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Derry announce new managerial duo for senior hurling team

Donnelly and McKinley take over from John McEvoy

Derry announce new managerial duo for senior hurling team

Cormac Donnnelly and Dominic McKinley have been apppointed head coaches of the Derry senior hurling team (Pics: Mary K Burke & Inpho)

Derry GAA have confirmed Dominic McKinley and Cormac Donnelly as head coaches of their senior hurling team.

They take over from John McEvoy, who stepped down after two years at the helm.

As reported by the County Derry Post, Dominic McKinley was sounded out by Derry about taking charge.  He will be joined by Cormac Donnelly, with both men billed as head coaches.

No nominations came forward from clubs by Sunday's deadline.

Donnelly was part of a managerial trio - including Michael McCullough and Michael McCambridge - who also confirmed their interest in the role.

The experienced McKinley, a former Derry and Antrim manager, is the current Slaughtneil camogie coach and has helped them to three All-Ireland titles under manager Damien McEldowney.  They prepare to defend their Ulster title when they face Loughgiel in the Ulster decider on Saturday, February 6.

The 1983 All-Ireland Club winner with Loughgiel has been an important cog in Slaughtneil's recent rise to the top of All-Ireland club camogie, with three titles and for Ulster championships.

Cormac 'Hippy' Donnelly, from Ballycastle, is the current Carrickmore manager and helped them to Tyrone hurling success this season.

He will have a strong handle on the Derry scene.  He coached Slaughtneil for three seasons under manager Michael McShane, helping them to two Ulster titles and it's understood he will be a popular choice among the players.

McKinley and Donnelly will be faced with the target of helping Derry secure promotion from NHL Division 2B, after reaching the league final in the last two seasons.

Derry won the Nicky Rackard Cup in 2006 and more recently in 2017. They still seek a first Christy Ring Cup title. They lost the 2015 final and were beaten in the semi-finals by eventual champions Kildare (2018) and Meath (2019).

The trio of Ryan O'Neill, Kevin Kelly and Martin Birt will remain in charge of Derry's U17 hurling squad for a fourth year.

They won back to back Celtic Challenge titles in their first two years with 2020 lost to Covid-19. The role also doubles up as the U20 hurling management.

ALSO READ - Michael McMullan takes a look at the Derry inter-county scene.  CLICK HERE...

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