Maguire delighted to get another chance
By Gary McLaughlin
AFTER being taken off at half time two weeks ago against Athlone IT, Derek Maguire showed what he is really made of last Sunday against Wicklow.
The lightning quick forward had a torrid time against the college team as he struggled to get to grips with the wet conditions on the day.
This time around though, after being handed a second chance by the management team, Maguire really showed why he is tipped for a more prominent role this year.
Scoring 2-1, which included a terrific point after his second goal, Maguire made a stake for a place in the team come February 6 when Louth open their National League campaign against Westmeath.
It also showed the signs of a player who has resilience as he bounced back from last week's personal disappointment.
"It was great to get a chance, especially after last week which was a bit of a disaster for myself", admitted an honest Maguire.
"But obviously the boys believed in me and gave me a second chance and I'm glad the way things went today."
His first goal came from a sweeping Louth move, where he found himself free at the back post. Pauric Smith provided the ball to him, allowing Maguire the chance to thump it into an empty net. His second one was not as straightforward as he needed three attempts to thrash the ball into the net, courtesy of the hands and feet of John Flynn.
"The second one was a bit of a scramble. I was lucky to get it in but was glad to get it in there in the end. For the first one, Pepe (Paraic) Smith was very unselfish to give me the pass but it was great to get two goals."
On the day, Louth created plenty of chances, something that was encouraging, despite the fact that they only scored two goals.
"Obviously you are going to get chances and you are going to miss them aswell. It's early days yet though. Now is the time to miss them and hopefully when the league and Championship comes, we will be putting them away.
"We worked hard in the first half. The ball coming into the full forward line was excellent from midfield. The boys did all the hard work out there and we just collected it from them and stuck it over the bar.
"We had a lot of chances but it could be worse. If you were not creating a lot of chances you would have something to worry about."
In the second half, Louth took their foot off the pedal, something Maguire admits, but he knows the team and Fitzpatrick will look at righting those wrongs in training. When they were on the backfoot, Fitzpatrick introduced Adrian Reid, JP Rooney and Derek Maguire, who all helped ease the pressure, especially Reid who scored ten seconds after his introduction.
"We seemed to take our foot of the pedal in the second half. Maybe we thought we were comfortably ahead. We got through in the end and it's something to work on in training."
"It's always very important to get a few points after the opposition gets two or three in a row. If you can get one point against the run of play. Adrian Reid did that when he came and it just shows the strength and depth of the team when people like Adrian Reid can come on."
Maguire introduced himself to the world against Westmeath in the semi-final of the Championship when he came on as a sub to set up Colm Judges goal that booked Louth's place in the Leinster Final.
Now though, he is hoping to secure a permanent spot and hopefully trouble Westmeath from the opening whistle come February 6.
"It's very competitive in training. There's no messing at all. One bad game and you could be gone. I suppose at this stage of the year, you want to get your place for the league and training and these games are the places to do it.
"You want to be playing a lot of games in January to get the stiffness out of you and get ready for the National League. Westmeath is going to be a tough one, especially after we defeated them in the semi-final of the Leinster Championship.
"They are going to have a bit of fire in their bellies and try to get one over on us."
Derek Maguire getting a ball past Wicklow's Alan Byrne in their O'Byrne Cup Quarter Final match on Sunday. INSET: Gerard Hoey stops an attack.