‘Massive game’ for Derry in promotion race


DERRY are hoping to keep their Division 2A 100 per cent winning record in tact when they host Kerry this weekend.

They have defeated Cavan and Westmeath to this point, and whilst manager PJ O’Mullan believes their performances can improve, they have been picking up wins, and that’s all that matters.

“We’re very happy with the start, it’s exactly the start we were looking for and targeted,” he said.

“We were late getting started, we didn’t get started until the first week of January, so we were probably behind most other teams in terms of where they were at, with their preparation.

“So, I would say performance-wise we probably haven’t hit our highest levels, but that’s to be expected with the training that we were doing.

“If the results keep coming, hopefully we’ll get a performance whenever we need one.

“But we can take that as a positive, in terms of, we have plenty of things to work on in our performances, but it’s a results-based business and we have been getting the job done.”

O’Mullan is new into the job, having taken over from Martin Coulter, and even though he is still getting to know his new side, he feels that the team, who are led by joint-captains Aoife Ní Caiside and Aine McAllister, have commitment in abundance, which makes his job easier.

“It can difficult for any new management team to come in and build relationships straight away,” he said.

“But I think that we hit the ground running, and we have got a panel of 25 girls who are very committed an dedicated to trying to get Derry to a better place. We have 25 girls who really want to be there, and want to improve Derry camogie.

“That has made our job as the new management team a lot easier. Plus, the backing from the county board has been excellent – the girls want for nothing, and that also helps us.

“We’re still feeding off of each other and getting to know one another, but hopefully over the next few weeks we will be where we want to be.”

Up next are Kerry, who have two wins and a draw from three games, and O’Mullan feels that this contest could be crucial, with both sides chasing promotion.

“It’s a massive game,” he said.

“We only have two home games, and this is the second one. We feel as though if we can win this, it will put us in a position, where we would be one more win away from reaching the league final, which is our target.

“We have prepared well, and even though it will be a difficult task, our team is good enough.”

Furthermore, the game will take place in Bellaghy, and with a long journey ahead of Kerry, the Oak Leaf County might just have the advantage.

“It’s a home game, and we want to always win at home,” said O’Mullan.

“It’s a long journey for Kerry, but when the ball throws in, those sorts of things go out the window, for me.

“We need to focus on what we’ve been training for, what we know about Kerry, and how we go about trying to get a result.”

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