK
Moran quits Donegal job
Mickey Moran's side were overwhelmed by the Dubs in the quarter-final replay
Moran will inevitably be linked with the Derry vacancy
Mickey Moran has stepped down as Donegal football manager.

The Derryman communicated the decision to the Donegal GAA secretary Noreen Doherty prior to Monday evening's county executive meeting in Ballybofey.

After being informed of Moran's decision, Donegal club delegates requested that the county executive would ask Moran to re-consider but his mind appears to be made up.

Moran had a year of his three-season term to run but decided to cut his Donegal stint short.

Inevitably, the Maghera man will now be linked with the vacant Derry job.

Moran held the Derry position from September 1994 until the summer of 1995 after controversially taking the role following Eamon Coleman's sacking.

However despite leading Derry to the 1995 National League title, he never had the full support of the county squad and Moran quit the position after the Ulster semi-final defeat by Tyrone that summer.

Eamon Coleman stood Down as Derry boss in July
Some will tip Moran to succeed Eamon Coleman

Donegal PRO Paddy Mullan said Moran had given "no specific reason" for his decision to step down.

However, Moran managed Sligo from 1996 to 2000 and then stepped straight into the Donegal job.

The Derryman may feel that he needs a rest from the huge travelling demands which he has had in recent years.

Another possibility is that he is tempted by the Derry job although county chairman Gerard O'Kane denied last week that Moran had already been approached.

However with Moran having severed his links with Donegal, it seems almost certain Derry officials will at least want to talk to the Maghera man.

A statement from the Donegal county executive on Monday evening said they had learned of Moran's decision with "regret".

"Donegal county committee would like to thank Mickey for his great work and dedication to the county team and to Donegal over the past two years.

"We would like to wish him well in the future," added the Donegal statement.

Replay flop

Moran's first year with Donegal wasn't overly impressive with his side losing to Fermanagh in the Ulster Championship and then defeated by Kildare in the early stages of the All-Ireland Qualifiers.

However, Donegal made major progress this year with a solid run in the National League followed by qualification for the Ulster final.

Donegal wasted a great opportunity to beat Armagh in the Ulster decider but they recovered to impressively defeat Meath in the All-Ireland Qualifiers.

Moran's side then played out a thrilling All-Ireland Quarter-Final draw with Dublin but the team flopped in the replay which saw them hammered by 10 points.

Inevitably, Martin McHugh will be linked with the Donegal vacancy although it questionable whether the Kilcar man will feel that the time is right to take the job.

Harkin not present

Former county U21 boss Donal Reid may prove a more realistic contender.

Immediately after that defeat, Moran tendered his resignation but he was quickly convinced by Donegal officials to take more time to think over his future.

Meanwhile, Donegal PRO Paddy Mullan said that the position of controversial county chairman Danny Harkin had not been discussed at Monday's executive meeting.

Harkin's position had been reported to be under threat following his recent comments supporting increased expenses for players.

The chairman was not present at Monday's gathering as he is holidaying at present.

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