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Tyrone ace Donnelly is fired up for even more county glory

 

By John Campbell

Mattie Donnelly accepts that Trillick may have had to exercise patience in their bid to land a Tyrone Senior Football Championship title, but now there is the distinct and realistic possibility that two crowns could come his club's way within the space of three years.

Trillick's win over Coalisland in a quarter-final replay on Monday night sends them into tomorrow's semi-final against Omagh St Enda's conscious that they can reach the decider, with Tyrone ace Donnelly particularly anxious to see the title recaptured.

"It's great to be in the semi-finals but there are teams in there who have won the title in recent years and will feel they can get their hands on it again," points out Donnelly.

When Tyrone boss Mickey Harte originally handed Donnelly a roving commission within his side, he certainly made a winning choice as the centre forward flourished.

Donnelly has been at the heart of much of the Red Hands' recent progress but, although delighted to have pocketed two Ulster medals in quick succession, he is already setting his sights much higher.

"The way that Tyrone play ensures there is a lot of fluency and consequently plenty of room for someone like myself to pop up and do work all over the field, which is something I enjoy," points out Donnelly.

"It's something you just adapt to. I am doing it every night in training against quality players and this has helped me to improve naturally."

While Donnelly is an automatic first-choice player with Tyrone, his own brother Ritchie and the Brennan brothers Lee and Rory - all of whom were in the Red Hands squad this year and will start tomorrow - will be pushing hard for more recognition having spent the greater part of this term on the county substitutes bench.

"We have got ourselves into a position now where we can challenge the top teams so why should we not go with the ambition of taking them down as well?" adds Donnelly.

"That's the big test for us and that's what we will certainly be striving towards next year."

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