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Derry's McGurk gearing up for Oak Leaf title challenge

 

By Declan Bogue

Derry hurling manager Colm McGurk believes that defeat in the 2015 Christy Ring Cup, and the subsequent retirements after it, continues to reverberate among the Oak Leaf panel.

They are preparing to play in the Ulster Shield this weekend against Monaghan (Saturday, Omagh, 3pm), with the former dual star, who was part of the 1993 All-Ireland football winning squad, seeking to build a winning habit in reduced circumstances.

"We are where we are," assessed McGurk of their current position.

"It wasn't really the fault of the previous managers, Tom McLean did a great job there with Derry for three years. I think the defeat in the Christy Ring final probably left scars and fellas then walked away because the effort they had put in that year.

"I suppose whenever you lose that wealth of experience off any squad it has a knock-on effect. And it is probably the same as the senior football team in Derry. That reflects on the results when that happens."

McGurk has former Slaughtneil manager Mickey Glover and well-known coach Kevin Kelly along with him, and admits he was always keen on taking the job.

"I don't know if it is the right time, but I had always thought that I would go back to hopefully manage it at some stage," he said.

Meanwhile, the Ulster Council have fixed Monday night's forthcoming Under 21 football final between Donegal and Derry for the Athletic Grounds, Armagh, with throw-in at 8pm.

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