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Mickey Donnelly Looks Ahead To Championship Opener
Mickey Donnelly goes into his first championship game as Tyrone minor manager this Sunday when his charges face Monaghan at Brewster Park and he acknowledges that they will have to play better than they did during the league if they are to book their place in the Provincial semi final.
“Our displays in most of our league games just weren’t up to scratch and I would hope that the team that takes the field this Sunday will play the football that they are capable off, says Mickey.
“It’s going to take that against a Monaghan side that I rate highly. They are a big, physical and determined team and with Mattie McGleenan involved in their setup they will know all about us. They had a comprehensive win over Fermanagh recently in a friendly and when you see what Fermanagh did to Derry last weekend it shows the size of task that we face. They have players who have tasted success with Monaghan at Vocational level in recent times and we will have to be at our best to beat them.”
Stewartstown’s Ryan Devlin is the only player who featured in last September’s All Ireland final win over Cork although keeper Mark McReynolds did play in all of the games prior to that but missed the decider due to injury. Team captain Jonathan Munroe, Darren McCurrie, Enda McGahan and Cahir McCullagh were all in last season’s squad and that experience will be crucial although they have been dealt a blow with full back Thomas McCarron ruled out.
“The absence of Thomas is a big blow to us as he only had his appendix out three weeks ago. We played Meath in a friendly six weeks ago and he was the one player who really stood out for us but we have to get on with things and do our best.”