The underage inter county season begins this weekend with a new look minor squad facing Cavan as they open section one of the Ulster Minor Championship. Games against Antrim Down and Derry will follow for the minors who carry a certain weight of expectancy.
Beaten in the Ulster final last year Martin Conway and his management team are pulling out all the stops to try and deliver success again to the Red Hands. They probably couldn’t have asked for a trickier opener than Cavan. The Breffni county are on a real building curve, right through underage to senior they are emerging as real contenders and this minor group have enjoyed success at Under 14 and 16 grades in the recent past.
There would be a certain level of expectation from this Tyrone squad, while there remains a core group from last year. The successful under 16 squad from last year will supply more than a handful of players. Several members of the current squad have also enjoyed a step up to senior football through the national league in the build up to life in the intermediate championship.
Conway and his mentors have named a strong squad and there is no doubting the quality and ability that Tyrone possess. Players such as Roisin Devlin, named Ulster’s young player of the year for 2015 will lead the attack alongside Chloe McCaffrey, Maria Canavan and Slaine McCarroll in a side captained by Coalisland’s Sinead Donnelly.
This first clash in section one will be a stern test but after a decent build up despite lack of work on grass, a win at home would be the perfect start with potentially weaker opponents ahead, Tyrone will take nothing for granted though through this campaign. A venue for Sunday’s opener though is yet to be confirmed.