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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 12 December, 2018

Boost for Derry as former captain stays on for 2018 and 6 Slaughtneil club stars also included

New manager Damian McErlain has named his squad.

Derry's Mark Lynch and Chrissy McKaigue.
Derry's Mark Lynch and Chrissy McKaigue.
Image: INPHO

NEW DERRY MANAGER Damian McErlain has been boosted by the decision of former captain Mark Lynch to again commit to the county squad for 2018 and he has also included six key figures from Ulster club kingpins Slaughtneil.

31-year-old Lynch, one of the most experienced players in the Derry setup, will be involved again next year for a side that will feature in Division 3 of the league and take on Donegal or Cavan in the Ulster championship on 27 May.

The McKaigue brothers, Chrissy and Karl, spearhead the Slaughtneil contingent along with Brendan Rogers, Shane McGuigan, Paul McNeill and Padraig Cassidy

McNeill is a new call up to the Derry squad, having lined out at corner-back in the recent Ulster decider success against Cavan Gaels. The McKaigue brothers both manned the positions in the central rearguard for that side with Rogers also in defence, Cassidy starting at midfield and McGuigan playing in attack, from where he scored 1-6 in that recent final victory.

Slaughtneil’s All-Ireland club commitments in February – they face Na Piarsaigh in the hurling semi-final and Nemo Rangers in the football semi-final – will mean that Derry must plan without that group for the start of their league campaign.

Five of their Derry players are involved with both Slaughtneil sides while Cassidy features just for the footballers.

Two players not included in the Derry squad for next year are Danny Heavron, who suffered injury problems this year, and Emmett McGuckin, who featured during the championship exit at the hands of Mayo last July.

Emmett Bradley, Michael Bateson, Kevin Johnston, Terence O’Brien and Liam McGoldrick are experienced figures that have all rejoined the squad.

2018 Derry football panel

  1. Michael Bateson (Newbridge)
  2. Emmett Bradley (Glen)
  3. Padraig Cassidy (Slaughtneil)
  4. Jack Doherty (Glen)
  5. Jordan Curran (Faughanvale)
  6. Peter Hagan (Banagher)
  7. Oran Hartin (Limavady)
  8. Benny Heron (Ballinascreen)
  9. Kevin Johnston (Dungiven)
  10. Patrick Kearney (Swatragh)
  11. Niall Keenan (Castledawson)
  12. James Kielt (Kilrea)
  13. Mark Lynch (Banagher)
  14. Enda Lynn (Greenlough)
  15. Conor McAtamney (Swatragh)
  16. Michael McEvoy (Magherafelt)
  17. Ciaran McFaul (Glen)
  18. Liam McGoldrick (Coleraine)
  19. Shane McGuigan (Slaughtneil)
  20. Chrissy McKaigue (Slaughtneil)
  21. Karl McKaigue (Slaughtneil)
  22. Ben McKinless (Ballinderry)
  23. Paul McNeill (Slaughtneil)
  24. Carlus McWilliams (Ballinascreen)
  25. Ruairi Mooney (Coleraine)
  26. Terence O’Brien (Loup)
  27. Brendan Rogers (Slaughtneil)
  28. Danny Tallon (Glen)
  29. Niall Toner (Lavey)

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‘I lost the All-Ireland medal that I fought so hard for so long but I think I left my mark on it’

Mattie Kenny plotting for champions from his native Galway in All-Ireland semi-final

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Fintan O'Toole

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