Derry boss Rory Gallagher full of praise for "phenomenal" Paul Cassidy

​Rory Gallagher was full of praise for Paul Cassidy’s McKenna Cup midfield transformation which he says will increase his squad options heading into the National League.

Derry Paul Cassidy. 25-6-2022
Derry Paul Cassidy. 25-6-2022

The Bellaghy player last season established himself as one of Gallagher’s key men and only enhanced that reputation by seamlessly switching to a midfield partnership with Brendan Rogers for Derry successful pre-season campaign.

"Paul is an unbelievable footballer," explained the Derry boss, “I think his potential is phenomenal. His ability, his football brain, when you work with people every day you see moments of brilliance from him. I believe Paul could play anywhere. There was a point in the week when we were thinking of playing him in another position but we went for midfield alongside Brendan.

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"Brendan is also trying it out so from our point of view it was a new experience in there. Clearly we will have Conor (Glass) back in next week all being well and that will strengthen us again.”

​"Aye, I suppose you would still like it a bit better. We will see where it takes us but no, we want to get as many quality players as possible playing. We have continually said we have been very deliberate in holding a small squad and to get four games in two weeks, that really tests us and the one things about a small panel is when there are a few injuries and suspension, everyone has the chance to play.

Any pleasant surprises in terms of personnel?

"There wouldn't be any pleasant surprises, there would be an expectancy from myself that they push on; that Lachlan pushes on. We are very disappointed that Matthew has been out; Mark Doherty had a tough day against Tyrone and came back in today; Eoin McEvoy has played every minute of it and been outstanding, young Niall there, I'm just delighted they are getting roles and adding value to us.

Got the competition you wanted?

"Aye, I suppose you would still like it a bit better. We will see where it takes us but no, we want to get as many quality players as possible playing. We have continually said we have been very deliberate in holding a small squad and to get four games in two weeks, that really tests us and the one things about a small panel is when there are a few injuries and suspension, everyone has the chance to play.