Opposition research paying off for Derry reveals minor manager Boyle

Derry minor manager Martin Boyle says he and his management team immediately ran the rule over Galway after securing an All-Ireland semi-final spot against the Tribesmen with their win over Cork on Saturday
Michael McMullan

DERRY minor manager Martin Boyle has compared the Galway team they'll face in next weekend's All-Ireland semi-final to themselves.

The 2020 All-Ireland winning boss expects a good game between two teams who like to play football.

A matter of hours after the Derry bus returned from Saturday's win over Cork in Portlaoise, Boyle and his management were on the road again to catch Galway's 0-10 to 0-7 win over Leinster champions Dublin.

“We were away to Tullamore at eight o'clock on Sunday morning,” said Boyle, who stated the importance of selector Darren McShane's trip to Páirc Uí Rinn to run his eyes over Cork's win over Kerry.

“Darren, Stevie (Stephen McGuigan) and Pickles (James McNicholl), they are incredible men, I couldn't speak highly enough about them,” Boyle said of his management team.

With the aid of the breeze, Dublin were four points ahead in Sunday's game before Galway hit five points without reply to lead at half-time.

“There was lots of good football on display and Galway had created two or three good goal chances and they'd missed a penalty,” added Boyle.

“In the second half, I thought they controlled proceedings. They were very solid and mature. In many ways I look at Galway and see the same qualities our own minors have.

“They are quite a busy team and seem to be a group that are full or character and energy and resilience.”

Galway were in the bracket of the “golden teams” at the start of the year who had aspirations of glory. To frame the result with a degree of context, the Dubs beat Derry by six points in a pre-season challenge game.

Going to Tullamore, Boyle felt Dublin may have held the aces, but admits Galway were “full value” for their win.

“They are a good quality side; it should be a good game between two teams who like to play football.”

Derry shipped four goals in their Ulster final defeat to Tyrone, but the management didn't move from the script for their All-Ireland quarter-final win over Cork. Odhran Crozier started at midfield and acted as the cover when Derry lost possession.

“The big focus was on defending better individual and collectively,” Boyle points out.

“There was no temptation (to change tactics) but maybe there is an element that we trust our defenders.”

While other Ulster counties were trekking the roads to play a host of challenge games, Derry used the League as their testing ground and the final defeat to Tyrone was their true barometer.

“That day, it showed us that the mentality of our defenders was excellent and there was a pride in being a defender. We are blessed with boys who know how to defend and like defending.

“We have a lot of players that thrive in that (one on one) environment and we trust them. The men out the field have to out the pressure on to stop quality ball going in.”

While the focus switched quickly form the joy of beating Cork to plotting the downfall of Galway, Boyle can appreciate the general buzz running through the Oak Leaf county.

“When you allow yourself to stop and think that you are 60 minutes away from another All-Ireland final, it's great, particularly when the county is on such a wave of positivity with the seniors.”

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