By Alan Rodgers
ONE of Tyrone GAA’s most iconic figures has forecast a bright future for the Red Hands at inter-county level as they target a first Sam Maguire triumph since 2008.
It’s a 5pm throw-in on Saturday evening for the All-Ireland Final showdown against Mayo. Both counties are bidding for a fourth All-Ireland senior title and the clash at Croke Park has captured the imagination.
Now Art McRory, who managed Tyrone to their first and second All-Ireland Final appearances in 1986 and again in 1995 – alongside Eugene McKenna – says the building blocks are in place within the current squad to herald a new era for the county at the highest level.
He has also the highest of praise for the joint management team of Brian Dooher and Feargal Logan as they bid to guide the county to that latest title success.
“I coached Feargal and Brian and brought them into the senior panel. I take pride in them – character wise, you couldn’t meet two stronger people,” he told the Herald.
“Mayo are going to be extremely tough to beat, but it’s my belief that we are going to be there for a considerable time and have the potential to have the best forward line in the country.
“Our two midfielders Conn Kilpatrick and Brian Kennedy are in their first year in county football. It’s also really Conor McKenna’s first as well and he has a lot to learn.
“Darragh Canavan is coming along in the forwards. There is the Dungannon lad, Paul Donaghy, and I think we’re going to have the best forward line in the country within two years. By at stage, hopefully the two midfielders will be experienced and hardened and we’ll still have the Meylers, McGearys and so on.”
See today’s Strabane Chronicle for a 40-page supplement looking ahead to the All-Ireland final, including an extensive interview with Tyrone legend Art McRory.