23 May 2022

Conor Glass one of five new faces for Rory Gallagher ahead of championship preparations

Experienced quartet no longer part of the panel

Rory Gallagher will judge Conor Glass at training before making any decision on his involvement in the 2020 season and has his sights firmly focussed on the championship.

Glass is due home his Sunday, but will have to quarantine before joining with the Derry panel.  

The Oakleafers face Longford at home on Saturday, October 17 and travel to Offaly the following week before the championship clash with Armagh in November.

Gallagher sees promotion to division two as 'more or than likely gone' and is putting the focus on the championship.

"At the end of the day, we all sign up to play in the championship and it is just around the corner now," the Derry boss told

"We are looking forward to the games with Longford and Offaly, to hit the ground running and put in good displays there to carry some momentum into the Armagh game."

Gallagher has changed part of his back-room team.  Eskra's Peter Hughes, who played for Tyrone against Derry in the 2007 Ulster minor final, has taken over from Ollie Cummings as Strength and Conditioning coach.

Hughes, also a qualified physiotherapist, spent time travelling and working abroad. He has experience with the UAE rugby federation and AFL club Port Adelaide.

Long-serving goalkeeper Thomas Mallon has taken over from Michael Doherty as goalkeeper coach, with Glen goalkeeper Connlan Bradley joining the squad in his place.

There is a return for defender Paul McNeill, while young players Paul Cassidy and Ethan Doherty have also joined a trimmed panel.

Of those no longer part of the Gallagher's plans are experienced quartet Niall Keenan, Ryan Bell, Conor McAtamney and Liam McGoldrick.

Gallagher is set to be patient with Conor Glass, who initially caught his eye in Derry minors' win over Donegal in the 2015 Ulster semi-final.

"The supporters will have seen a lot more of him than me," Gallagher said.  "I remember managing Donegal (seniors) and we were getting ready to go to battle with Derry.

"That's the first time I had seen or heard of him. There was a red haired lad in the middle of the field, just dominating, and you are wondering 'who is he'. It was Conor Glass.  I only watched 20 or 25 minutes and I believe in the second half he was even better in the game. Since that, he has always been a player I have been keeping an eye on.

"We just want to get him settled in, he has been away from it for a long time. For his family, for his club, Glen Maghera, and for Derry, he is a massive boost. Please God, he gets to stay injury free and enjoy his football now."

In an interview with the County Derry Post, Glass stated his desire to play for Derry and was putting his hand up selection.

"We'll have to see how he feels about things," offered Gallagher.   "I know he is fully fit, I know he is very ambitious so we'll just have to wait and see.

"With quarantine for a period, it is going to be very tight. That's the reality of it. I think we'll all be delighted if we see the best of Conor Glass next year.

"If Conor Glass comes in and puts in a right run at training, he'll be ready to play. I'd be delighted if that's the case. We'll judge him with our eyes, we have to be realistic. He has to get a round ball in his hand. I know he kicks about a bit out there.  We'll see how he goes once he trains."

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