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Donnelly takes confidence from past glories

Mattie Donnelly in action against Dublin’s Ciaran Kilkenny

LIKE most of the current Tyrone squad, Mattie Donnelly has experienced the thrill of Tyrone wins on All-Ireland final day.

A decade ago, he was on the minor team which drew with Mayo in the curtain-raiser to the win over Kerry, winning after a replay.

He also attended the 2003 and 2005 finals, and cites those victories as having a seminal impact on the development of the lads who are now spearheading the drive for that next All-Ireland senior title.

“Those wins had a massive impact on the current squad because a lot of the players now were coming to an age when they started to grasp and understand football.

“Seeing Tyrone being at the top table sparked aspirations in all of us. If a team from the county were the best before, then there’s no reason why we can’t be the same.”

The full interview with Mattie Donnelly, as part of our 40-page supplement for the All-Ireland final, is in this week’s Gaelic Life, in shops now or available here.




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