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McIver: Derry players deserve respect

By John Campbell

Derry manager Brian McIver is convinced the general public do not understand the immense commitment that county players are expected to give in the hope of attaining success.

And he believes more players, including several from his own county, would be prepared to make even greater sacrifices, in terms of taking sabbaticals from their work.

Recent revelations concerning Donegal's Karl Lacey, who is committing himself full-time to serving Donegal in a voluntary capacity this summer, has sparked considerable debate throughout the country and McIver is of the opinion that others would be prepared to follow his lead if they thought there was some way in which they could still make ends meet.

"The way the modern game is going I can totally understand where some of the players like Karl Lacey and Ciaran Donaghy are coming from," says McIver.

"Everyone's circumstances are different, of course, but I feel if some players thought they could concentrate totally on their gaelic football career I imagine a lot of players would be doing that.

"In a lot of cases lads still have a job to go to on Monday morning, it's still an amateur game but serious commitment is being asked from these players and I totally understand that.

"The amount of preparation is phenomenal and I think the general public do not really understand just what is expected from the players."

Like all county bosses, McIver leaves nothing to chance but would obviously relish the opportunity of players being made even more available to him.

"I would think that if players thought they could maybe make ends meet in some way and that there might be enough money coming in to pay bills, then they might be prepared to devote themselves full-time for the Championship season but that is a huge ask, of course," he says.

"The game has moved to a different level altogether. "

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