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Damien McErlain is calling out for huge change across Derry

By John Campbell

Derry minor boss Damien McErlain believes that "a whole lot of things need to happen in the county" before a stream of success can be obtained throughout all levels of the game.

McErlain saw his side fall to Kerry in Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final by 1-11 to 1-6 and since then has been reflecting deeply on just where the Oak Leaf County stand in terms of structures and progress.

"As things stand, this Derry minor side have got to where they are on the basis of one year's work but the structures within our county are not what they are in Kerry so the big worry is whether this team can move on to make a smooth transition to Under-21 and hopefully senior level or not," pointed out McErlain.

"This is what should be exercising minds in Derry. I was just looking at the Kerry lads when they took off their shirts and I saw proof of the amount of strength and conditioning work that they have evidently undertaken.

"There is physical development going on there that has certainly not been happening in our county. A whole lot of things need to happen in Derry before we can make real progress."

McErlain, passionately committed to seeing success come Derry's way in all sectors, is urging the county board to address several issues if headway is to be made.

"I think things need to be sorted out at county board level. Obviously there is talent within the county - I think the way the minor side have played this year is proof of that - but structures need to be in place to ensure that players' careers can be fashioned while they are still at a young age," insisted McErlain.

"There is no doubt that there are many good footballers in Derry at club and colleges level.

"Clubs are producing good players but we need better structures in place to have this talent harnessed into winning combinations at inter-county level."

Belfast Telegraph

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