Ballinderry boss predicts difficult Championship
BALLINDERRY begin the defence of their Senior Football Championship title next week, but manager Martin McKinless has admitted that he doesn’t know how this year’s campaign is going to go.
There are a number of reasons why he is wary. Firstly, the standard of teams vying for the John McLaughlin trophy this year is strong, he has not had a settled panel, and he also has a few players who may not be fit in time for next week’s opener with Greenlough. At the moment he has concerns about Kevin Moss McGuckin, Michael McIver and Aaron Devlin.
“It is going to be very hard to call this year, like every other Derry Championship,” McKinless said.
“There are a lot of teams there. It is up for grabs. It seems that over the league campaign teams have been going well.”
One of those was Magherafelt who, under the management of Gary Coleman have won all but one of their 13 games played so far. That’s the exact same record as Ballinderry.
“Magherafelt are a very young side on their way up. They have set out a mark this year, but you can’t read too much into league football. Championship football is championship football, it is a different proposition and it is very difficult to know what way things will go,” McKinless said.
This year’s championship will see the continuation of the back door system used last year which means that losing teams get a second chance. So it is unimaginable that Ballinderry will make an early exit, particularly after playing so well during the league.
However the Shamrocks will not want as close run a game as they had against Greenlough last weekend, when McKinless’s side only beat Martin McWilliams team by two points, 0-14 to 0-12.
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