Ulster Senior League team manager Peter Moran feels his squad has enough strength and experience to win this weekend’s FAI Interprovincials tournament.
The USL squad travels to Cork on Friday hoping to reclaim the Michael Ward trophy which they’ve won twice in the last three years, in 2013 and 2014.
And Moran, who takes charge of the squad for the first time, is confident his players can deliver more success for the league.
“Listen ideally we would have liked a few boys who aren't available for different reasons,” he said.
“But I still believe we have a strong squad and we have had a friendly against Institute that went well. We're taking the strongest squad we can to Cork, and we're hoping to be competitive and bring back the trophy.”
Moran, the manager of Bonagee United, said taking over from Donal O’Brien as Ulster Senior League team manager was an honour. He had been part of O’Brien’s backroom team last year although the USL lost all three of their games.
“I keep telling players that you have to work and try and play at the highest level you can and it's the same for me personally as a coach,” he said.
“To be asked to manage the Ulster Senior League is a massive honour for me.
“Last year it was nice enough of Donal to invite me in and see what it is. It's a higher level – the physicality, the craft, the experience that some of the teams have.
“It was good to be there last year, and listen, it is a step up. It's the best players that each province can put out.”
Moran was speaking at a special press event at Café Davitt in Lettekenny on Tuesday at which his joint captains, Davitt Walsh (Fanad United) and Peter Doherty (Cockhill Celtic), also attended along with squad members Stephen Duffy (Derry City) and Aidan McCauley (Bonagee United).
The USL concluded preparations for this weekend on Tuesday night with a 5-2 win at Dergview.
Moran will be assisted by Anthony Gorman (Letterkenny Rovers) and Gavin Cullen (Cockhill Celtic).
Injury prevents Cullen from being involved in the squad as a player.
The USL open their tournament on Friday evening against the Leinster Senior League (7.30pm).
They play Connacht at 1.30pm on Saturday and then face the Munster Senior League at Turner's Cross on Sunday at 10.45am.
The Ulster Senior League squad is: Harry Doherty (Cockhill Celtic), Rory Kelly (Letterkenny Rovers), Gareth Breslin (Bonagee United), Conor Tourish (Letterkenny Rovers), Peter Doherty (Cockhill Celtic), Sam Todd (Derry City Reserves), Chris Flanagan (Letterkenny Rovers), Derek Doherty (Cockhill Celtic), Ryan Varma (Cockhill Celtic), Conor Keddy (Cockhill Celtic), Ronan Olly Doherty (Cockhill Celtic), Davitt Walsh (Fanad United), Stephen Duffy (Derry City Reserves), Jason Breslin (Cockhill Celtic), Aidan McCauley (Bonagee United), Mark Moran (Cockhill Celtic), Jack Blake (Derry City Reserves), Adrian Delap (Derry City Reserves), Laurence Toland (Swilly Rovers) Paul McVeigh (Letterkenny Rovers).
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