PAUL Galvin may have retired, Colm Cooper is focusing on club business with Dr Crokes and several other established players will be missing for one reason or another but nonetheless, Derry full-back Chrissy McKaigue views his team's trip to Kerry tomorrow with some with trepidation.
Galvin's rather surprising withdrawal from the inter-county scene may be the big talking point this week but McKaigue is adamant that this will not allow the Oak Leaf players to be deflected from what he feels is their duty – the capture of two points that could prove invaluable in their quest for the title.
Last weekend's stirring draw against Tyrone in a match during which they found themselves swimming against the tide for long periods has further reinvigorated an Oak Leaf side which has lost just once since embarking on the O'Fiaich Cup campaign at the start of December.
"We brought in some new players in that competition and since then the team has taken shape.
"We have more experience on board now and it will certainly be a case of all hands on deck for this trip to Kerry, where points are never easy to come by," maintains McKaigue.
He can expect to have his credentials tested against a Kerry attack that, while missing some of its more illustrious figures, includes a swathe of subtle finishing power personified by Barry John Keane, James O'Donoghue and Donnacha Walsh.
Any notion that Kerry might not be treating the league too seriously was quickly dispelled as the extent of their disappointment following last weekend's one-point defeat to Dublin became apparent.
Manager Eamon Fitzmaurice, aware that the fans will be out in force at Austin Stack Park, Tralee tomorrow, is calling for a concerted effort from his team so that a first league win can be obtained.