Derry are on the lookout for a new senior football manager following the decision of Damian McErlain to step down due to “personal circumstances”.
McErlain – who was appointed Oak Leaf boss two years ago after guiding the minors to the 2017 All-Ireland final – explained his decision in a statement posted on derrygaa.ie.
“The rationale is very much based on personal circumstances and its with disappointment that I won’t be finishing my 3 year term.
“After 5 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 & my family.
“I’d like to thank first & foremost my wife Sinead who made as many sacrifices for me to carry out the job as I did and supported me through the highs and lows – for that I am forever grateful.
“Then of course all the members of the management teams I’ve had over the 5 years in Owenbeg whose efforts, knowledge & integrity knew no bounds to try and bring success and progress to Derry at both Minor and Senior level, we enjoyed the sort of team-ship that is required to bring success at any level & it’s imperative to acknowledge their huge contribution.
“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.
“Finally I’d like to thank Club Derry & the sponsors of our teams over the 5 years who make it all possible, the Derry Board and Brian McIver for his support during that time.
“I am extremely proud to have managed my County at both Minor and Senior level but for now it’s time to move on.