He might not be rejoining him on the pitch but Michael Murphy says he is really looking forward to the second coming of Jim McGuinness.
The Glenswilly man says he understands why the new Donegal manager has brought in changes inlcuding plans for a new wall around the rtaining pitch at the Convoy Centre of Excellence.
The reported eight-metre perimeter fence will be erected around the main training pitch at the complex at a reported cost of €55,000.
But Murphy said: “Especially now, with a condensed season . . . we’ve seen it there in the last year with injuries hitting players and selections changing.
“Nine times out of ten, teams will play their A v B games with their set-up for the match. You’d imagine if you didn’t see someone on the pitch, it would be valuable information.
“The story there probably didn’t get the full context. We’re lacking in Donegal. There’s two floodlit pitches in Convoy.
“In terms of other pitches in Donegal in that central region, there’s little to none. So there’s every team looking to use them over the same period of months.
“When you’re up there training, there could be three or four teams using them a night. A 6pm to 7.30pm slot. A 7.30pm to 9pm slot.”
Chatting at the launch of the launch of the 2024 GAAGO schedule launch at Croke Park yesterday, Murphy admitted he chatted regularly to Jim.
And the five-time All-Star Murphy says the buzz is back in the county now the 2012 All-Ireland winning manager is back at the helm – but confirmed that he won’t be part of McGuinness’ plans.
He said: “Being honest, when I finished up, I knew it was over. That feeling didn’t wane for me.
“Everybody I met in the street said it would but apart from that, my reasons for leaving for the time — and they still are there — I wasn’t able to give it the same level I was to give it.
“That had nothing to do with managers and it had nothing to do with the playing group. It just came down to me and what I felt I could bring to the party.
“So even with Jim coming in, it didn’t change.
“It didn’t change one iota. I know that sounds fairly cold.
“But for me to give what’s needed for Donegal, whether it was Paddy Carr and Aidan O’Rourke or whether it’s Jim McGuinness. It’s down to the hard question and I had to answer that right.
“We chat and we do speak quite a bit, every other week. I know that he’s really excited by it. I know everybody in Donegal is really excited by it. But there’s players there to go and do it.
“I’ll try and give in some other way, whether it’s shouting from the sidelines or back in underage, I’ll give in that way. But it won’t be on the playing pitch.”