Harte hails the input of Gavin Devlin

By Michael McMullan

MICKEY Harte feels Gavin Devlin is best coach in Ireland and Derry players have been taking in all he has to offer.

The former Tyrone and Louth management duo stepped into the Derry vacancy before the 2024 season.

Wins over Cavan and Down will guarantee Derry a McKenna Cup semi-final this weekend.

Harte said the response of the Derry players “couldn’t be better” and an excellent bunch to work with.

“We’ve said that from the first day we met them, they’re very eager to learn, there’s a great attitude with them, they’re good in each other’s company,” Harte said after watching his side come from five points in arrears to see off Down on Saturday night,

“You could say you would say that anyway, but honestly they’re a very nice bunch of lads to work with, and in Gavin Devlin they have the best coach in the country,” he added.

“They hang onto every word he says because he’s a real quality coach. People think maybe because Gavin Devlin played in defence that he’s a defence-minded coach, no, he’s a football coach, a total football coach, and I don’t know where you would get a better one.”

Derry will have to plan without the injured Conor McCluskey this weekend, while their Glen contingent will again be unavailable after Sunday’s win over Kilmacud Crokes sets up a All-Ireland final with St Brigid’s of Roscommon later this month.

Harte also confirmed that Glen’s Conor Glass will remain on board as Derry captain after former manager Rory Gallagher handed him the honour 12 months ago.

“It’s the same captain, we wouldn’t be changing,” he said. “Conor Glass has been a great captain and I see no reason why he wouldn’t still be a great captain.”

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