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All Emmet wants is a happy (and a luckier) New Year

By John Campbell

Derry player Emmet McGuckin is hoping to enjoy better luck in 2012 than he did this year.

The strapping O'Donovan Rossa Magherafelt clubman was clearly impeded inside the 'square' at a crucial juncture in the Ulster final against Donegal but no penalty was given - a decision which had a big bearing on the outcome of the game.

Afterwards Derry manager John Brennan, with considerable justification, fumed about what he described as "rough justice".

Now 21-year-old McGuckin is hoping to see Derry, finally, end their 14-year Ulster title famine next year and his wish is endorsed by Brennan.

"We have good players in Derry and Emmet is one of those," says Brennan.

"While I felt that we did not get the breaks which I think we deserved in this year's Ulster final, I believe we can maybe make up for that next year, but it is going to be tough."

McGuckin is one of a number of players who is hopeful of impressing Brennan during the McKenna Cup.

Sean Leo McGoldrick, too, has special reason for hoping to make an impact as he will be unavailable for the National League and is anxious, if selected, to unveil his best form in the January competition.

"Naturally, every player wants to play in the league and championship but studies mean I could miss most of the league," says McGoldrick.

"However, I am still very anxious to be part of John's plans."

Brennan acknowledges that Derry face a particularly demanding campaign in Division Two of the league.

"You have teams like Tyrone, Meath, Kildare, Monaghan and Galway in there and it will be far from easy," adds Brennan.

"Still, these are the kind of matches that will help show us where we are."

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