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Gallagher talks juggling Killybegs/Derry commitments

By Frank Craig

RORY Gallagher has taken a sort of philosophical view to the Covid-19 pandemic and how it’s affected his first season at the helm with the Derry senior footballers.

Upon picking up the Oakleaf reins back in September of last year, the Fermanagh native’s quick audit of his squad’s credentials immediately identified one obvious discrepancy. They lacked physique.

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But enthused enough by the early signs, Gallagher had Derry sitting third in Division Three of the NFL when life as we all once knew it, came to the most abrupt end.

As the seriousness of the coronavirus began to become more apparent, frustration gave way to uncertainty. And as the weeks fell into months, Gallagher and his management team were beginning to accept that the entire season might well become a write-off.

Recognised as one of Gaelic football’s most cerebral coaches, Gallagher decided to use the playing lull to his panel’s advantage.

That initial inadequacy pinpointed was the absence of any real strength and conditioning base. And it was quickly decided to make up some of that lost ground during the playing lockdown.

There were a number of things to it all,” he said. “You’d obviously like to keep going. I did find the beginning of the season very stop-start…

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County Board now searching for a replacement.

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