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McIvers working in tandem to inspire Kilcoo's Ulster title shot

Ulster Club SFC

By John Campbell

Former Derry manager Brian McIver has been a peripheral figure in Kilcoo's bid to complement their dominance of the Down Senior Football Championship by landing the Ulster club title for the first time.

Yet his background presence has been a considerable boost to his son Paul as he fashions Kilcoo's strategy for the provincial series in his role as manager.

But McIver senior is coming rather more to the fore as he finds himself entrusted with articulating the team's philosophy - and fears - as they prepare to meet Donegal champions Glenswilly in the Ulster quarter-final at Pairc Esler, Newry, on Sunday.

"To have gone to Clones and to have secured a win over a very good Scotstown side in the preliminary round will obviously do Kilcoo's confidence a world of good," maintains McIver snr.

"Now, though, the team is facing up to a very solid, experienced Glenswilly side who are physically imposing and who boast two of the best players in the country in Neil Gallagher and Michael Murphy."

Glenswilly stunned fancied Kilcar in the Donegal championship decider and McIver believes the experience they have gained in the Ulster club series in more recent years will now stand to them.

"There is no doubt about this but, on the other hand, this Kilcoo side is a very tightly-knit group of players who play out of their skins for each other," stresses McIver. "Indeed, I look at how they play and I am convinced that there is plenty of talent in Down football.

"It is a matter of getting everyone pulling in the same direction and I honestly believe if Kilcoo were to kick on from their preliminary round win by coming out on top on Sunday then it would be a big boost for the club and a shot in the arm for football in the county.

"Obviously Kilcoo have gained experience over recent years by winning five Down titles on the trot but the Ulster club championship is a different stage altogether, a massive challenge."

Belfast Telegraph


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