After a number of seasons sitting on the subs bench Martin O’Reilly is one the players out to impress new boss Rory Gallagher.
The Sean MacCumhaill’s player, who recently graduated as a National School teacher, has come up through the under age ranks with Donegal and is a among a group of fringe players hoping to break into the team in 2015.
“It is great to be back playing again. I know it was only September when we finished up with the All-Ireland, but for someone like me that didn’t see much action last year you are always itching to get back playing again,” insisted Martin, who recently took up a teaching job in Castleknock in Dublin.
“It is never easy sitting in the bench. I know it makes it a bit easier when the team is winning, but the reality is no one wants to be sitting on the bench. You want to be out playing and involved in every game. It is good to get back playing again and it is good that Rory (Gallagher) is giving me a chance to get games under my belt in the McKenna Cup. I’m looking forward to the chance and hopefully staking a claim for a place in the team.”
Martin would have played most of his underage football for Donegal in the half-back line or in the half-forward line.
He was named at centre half-forward for yesterday’s Oak Leaf clash but lined out at left corner forward.
He kicked three points, all from frees, two of them in the first half.
“I know the game didn’t go well for us today, but it was still a good workout against a strong enough Derry team.
“They had more regulars in the starting team than we had. I thought the first half went well enough for us; it was just that we didn’t take our chances and then we got hit with a goal and a couple of points.
“We had a number of chances to go further ahead when they got the goal and a couple of points and from then on and having to play into the wind in the second half we were always going to be up against it.
“We haven’t got a lot of work done in training up to the start of the year when we were allowed officially back training.
“But we have upped the training in the last week or so and it is going to be heads down between now and the start of the league.
“We have two more games in the McKenna Cup, against Queen’s next Sunday and then Fermanagh, the following Wednesday night. Both those games are at home and hopefully we can win both and take it from there.”