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Derry senior hurling manager John McEvoy vows to respect the club window

GAA set to announce that National Leagues will be completed

Derry senior hurling manager John McEvoy vows to respect the club window

Derry senior hurling manager John McEvoy (Pic: Tom Heaney)

When the GAA announce their inter-county plans this week, Derry hurlers will be given further confirmation of their Division 2B promotion final.

Manager John McEvoy has stated he will 'respect' the club window and is happy his players will be getting 'three or four' games, to help their preparation for a showdown with Down.

Feargal McGill. Director of Club, Player and Games Administration, told the County Derry Post of their plans for the unplayed league games.

“It is definitely our intention to finish the leagues, the league finals in hurling and the remaining two rounds in football,” he commented.

Derry hurlers are unbeaten so far this season, thanks to a late Conor Kelly point in their 3-13 to 2-16 draw against Kildare on Sunday, March 8. They will play Down in the Division 2B promotion final, hoping to go one better than last year's defeat to Wicklow.

In football, Rory Gallagher's senior squad would need results to all fall for them if they were to gain promotion from Division 3. Derry, on five points, are two points behind Down and Longford. They would need Paddy Tally's men to lose both games to bottom of the table Leitrim and Louth.

Derry hurling boss McEvoy also admitted that preparations after the lay-off will be a challenge.

“We had a decent league and we were happy with the progress. We brought seven new guys into the setup. They added a lot to it,” he told the County Derry Post.

McEvoy also felt that the break gave injured quartet Paddy Kelly, Mark Craig, Eamonn McGill and Darragh McCloskey time to recover, while he hopes they can get through the 11-week club championship period unscathed.

“We are going to respect the club window,” he stressed. ”All the players are going to be playing a lot of matches. Thankfully they are going to be getting three or four matches each, before they get into semi-finals and finals.

“We have to look at this as a positive, they will be back hurling and their club managers will be working with them in terms of hand to eye (coordination) and doing lots of ball work.

“When we get the green light in mid-September, we'll start back working with them and looking forward to that. It will be a short lead into the league final but there is nothing we can do with it.”

This week's release is also expected to have dates for the various championships, including the Christy Ring Cup.

“I'm hearing different things about Joe McDonagh and Christy Ring, that they are going knock-out,” McEvoy stated. “Given the window, that wouldn't surprise you and that can go with you or against you.

“I think they would play the three (group) matches and that's what we'd prefer, but at this stage I just don't know.”

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