Next Derry manager poll: Surprise frontrunner emerges as Belfast Live readers have their say

Belfast Live readers have had their say on who should succeed Mickey Harte as the next manager of Derry and a surprise frontrunner has emerged from the pack.

While Rory Gallagher and Malachy O’Rourke are the clear favourites with bookmakers, with Gallagher odds-on to return for a second spell, neither man came out on top in our poll of nearly 1000 readers.

The preferred candidate for the job according to our readers is Barry Dillon, a man who has plenty of experience having already been involved in managing the Derry seniors in the past.

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Dillon was John Brennan’s assistant manager between 2010 and 2012 with the Oak Leafers reaching the provincial final in 2011 only to lose out to Jim Guinness’s Donegal.

The Ballinascreen clubman has worked with Portglenone in Antrim and Ballymacnab in Armagh and is currently managing Monaghan outfit Truagh Gaels.

Earlier this year, he managed Ulster University to Sigerson Cup glory with a number of Derry players in squad, although Conor Glass and Ethan Doherty didn’t feature due to their commitments with Glen.

In a poll of 931 respondents, Dillon secured 587 votes - 63 per cent - and his tally is more than the other eight names combined.

At the time of writing, Gallagher (111) was slightly ahead of O’Rourke (109) while 59 readers feel Joe Brolly ought to throw his hat into the ring despite being viewed as a 100/1 outsider by Boylesports.

Our readers also felt that Harte was right to step down after just one season in charge of the Oak Leafers with almost 90 per cent saying it was the correct call.

Derry find themselves searching for a fourth manager in a little over a year after the Errigal Ciaran clubman stepped down on Monday after just one season in charge.

The former Tyrone boss had been appointed on a three-year term and led Derry to the Division One title in March.

However, Derry suffered a remarkable Championship collapse - losing four times in their summer campaign and their meek exit to Kerry in the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final proved to be Harte’s last game in charge.

The Derry county board are seeking nominations from the clubs until the end of July and they’ll hope to have a new manager in place before club Championship gets under way in August.

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