Keegan praises 'refreshing' Derry performances

Keegan praises 'refreshing' Derry performances

Former Mayo footballer Lee Keegan has claimed that Derry's current run of positive form is a "refreshing" sight to see in 2024.

Derry are two from two in the Division 1 Allianz Football League this year and are currently the holders of the Anglo-Celt Cup. Additionally, Glen, a club side from Derry, are the current All-Ireland Club champions after they beat St. Brigid's this year.

The Oak Leafers, under the new management of Mickey Harte, are now being backed to continue their bright start to the football season by the likes of Keegan and company. Keegan has welcomed the impact Derry has made this year under Harte.

"They're not shying away from it, and Mickey [Harte] made that clear. They want to win Division 1 or go as far as it's possible," said Keegan this week.

"They're making no bones about it; they want to win every competition. I was listening to Conor Glass interviewed a couple of weeks ago, and it was the exact same conversation.

"They want to be as close as possible to winning everything. I thought it was refreshing to hear that from a player, especially of his calibre as well."

Keegan's comments come after Derry won a 3-17 to 0-13 tie against Monaghan at Celtic Park.

Despite the great start by Derry, Harte, the Derry manager, has claimed that Derry's form will become more of a marathon than a straight sprint in the coming weeks. "When a narrative hits the public domain, it's very easy for it to keep going, so I see that," added Harte.

"That talk has been there for the last year or the year before, but it's maybe not fair to say that there was a lack of depth.

"Maybe those players just needed a wee bit more game time in critical matches, and maybe the management didn't feel it was safe to do that.

"That happens sometimes."

Derry will play the likes of Mayo, Dublin, Galway, and the like in the coming weeks of the league. Harte is welcoming the block of games to come.

"But I think we used the McKenna Cup for that to get players game time, and now that the league is the way it is, with games coming thick and fast, we need to be putting other players in for some time at least.

"It's always good because the hectic nature of this season is a sprint, not a marathon."

Derry's next game will be against Galway at Pearse Stadium on February 24.