Marty McDaid, Swilly Rovers
Marty McDaid is feeling optimistic for the future at Swilly Rovers for the first time in several months.
It has been a topsy-turvy Ulster Senior League campaign for the Ramelton club.
At the tail-end of last season, the club had voted to leave the Ulster Senior League to rejoin the junior ranks, but a u-turn followed.
Aaron Rogan had 39 days as manager before he departed and Gerry Crossan, who had good success with underage teams at Swilly Park, stepped into the breach.
Times have been tough and Swilly didn’t win a game in the league until January. But a 3-2 win over Cockhill Celtic – a game that saw Cockhill’s first league defeat since July 2012, and a run of 72 matches – saw their rivals take note.
On Sunday, Swilly defeated Derry City Reserves 2-0 and Swilly Park feels somewhat satisfied again.
We need to keep pushing on,” said veteran McDaid, who scored the opening goal on Sunday.
“We have a good group here now. We’re not going out to keep the scoreline down. We’re going out to win games now.
“We want to have it that no-one leaves Swilly Park with three points. We want to get a good building ground for next season, get all the boys to stay about and get back on track again.
“It was probably hard enough for Gerry when he came in first.
“He asked some boys who were away to come back. It was probably like starting off again.
“We liked what he was doing. He has a good set-up and training is good.”
Swilly welcome their old foes Letterkenny Rovers to Lennonside this weekend – and McDaid says his men are buoyed by Sunday’s win over Derry.
He said: “It was a good result. We have a lot of boys back and we’re playing decent football again.”
The versatile McDaid, who turned 37 last week, is enjoying his game these days again, with hopes high that his team can finish the season on a positive note.
He says: “I’m still enjoying it. I don’t have too many years left at this level so I’ll enjoy it while I still can!”
Saturday, February 4, 7.15pm
Bonagee United v Derry City Reserves Referee – Packie Coll; Assistants – Marty McGarrigle; Vincent McLoughlin
Sunday, February 5, 2pm
Cockhill Celtic v Finn Harps Reserves Referee – Michael Connolly
Swilly Rovers v Letterkenny Rovers Referee – Marty Quinn; Assistants – Marty McGarrigle, Packie Coll