Rory Gallagher wants Celtic Park to become a Derry fortress again

Rory Gallagher says he wants to see Celtic Park become a fortress for Derry GAA again after confirming this week that the city venue would be hosting all the county’s Division Three games this season.

Saturday, 25th January 2020, 11:45 am
Derry entertain Leitrim in Celtic Park on Saturday at 5pm.

The Lone Moor Road ground was used very sparingly last season as the county team instead played it’s Division Four games across a number of club grounds such as Glen, Ballinascreen and Bellaghy.

However, with an Ulster Championship date to come in May against Armagh at Celtic Park, Gallagher is keen to see the county team use the city venue as often as possible.

“We didn’t really consult the players on it. The county board mentioned it to us as a management team and we felt that, in my experience when I was involved with Donegal and Fermanagh, playing at home became something that you took serious pride in and having one venue always suited players,” explained the Derry manager.

“You got use to the familiarity of the place and you want to make it a place where other teams hate coming to.

“If we go and play at club grounds where you maybe only play there once a year, you are losing that advantage of familiarity and its almost an equal chance. We want to make playing at home something we love doing and the opposition don’t.

“I know Celtic Park is a bit different, it’s a bit further for some people but ultimately we are playing the Ulster Championship there and if we can play for league games there and build towards that, produce performances there and build that year after year, that’s what we are looking to do.

“The reality is Celtic Park is a really good surface, we can use it for floodlit matches as well as during the day so look, we just want to make it our home going forward this season and make it something where we can produced god displays and win some games.”

And Gallagher revealed all the players are anxious now to get the season started properly.

“They are in now and we are just looking forward to the league now and getting started.”