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Paddy pays tribute to his players

Derry manager Paddy Crozier normally remains totally unflappable, whatever the circumstances.

Yet there was no disguising the satisfaction that the popular Ballymaguigan man clearly felt in the aftermath of his side's stunning National League Final triumph over fancied Kerry.

"Aye, it's nice to deliver a little bit of silverware," observed Crozier matter-of-factly - as if it was an everyday occurrence to overcome the All Ireland champions, particularly when a trophy is at stake!

Pride in a job well done, though, clearly underlined Crozier's reaction to what was one of his best days at the office for some time.

"We knew at half-time we were still in with a chance and that they would come at us strongly.

"But we got our second goal at a good time and we built on things from there.

"Every team is beatable, that's my philosophy, and although Kerry were favourites, we did not fear them although we did ourselves no favours at the start of the game," said Crozier - a clear reference to his team's disastrous opening spell.

"A lot of these boys have not won anything with Derry so this is a deserved reward for them. We have not won the National League since 2000, but this is a very dedicated group of players.

"Now we will turn our attention to the Ulster Championship in which we will meet Donegal. They are going to be very tough opponents, but this win will help us prepare for what I see as an enormous test."

Man of the match Fergal Doherty was effusive in his praise for his Derry colleagues.

"The boys all put in a massive effort. We had braced ourselves for a tough game and it was certainly that. I was delighted to see the way Niall McCusker came in and did so well.

"We have to get our heads down now again for Donegal. Obviously we would be very keen to build on this league title win during the Championship."

Kerry manager Pat O'Shea paid tribute to Derry's spirit and work-rate after their poor start.

"They never lost their focus and they finished very strongly. We can have no complaints really," said the Kingdom boss, who is still hoping to supervise what would be a third All Ireland title on the trot later this year.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph