Damian McErlain resigns as Derry manager

Damian McErlain resigns as Derry manager

Derry senior football manager Damian McErlain has stepped down after two years of his three-year term.

His decision has been made based on "personal circumstances", with the County Board saying they "reluctantly" accepted his resignation.

Derry's only Championship win under McErlain came against Wexford this summer, after a creditable loss to Tyrone in Ulster. They were knocked out after a four-point defeat against Laois.

Derry won Division 4 of the League earlier this year, having suffered relegation in 2018.

"The rationale is very much based on personal circumstances and it's with disappointment that I won’t be finishing my three-year term," said McErlain in a statement.

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

McErlain repeatedly referred to the need for persistence as Derry builds for the future.

"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."

The County Board paid tribute to McErlain as "a central figure in helping to develop a new generation of Derry footballers".

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