AFTER a few years in the wilderness, the continued improvement of Tyrone hurling is looking bright at the outset of this season.
You might recall a couple of years ago, county secretary Dominic McCaughey gave the hurlers a bit of a lashing in his annual report to convention, lambasting their lack of effort and refusal to train.
He even went as far as posing the question of whether Tyrone hurling as a concept was even worth the hassle.
Around that time, County Chairman Ciaran McLaughlin met with representatives of the hurling team, and told them that they were at a cross-roads. If they wished to continue on as they were, there was no future, but if they gave a renewed commitment and knuckled down, then they would want for nothing.
According to last year’s captain, Sean Paul Begley, McLaughlin was good to his word. “The support we get is 100 percent and they should appreciate it. Hopefully they won’t have to go through the hard years the way some of the older guys on the panel have.
“Things weren’t so good there for a couple of years, but Tom [Magill, county manager] has brought everybody together with a new regime and a fresh approach to things.”
Last year they got promotion, but were hit with a few sucker punch goals in the Lory Meagher Cup final against Donegal.
Not long after that loss, Magill was planning away for 2012. He strengthened his ties with Tipperary hurling and Liam Sheedy, who visited Tyrone to take a few sessions. Lar Corbett also dropped by, as did Padraig Maher.
If you would like to read this article in full, buy the current issue of Gaelic Life – published February 23 – online or in your local newsagent