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Damian McErlain Steps Down From Derry Job After Two Years

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Derry are on the hunt for a new senior football boss after Damian McErlain stepped down from his role citing ‘personal circumstances’ as the reason. 

McErlain had just completed the second of a three-year term and was expected to continue on for one more season, however, he released a statement today confirming that he will be leaving the post.

Derry GAA also confirmed in a statement that they had “reluctantly accepted” McErlain’s resignation:

“After speaking with Damian McErlain, Derry GAA confirms that we have reluctantly accepted his resignation as Derry senior football manager,” said an official Derry statement.

“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 spent two seasons with the Oak Leaf senior team following his success with the minor panel whom he guided to the 2017 All-Ireland final.

Derry were relegated to Division 4 in McErlain’s opening league campaign but bounced straight back up with an undefeated record this season. McErlain was in charge for five Championship encounters, winning just one, however, three of those games were against Division 1 opposition.

McErlain’s statement can be seen below:

“The rationale is very much based on personal circumstances and it’s with disappointment that I won’t be finishing my three-year term.

“After five years in total in Owenbeg it’s been a big shift with some great memories and challenges in equal measure, but I now have to focus on prioritising myself and my family.

“I’d like to thank first and foremost my wife Sinead who made as many sacrifices for me to carry out the job as I did and supported me through the highs and lows – for that I am forever grateful.

“Then of course all the members of the management teams I’ve had over the five years in Owenbeg whose efforts, knowledge and integrity knew no bounds to try and bring success and progress to Derry at both minor and senior level, we enjoyed the sort of team-ship that is required to bring success at any level and it’s imperative to acknowledge their huge contribution.

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“Derry made good progress in 2019 after a difficult 2018 and it’s vital now that the players capitalise on this and demonstrate the sort of persistence that will be required to reach the levels needed. 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 Intercounty 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.

“Finally I’d like to thank Club Derry and the sponsors of our teams over the 5 years who make it all possible, the Derry board and Brian McIver for his support during that time.

“I am extremely proud to have managed my county at both minor and senior level but for now it’s time to move on.”

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