By Shaun Casey
DERRY dual star Brendan Rogers believes that Glen could go all the way in the All-Ireland series and lift the Andy Merrigan Cup.
The Watty Graham’s club dethroned the reigning All-Ireland champions Kilcoo in an enthralling Ulster final last weekend and now face Galway side Maigh Cuilinn in the All-Ireland semi-final.
Rogers is no stranger to the competition himself. He reached the All-Ireland decider twice in the maroon of Sleacht Néill, in 2015 and 2017, but lost out on both occasions to Corofin and Dr Croke’s.
“They certainly have the attributes to go all the way,” said Rogers, who helped Derry capture the Anglo Celt this season for the first time since 1998.
“It’s like anything at those levels, you need to be at your best every day you go out – but look at the way Glen are playing the way they are at the minute. They’re a very good pressing team, very fit, very fast and give them any chance of goal they’ll take it.
“They have a nice balance of youth and experience there as well, so they definitely have all the tools, they just need to keep doing it and keep getting over the line.
“It’ll be very exciting for them. Some of those guys, when they get to Croke Park seem to get to another level, so it’ll be very, very exciting for them.”
One man who Rogers knows well is Conor Glass as the pair have lined out beside each other at midfield on a number of occasions for Derry under Rory Gallagher.
Glass is the definition of a team player according to his Oak Leaf County teammate.
“There’s quite an expectation on Conor Glass to be the standout player every day which is not that easy, but he doesn’t have an ego to go out and play as an individual,” he said.
“He’s quite a team focused player, does his job for the team, does whatever he can. Whether that be not having the game that everybody thinks he should have, it doesn’t matter to him.
“It’s about winning and that’s the kind of guy you’d want in the trenches with you, that’s why he’s making those blocks, that’s why he’s doing what he does and that’s why he’s been so successful so far. Not as many players would be as humble as he is in terms of taking that role, but that’s just the measure of who he is.”