GAA: Barry hoping to bring some Coleraine spirit to county side

NEW Derry captain Barry McGoldrick is hoping that some of the Eoghan Rua spirit will rub off on his county side as he prepares to lead them in to the Dr McKenna Cup final this Saturday.

After seeing off Antrim, John Brennan’s team now await the winners of the Tyron/Cavan semi, which is due to be played this Wednesday.

The Eoghan Rua player, who will have Mark Lynch as vice-captain for the forthcoming National League and Ulster Championship campaigns, has started the season in superb form and he said it was an honour to be selected but stressed it would not effect his game.

“It’s nice to get it but it won’t really change my game,” said McGoldrick. “I’ll just play my normal game and support all the other players.

“I don’t mind that responsibility. It’s quite a young team out there but we have a few of the old heads still playing and playing very well. John’s got a good mix there.

“It’s only the McKenna Cup, but it’s nice to get wins on the bounce. I’m very pleased to have got it and hopefully I’m a lucky captain, that’s the most important thing. It won’t change my game much.

“Training’s been good, everyone’s pulling together but as I say, it’s early days yet. It’s nice to win and to win well and play some good football. We’re just pleased with how things have started,” he added.

McGoldrick makes no bones about the rampant hunger for success which has engulfed the Oak Leaf side.

“We have been out of the frame while Tyrone and Armagh have been collecting Ulster and All Ireland titles but now we feel we can make our pitch for silverware. We have not won the provincial crown since 1998,” says McGoldrick.

“We have made a good start to the year by going three matches undefeated but everyone will tell you that nothing of significance is won in January.

“Still, I feel if we can show the desire, attitude and togetherness that Coleraine revealed last year we could maybe do something this year.”

Derry chairman John Keenan also believes that “perceived disharmony” is a thing of the past in the county, the united front being shown on and off the field augers well for the future.

Keenan said: “Maybe we have had our problems in the not too distant past but we are going forward in very positive mode. “John Brennan has made an early impact as manager and I have no doubt that Barry McGoldrick, a great Derry servant, will prove an inspirational captain.

“Reaching the McKenna Cup final signals a very encouraging start to 2011.”