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Martin’s Tyrone lads can be surprise package


Hopeful: Martin Gallagher

Hopeful: Martin Gallagher

Hopeful: Martin Gallagher

Tyrone's Junior manager Martin Gallagher believes his side can make a big impact at next week’s SuperCupNI, despite not having the same pool of talent enjoyed by the likes of Antrim and Down.

Gallagher can draw confidence from the fact many of his squad are connected with the Irish FA’s ClubNI programme.

“Hopefully we get it right on the week,” he said.

“If we do, then this team can go a fair distance. I believe the draw was fairly kind to us, although I don’t know an awful lot about our first opponents Plymouth Argyle.

“We have a chance, we have avoided the big guns.”

The bulk of Gallagher’s squad is made up of Sion Swifts and Dungannon United National League players, with others from the likes of Dergview, Ardstraw and Enniskillen Rangers.

 Team captain Peter Bell is on the books of Linfield.

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 Gallagher added: “The likes of Peter Bell, Ben Gallagher, Ethan McGee, Matthew Thomas Smith and others have played with Northern Ireland.

“There’s plenty of experience there, I’m happy enough and  hopeful we have a real chance. It’s all about producing the goods on the day.

“A lot of these players have been used to performing at a decent standard and that can make all the difference. If we can maintain a level of consistency during the week then who knows.”

Gallagher’s side start their campaign on Monday with a match against Plymouth Argyle at Limavady’s Scroggy Road ground. On Tuesday, Tyrone Junior face M Sport from New Zealand in Castlerock, before playing Londonderry at Anderson Park in Coleraine on Wednesday.

 The Tyrone team face Chinese club Morning Star United at Ballymena Showgrounds on Monday, before facing Chilean side O’Higgins on Tuesday at the Coleraine Showgrounds. On Wednesday they take on Antrim at the Riada in Ballymoney.

 Premier manager David Harvey said: “My wee tag line has always been ‘be positive’,” he said.

“For any team, that is so important, and probably more so when working with a group of county footballers for a short period of time.

“They have bought into it non-stop. They will keep going until the final whistle. They have been positive throughout the process and in particular in the warm-up games they have never fallen short on that score.

“They’re a very keen, eager bunch of lads.”

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