Derry and Tyrone unfairly penalised by club month claims McErlain

Derry's Sean Quinn takes on Kyle Coney of Tyrone.
Derry's Sean Quinn takes on Kyle Coney of Tyrone.

Derry manager Damian McErlain believes April’s focus on club games puts counties involved in the Ulster Championship preliminary round at a distinct disadvantage.

Derry manager Damian McErlain believes April’s focus on club games puts counties involved in the Ulster Championship preliminary round at a distinct disadvantage.

The Oak Leafers are scheduled to take on Tyrone on May 12th in Healy Park with most of McErlain’s panel facing four club fixtures before that in April and the Derry manager admits he is not a fan of the present schedule.

“It doesn’t work. It is not practical,” explained the Derry manager. “The right men are not making these decisions. Set the county managers down together and ask them to manage it. Organise that and I’d say they might make a better fist of it because they would consider the clubs.

“You are better just not having it because some counties play with starred games, so it doesn’t work.

“In Derry, everybody wants to play in every club match and that’s fair enough. That is a tough challenge for CCC. It is not easy, in fact it is almost impossible, so we can stand here and make all the comments we want but until they change the calendar, all the talk is nonsense.”

The Derry manager stressed the need for county players to play for their clubs but admitted he would be keeping his fingers crossed that his panel came through April unscathed

“It’s out of our control,” he added. “You just hope everyone comes through okay but the boys will enjoy it too.

“The players need to go back to their clubs and play but our game being in the preliminary round does present a challenge. It’s not really fair on the two counties that are out so soon but the players will play the four games.

“In saying that, they had seven to play last year so I’m half relieved.”