Enda McGinley may have stepped out of the Tyrone shop window but his goods will be very much on display in the Tyrone Senior Football Championship this weekend.
Recurring injuries disrupted McGinley’s county career but did not deprive him of the opportunity of collecting three All-Ireland medals, three Ulster Championship gongs and three provincial U21 honours.
Highly regarded by manager Mickey Harte, McGinley played at wing-forward and midfield and reserved one of his best-ever performances for a titanic battle against Dublin in 2008 when his majestic performance in the middle third of the park underscored a shock Red Hands victory that sent them on the road to glory.
On Sunday McGinley, whose brothers-in-law Michael and Tómas McCann both play for Antrim, will lead Errigal Ciaran against Moortown in a tie that is destined to lend a further dimension to the Tyrone domestic competition.
Errigal Ciaran chairman Cathal McAnenly, a member of the Tyrone Under 21 management team, believes that McGinley’s leadership could prove crucial to the club’s chances of figuring in the push for honours.
“When Enda stepped aside from the Tyrone squad, we were all disappointed because we knew that he had so much to offer but had been seriously troubled by injuries,” explains McAnenly.
“However, he is certainly proving an inspirational force within our club team right now and I have no doubt that he will show the way against Moortown on Saturday.”
McGinley is one of several of Tyrone’s most celebrated players who called time on their county careers last year but are now putting in an even greater effort at club level.
“He is showing the way and the younger players are taking their lead from him which is very encouraging. His appetite for success is as sharp as ever and we know that his experience and work ethic will really stand to us,” adds McAnenly.
Two of McGinley’s former colleagues in the Tyrone side Brian Dooher and Philip Jordan have already aligned themselves with the Tyrone U21 management team for next year prompting McAnenly to hail the manner in which recently-retired players in virtually every county are now prepared to continue their involvement in the sport.
“I think this is a very encouraging feature of GAA at the moment,” says McAnenly.
“These players have considerable experience and know-how and they are regarded as role models by younger players. The fact that they are prepared to put something back into the game offers considerable hope for the future, I feel.”
Meanwhile, brothers Justin and Joe McMahon are expected to line up together for the first time in several months when they assist Omagh St Enda’s against Clonoe.
Justin, the outstanding full-back in the country in 2008, has made only fleeting appearances for Tyrone this year because of injuries but expects to bolster Omagh’s championship hopes.
Ronan O’Neill though is still an absentee because of injury.