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Down's Treanor can follow in his father's footsteps

By John Campbell

When Norwich City slipped out of the Premiership into The Championship last weekend, their demise went largely unnoticed in Ulster.

But for one young sportsman in the province, the team's fall from grace occasioned considerable regret.

Ryan Treanor, who will line out for Down against Tyrone in the Ulster minor football championship on Sunday, had trials at Carrow Road when he was just 16 – an experience which he enjoyed.

He subsequently returned to his Burren home to resume his studies at Abbey CBS Newry and began to concentrate more firmly on gaelic football.

The upshot is that already this year the promising starlet has seen his services very much in demand on three fronts – school, club and county.

"It gets a bit hectic at times but it's great to be involved in games. The Ulster Championship is what I have been looking forward to for some time and I hope to get a starting place on Sunday. Playing against Tyrone is always a huge test for teams, especially as they will be at home," says Ryan.

Down reached the semi-final of the Ulster Minor League, in which they lost to Tyrone.

And if the Mourne side require an additional incentive to come good at Healy Park, Omagh, then the recent MacRory Cup competition provides just that.

Both Newry schools Abbey CBS and St Colman's College lost to Tyrone opponents in St Patrick's Academy Dungannon and Omagh CBS respectively.

Down manager Shane Mulholland acknowledges that his side will be going in as underdogs.

"You can't argue with what Tyrone have achieved at minor level but while we respect their record, we have to have confidence in our own ability," states Mulholland.

Treanor will be a key cog in an attack that showed an appetite for scores in the recent league.

And the Burren hot-shot already faces the challenge of enhancing a distinguished family sporting dynasty.

His father John 'Shorty' Treanor was one of Down's leading forwards in the '80s and early '90s and won two All-Ireland club medals with Burren in 1986 and 1988.

He also played for a spell for Portadown in the Irish League.

"Ryan will feel he has a lot to live up to but he's level-headed and won't be fazed by the challenge," points out Shane Mulholland.

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