Cavan boss Peter Reilly hopes to emulate Tyrone's senior glory
Published 15/04/2014 | 02:30
Four consecutive Ulster Under-21 football titles surely help to embellish the reputation of any county.
Cavan, for so long starved of meaningful success, have already gratefully embraced their extended dominance of what is now viewed as one of the most important sectors within the GAA competitions arena.
Yet Breffni boss Peter Reilly acknowledges that he will look elsewhere for inspiration as he seeks to build on his team's achievements – to Tyrone, in fact, the county that virtually controlled the U21 landscape in the 1990s.
Reilly, far from basking in Cavan's current glory, is instead fiercely focused on trying to ensure that the progress achieved within the U21 sphere can be channelled through to senior level.
"You never can have enough minor or Under-21 titles. You always have to keep pushing on. You must stay competitive and never relax," insists Reilly.
"Look at what Tyrone achieved. They gained success at Under-21 level in the 1990s and the early noughties but they built on that to such an extent that they got three All-Ireland senior titles out of it.
"There have been teams which have won All-Ireland Under-21 titles in the past but have not been able to turn this into senior success.
"But there are other teams that have achieved this and Tyrone and Dublin are two cases in point. Tyrone must be our benchmark now if we want to aspire to translating any success we have had at Under-21 level into winning trophies at senior level."
With the Cavan senior team having gained promotion to Division Two on the back of a seven-match unbeaten surge through Division Three, Reilly admits that football in the county is now "in a much better place."
And he adds: "Cavan have to push on from here, though. Progress has been made surely but we need to keep setting fresh goals for ourselves. Football in the county may be in a much better place now but we need to keep working hard."