Coach thrilled to have the week off

City of Derry coach Terry McMaster.
City of Derry coach Terry McMaster.

City of Derry’s new coach Terry McMaster is relishing the fact his side have a free weekend.

McMaster, who watched his side have a convincing 36-0 win last Saturday, is hoping the rest will mean he can get some of the injury players back.

“We had got an awful lot of learning still to happen and in some ways we have done unbelievable well to cram so much new learning into such a short space of time,” he admitted.

“This week will allow us to regroup; we had Ulster’s forwards coach Allen Clarke in training last night taking a session with our forwards and having a free Saturday this week is good for the squad, we play Dungannon in the Ulster Senior League the week after and then it’s away to Naas in the AIL, so we’ll just take stock.

“The Ulster Senior League is not a priority for us although we are doing OK in it, but the priority from the club’s point of view is to try and remain in Division 2A of All Ireland rugby.

“We had six first choice players basically out on Saturday through injury or unavailability.

“Sam Duffy has been struggling with a neck injury, so hopefully he’ll be available for the Naas game, Chris Cooper has been unavailable and hopefully he’ll be fine come a fortnight’s time, Richard Baird picked up a dead leg injury, Richard McCarter was away celebrating his mum’s birthday in Tenerife, David Funston dislocated his elbow against Harlequins, but Naas isn’t out of the question for him and Christopher Barber is also on schedule for the Naas game following his shoulder injury.

“So when you start putting those first choice guys, that any Division 2A or above teams would love to have in their squads and we’ll hopefully have most of them back for the Naas game.”