BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: Don't take Derry for granted

Word of caution before Sunday

BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: Don't take Derry for granted

It’s Derry next for Donegal on Sunday next in Celtic Park and being honest, it is a game I would be wary enough about.

It’s certainly a game in which we need to be on our guard. I know Derry had a terrible league campaign and were relegated to Division Four.

But let me remind everybody, they still have a hell of a lot of good footballers.

Let me also remind everybody that they took Mayo to extra-time in the first round of the Qualifiers last summer, down in Castlebar.

This Sunday, Derry are at home in Celtic Park which will be worth three or four points to them. And they have the Slaughtneil players back, and I also see Sean Leo McGoldrick has rejoined the squad.

Sean Leo is a very good footballer and they also have a number of very good forwards including Mark Lynch. Although he may be getting on, Lynch is still a quality player. He can still cause problems when he runs at teams.

Derry are under no pressure. Nobody is talking about them. They will be the underdogs and there isn’t a whisper coming out of the camp.

They are going to pose a completely different type of challenge to Cavan.

It’s a game we should win if we don’t get complacent.

It’s important that we get off to a good start because if Derry were to get off to a good start and build up a head of steam they could be difficult to hold.

I know they were relegated and moral was low afterwards in the county for a while. But they still have a lot of good footballers and Derry are always capable of pulling out a performance in the championship.

We played well against Cavan going forward. But we were far from impressive at the back.

We conceded 1-15 which is a worry and it is something that needs to be sorted for Derry and other challenges down the road.

I have no doubt Declan and his management team have worked on that in the last week because I don’t think we can afford to concede 1-15 against Derry.

The U-20s are playing Cavan in the curtain-raiser in Celtic Park in the first round of the new U-20 Ulster Championship.

I haven’t seen the U-20s. But there is a good crop of players in that age bracket in the county and from what I gather Gary McDaid hasn’t left a stone unturned in preparations.

In light of the minors’ defeat in the championship, it is important the U-20s get a run.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.