Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport GAA

McErlain insists skipper Glass can shatter all rivals

By John Campbell

Derry minor football team boss Damian McErlain believes his captain Conor Glass is one of the most complete under-age players in the country - and few would quibble with his assessment.

The multi-talented Glen clubman can play at midfield or in attack with ease but it was in the rather unusual role of full-back that Glass proved the catalyst for Derry's Ulster Championship quarter-final win over Down.

And with his team facing reigning Ulster champions Donegal in today's semi-final, McErlain is convinced that Glass can again prove the ace in the Oak Leaf pack.

"Conor was just about everywhere when we beat Down. He dropped back into defence in the closing stages and I said to someone that he looked the best full-back in the county when he played there for the last 10 minutes," recalled McErlain. "His temperament is great and he's an outstanding talent."

Glass will again be a key figure in the Derry side today against a Donegal outfit that have already seen off the challenge of both Tyrone and Armagh.

Indeed, their facile win over the Orchard County served to further shorten the odds on Declan Bonner's charges retaining their trophy but the manager is picking his steps carefully.

"I watched Derry beating Down and they looked very useful," pointed out Bonner. "That win will have given them confidence."

While Glass is undoubtedly in a class of his own, Derry are by no means a one-trick pony.

Conor McGrogan and Michael McEvoy shore up the defence, Shea Downey is adept at coming forward, Patrick Coney is a predatory wing-forward and both Shane McGuigan and Feargal Higgins are lively corner-forwards.

Donegal play a fast-raiding game with skipper Michael Carroll, centrethreequarters Neil O'Donnell, centre-half-back Nathan Gavigan and wing-forward Naoise Ó Baoill central to their strategy.

They are not only in line to keep their Ulster title but look destined for a strong All-Ireland bid.

Today should see them take a further step towards achieving both goals.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph