AIDAN McAlynn is hoping Saturday’s return against Longford is the beginning of an injury-free run with club and county after helping Derry secure two vital league points.
Michael Wilson reports
The Loup man fitted back in seemlessly after recovering from a hamstring injury in what was his first league start of 2013 and while he admitted it had not been Derry best performance of the year, McAlynn stressed the importance of victory.
“It maybe wasn’t vintage stuff but we got over the line and there were 14 points kicked,” explained the half-back, “Okay, I know there were a lot of wides kicked as well but we held Longford to five points for 70 minutes and that is not easy to do. Longford were coming here on the back of a few defeats and they were never going to make it easy for us but we came away with two points and that was the main thing.”
McAlynn said the influence of some of the more experienced player in defence was making Derry meaner at the back.
“We coped with that very well (Longford going for goals). There was a lot of good talking. With players like Mark Lynch and Gerard O’Kane, there is a lot of experience in there and it is hard to beat.
“Yes, it is good to be back and maybe injury free for a while. I worked hard from the Tyrone game on the hamstring and, touch wood, now hopefully everything is going well.”
McAlynn’s versatility is one of his strengths with the Loup player earning his reputation as a half-back after initially appearing at half-forward at underage level.
“I played a bit in the full-back line last season under John Brennan and you play where you are put. I am happy enough to be on the team because there is a lot of competition. There are a lot of players hungry to get game time and fortunately for me things went my way tonight. This time last year we were facing a bit of a struggle but we are at the right end of the table this time for a change which is nice. It takes the pressure off a bit and hopefully allows you to enjoy things a bit more and hopefully when you are enjoying it you play better football.
“Longford were very hard to break down and played with 12 men behind the ball at times. We got so far and we probably a bit lateral at times. We kicked a few wides but I think the result was a fair reflection and we deserved to come out on the right side of the result.”
Meanwhile Longford manager Glenn Ryan admitted he would not be too disappointed if the league was cancelled after registering five defeats from five games.
“In many ways we were kept in the game,” conceded Ryan, “Derry had some chances that on another night you would have expected them to get. They closed it out well in the end and, yes, we are disappointed with our performance, that was probably our weakest performance of the league so far.
“It is about preparing for Championship now but we know it’s going to be hard. It will be a long haul from now until May when we play up in Aughrim so we need to at look at our plans and try to get there in the best possible frame of mind. At this stage I wouldn’t be too bothered if the league was cancelled.”