Sport Gaelic Football

Wednesday 7 December 2016

McGinley tips Tyrone to roll back years and take scenic route to glory

Published 23/06/2015 | 02:30

Red Hand stalwart Enda McGinley
Red Hand stalwart Enda McGinley

Enda McGinley travelled the qualifier route frequently, and two of his three All-Ireland medals provide evidence that Tyrone have enjoyed many rewarding runs via the back door.

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The former Red Hand stalwart expects more of the same this year, and views Sunday's Round 1B clash with Limerick as the perfect launch-pad for another extended journey.

"They have been comfortable with it in the past, and again they'll be heading in with a new sense of confidence," he said.

And the Errigal Ciaran man believes Armagh's heavy defeat to Donegal has provided perspective, and will serve to boost confidence in the Tyrone camp, by virtue of the fact that Mickey Harte's men pushed the reigning champions to the limit in the preliminary round at Ballybofey.

"They'll take a lot from that performance against Donegal, and seeing the level at which Donegal performed against Armagh, that gives Tyrone's performance in Ballybofey even more credibility.

"They've got a draw that I think they'll be happy enough with, although they're obviously not going to admit that."

However, McGinley accepts that Tyrone will be given little credit for beating Limerick, even if they do so in emphatic fashion.

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"They'll not make anybody sit up and take notice of them, no matter how much they beat Limerick by," he said

"For Tyrone it's a job to get done, and I have all the faith that the boys will go out and do that."

Limerick will travel to Healy Park with nothing to lose, and with the prospect of a massive scalp, they'll give it a lash.

But McGinley expects the hosts to possess too much class and experience for the Treaty men, who lost to Clare in Munster.

"Tyrone found Limerick a tough enough obstacle in the past, but I think Limerick and Tyrone are in two different places at the minute," he said.

"Tyrone will have much more ambition for these qualifiers than Limerick, so while Limerick will travel with confidence, I think Tyrone should have enough about them to go out and do a straightforward job."

McGinley, who retired from inter-county football at the end of the 2011 season, saw enough in Ballybofey to persuade him that Tyrone have genuine potential, despite the disappointment of relegation to Division 2.

"We saw sparks against Donegal of a seriously competitive unit, which maybe that team haven't shown of themselves before," he said.

"I think they'll take heart from the performance in Ballybofey and they'll push on."

Irish Independent

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