O'Kane reveals frustrating return
LAST WEEKEND, Derry’s Gerard O’Kane took the next step in his rehabilitation when he lined out for Derry in their challenge match against Roscommon.
The Glenullin man has endured a frustrating time of it since tearing his calf muscle and knee ligaments some six weeks ago during a training session, and now his sights are firmly set on their opening Ulster Championship clash against either Donegal or Cavan on June 16.
Time is against him, but that’s something which O’Kane is well used to. Injury meant he was in a race against time to make it back in time for the Ulster final against Donegal last summer. Although O’Kane felt ready, John Brennan decided otherwise and started him from the bench. Having waited so long for an Ulster final appearance, it was something which didn’t sit comfortably on the defender’s shoulders.
“When you play football, you want to play in the championship and that’s just it. Last year wasn’t nice.
“Players have a fair idea in the fortnight or so leading up to a match what the team is going to be. You know by the team that is being picked in training and the likes, and I had a fair idea that even though I felt good, felt that my fitness was good, I still wouldn’t be starting.
“It wasn’t until the team was announced on the Tuesday night that I knew for sure. I was gutted, but you have to get over it. I had a chat with John on the Wednesday and on the Friday, to remind him that I was ready. I made sure to tell John that a number of times, to tell him that my head was in the right place and I was ready if he decided to call on me.”
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday May 10. Buy your copy in your newsagent, or online by clicking the subscribe button on this page