Brian McGuigan – Derry must forget tired excuses
MUST admit I was surprised when, having watched his native county Donegal totally take Derry apart last Saturday evening, Martin McHugh spoke about how he felt that the Derry county team were poor because of the strength of club football in Derry.
I’ve heard Derry ones come out with that one before, and as far as I’m concerned it’s nothing but an old excuse. That’s all it is.
If Derry has the strongest club football in Ulster, then Tyrone without a doubt has the second, yet the Tyrone county team have still been successful.
The Tyrone players go out and give and take the same abuse as everyone else, there are no exceptions, but we can still manage to go out and play as a team.
Every time I mark Ricey [Ryan McMenamin], the abuse and the torture that we give each other is not right. It’s far from civil. Yet at the final whistle me and Ricey can still walk off smiling and shake hands, there’s no lingering bad feeling.
And to tell you the truth, I respect Ricey for that and for playing that way, because if he went out and went easy on a man just because he’s a county player, then in my eyes that wouldn’t be on. It doesn’t matter who you are, you still get the full blown treatment. He’s one of my best mates when I go to county training, but I’m not spared.
If I listened to everything Ricey told me, then I’d have quit about four years ago, because that’s how long he has been telling me I’ve been done and finished for. He’s Peter Pan of course, he doesn’t get any older.
I think Derry’s biggest problem is that they simply don’t have their best players out on the pitch. Having Kevin McGuckin, Fergal Doherty, Enda Muldoon and a few others out on the field makes a difference. Whether they don’t have the passion to play for the county, or whether there are other problems I don’t know, but there are certainly better players than the 15 Derry had out on Saturday.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday June 21. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here