Is the 27th of May the burial of Derry Football? I certainly hope not. I am not going to go into as much detial as did on the main forum. I am just hoping we dont lack skill or confidance. I would be more than happy if we could just but in a good peformance and put it up to Donegal to the very end.
I doubt Mackers will start both Kielt and O'Brien. I'd have big Lynch stationed on the edge of the square against McGee. Mark has the strength and temperament to go toe to toe with McGee, and will hit the frees out on the left. Kielt can be used as an impact sub.
I put this up on the other thread a while back, could be a million miles out (I suppose that has been an issue for years now, being unable to remotely pick a starting 15 as the team has been so unsettled). Johnston was wiped out a few times in the league whilst stationed at 3, so maybe McNeill may get the nod, Keenan was a shoe in. I've put the serious runners in bold, the players who have the potential to cut holes through the Donegal defence (as opposed to running down blind alleys and getting swallowed up).
Karl McKaigue Brendan Rogers Kevin Johnston
Sean Leo McGoldrick Chrissy McKaigue Carlus McWilliams
Emmet Bradley Conor McAtamney
Enda Lynn Padraig Cassidy Liam McGoldrick
Shane McGuigan Mark Lynch Terence O'Brien
It would be something else for the team to come away on Sunday with a result, but we need to be seriously competitive, that's a minimum. Hopefully the hurt of the league campaign and the return of the Robbies and Sean Leo will have galvanised the squad.
I have been critical over the league campaign, rightly or wrongly. However after today's effort I believe Derry have a base to build upon. We played a Donegal team which I feel were very unfortunate to get relegated from Div 1. Donegals tactics worked like a well oiled machine. There goalkeeper was initiated every attack with his quick accurate kickouts. We kept Murphy relatively quite but McBrearty stepped up to the plate and delivered.
Derry need to learn to use the full width of the pitch and stretch the opposition defence to enable us to get runners in behind. Too many times to day we drove at the heart of the Donegal defence and coughed up possession. In the latter stage of the 1st half we trailed by 3 and had an easy scoring chance which we missed and within the next couple of minutes Donegal tagged on 3 points. Instead of possibly going in at halftime 2 or 3 points down we were 6 down.
Playing with the breeze in the 2nd half I though Damian would have introduced James Kielt, never happened. Liam McGoldrick made a positive impact as did all the subs but in all honesty I think today we lost the game because our tactics were wrong, bad shot selection and we only had two players from the starting 15 on the scoresheet, not good encounter at intercounty level.
I am going to finish by heaping praise on Emmett Bradley. He is having a great year, our best player throughout the league and carried his form into today's game. He's had his critics over the past number of years but he is now showing his true potential. If Emmett continues to progress he could become a serious player for Derry over the coming years. I hope we get a decent draw and build momentum through the qualifiers because it could reall develop some of the younger players.
The return of Niall Loughlan, Niall Keenan and Ciaran McFaul would be a bonus but I am not too aware if the trio have returned from their travels.
Not to downbeat but optimistic.
Poor Derry support today but unfortunately I feel that is the norm now. People have their reasons whether valid or not it's not up to me to comment. However, the greed for money from the Ulster Council and the GAA I feel is keeping supporters away, the tickets are way too highly priced and with the introduction of charging U16's has just added to the cost. Why not introduce discounted family tickets to help families who want to go to the matches but have to prioritise financial resources thus meaning they cannot afford to pay the current over inflated ticket prices.
Commiserations on the result yesterday, but well done for a good performance. Good luck on the Kildare game. You can take them if you practice your shooting. Was impressed with your captain at corner forward.
A big shout out goes to your ground staff who had Celtic Park in tip top shape. The surface was absolutely perfect. Also have to say what a civilised part of the world it is to go to. Very chilled out afternoon indeed.