Derry youngster Ryan Bell confident ahead of Down clash

Ryan Bell starred for Derry in the Football League Division 2 final win over Westmeath


Celtic Park, Derry
Sunday, 2 June
14:00 BST
Live on BBC TWO Northern Ireland; live commentary on BBC Radio Ulster 1341 MW and BBC Sport Website

Derry midfielder Ryan Bell insists he has a lot of respect for the Down team but is still convinced that the Oak Leafers will win Sunday's Ulster SFC clash at Celtic Park.

"I definitely think we are good enough to win against Down," said Bell, who is set to make his Championship debut.

"We have a lot of quality players on the panel. Young and older lads.

"I think if we play our best we can win against Down but we know it's not going to be easy."

Bell added:"We have the likes of Mark Lynch at centre half-back, Patsy Bradley at midfield, Eoin Bradley, Benny Heron and Sean Leo McGoldrick - all brilliant footballers.

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Brian McIver

"I think we have the better footballers. And if we play our best, I think we will come out winners."

Bell looks likely to be a key part of Brian McIver's Championship plans this year even though the Ballinderry youngster has played only a couple of Football League games for the Oak Leafers.

However, one of those League games was a hugely impressive display in the Division 2 final victory over Westmeath at Croke Park.

Bell, who is comfortable either at midfield or in attack, is clearly enjoying his first year in the Derry squad.

"Everything is going well. Brian keeps everyone right. The training is going well and every player is getting along.

"The older lads are keeping the young lads right like me and Ciaran McFaul, Conor McAtamney and Declan Brown. The mood around the camp is brilliant.

"Over the years, it's been said that the mood hasn't always been good in the squad but definitely this year, Brian has brought something different to the team."

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