Brian McGuigan – my first days back
LAST Sunday I headed off with the Athletic Grounds with my wife Jennifer and two year-old daughter Cara. I could have gone with the Tyrone team, given that I was going to be rejoining the squad, but I wanted to take the chance to go to a Tyrone championship game and experience it as a family day out with the wee one if I was going to be with the squad for the rest of the year.
I really enjoyed the day. The Athletic Grounds is a great place to watch a game, the atmosphere was amazing. We were sitting three rows from the back in the stand, and you could see everything unfolding right across the pitch. It has convinced me that one of the management team should be sitting up there getting that different perspective.
Tuesday night was my first night back out training with Tyrone, the only contact I’d had with the squad apart from the in-house game I played almost two weeks ago. As usual, Jim Curran was the driver, Kyle Coney and PJ Quinn were there as well. I was happy enough that the Tuesday night training was in Cookstown, at least it was nearby compared to the run to Clogher on a Thursday.
The one big difference this year is that training is now at 7.00pm instead of 7.30pm. It suits, because you’re home that bit earlier afterwards, but it also proves that football now is getting ever more difficult for a man who is going out and doing a days work or who has to commute. I don’t see how you could do it if you’d been out on a site somewhere all day, it definitely suits the students and younger lads.
It felt good to be back out again. The fitness wouldn’t be up to the required level, and it’ll take at least a few weeks to get there. You can definitely see that the fitness levels of the
Tyrone team this year are higher than in the past. I think it really showed in the last four or five minutes last Sunday when the game was in the melting pot, when Tyrone really kicked on to win it.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday June 4. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here