Damian McErlain steps down as Derry manager

By Cian O'Connell

Damian McErlain has stepped down as manager of the Derry senior football team.

McErlain was in charge for two years, claiming the Allianz Football League Division Four title this spring before an Ulster Championship exit against Tyrone.

Derry subsequently defeated Wexford in a Round One Qualifier before losing at home to Laois.

"After speaking with Damian McErlain, Derry GAA confirms that we have reluctantly accepted his resignation as Derry senior football manager," a Derry GAA statement said.

"We would like to sincerely thank Damian, his management and backroom teams, and all our players for their efforts over the past two years. Damian has been involved with Derry minor and senior football teams for the past five years and has been a central figure in helping to develop a new generation of Derry footballers.

"We would like wish Damian, his wife Sinead and family every health and happiness going forward. The process of appointing a new senior football management will commence over the coming days and weeks."

McErlain believes Derry developed during the current campaign. "Derry made good progress in 2019 after a difficult 2018 and its vital now that the players capitalise on this and demonstrate the sort of persistence that will be required to reach the levels needed," McErlain remarked. "I wish all the players well in what is a privileged position in representing this county at Senior level.

"Underage football in Derry has been strong these last number of years but Senior Inter-county is a different animal and again these players coming through have to have the desire to persist in developing themselves and their game over a number of years if they want to succeed in driving Derry onwards. They also need the continued support of their clubs and the patience of supporters to allow this to flourish."

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