Derry prepare for life in Division Two of National League

DERRY, under new manager John Brennan, will ply their trade in Division Two of the National football league this year and it looks every bit as tough as the First Division.

Derry’s opening game is at home to Ulster champions Tyrone at Celtic Park on Sunday 6 February. They will be aiming for a third victory over their great rivals at this venue in the last four years.

On 19 February its the long trip to All Ireland semi finalists Kildare at Newbridge and that is probably their toughest game. On Sunday 27 February they are at home to a Laois team that are not the force they used to be. There is a break until 13 March and it’s a trip west to a much improved Sligo team who have won Divisions Four and Three in successive years.

On Saturday 19 March under lights at Celtic park there is a good old fashioned local derby against Donegal who have high hopes under new manager Jim McGuinness.

On Sunday 2 April it is a fourth home game in the first six and that will be against old rivals Meath who have only beaten Derry once in the league in the last twenty years.

The curtain comes down on another local clash at Casement Park on Sunday 10 April where local man Liam ‘The Baker’ Bradley will be in charge of Antrim for a third successive year and he will have at least one son on the Derry team.

Hurling Fixtures

The Derry senior hurlers will face familiar opposition in what looks a tough campaign for them following their poor showing in the last few years.

On 13 February improving Armagh will travel to the Oak Leaf men who will need to win if they are to end up in the relegation zone. The next outing a week later is away to Kildare the league favourites. Round Three on 6 March is a home date with Meath for a second successive year and one of their better chances of success.

Its on the road for another long trip on 13 April to the Garden County of Wicklow. There is a two week break before taking on London the team that beat them in the championship last year. With home advantage Derry will be hoping for points from this game and that is their last game of this league but there are play off situations later.