By Kevin Herron
Antrim ladies football manager Seamus McKenna believes that Derry will provide a tough obstacle to the Saffrons chances of retaining their Ulster Junior football championship.
The sides met this evening in Gallbally, County Tyrone (5pm throw in) with a place in the final against Fermanagh in two weeks time up for grabs.
Derry were beaten by Fermanagh in the first semi-final and McKenna believes that having a game under their belt already could make a difference this evening.
“Derry will not be easy” insisted McKenna.
“We beat them in the league but to be honest I don’t think the scoreline reflected the game. We will be expecting a tough encounter and the extra game that they played last week could make a difference”.
Preparations for this evening’s game have been tough for the holders, with a young squad at his disposal exams have taken priority in recent weeks, but McKenna believes that the mood will change considering they are now entering championship territory.
“Preparations hasn’t been great” admitted McKenna.
“We have a young squad with a lot involved in exams. We have only been training once a week for the last three weeks. To be truthful due to us not haven’t been together much since the league, it has been very flat. But saying that as soon as the championship campaign starts this week I would say the mood will change. Playing in front of the senior semi-final adds to the day”.
McKenna has also added to his squad since their final league outing against Kilkenny in April and believes that the new additions can make his squad more competitive for the Saffrons championship campaign.
“We have added to the squad just this week as we have a few girls away and still involved in exams” revealed McKenna.
“The girls that we have been able to bring in will make us a stronger squad. Hopefully what we will have will be enough to give championship a good go”.