NAOMH CONAILL MINORS face Pádraig Pearse’s, Kilrea in the Ulster Minor Championship quarter-final this afternoon.
John O’Malley’s team face Kilrea in the St Paul’s-hosted competition at Shaws Road, Belfast at 1pm and the Naomh Conaill boss is confident that his side can make inroads in the provincial race.
Kilrea dethroned the holders, Crossmaglen, in last week’s preliminary round clash.
“It’s a tough draw, but whoever you play here is a county champion so it’ll always be that way,” O’Malley said.[adrotate group=”53″]
“Derry clubs have had good success in this competition in recent years, but we’re looking forward to the game.
“We saw Kilrea against Crossmaglen last week. It was tit-for-tat, Cross looked like they were getting on top, but Kilrea banged in a goal. They put Cross away when they got the chance.”
Naomh Conaill claimed the Donegal MFC title when a dramatic injury-time goal by Keelan McGill secured a 1-11 to 0-11 win over St Eunan’s.[adrotate group=”76″]
O’Malley said: “It was a great way to do it. Keelan popped up in the right place. That was a great way for the boys and they’ve really got the heads down since that.”
O’Malley played in this competition with Naomh Conaill seven years ago, but they lost out to Kilcoo.
Now, O’Malley is wearing the Bainisteoir bib. He said: “It’s been enjoyable. I was in doing a bit of coaching anyway. It’s good to be involved like this. I was lucky to win a county title in my first year and I’ve learned a lot from it.”[adrotate group=”46″]
O’Malley says his team – including Donegal minors from this year Eoghan McGettigan, JD Boyle and Kieran Gallagher – are in good spirits. McGettigan has been called into train with the Donegal senior team.
O’Malley said: “We will take confidence into the game. There is no need to fear these teams. Donegal football is mixing with the best of teams so hopefully we can get a good run in this.”
Listen to the full interview below …