This Dublin team will take some beating, they’re a massive massive side. Five in a row, you’ll never see this again. It’s freakish stuff. Tyrone are going in the right direction though. For the first fifteen minutes of the All-Ireland final they were exceptional, it’s just keeping that going for another 15 and then another and another.
But the players that have been brought in have been quality; Darragh Canavan, Kyle Coney, who I’m buzzing to see back in there because he’s a classy footballer and that’s what Tyrone need in attack, somebody that can change the game.
Tyrone were the second highest scorers in the championship last year and I think Mickey Harte has sensed that he has to be more attacking. Alright, they played a lot of division two teams on the way to the All-Ireland final but I think if you’re a Tyrone supporter you couldn’t have handpicked a better draw to get to the final. They were scoring freely and McAliskey (Conor) was playing inside forward and he was top scorer.
Supporters Have Got to believe
I think Tyrone supporters were just happy enough to get to the final last year and I don’t buy into that. If you get to the final you have to win it. It’s as simple as that. Everybody still fears Dublin. It’s up to other teams to catch up. For 15 minutes they matched them in the All-Ireland but you just have to keep pushing them and I thought Tyrone buckled too easy and accepted defeat when that’s not Mickey Harte’s style.
Maybe the players need to toughen up mentally and hopefully they can do it.
This Dublin team is exceptional but supporters need to start believing that you can go and win the All-Ireland.
I think they’ll go well in the league, I definitely do. They’re flying at the minute and I know when we played the McKenna Cup we were still coming back with the turkey and ham bellies from Christmas but it doesn’t seem to be that way anymore. The players are lean and they’re flying. There’s always the talent in Tyrone but it’s just how Mickey uses it.
Focusing on Provincial Champs
I love the Ulster competitions. Everybody’s saying that the provincials are a way to the dogs – not in Ulster. It’s always keenly contested. I think Donegal will be thereabouts if Paddy McBrearty can stay fit. He was lighting up the league last year, he was probably the best player in the country before he got injured but there’s nothing like getting silverware at that time of the year.
It gives you that kick on, plus it gives you that break. You don’t want to be going the length and breadth of Ireland to play matches but Mickey’s went that route before.
You saw it when they won Ulster two years ago, you saw the fans on the pitch again and you saw the buzz. I hadn’t seen that in years, winning something again and picking up silverware so that’s important for the people of Tyrone.
I got the honour of playing with Kyle Coney in my last year and he’s a player who can change a game in an instant and Tyrone need that. It’s going to take him time to adapt from being away from football but even his physique is much much stronger now than when he came into the setup. He was only a skinny lad when he came in and needed to bulk up and he’s done that and I’m hoping he can bring that into the Tyrone forward line because he’s an exceptional footballer.
He was the next great white hope coming out of Tyrone and it went a bit wayward for him but he’s back now, thank God.
Like Father Like Son
The whole county is talking about Darragh Canavan and he got some welcome coming on against Derry. I think Peter and his wife will keep him grounded. He’s a grounded lad anyway, I’ve only chatted to him a few times over the years but he’s an exceptional talent. You only have to look at his underage scores on social media to see. He’s very like his father and he has football coming out of his ears through the family.
He’ll be kept very grounded by his parents and Mickey Harte is very good at bringing young talent through. He’ll get the same chances everybody else will and if he impresses he’ll get his chance.
If you’re good enough you’re old enough.
He’s produced it all at underage and now hopefully he can do it at Seniors.