Donegal need to change – Brian McGuigan
SO HERE it is, the first steps in the switch from poacher to gamekeeper, although having said that shooting was never really one of my strongest points.
I’ve lost count of the number of times in recent months I’ve been asked if I miss being part of the Tyrone set-up.
I started out with the Tyrone minors in 1996, although they didn’t put in the same commitment as minor teams do now. I joined the Tyrone senior side in 2001, so it’s been a massive part of my adult life.
It’s my first year on the other side of the road. The truth is that I certainly haven’t missed the winter training. Life isn’t going at 100 mile an hour. I can play a bit of golf, I can go away with the children and do whatever I want to do.
I’m now looking in at the county from the outside, in a new role as a supporter. I’m now a club player who is giving off about the starred league games and the county men absent from club training.
Although I’m not missing it yet, I know that when the championship gets going and Tyrone are heading for the Athletic Grounds, I’ll definitely miss it. I used to love those training sessions in the summer time, when you smell that grass being cut and the sun is shining down. But that’s something I suppose I’m going to have to deal with when it comes around.
Of course I’m still friendly with a lot of the boys. I don’t know who has taken my spot in the back seat of the Tyrone team bus. Kyle Coney had slotted in there after I left as Mugsy’s wingman, but now he’s out too, so poor Mugsy must be feeling a bit lonely at the minute.
What was to prove to be my last outing in the Ulster Championship was of course that semi-final loss to Donegal at Clones last year.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday May 17. Buy your copy now online, by clicking the subscribe button, or in your local newsagent