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Tyrone boast a rich GAA heritage

By John Campbell

Published 15/05/2015

Aiming high: Mickey Donnelly wants to dethrone Donegal
Aiming high: Mickey Donnelly wants to dethrone Donegal

Ask not what your county can do for you, but what you can do for your county.

That would certainly appear to be the firmly-held mantra in Tyrone, particularly in relation to Sunday's Ulster Minor football championship preliminary round curtain-raiser at MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey.

With two triple All-Ireland winners as part of the management team and three players who are sons of former players who represented the county in All-Ireland finals at different levels, a rich dynasty is inherent within the Red Hands set-up.

Brian McGuigan and Ryan McMenamin were drafted in earlier in the year by manager Mickey Donnelly and his assistant Kieran McHugh to strengthen the backroom team and help provide the impetus for an assault on the provincial crown for which Donegal, who are the holders and also reached last year's All-Ireland final, are the favourites.

McGuigan is the playmaker who helped orchestrate much of Tyrone's success between 2003 and 2008 while McMenamin was a teak-tough defender who epitomised the side's steely resolve.

McGuigan and McMenamin are fulfilling roles similar to those occupied by their former county colleagues Peter Canavan and Brian Dooher who had a big input into Tyrone's recent All-Ireland U21 triumph.

Minor players Cormac O'Hagan and Fintan McClure are sons of Damien O'Hagan and Harry McClure respectively who played in the 1986 All-Ireland final while Colm Kilpatrick is a son of Adrian Kilpatrick, who won an All-Ireland medal with Tyrone at U21 level.

Donnelly is anxious to see Tyrone make an impact this year at minor level as Donegal not only won the Ulster League and the Ulster Championship last year but have also retained their league title already this term.

Donegal manager Declan Bonner, meanwhile, will parade six of his 2014 squad this time round and is intent in atoning for that All-Ireland slip-up against Kerry.

Belfast Telegraph

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