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Brian Og McGilligan prays Croke Park glory runs in his family

By John Campbell

Brian Og McGilligan is set to return to the scene of his father's greatest sporting triumph in the hope of helping to throw Derry a Division One lifeline.

It was in 1993 that Brian Snr played a key role in midfield alongside Anthony Tohill when Derry won their only All-Ireland title by beating Cork (1-14 to 2-8).

Now his 20-year-old son is striving to keep Derry in the top tier of the league even though the odds appear to be stacked against them.

Tomorrow week, the Oak Leaf side will take on Dublin at Croke Park and McGilligan Jnr, very much cut from the same cloth as his dad, can't wait.

"Every young player dreams of playing in Croke Park in a big match and I'm no different," says the Dungiven clubman.

"This is a real pressure match for Derry because of the fact that we are at the bottom of Division One but we still have belief.

"The boys have been working hard in training, our manager Brian McIver has been encouraging us and it would be just great if we could get a win. Maybe nobody will fancy us but I know that I am looking forward immensely to the game."

While Derry were succumbing to their fourth defeat in five matches to Monaghan at the weekend, Dublin were handing out a sharp lesson to Mayo.

McGilligan Jnr acknowledges that the match will present him with the toughest test of his sporting career to fate.

"The challenge will be to try and make sure we win enough ball to allow our forwards to show their skills," he insists.

"We have been unlucky to some extent in the league but we don't want to be making excuses. Our destiny is in our own hands."

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