Derry manager Damien Barton says reaching the semi finals of the Dr. McKenna Cup is a timely boost to his squad as they continue their preparations for the new Allianz National League campaign.
Derry play Monaghan on Sunday at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh - and Barton said taking on such quality Division One opposition, in a competitive fixture this weekend, is a great way to continue their build-up for the league.
The Derry boss will be able to call on some of the players who were tied to their colleges up until now.
Ciaran Mulligan however, is likely to miss out after aggravating a hamstring injury against Queens on Wednesday night.
In Sunday's other McKenna Cup semi final, Tyrone will play Fermanagh.