Derry didn't want excuses after Ulster final - McGuigan

June 08, 2023

Derry's Shane McGuigan celebrates after scoring a point against Armagh ©INPHO/Tom Maher

Derry sharpshooter Shane McGuigan says the Oak Leafers did not want to use their sudden change in management as an excuse if they’d lost last month’s Ulster SFC final to Armagh.

Rory Gallagher had stepped back from his position days before the provincial decider and has subsequently resigned since Derry’s dramatic penalty shootout victory over the Orchard men in Clones.

Speaking to RTE Sport after picking up the PWC GAA/GPA Player of the Month for May, McGuigan credited the leaders within the group for driving the team on that day.

"The excuses were there. We lost our manager, if we needed an excuse to use,” he said.

"But we wanted to hold onto that Ulster crown. We knew how good it felt to win last year against Donegal and the way it panned out, going to extra time and penalties made it even more special.

"We regrouped as players. Selfish as it sounds, it has always been about us.

"We talked about how we want to manage this team ourselves, coach each other on the pitch and off it. It was us that needed to drive it as players.

"Thankfully, we have some leaders there: the likes of Chrissy [McKaigue], Brendan [Rogers], Conor Glass drove it on from there. We had an Ulster final to win and we weren't letting anything or anyone stop us from achieving that."

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