Derry manager John Brennan is hoping that both Joe Diver and Niall Holly could be fit to face Fermanagh in Sunday week’s Ulster Senior Football Championship quarter-final.
Speaking at Derry’s press night on Tuesday, Brennan said:
“Niall Holly got injured playing for Jordanstown (in the Sigerson Cup), as did Joe Diver. Those are the two men that we will be hoping will be back to help out PJ (McCloskey) and Michael Friel. I am optimistic that both Joe and Niall will be available.
“All they have played is two internal games, while Joe also featured against Sligo at the opening of the Ballinascreen pitch. They are missing out on game-time, but we have to have those players in. There is a doubt about one or two fellas, but I’m not going to say that they are not (available) because I want them there, and as far as I am concerned they will have to be there.”
The Derry boss has a number of other injury worries ahead of his championship debut. Gerard O’Kane and Martin Donaghy have also picked up slight injuries, while Kevin McGuckin and Enda Muldoon have only recently returned to action. Brennan added:
“If I was to referring to IT I would say we have a virus. There is a midfield virus in Derry and I can’t think of any other term for it. Gradually and hopefully it is clearing up by degrees. People are referring to Patsy Bradley (as a solution). Patsy hasn’t played club football since last August so there is no point in asking him.
“The other aspect to it is Fergal Doherty. He doesn’t feel up to playing (at the moment). He has played on occasion in matches for Bellaghy, he has come off and he is not there.”
Paddy Bradley definitely misses the match on May 22. He suffered a cruciate knee ligament tear and is unlikely to play again this season.
“Paddy has been a role model this year and I know that he has got his criticism from inside and outside the county regarding his attitude,” said Brennan.
“I know Paddy for a number of years. Paddy has got on exceptionally well so far this year. In 12 competitive matches Paddy was man-of-the-match on four occasions. To me this year he was going to get a second All-Star award. He was just phenomenal to watch. He is a loss to GAA supporters and spectators watching such a good talent.
“We will miss him dearly, but my attitude to that is that the rest of the players want to up their performance another three or four or five percent to counteract that. We have to manage with what we have on the day. We can’t think back on what if, because that doesn’t win matches.”