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Cassidy: The best players in Derry aren’t lining out

Damian McErlain watched his side lose to Kildare by eight points at the weekend

DERRY manager Damian McErlain needs to redouble his efforts to get the best players playing for the county next season. That’s the opinion of former county forward Joe Cassidy.

He said that the loss of the Slaughtneil players was a factor in Derry’s disappointing campaign. Slaughtneil’s run to the All-Ireland stages of the club championship deprived McErlain of some of the best players in the county until the middle of the league.

However, the Ulster Championship winning forward of 1998, said that there are other players who should be on the team, and it is up to McErlain to persuade them to join the squad.

“The best players in the county are not on the panel. I genuinely don’t know the reasons why, because none of the Bellaghy lads are involved with the squad so I have no contact and I haven’t heard any stories.

“But there were four or five key players who weren’t part of the initial panel. When you are playing club football you know who the stand out players are. Daniel Heavron is one that stood out, Ryan Bell from Ballinderry stands out, Emmett McGuckin would have been another.

“There are certainly good players in the county who weren’t picked, or who didn’t make themselves available.”

The full interview with Joe Cassidy is in this week’s Gaelic Life, in shops now or available here.

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