Thursday will be an eventful day on the sidelines for new Derry senior football coach Ciaran Meenagh.

The St Colm's Draperstown teacher leads the school's U16 team into the Pat King Cup against Derry rivals St Patrick's and St Brigid's Claudy, at 12.30 in Owenbeg.

Later in the evening, the Loughmacrory man will run his eye over Derry's McKenna Cup meeting with his native Tyrone at Celtic Park, 8.00.

Meenagh has joined Damian McErlain's backroom team, having managed Dromore for the past three seasons.

As well as his experience in school football, he also has a handle on the Derry club scene from his time as Ballinascreen boss.

"There is a lot of good things happening with the underage in Derry," Meenagh told the County Derry Post.  "I am up around Owenbeg and I see what it happening at the schools.

"St Patrick’s Maghera is basically a nursery of football, there is an elite level of footballer coming through there."

"The Convent (Magherafelt) are competing at MacRory, St Pius are competing at their level.  There is St Conor’s, ourselves (St Colm's) and Claudy - there is work going on everywhere," Meenagh added, referring to Derry's presence in school finals recently.

Despite his time with the Oakleafers being in its infancy, Meenagh admits to have saw a lot of the current players at one point.

"And when you are reading your newspaper every week, there is not many footballers you don’t know so you know what is happening on the ground.

"To be fair to Chris Collins, he has it well-structured going into Owenbeg."

An All-Ireland winner with Tyrone, under Mickey Harte, at minor and U21 level, Meenagh feels the Oakleafers could've been handed an easier start.

"It is hard at this time of the year," he outlined.  "Different players are unavailable and not much has happened yet.

"It is a tricky group, but what are they? They are effectively challenge games."

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