The news that Owen Mulligan had decided to call it a day as far as his county career was concerned was met with huge disappointment and considerable disbelief across the county and beyond when it broke on Thursday evening. It appears that Mugsy felt he was not being given enough game time and thus decided enough was enough.
I have always been a huge fan of the blonde attacker and have found him to be a first class lad as well as a fabulous footballer. Having watched him during Tyrone’s league campaign and in the last three championship matches in particular it is clear the Cookstown attacker still has lots to offer at senior county level. I would doubt if there are too many defenders around the country who fancied the prospect of facing a fully fit and committed Owen Mulligan and most will breathe a sigh of relief if Owen decides that his decision is permanent. Players like him are few and far between and we as a county are not overly blessed in the attacking department. We need all our best players available and motivated if we are to make a serious attempt at winning Sam this year and the withdrawal of the man who scored probably the best ever goal in Croke Park will not help the cause.
Surely even at this stage it should not be too hard for all parties concerned to get their heads together and resolve whatever “issues” led to this decision. Mugsy is not getting any younger and perhaps this may have been his final year playing county football anyway but his county career should finish naturally at the end of a successful season and not in a series of tabloid type headlines with all sorts of speculation and unanswered questions. For the good of Tyrone and Tyrone football and of Owen himself, let’s get him back to doing what he does best, terrorising defences and putting smiles on the faces of Tyrone supporters.