CITY OF DERRY: Further squad boost for on song Derry

City of Derry's Chris Cooper gets to grips with Bective Rangers flanker Aidan Mulligan on Saturday. INLS3815-130KM
City of Derry's Chris Cooper gets to grips with Bective Rangers flanker Aidan Mulligan on Saturday. INLS3815-130KM

City of Derry’s formidable looking First XV squad will get another boost this week when former Munster Under 21 tight-head prop Ger Collins and current Ulster Under 20 tight-head Rory Squires link up with the squad after joining in the close season.

Collins is moving to the north west to study at Magee and will train with Derry on Tuesday, providing further evidence of the growing competition for places at Judges Road.

“We are quite fortunate now with the depth we have at the club,” explained Head coach Terry McMaster, “This week will see Ger Collins and Rory Squires join the squad which leaves me with a nice headache to have. In essence we have three complete front rows which is a luxury most clubs would die for.

“We are getting to the stage where competition for places is where it should be. No one is assured of a start with players pushing each other on.”

Richard Baird could also return to action shortly after turning out for the Second XV but Chris Barber will undergo a scan this week to determine if surgery is necessary on the troublesome shoulder injury which has severely curtailed his appearances over the past 12 months.

And given the nature of Derry opening with two bonus point wins in the All Ireland League, McMaster has every reason to be happy with his current selection headache even if he still sees room for improvement.

“Bective was certainly not the complete performance but we controlled large parts of the game. We did get lazy in defence at times which allowed them to score. We didn’t recognise where the threat was and had a couple of individuals maybe not working hard enough but that’s where the beauty of the squad comes in.

“No one will be dropped for a mistake but if someone continues to make the same mistake or players are not putting in the desired work, we have options. No one is assured of their place and that’s how it should be.”