Slaughtneil are used to having plenty of numbers at training, but they are finding themselves to be very stretched at the moment.
The bustling inter county season has robbed them of 15 players both in football and hurling and so the management team of Pat Cassidy, Paddy Flynn, Kevin Hughes and Lorcan Martin, are dealing with limited numbers.
Cassidy says that they have a squad of 21 at the moment, but of that group they are carrying three injuries. They are Keelan Feeney, Liam Cassidy and Patsy Bradley.
Cassidy said that Bradley is undergoing rehab for injury, and while he has not returned to the training field, they think he will be back in action in five weeks.
Those injuries, as well as the 15 intercounty representatives makes life tricky for the management.
Cassidy said: “It is a matter of juggling the players. We are playing away in the league competition. We are still able to get a team out, but we are trying to keep boys at the same level.
“They are all at different paces.”
The intercounty players are playing at Championship pace, while those who are playing with the club are not at championship speed yet as they are only playing in club competition. And with the Derry senior championship not due to throw in until September, it is far too soon to do any serious work with the team.
But Cassidy says that the pressure is on Slaughtneil to perform.
They missed out on their fifth Senior championship title in a row, when Coleraine snatched it away from them.
The manager expects this year to be competitive.
“You have to prepare right every year. Every game is competitive. This year’s championship is going to be very tight. It always is in Derry.”
In the first stage of the league campaign, Slaughtneil won three games and lost one, to their neighbours Swatragh.
“Swatragh were very good,” Cassidy said.
“They are an up and coming team. They are the best team that we have played so far. They were very good.”
Slaughtneil’s focus at the moment is the mid season competitions.
“They are games, and any games is better than no games. Most teams seem to be taking them seriously.
“The only team that didn’t field was Greenlough.”
So they will continue with the mid season competitions and count the weeks until the county players return and they can resume their bid to win the league and championship.