Derry's rising stars point to bright future, says McGrogan
Derry captain Padraig McGrogan is in no doubt as to just what has been the key element in his team's build-up to tomorrow's All-Ireland Minor Football Championship quarter-final against Sligo at MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey (2.00pm).
"The intensity in training which is fuelled by competition for starting places has been unbelievable since we won the Ulster final by beating Cavan," explains Newbridge clubman McGrogan.
"There is a very fine line between getting a starting place and being a substitute with this side. Everyone is pushing everyone else and that is one of the main reasons we are in the last eight of the All-Ireland series."
McGrogan was the stand-out player overall in the Ulster decider and his midfield partnership with Oisin McWilliams is a central plank in Derry's team structure.
Tomorrow they will face a Sligo side which lost to Galway in the Connacht final, 3-11 to 0-10. While Derry have accurate forwards in Patrick Quigg, Declan Cassidy, Ben McCarron and Lorcan McWilliams, Sligo boast potent finishers in Conall Ryan, Luke Towey and Red Óg Murphy.
But Derry appear to have greater all-round firepower given that no fewer than 10 of their players including three subs were on target in the Ulster final.
Meanwhile, Cavan will meet Galway in another quarter-final at Carrick-on-Shannon (2.00pm), anxious to return to winning ways again following their setback in the Ulster decider.