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Loup and Bellaghy set for game of the weekend in the Derry senior championship

Both clubs under new management this season

Loup and Bellaghy set for game of the weekend in the Derry senior championship

Paddy Bradley will take charge of Loup this season (Pic: Adrian Donohoe)

DERRY SFC ROUND 1

Loup v Bellaghy
Saturday (6.30) – Magherafelt
Ref: Brendan Quinn
Streamed live via www.DerryGAA.ie

After steering Newbridge to intermediate success, Paddy Bradley will bring Loup to battle this weekend.

Kevin Brady, who played a cameo junior football role for Ogra Colmcille two seasons ago, has joined him after helping St Mary's Magherafelt to MacRory Cup success.

Other than a game with St Eunan's, Bradley has tried in vain to get any more challenge games to put any stamp on his side, which has kept the same personnel as recent seasons.

Paul Young will miss the game due to work commitments in England, while defender Connor McVey and Roddy O'Kane are struggling with injury. On the plus side, Derry player Jason Rocks is on his way back and could see action by the end of the group stages.

Bellaghy have John McKeever at the helm this season, who has Leo Meenan in as coach with former minor selector Kieran Glackin on board and provides a vital link to the upcoming talents from their underage production line.

With goalkeeper Benny Diamond stepping aside, one of McKeever's first tasks was to find a replacement. Former Derry minor panellist Peter Stuart, who is an accomplished kicker, has been moulded into the role and is set to start against Loup.

The Tones, under Chairman Kevin Doherty, followed the lockdown to the letter of the law, but got a few challenge games in to help prepare them.

Conan Brown hasn't came out this year and another player who won't feature is Conor Quinn, who has suffered a nasty knee injury. Lorcan Spier will miss the first two games with a suspension carried over from last season.

McKeever will need to keep captain Eoghan Brown fit, who will form a partnership with the highly rated Paul Cassidy, their Ulster minor winning captain, who has recovered from injury.

Along with Ronan McFaul, Odhran Lee and Conan Milne, they could be set to make their debuts in a youthful Bellaghy team, who will look to Gerard O'Neill and Ryan McNally, with Peter Cassidy and Declan Brown also having championship experience.

VERDICT: Loup

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