Advertise with us

Martin Penrose Reflects On Tyrone Career

Wednesday 19.11.2014
Team Talk Mag


Martin Penrose believes that hard work and commitment are the two factors that are required if Tyrone are to challenge for the top honours in the seasons ahead.


Penrose, who along with Stephen O’Neill announced his retirement from County football at the end of last week, possessed those two traits in abundance and he feels that there is no reason why the younger players can’t step up to the mark.


“The commitment and work required to play senior inter County football these days is unbelievable”, says Martin.


“It has increased even from I joined the senior panel in 2005 but I can’t see no reason why the young lads can’t help Tyrone challenge for the major honours. It’s a matter of keeping the heads down and working as hard as you can and making the sacrifices that are required at this level and you will get the rewards. Of course you need a bit of luck along the way as well.”


The father of two young children, Martin felt that the time was right to bring the curtain down on a hugely successful career with the Red Hands.


“It was a tough decision to make but at the end of the day I have family and work commitments and I felt that I just couldn’t give the time that is necessary at County level,” he said.


“It was getting to the stage where I was out of the house five or six night a week and I just couldn’t keep that going.”


He first shot to prominence on the Tyrone minor team that won the All-Ireland in 2001 after beating Dublin in a replay. Two years later when the Red Hands made the breakthrough at senior level he played a week later in the All Ireland U21 final but this time the Dubs had the upper hand.


“I remember watching the 2003 All Ireland final from the stands in Croke Park and it was always my dream to play alongside those players as they were my heroes,” admits Martin.


“Getting called up in 2005 was unreal and it turned out to be an unbelievable campaign as we took ten games to win the All Ireland. There were so many highlights that season at Croke Park, two games against Armagh as well as the Dubs and then of course beating Kerry in the final.


For me though my main highlight from my time with Tyrone was winning the Sam Maguire in 2008. I was an established player on the team at that stage and to beat Kerry in the final was the icing on the cake.


A lot of talk in the build up to that final centred on Donaghy and Walsh but we had the two McMahons and they went out and completing blotted that threat out. There was a great belief within that squad of players. When we lost in the opening round of the Ulster championship to Down after a replay we knew that there was a lot more in us and we knuckled down and worked extremely hard over the next weeks and months and it paid off.”


Martin bows out from his senior career with two Celtic crosses and three Ulster championship medals to his name but he has regrets that he could have won more.


“It has been disappointing that we have failed to win an Ulster title now since 2010”, admits Penrose.


“We worked hard in training but at times on the day we just didn’t take the chances that came our way or we didn’t have that wee bit of luck that you need. The All Ireland semi-final last year against Mayo was a game that we could have won but we failed to kick on from the start that we made to the game.”







Advertise with us