Tyrone Under-20 football manager Paul Devlin is convinced his team will face a major test against Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise tomorrow (1pm).
Devlin has taken stock of Kerry's impressive performance in accounting for Cork in the Munster final and was left in no doubt that his players are confronted by an uphill battle as they bid to reach the All-Ireland decider.
"We will need to be on our toes for this one. Kerry have a great record in the under-age sphere generally and they will want to get their hands on another title,” insists Devlin.
The Red Hands were stretched to the limit before squeezing past Cavan 0-11 to 0-10 in the Ulster final and Devlin is adamant that more will be asked of his team tomorrow.
Nonetheless, with Ruairi Canavan, Conor Cush and Michael McGleenan in hot form up front and Brian Conway and Steven Donaghy key figures in defence, Devlin is optimistic that his team can rise to the challenge.
Former Kerry All-Ireland winner Declan O’Sullivan is in charge of a Kerry side that boats a solid midfield pairing in Ruairi Murphy and Sean O’Brien, skilful forwards in Thomas O’Donnell and Cillian Burke, as well as a tranche of exciting talent on their bench who played a big part in the Munster final victory.
Meanwhile, in the Ulster Minor Football Championship today, eight teams will be in action as the competition approaches its climax. Derry will confront neighbours Donegal at Owenbeg (2pm) while Fermanagh, who were heavily beaten by Donegal in their most recent outing, will take on Cavan at Brewster Park, Enniskillen (2pm).
Down will host Monaghan at Pairc Esler, Newry where visitors’ boss Mark Counihan will be particularly keen to see his side underline the promise they have been showing lately.
Tyrone and Antrim, meanwhile, will cross swords at Corrigan Park, Belfast tonight (6pm) where the Red Hands, who boast an impressive record at this particular level, will be favourites to advance in the competition, although manager Gerry Donnelly is certainly taking nothing for granted.