Tyrone GT news

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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  bocerty on Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:25 am

wasnt at the game (thankfully) have no interest in McKenna cup football or any other football at this time of year. I do understand it is good preparation for the players in terms of fitness but neither the players nor the referees take it seriously.

Listened to it on the radio and it sounded like pure rubbish and once again Mickey was guilty of some strange decisions in terms of personnel and positional play - added to the delay in the throw in because the Athletic grounds only had two turnstiles and no change it sounded like a day to forget all round.

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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  bocerty on Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:14 pm

Been a big few months for Tyrone football in terms of change. We have lost 2 of the backroom staff who have been strangely replaced by a strength and conditioning coach.

We have had several retirements in Stephen O'Neill, Martin Penrose and lately Conor Gormley. Big boots to fill there for some of the younger lads. We appointed the first ever female chairperson of a county board. Conan Grugan and Ciaran McGinley have opted out of this years squad. Peter Canavan has joined the backroom team of the U21s (find that one a little hard to understand). And on top of all that we have a new sponsor.

All change in Tyrone lets hope the performances change as well.

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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  Thomas Clarke on Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:24 pm

bocerty wrote:Been a big few months for Tyrone football in terms of change.  We have lost 2 of the backroom staff who have been strangely replaced by a strength and conditioning coach.

We have had several retirements in Stephen O'Neill, Martin Penrose and lately Conor Gormley.  Big boots to fill there for some of the younger lads.  We appointed the first ever female chairperson of a county board.  Conan Grugan and Ciaran McGinley have opted out of this years squad.  Peter Canavan has joined the backroom team of the U21s (find that one a little hard to understand).  And on top of all that we have a new sponsor.

All change in Tyrone lets hope the performances change as well.

Oh, I think that there is one big change that is overdue, but I suspect we'll have to wait another 8-9 monthd for that one.

As for Canavan, that doesn't surprise me. The main argument against him becoming the next Tyrone senior manager has usually been his lack of time spent with the county underage set-up. A year with moderate involvement should finally put a tick in that box, and clear the way for his ascension to the big seat in the autumn.

And I'm pleased to see that we've appointed a female chairperson. Tyrone: Once again, leading the way in the GAA.
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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  Thomas Clarke on Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:29 pm

Ah, the McKenna Cup. Say what you will about postponements, college player rows and extended playing schedules but, as a Tyrone man, you can't help but love any competition that gives you the chance to beat Armagh twice before the month of January is out, both times in front of large crowds.

Back in the Athletic Grounds for the second time in a fortnight, Tyrone were quite a bit better this time. The Armagh selection was as strong as they have just now, but it was Tyrone who were sharper and hungrier from the off.

The goals all came as the result of mistakes, but none of them came against the run of play. The game was over at half-time, and Tyrone did as they wished in a leisurely second half.

Armagh seem to have found a decent player in Michael McKenna, while Jamie Clarke looked very sharp when moved to FF (he played the first 20 minutes at wingback, no doubt in an attempt to make him work harder). ciaran O'Hanlon had a couple of good moments when he came on but, overall, there was little to shout about in a very poor Orchard performance.

Tyrone picked a very skillful and creative half-forward line, with Ronan O'Neill, PJ Lavery, Peter Hughes and Shay McGuigan picking Armagh apart all night. Sadly, none of these lads are over 6ft, and they won't have anything like this amount of freedom in the summer. In other words, most of them aren't likely to be good enough.

In defence, Ronan McNamee and Mattie Donnelly played well, although Peter Harte had another quiet game. He seems to be coming increasingly left-footed, and finds it very hard to get his kicks off when attacking. At midfield, Colm Cavanagh was the outstanding player on view. Connor McAliskey won the MOTM award for a 15 minute cameo of point scoring and goal creating. Outside of that, he missed plenty. Still, that is McAliskey - he's either great or very wayward.

3 games in 6 days is too much at any time of the year, but especially in January, so Mickey rightly made 13 changes from the Antrim game on Sunday, and I'd expect to see another overhaul for the final on Saturday. Overall, it was a good performance from Tyrone, though we still look very lightweight in attack.
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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  Thomas Clarke on Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:50 am

Another year, another McKenna Cup.  That's 4 on the bounce now and, though some supporters may scoff at it, we haven't won any other trophies in that time, so we should be very pleased with what we've got.

As far as blooding new players, all 6 newcomers to the panel showed at least flashes of something (Dwayne Quinn, Rory Brennan, Conal McCann, Paudi McNulty, Cathal McShane and Paddy Quinn).  Cathal McCarron has also returned in very good shape, and should make a difference to our fullback line this season.

If I sat down to pick a Tyrone team, I could field a decent defence, competitive midfield and an inside line with potential.  The half-forward line, however, is a total wasteland.  This will probably necessitate either/both of Peter Harte and Mattie Donnelly being pushed up there, though that would weaken our half-back line considerably.  

Ronan O'Neill, Shay McGuigan, PJ Lavery, Peter Hughes, Paddy McNeice, Emmet McKenna, Plunkett Kane and Mark Donnelly are the players who have been lining out there in the McKenna Cup, but 3 or 4 of them would need to really push on if we are to have a functional half-forward line come the summer.  Most of them have shown some ability, but they all have obvious weakensses too.  I struggle to see where the required improvement will come from.  I'd also question Mickey's squad selection here.

Maybe Conor McKenna is homesick in Australia.... Embarassed
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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  Thomas Clarke on Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:05 pm

5 departures from the Tyrone squad, including some very big names....

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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  bocerty on Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:34 am

Thomas Clarke wrote:5 departures from the Tyrone squad, including some very big names....

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not entirely surprised here - though big Joes omission does seem odd. That said he wasn't great agaisnt Cavan on Saturday night but his experience, composure on the ball and versatility would have been useful somewhere along the line this season.

I get the impression it has been his choice to go - he is trying to complete a PGCE and recently had a second child. As for the others it seems they all got a phone call to say their services were no longer required.


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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  Thomas Clarke on Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:11 pm

Despite playing in an Ulster club final with Omagh in November, Big Joe looks very out of shape. He was bent double after half an hour of the McKenna Cup final - totally shattered. I'm not sure he'll be back.

Mark Donnelly has lost his pace, and that was so much of his game. Carlin hasn't been fit in 2 years, and Kane has had his chances but rarely impressed. I feel very sorry for Dermy. He was in the squad since 2003, and even started the Ulster final that year. Incredibly, he never played a minute in any of the AI finals.

Coney seems to have quit the panel after being substituted again. Of the 5, he is the one that I'm most sorry to see go. Having said that, despite being a very gifted kicker of a ball and capable of some outgrageous scores, I can understand why it hasn't worked out.

As a minor Kyle, was bigger and stronger than most opponents, but at senior level such differences are always less magnified. He's also short a half yard of pace for the senior game and isn't as sharp with his passes as most of our other forwards. However, perhaps the biggest problem is that he spills too many balls. Perhaps this is poor hand/eye co-ordination, or maybe it is simply down to a lack of desire to really win the ball, I don't know, but it is this inability to attack and secure a ball that leads to most of the criticism that comes his way.

Personally, whether it was him or Mickey who pulled the trigger, Id've persevered a bit longer, simply because the potential upside with him remains very high. When he is on his game at corner forward, he is very impressive. Colm McFadden had similar gifts to Coney and he too was tarred with the 'soft' brush for years. However, late in his career, Jimmy MGuinness was able to tap into him and turn him into one of the best forwards in ireland. I doubt Kyle's footballing career will have a similar happy ending, but who knows. If he can show form with his club, regain confidence and a new manager takes over next season, perhaps Kyle will be back.
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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  bocerty on Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:57 am

for me TC Coney just doesnt have the hunger or desire - he isn't prepared to put in a shift on the field - more waiting for the handy ball in to his hand than go and fight for it. Perhaps he achieved too much to young and believed too much of the hype about himself and read too many headlines. There is no doubt he is a talented lad but too many times he is on the periphery of games.

Sad thing is Ronan O'Neill could be heading the same way

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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  Thomas Clarke on Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:53 am

bocerty wrote:for me TC Coney just doesnt have the hunger or desire - he isn't prepared to put in a shift on the field - more waiting for the handy ball in to his hand than go and fight for it.  Perhaps he achieved too much to young and believed too much of the hype about himself and read too many headlines.  There is no doubt he is a talented lad but too many times he is on the periphery of games.

Sad thing is Ronan O'Neill could be heading the same way

I agree with you, Boc. For a big lad, he doesn't punch his weight. I'm not sure if his problem is believing the hype as much as it is a lack of competitive fire. I just hate to see obvious talent cast aside, especially when there are many examples of players turning their careers around having previously been written off.

The Dontfoul site records stats on GAA games, and use mathematical formulae for shot/score ratios and examining where kicks were taken from. According to them, Coney's display against Cork last March was the highest ever mark they had given to a forward in over 100 games profiled. It was a freakishly good performance, and one that nobody else on the Tyrone panel would have the natural ability to achieve.

Still, he's gone, for now at least, and I do understand why.

As for Ronan O'Neill, I don't know what Mickey is playig with him at CHF. He has neither the speed nor the engine to play that role, and is a luxury that we just can't afford. Perhaps we could get away with him at corner forward, or playing just offfront of Big Sean (at FF), but a role that involves running and tracking and working does not suit Ronan O'Neill.
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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  bocerty on Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:57 pm

Thomas Clarke wrote:
bocerty wrote:for me TC Coney just doesnt have the hunger or desire - he isn't prepared to put in a shift on the field - more waiting for the handy ball in to his hand than go and fight for it.  Perhaps he achieved too much to young and believed too much of the hype about himself and read too many headlines.  There is no doubt he is a talented lad but too many times he is on the periphery of games.

Sad thing is Ronan O'Neill could be heading the same way

I agree with you, Boc.  For a big lad, he doesn't punch his weight.  I'm not sure if his problem is believing the hype as much as it is a lack of competitive fire.  I just hate to see obvious talent cast aside, especially when there are many examples of players turning their careers around having previously been written off.

The Dontfoul site records stats on GAA games, and use mathematical formulae for shot/score ratios and examining where kicks were taken from.  According to them, Coney's display against Cork last March was the highest ever mark they had given to a forward in over 100 games profiled.  It was a freakishly good performance, and one that nobody else on the Tyrone panel would have the natural ability to achieve.

Still, he's gone, for now at least, and I do understand why.

As for Ronan O'Neill, I don't know what Mickey is playig with him at CHF.  He has neither the speed nor the engine to play that role, and is a luxury that we just can't afford.  Perhaps we could get away with him at corner forward, or playing just offfront of Big Sean (at FF), but a role that involves running and tracking and working does not suit Ronan O'Neill.

Ask the folks at Omagh St Enda's and they will tell you O'Neill isnt carrying one ounce of fat and is as fit as a fiddle - i'd love to get my hands on the guy doing their weigh ins and ask him to weigh me too!!!!

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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  Thomas Clarke on Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:34 pm

bocerty wrote:
Thomas Clarke wrote: As for Ronan O'Neill, I don't know what Mickey is playig with him at CHF.  He has neither the speed nor the engine to play that role, and is a luxury that we just can't afford.  Perhaps we could get away with him at corner forward, or playing just offfront of Big Sean (at FF), but a role that involves running and tracking and working does not suit Ronan O'Neill.

Ask the folks at Omagh St Enda's and they will tell you O'Neill isnt carrying one ounce of fat and is as fit as a fiddle - i'd love to get my hands on the guy doing their weigh ins and ask him to weigh me too!!!!

He has an ass that Kim Kardashian would kill for....
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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  Thomas Clarke on Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:43 am

- Tonight was the worst Tyrone performance this century, and that is saying something, considering a couple of the horror shows we saw in 2014 (e.g. the 3-7 without reply in Killarney).

- Tyrone played some nice football for 20 minutes. Then Monaghan realised that we weren't actually very good, and started to tackle us. That was game over. Monaghan weren't good. Despite having no opposition, they only led by 2 points entering the final 10 minutes.

- Tyrone were pathetic. We just couldn't get our hands on the ball for most of the game and, on the few occasions that we did get it, we turned it over so cheaply. After the 20th minute, Monaghan outscored us 1-11 to 0-2.

- We went 40 minutes without scoring, barely even registering a wide in that period. When the score did eventually come, it was courtesy of a long free by our goalkeeper.

- We have no leadership on the field. Sean Cavanagh is playing a solitary role at FF instead of bringing other players into the game; Colm has enough to do just to compete with the very top midfielders, and Mattie Donnelly gets sent off every other game when trying to act the hardman.

- Darren McCurry was our best player, and perhaps the only one to show any bite and drive.

- Mickey has got it woefully wrong on just about every level. He has a squad that just isn't good enough, the result of his having failed to identify, select and develop talent over a prolonged period. We are picking players and a gameplan that is 10 years outdated. Nowadays, defences are too organised and players are too big, fast and fit for our little men to pick holes in. We look ok for a brief period, and then get steamrollered by bigger, faster, more powerful men.

- Strange though this may sound, Mickey is vulnerable. The county board won't do anything, but the players might. As I understand it, he has little relationship with any of them, and virtually none of them have won meaningful titles under him so there aren't great reserves of goodwill built up. Throw in the cull last week, and I'm certain that a lot of lads will be questioning his management.

- Tyrone are going nowhere, other than division 2. This was almost our best side. We just don't have it, and already 2015 looks like a wasted year before a clean brush comes in next season.
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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  patk on Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:15 am

Maybe we weren't great TC, but the points are on the board and I doubt O'Rourke will be too fussed on the performance levels in January. The floodlight fiasco meant it took a while for us to regain our momentum, but overall I'm happy enough with that second half. Still about a third of the first team to come back from what that which started.

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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  patk on Sun Feb 01, 2015 10:19 am

Also, what has happened in Tyrone, is it just a continuation of last year and a case of a new face needed to be in charge? Would it be fair to say that the only way Mickey is leaving this year, short of a complete capitulation in both league and championship, is if he walks himself?

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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  Thomas Clarke on Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:41 am

patk wrote:Also, what has happened in Tyrone, is it just a continuation of last year and a case of a new face needed to be in charge? Would it be fair to say that the only way Mickey is leaving this year, short of a complete capitulation in both league and championship, is if he walks himself?

Addressing both points:

1) What has happened?

Probably a combination of many factors, including:
- Players not as talented as our golden generation
- Players with considerable success at underage level not as driven to improve
- A manager who stuck for too long with a misfiring backroom team
- Inferior strength and conditioning for several years
- Lack of technical improvement, despite lads being in the squad for years
- Poor identification of talent, hence we have a squad that isn't as athletically gifted as other top sides
- A manager out of touch with the modern game
- A manager who can't motivate his players and barely speaks to them
- An undersized forward line that can't win their own ball
- Lack of leadership on the field
- Development squads that fail to produce the right type of player for senior football (major issue here)
- Probably plenty others, but it's too early on a Sunday morning to properly engage my brain...

2) Will Mickey stay on next year?

This is Mickey's 13th season and, aside from anything else, it's time to give someone else a go. As with most leaders who achieve deity status, Mickey believes that Tyrone need him, and that he is the man to solve our problems. He's unable to see that he is a large part of the problem.

Most people in the county do see this, however, and the feeling that I get is that the county board are hoping he will offer to step aside at the end of this year (natural end of his current contract), thus avoiding any unpleasantness.

These players have won nothing with Mickey. They don't have him on a pedestal. They have no relationship with him, and he barely knows most of them. even if they aren't inclined to push him out the door, I don't think that the squad would object to a chance of supremo.

I think this will be Mickey's last year.
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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  bocerty on Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:04 am

two quotes which appeared on social media over the weekend from a mate of mine. Good pedigree of football in the family with Ulster and All-Ireland medals aplenty in this household through 3 brothers who played for the county at different levels. This guy himself has at least 1 All Ireland U21 medal.

Just about sums up the mood in Tyrone at the minute

"The most gutless performance I've ever seen from a Tyrone team, we r in a bad state!"

"Garvaghey shud b called 'the abattoir of Tyrone football' , u go into it full of promise & come out of it, burnt out, smaller in stature & ready for retirement @ 28 years of age."

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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  Thomas Clarke on Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:27 pm

Hard to disagree with either of those comments, Boc.

The mood in Tyrone is very down. From my own perspective, the most depressing aspect is that all I can see ahead of us in 2015 is a string of defeats, probably relegation and an early summer championship exit.

Even if Mickey did step aside after that, any new manager would be starting from scratch again, and next year would be about rebuilding. Personally, I'd prefer to see the rebuilding start today, rather than wasting another year of Sean Cavanagh's career and further putting the development of younger players on hold.

If this was a professional sport, we'd be changing our manager this week, and let the future start now. I genuinely can't see any point in plodding through another year of mediocrity (or worse). Instead, our footballing future, be it good or bad, will have to wait 12 months before it even begins.
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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  bocerty on Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:54 pm

There are a number of questions which we could pose to try and put some perspective on the whole thing

1) should we be getting so uptight about 1 result ?
2) If Mickey were to go who is going to replace him?
3) How much of Saturdays dismal showing was down to Mickey and his backroom and how much of it was down to the players themselves?
4) Would another manager get more out of the current bunch of players?
5) are there better players in the county that Mickey has deliberately overlooked?
6) are there players on the squad who are simply passengers and no good enough?
7) were we in Tyrone spoiled during the golden area of the noughties and have now come to expect too much?


There are lots of different opinions in Tyrone depending on who you talk to - had two interesting conversations, 1 yesterday with one of Tyrone's top coaches he argued it was time for Mickey to go, he said that while we aren't a top 6 (top 10 i would argue) team any more we should be playing a lot better than we are, though he did say we don't have the calibre of players we once had and that was a big factor. I did ask him who would take Mickeys role over and his answer didnt really fill me with much optimism, we did agree though that the current Monaghan manager and his coach would be a good starting place both of whom live in Tyrone.

I had a second conversation this morning with an ex Tyrone player and while i didn't really expect him to say much bad about Mickey he has planted the blame firmly at the door of the players who took to the field on Saturday night. I asked the question had Mickey overstayed his welcome and his reply was bring in who you want but if the players dont have the hunger and desire to win games then you can forget about it.



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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  Thomas Clarke on Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:50 am

bocerty wrote:There are a number of questions which we could pose to try and put some perspective on the whole thing

1) should we be getting so uptight about 1 result ?
2) If Mickey were to go who is going to replace him?
3) How much of Saturdays dismal showing was down to Mickey and his backroom and how much of it was down to the players themselves?
4) Would another manager get more out of the current bunch of players?
5) are there better players in the county that Mickey has deliberately overlooked?
6) are there players on the squad who are simply passengers and no good enough?
7) were we in Tyrone spoiled during the golden area of the noughties and have now come to expect too much?


There are lots of different opinions in Tyrone depending on who you talk to - had two interesting conversations, 1 yesterday with one of Tyrone's top coaches he argued it was time for Mickey to go, he said that while we aren't a top 6 (top 10 i would argue) team any more we should be playing a lot better than we are, though he did say we don't have the calibre of players we once had and that was a big factor.  I did ask him who would take Mickeys role over and his answer didnt really fill me with much optimism, we did agree though that the current Monaghan manager and his coach would be a good starting place both of whom live in Tyrone.

I had a second conversation this morning with an ex Tyrone player and while i didn't really expect him to say much bad about Mickey he has planted the blame firmly at the door of the players who took to the field on Saturday night.  I asked the question had Mickey overstayed his welcome and his reply was bring in who you want but if the players dont have the hunger and desire to win games then you can forget about it.



A lot of fair questions, Boc, and I agree that there are a lot of factors to consider. My initial thoughts on those 7 would be:

1. It's not just one result. We were very por last summer, scraping past Down in a replay, before losing very tamely to Monaghan and Armagh. In the league we were wiped out by Kerry (3-7 without reply), and beaten in 10 minutes by Dublin. This is all on the back of a good 2013, when we lost the league final by a point, and reached an AI semi.

2. Canavan and O'Rourke are the two standout names. Both have pros/cons, but it's a debate to go into later.

3. The players need to have a hard look at themselves, and their frequent capitualtions are not good enough. We lack natural leaders on the field.

Having said that, this is Mickey's squad. He hasn't inherited it. For years, he has had total control of selection, coaches, physios, training schedules, weekends away, meals....everything. Tyrone are exceptionally well funded, and Mickey has wanted for nothing. With that, comes responsibility for results.

4. One of the biggest critcisms that I hear people level at Mickey is his communication style. He seems to say very little to the players and, while perhaps this worked when you had a dressing room full of Canavans, Doohers, Gormleys, McMenamins etc, one size doesn't fit all. Perhaps this squad need a bit more of the touchy/feely approach. Also, there are only so many times you can rant at a side for a poor performance vefore they stop hearing you.

Tactically, I think we are living in 2003. The game has moved on so much since then, and players/systems that succeeded 10 years ago are often not good enough now.

We seem to have been doing the same thing for 3-4 years now, tactically and in terms of personnel. It hasn't worked. If Mickey can't/won't change, then perhaps someone else should get a go. Maybe we improve, maybe we get worse but, as we aren't even a top 10 side anymore, I'd be happy to take that risk.

5. I'm certain that there are better athletes. We have lads on our squad that will never be good enough, as they aren't sufficiently big/fast/powerful. They are lovely footballers but are more suited to the club game. Look at Donegal, Kerry, Cork, Mayo, Dublin - you have to be big to win. Even inferior footballing sides like Monaghan and Armagh have beaten us as they are bigger and fitter.

I look at the likes of Paudie McNulty. Paudie is new to the squad this year, and is already a midfield regular, yet he's far too raw. He is a big, fast athlete, but will take time to adapt to the intercounty game, especially when he has never even played senior club football yet. But why wasn't he on th panel last year, learning his trade and developing physically? I strongly believe that we should be targeting athletes and trying to develop them as footballers. Michael Dara McAuley and Aidan O'Shea don't have silky skills, but they are amont the bets midfielders in Ireland. Find big, fast lads, and see what you can do with them over a 2-3 year period.

6. Definitely. See my point above about players who will never be more than club footballers.

7. We had a freakishly good group come through at the same time, and I don't expect we'll ever see that again. However, you don't have to be exceptional to win all irelands (look at Kerry last year). I don't expect us to be the best in Ireland year after year, but we are a well-funded, large football-mad county, and we should be better than we are currently.

I go back to my main point about us getting worse. A young side should always be improving and, if they aren't, then something has to change.
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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  bocerty on Fri Feb 06, 2015 8:48 am

Hunger and desire will definitely go a long way to help you winning games - if you have one or two players who arent showing enough hunger/desire then you can put that down to the individuals themselves.

When the whole bloody team are showing a complete lack of these then you have to point the finger firmly at the manager and his team.

Interesting to note too that Mickey has named 13 of last weeks starting 15 in his team for this week and still has O'Neill at CHF!!!!!!!

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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  Thomas Clarke on Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:01 am

bocerty wrote:
Interesting to note too that Mickey has named 13 of last weeks starting 15 in his team for this week and still has O'Neill at CHF!!!!!!!

After using 34 players in last year's championship alone, I think he is right to try and build stability.  I also think that, by and large, he's picking pretty much his strongest available side.  Apart from Justin McMahon and Conor Clarke (the latter slowly coming back from serious injury), I really don't see anyone else in the squad who is likely to make a noticable difference.  What we're seeing is, sadly, pretty much our best side.

I see O'Neill was taken off early for Jordanstown in Wednesday, again playing at CHF.  I don't see the attraction with O'Neill.  Joe Brolly said last autumn that Harte should build his entire side around him, while Mickey himself said that he had the ability to be the next Stevie O'Neill.  Well, at the minute, he isn't good enough to be playing for Tyrone.  

Forget ego, O'Neill's biggest problem is lack of speed and energy.  He has lovely skills and vision, but the game is passing him by.  At 22/23 and allegedy fully fit, I don't see how he can improve in these areas.  At present, he's an excessively expensive luxury on a team that isn't good enough to afford even one such item.

Also good to see that Mickey has started listening to you, Boc, placing your clubman Tiernan McCann at wing forward instead of wingback. Hope he goes well - there are 3 spots up for grabs in that line alone.
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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  bocerty on Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:51 am

O'Neill playing for Omagh last year done most harm when he was closer to the goal - to even think that he is a number 11 and the link man is so far of the mark is incredible at this stage given the number of opportunities he has had and failed to deliver every time.

McCann might not be a bad option for the number 11 role - quick enough and a great ball player with decent composure on the ball - though i have a suspicion that whilst Mickey has named him at wing half forward but will play him as a deep lying extra defender perhaps actually taking Peter Hartes position to allow him to play as a sweeper


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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  Thomas Clarke on Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:07 pm

I hope he plays as a wing forward. I've had more than enough of seeing us play with sweepers and build the play up slowly, although Mickey could well take that option to try and grind out a result (or narrow defeat).

I'd like to see McCann get a run in attack. While not doing much wrong, he hasn't really made an impact in any of his games at wingback. His brother Conal looks like a game lad - big and with reasonable feet. He's very raw though, and I wonder does he have the pace for this level. Still, he puts himself about which is more than most of our half-forwards do.

Sunday is a huge game for Tyrone. Mickey has picked basically the same side again, signifying that this is his best team, and he's sticking with it. We have to be competitive, and even a narrow loss would be acceptable. I'd expect some sort of reaction from the team, as there normally is after poor performances in the last 18 months. The problem is that our backlash usually only lasts for one game, and then we go back to being poor again.
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Re: Tyrone GT news

Post  Thomas Clarke on Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:19 am

Tyrone's victory yesterday was as deserved as it was important. Our lads worked like trojans within a very structured system, denying Mayo players any time on the ball in the final third of the field. We had some very good performances throughout the side but, for me, Justin McMahon was the pick of the bunch. I felt that it was his best performance in a Tyrone jersey in years, and it was punctuated by the brilliant over-the-shoulder circus catch that he made on his own end-line.

Some of Tyrone's point taking was superb - Tiernan McCann, Mattie Donnelly and McCurry's efforts all spring to mind, while Morgan's second free showed just how important he is to this side.

I would, however, issue a few notes of caution. We needed this win more than Mayo, and it showed in the respective intensity levels and preparation of both sides. We played an ultra-defensive system and picked almost all of our physically biggest players. This was all about grinding out a result in any fashion necessary. Mayo weren't quite so tuned in - their players looked slower to the ball and they ran out of ideas quite quickly.

This was a back to basics game for Tyrone. We pulled everyone behind the ball, and fought tooth and nail for 70 minutes. It must have been horrible for neutrals to watch, and I don't believe that we will gain any long term success playing in such manner. Still, I accept that yesterday was all about competing.

It's also worth remembering that, last year, we had some terrible performances that were immediately followed by big wins (Kerry followed by Westmeath, Down draw followed by big win in Newry, Monaghan loss followed by Louth hammering). The trouble was that our kickback only seemed to last briefly, before the inherent problems resurfaced. I hope that this will be different, though I fear we'll struggle again before the league is out. Still, we're now back on track for survival, and a home game against Derry provides us with a great chance to move closer to the 6 points that should ensure we stay up.
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