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Mattie Donnelly delight as club bids for glory

By John Campbell

Just a few days after his man of the match performance for Tyrone against Down in the Ulster Championship, Mattie Donnelly will line out for Trillick in a Tyrone Intermediate Championship fixture tonight.

And he is just one of several Red Hands players who will be plunged straight back into action following their exertions at inter-county level.

The fact that Tyrone's first game against Down was drawn meant that the team had an extra Championship game thus imposing further demands on the players.

But Donnelly, who has played in several positions for Tyrone, will go into tonight's game hopeful that success both at club and Championship levels can become a reality.

"It's straight back into action but you owe it to your club to make sure that you do the very best for them. Only for my club I would not be playing for Tyrone, after all," states Donnelly.

"To be honest we were very grateful that we even got the chance to be playing again following the drawn game.

"It would be very selfish of me to be complaining about playing a few matches within a limited period of time because there are a lot of boys at both county and club level who are very loyal members of the squad yet who don't get an awful lot of game time."

The fact many of his players are engaged in high-profile club action this week has prompted Tyrone manager Mickey Harte to put the theory that county team managers are "all-powerful" into context.

Harte says: "I know that this belief is doing the rounds but it's not the case. The Tyrone Club Championship fixtures are going ahead even though we are still in the Ulster Championship and we must live with that.

"I will not have the players for another 10 days or so and it's only then that we can begin to focus on our Ulster quarter-final against Monaghan.

"It's not an ideal situation and there is an argument that the club players don't get a fair say although there are county players too who don't get a decent say.

"They have to play club championship football right through to Sunday week and that's difficult. I understand, though, that we need to give our clubs a chance.

"For those who suggest managers have too much power, I wasn't asked for my opinion whether I like this situation or not."

Belfast Telegraph


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