Derry senior football manager Damian McErlain will no doubt have his fingers crossed this weekend as his players turn their attention to a month of club action.

There will be a full round of hurling fixtures on Thursday night. Conor Doherty and Niall Keenan will be in opposite corners in Thursday’s local derby between Castledawson and Newbridge, with a full round of football games set for Sunday.

"That's out of our control,” McErlain said after his side’s win over Leitrim on Sunday.

“You just hope everyone comes through okay but the boys will enjoy that too. The squad need to go back to their clubs and play."

Derry face Tyrone on Sunday, May 12 and the county players will play four club games, compared to seven last season with a longer window after the national league.

Derry hurling manager John McEvoy faces the same scenario ahead of their Christy Ring clash with Down on the same weekend as the footballers.

"I am not a fan,” was McEvoy’s assessment of club month, speaking after his side’s league final with Wicklow.

McErlain agrees.

"It doesn't work. It is not practical,” he said.  “The right men aren’t making these decisions. Set the county managers down and tell them to organise it and I'd say they might make a better fist of it because they would consider the clubs. You are better just not having (club month) it because some counties play with starred games so it doesn't work.

"In Derry, everybody wants to play in every club match and 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.”

For full coverage from Derry's win over Leitrim, get Tuesday's County Derry Post.

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