City of Derry’s Stephen Ferguson isn’t getting to far ahead of himself and his target is to force his way into the final Ireland Club squad.
The 26-year-old travelled to Dublin last Sunday to start preparation for next month’s encounters against their Scottish counterparts at Old Anniesland in Glasgow on Friday February 6th, before lining out at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday February 14th, as part of a unique double header against the French alongside the RBS 6 Nations senior international.
Nevertheless Ferguson’s first port of call is to ensure that he’s in the match day squads.
“That’s my next step, at the minute there’s a 32 man squad, but I’ll be doing everything to try and force my way into the match day squads,” he stated.
“I have been buzzing ever since I found out that I was in the squad, to be honest I still can’t believe it, because they don’t normally look outside of Division One and I think there’s two of us in from Division 2A.
“It’s good to know that the selectors are watching sides from Division 2A and they don’t normally come over the Glenshane, but thankfully this time they have.”
The Nuprint worker, who over the summer break maintained his fitness and that work on and off the field is starting to show, will also be using this weekend’s AIL Two game in Dublin to showcase his talents.
“I want to get back to winning ways in the AIL for Derry at Skerries this Saturday and there will probably be some of the coaches at that game, so I’m hoping to impress in the game,” he added.
“I go to the gym four or five times a week and I have to admit particularly during the off season that work has helped me on the pitch, I personally feel a bit faster and sharper.
“After last season finished I took a few weeks break and then I just got back into it, then come September and October time when the AIL starts you are normally sharp then.”
Last weekend under new manager Terry McMaster, City of Derry had a hard fought win over Harlequins and Ferguson is hoping it’s a start of new era at Judges Road.
“The manager has come in and we have seven games left in the AIL and we are aiming for six wins and a few bonus point wins would also be nice.
“Hopefully we can finish the season strongly and if we do then you have a better chance of selection wise for Ulster and stuff, but in fairness you really need to be playing in Division 1A or 1B if you want to get noticed.
“While some teams from Belfast have been on to me about moving up to them but City of Derry is my home team, all my friends and family are here, so it’s very hard to leave, but next season you never know what’s going to happen around the corner, especially if I can get myself into the Ireland Club match day squads.”