|Derry Hurling manager Tom McLean|
The footballers and hurlers of Derry will get their 2016 season under way this weekend with games in the Conor McGurk and McKenna Cups.
While the rest of us were availing of the seasonal festivities Derry have been working away in the background following their Strength & Conditioning programmes to put the building blocks in place for the season ahead.
Derry hurling champions Slaughtneil will this time have a representation on the county squad with Sean Cassidy, Mark McGuigan, Oisin and Cormac O'Doherty among those who have linked up with Tom McLean's new regime. After last year's defeat in the Christy Ring Cup Final, there will be a desire to go one step further.
In football Damian Barton has already had one runout against Tyrone in the O'Fiaich Cup and the word from the camp was that fitness was the early season focus. Antrim are in a similar mould and videos of their players being out through their paces at Brian Magee's gym have been posted on social media by Antrim's new PR drive.
Conor McGurk Cup (Senior Hurling)
Saturday 1.30pm Donegal Vs Derry at The Dub, Belfast
McKenna Cup (Senior Football)
Sunday 2pm - Derry v Antrim at Owenbeg