Ciaran McFaul hungry to break his Championship duck
Ciaran McFaul is one of a handful of Derry players who have yet to share in an Ulster Championship tie victory and he's hoping to set that record straight against Down on Sunday.
McFaul was on duty when his side lost to Donegal in the opening round last year (1-11 to 0-11) prior to the embarrassing qualifier defeat to Longford (2-16 to 2-14) and now he is determined to make the most of his opportunity next weekend.
He has another reason, too, for hoping to come good against Jim McCorry's side.
Not only did last season's Championship bring heartbreak for the talented forward, the Allianz League brought even more agony earlier this year when damaged ankle ligaments truncated his involvement in the competition.
"I only played two games in the league and have been out of action since then, but my recovery has gone well," says McFaul.
"I would be prepared to play in any position on Sunday just as long as I get into the side.
"I enjoy playing at wing-half back because I can come forward from there.
"When you are up in attack you are invariably surrounded by three or four opposing players because of the rigid defensive systems that teams tend to deploy these days."
Down have tended to hold the whip hand over Derry in the Ulster series and McFaul reveals that the current squad are motivated by this fact.
"Down came to Celtic Park a couple of years ago and turned us over," points out McFaul.
"They are now a Division One side whereas we have just slipped into Division Two so they will be coming to us in a very positive frame of mind.
"There is a lot of experience in their side no matter what anyone says and this will also make them very hard to beat."