When Derry won the All Ireland title for the only time to date in 1993, Henry Downey proved a driving force as skipper.
Holding down the centre-half-back berth in the side, Downey set a superb example as, under the baton of the late Eamonn Coleman, Derry scaled their biggest peak in style.
Now Downey could find himself with a new Derry role should Lavey manager John Brennan be chosen to succeed Damian Cassidy. As No 2 to Brennan, Downey’s short term hope is to see Lavey hurdle Ballinderry at Greenlough on Sunday (5.45pm) and reach the county final. But he cannot be blamed for taking more than a passing interest in moves to fill the county vacancy.
Brennan is understood to be among six candidates for the post and with a county sub-committee ready to have discussions with the sextet on an individual basis, the indications are that the new Derry boss will be revealed sooner rather than later.
Last year Brennan was in charge of a defiant Loup side that surged to the Derry title but this weekend he will be doing his best to terminate Ballinderry’s interest in the title.
His Lavey side are primed for a tough battle against the experienced lough shore side, though. While Caolan O’Boyle, Paul Harty and Kevin Molloy will be in the vanguard of the Lavey challenge, Ballinderry can still look to veterans Enda Muldoon and Conleith Gilligan as well as Collie Devlin and Raymond Wilkinson to provide the impetus for victory. Kevin McGuckin is expected to miss the match through injury.
And in the other semi-final tomorrow at Bannagher (5.45pm) a Coleraine side that has taken everyone by surprise will pit their skills against Ballinascreen.