New Derry manager Brian McIver gets the opportunity to run the rule over a strong platoon of talent when the county football championship semi-finals are staged at Celtic Park tonight.
McIver, who learned this week that ace scorer Paddy Bradley could yet call time on his inter-county career, plans to keep the door open to established and emerging players as he sets about naming his initial squad.
And McIver, who played no small part in helping to fashion the careers of several of the Donegal players who shared in last Sunday’s All-Ireland final triumph over Mayo when he was in charge there, believes that there are valuable playing resources in Derry which can be maximised.
“I only want players who are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices to bring Derry up in the world again,” states McIver.
“Obviously there have been a lot of injuries within the squad recently but while it’s disappointing to note that Paddy Bradley has incurred what is another serious setback, we must plan ahead and that means keeping all our options open.”
McIver points out that Donegal have thrown down the gauntlet to other Ulster sides.
“We all know now what it will now take to succeed at the top but we must take things in stages,” says the Oak Leaf manager.
The meeting of Banagher and Ballinderry kicks off tomorrow’s double bill with joint bosses Eamon Lynch and George Murphy hoping to work the oracle for the north Derry side having taken over from Paul Diamond.
Banagher were impressive when overcoming Bellaghy in the quarter-finals when Mark Lynch and P J McCloskey were outstanding at midfield.