PLAYMAKING icon Greg Blaney is delighted that his former team-mate Eamonn Burns has brushed off his detractors to guide Down to next Sunday’s Ulster final clash against Tyrone.
Blaney and Burns starred in the legendary Down teams that won All-Ireland titles in 1991 and 1994, but the sleeping giant of Ulster football hasn’t won a single provincial title since, let alone adding to their cherished collection of five All-Ireland titles.
While legendary isn’t a prefix associated with this current generation of Down player, Eamonn Burn’s side have defied their critics to reach their first provincial final appearance since 2012 following a breathtaking semi-final win over red-hot favourites Monaghan.
It’s a remarkable reversal in fortunes following a nightmare 2016 and Blaney is relieved that Burns is having an easier time of it in the second year of his tenure.
“Any management position isn’t an easy task particularly when results aren’t going how you want. The expectations in Down would probably be higher that they should be considering how we have performed in recent years.
“When Down do reasonably well sometimes I think the media would build us up too much and then when things didn’t go so well we get hammered more.
“In the last couple of years Eamonn came through the mill. I’m absolutely delighted for the county and for him personally that all the hard work is paying off with a few good performances.”
The full interview with Grey Blaney is available in store today or online here.
TYRONE’S Niall Sludden says the fan reaction didn’t go unnoticed after their dramatic qualifier win over Meath last Saturday....
IT is an unusual quirk that Down’s two most consistent scorers this season – Anthony Doherty and Caolan Mooney...