Former Donegal and Fermanagh boss Rory Gallagher looks set to become the next Derry senior manager, after all three other contenders have taken their hats out of the ring.

Fermanagh native Gallagher was Jim McGuinness' number two when Donegal lifted Sam in 2012 and as a player he won an All-Ireland Club title with St Gall's.

He was approached by Derry County Board about his interest in the post and was added to the list of nominations from clubs, with Monday, August 26 as the final deadline.

Current Derry U20 manager Mickey Donnelly and a joint ticket of Peter Doherty/Sean McGoldrick both confirmed, on Thursday, to the County Derry Post of their decision to withdraw from the race to succeed Damian McErlain.

Former Tyrone minor manager Donnelly led the Oakleafers to the Ulster U20 title in 2018.

He is currently managing his native Aghaloo, who are top of the league and face Rock in this weekend's Tyrone junior championship.

With still another season of his three year term as U20 boss to run, Donnelly hasn't decided if he will commit to the final year.

Donnelly's withdrawal  follows former Derry minor, U21 and senior captain Johnny McBride's decision to pull out of the race, late on Monday night.

Peter Doherty and Sean McGoldrick have also confirmed they have withdrawn from the process, leaving Gallagher as the only standing candidate.

Doherty managed Tyrone to an Ulster U21 title and was in Paddy Crozier's backroom team for Derry's 2008 NFL success, while McGoldrick is the long-serving manager of county champions Coleraine.

Nominations were put out to clubs but the deadline has twice been put back, after clubs requested a review of football in the county and the selection process to be looked at.

At the last meeting, on Monday, August 19, a selection committee was ratified by clubs.

It was to contain Derry Chairman Brian Smith and Vice-Chairman Stephen Barker, who were to seek a current Club Chairman, an ex-Derry senior manager and two former senior players to complete the committee.

Among others to rule themselves out of becoming Derry's next manager were Ciaran Meenagh, Liam Bradley, Tony McEntee and Paul McIver, who as since joined Ryan McMemamin's Fermanagh management team.

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