Antrim aim to draw on benefits of dual ability
Who said the era of the dual player had ended?
While there is undoubtedly evidence to suggest that this is an endangered species, Antrim hope to provide firm evidence tomorrow that the opportunity for players to flourish in both football and hurling is still available to them.
When the Saffrons confront Derry in the Ulster hurling final at Owenbeg, two players who excel in both codes will be in action.
The strongly-built Jackson McGreevy will bring physical power, boundless stamina and no little technique to the midfield sector while Chris McGuinness looks certain to underline his pace and scoring skills in attack.
McGreevy has already pocketed a brace of Antrim Under-21 football championship medals with St Galls and last year he captained the county U-21 hurling team in their All-Ireland final against Clare – a match that did much for the image of Antrim hurling.
His versatility is underlined by the fact that he can play at both midfield and wing-back in football and is equally comfortable in the engine-room or defence in hurling.
McGuinness is one of several exciting young O'Donovan Rossa players who provide the hope that the club can mount a challenge for major honours in Antrim in the foreseeable future.
Antrim Competitions Committee official Sean Fleming believes that the exposure which these and other young players will get in tomorrow's provincial hurling decider against a Derry side anxious to terminate the Saffrons' provincial dominance can provide a pointer to the future.
"Both Jackson and Chris are immensely talented and the fact that they are proficient in both codes speaks for itself.
"They have sampled success too and that helps to nurture a winning mentality which is never a bad thing," points out Fleming.