Donegal and Derry will meet in a big Ulster Under 20 quarter-final today in Healy Park at 11.45am.
Gary McDaid and his backroom team won’t have a lot to go on in their preparation for the game as Derry haven’t played as a team yet this season, but they will have an insight into the individuals they will face.
“Derry were beaten by Kerry last year in the All-Ireland Minor Final, and they will have a lot of those lads involved,” said McDaid.
“And then there are the boys that were beaten in the 2016 Ulster Final by Donegal.
“When you look at the two teams that they have to pick from in comparison with us, we were beaten in the first round by Antrim last year and won the Ulster title the year before.
“So they have probably a wider crop of players to choose from, and competed at a higher level, and maybe it’s advantage Derry on that one.”
Derry won’t be able to call upon Ben McKinless or Patrick Coney who played for Derry’s senior side last week, but they will have Oran Hartin, Conor McCluskey, and Padraig McGrogan who were unused subs, and they will all be men to keep an eye on.
The McWilliams twins – Oisin and Lorcan, Calum Brown, Conor Doherty, and Paddy Quigg will also pose questions.
Derry are managed by Tyrone man Mickey Donnelly, who previously took his native county to the All-Ireland Minor Final in 2013.
He has managed Monaghan club Ballybay in recent seasons, and also enjoyed success at schools level, so he is likely to have Derry well set up.
McDaid said: “Mickey Donnelly has won a MacRory Cup and a Hogan Cup with St Ronan’s Lurgan, which was a phenomenal achievement.
“He’s had success with Tyrone minors in the past as well, and he brings an impressive CV to the table.”
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