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LADIES FOOTBALL SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM CONFIRMED

Tuesday 05.11.2013
Team Talk Mag
Club


The Tyrone ladies county board have ratified the appointment of Brian McGee, Paudge Quinn and Tiffy Quinn as the management of the county ladies senior side for 2014. The three stepped up to the plate on an interim basis ahead of this year’s Ulster championship and despite limited time in the hot seat they helped guide Tyrone to the Ulster final before exiting the championship at the all Ireland quarter final stage.

McGee and the Quinns replaced Mickey Rea and his management team but the trio were left with a squad badly hit by injury while several other players were no longer in the selection mix.

From the day Tyrone lost to Galway at Cavan the management team has been focusing on the new season, the national league and the championship.

McGee said that they had a plan in place. “We met that day and spoke frankly together as one unit. There was no them or us. It was us all together. We made a vow that day to carry on and bring Tyrone back to where they belong. That remains the focus, the target and we have the girls already working.”

When McGee and Quinn took over the reins early in the summer they had no targets. It was a case of getting the season “punched in” as the Errigal clubman explained. That has changed now and the management team has last season’s squad still on board and have indeed added to it.

“There’s no point in going back to the start” explained McGee. “The players we have are all of the highest quality. It’s a case of adding to what we already have and developing the players already there. It will be a long process but we have to build. It’s about time Tyrone were back up there with the big hitters. We are not far away but it will take work and that has started.”

The players have already been going through a specific programme for several weeks and there is certainly an air of positivity about the place. Earlier in the year the players with the assistance of the county board put together the Red Hand Rumble as a key fundraiser and next week’s county AGM will see the official launch of Tyrone 300, a  12 month draw with limited membership with all the proceeds directed to the ladies football structures.

“I have been impressed by the efforts of the players this year in terms of fundraising and working so closely together” enthused county chairman Martin Conway who is expected to return to the top table at next week’s meeting. The Strabane man is focused on the direction that ladies football is going in the county and the efforts of the senior squad he says is a bench mark.

“I look at the senior squad and see what they have been doing on and off the park. There is a steely determination in everything they are doing, the pre season or Winter training, the fundraising efforts, there’s a unity about them and with the management staying put we have stability”

Stability is the key word being used not only by the chairman but also by Brian McGee and the management team. “The players need stability” confirmed Brian after that Galway loss in Cavan. That has been translated into everything that Brian, Paudge and Tiffy have been doing behind the scenes since.

“This is a great group of girls. They and ladies football deserve the best. They needed stability and we will offer them that. The rest will fall into place now”

Tyrone face a rather strange national league opening in early 2014. In the draft fixture list drawn up by Croke Park and released for consultation this week, the girls face three away games on the trot before four home ties to wrap up their league programme. Conway feels that is unlikely to change. “It’s certainly an interesting scenario and while it’s out to the counties I would be surprised if there would be changes. I know we face a trip to Kerry next year but with four games at home it may be beneficial.”

There could be changes to championship structures too. Counties have been asked to consider entering a junior team to compete in a new look all Ireland championship and the Aishling McGing Under 21 competition is expected to feature again. Tyrone missed out on the knockout stages this year but it proved a worthwhile exercise.

At underage level, management structures are in place but before further details are confirmed some finer points have to be firmed up. An announcement in relation to the underage management teams is due next week.

COUNTY CONVENTION

Tuesday’s county convention at Garvaghey should prove to be a straightforward affair although some healthy debate is expected in relation to the league structures for 2014, start dates for various competitions and fixtures. The county Chairman hopes there’s plenty of discussion,

“It’s always good to get issues like these discussed. This is the perfect opportunity but it’s vital clubs come along and air their views. As is the case there’s always someone who feels they can do the job better. Sadly they are the people who never come forward.”

Several executive members are stepping down at this AGM but unfortunately there’s no big influx of new faces. That says the chairman is frustrating ” Maybe it’s seen that we are doing a good enough job but we need new people coming into the ranks of administration, fresh ideas and help with the workload of running football in such a big county. I would appeal to clubs to get involved and put people forward.”

Ladies football in the county is in a healthy state but there’s always room for improvement. However there are worries that some clubs are struggling with numbers. There are some suggestions that clubs may be forced to amalgamate and some clubs will have to reconsider what competitions they play in next season.

The AGM will have an historic feel, Garvaghey hosting its first ladies football county board annual gathering and county board chairman Ciaran McLaughlin will be in attendance to welcome delegates to the new home of Tyrone Gaelic Games. Proceedings get underway at 7pm.

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