Saturday 18 January 2020

Cavan were a house 'built on sand' before Hyland - O'Mara

O’Mara feels the goals will be similar next season but urged for caution. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
O’Mara feels the goals will be similar next season but urged for caution. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Alan O'Mara has hailed the "incredible work" of Terry Hyland and admits the former Cavan boss has built solid foundations for a squad "once built on sand".

Leading the Breffni men to Division 1 for 2017 was the highlight of Hyland's five seasons in charge having previously led Cavan to Ulster U-21 titles in 2011 and 2012 and O'Mara was quick to praise the massive strides made.

The Cavan goalkeeper believes Hyland has left them in good stead after many years of "managerial uncertainty".

"Terry has done incredible work. I remember we were a kick of a ball away from going into Division 4; some really good work has happened," he said.

"Terry has built some really solid foundations. We were a house that was built on sand for a while and Terry has built a very solid foundation between what happened both at U-21 initially and that followed to the seniors.

"He has to be commended for his work. In my earlier years we sort of had high turnover and the reality is when you have a high turnover of managers, there tends to be a high turnover of players as well.

"It's the first time we had sort of a prolonged run. It's not too often a county board either trust a manager to go at it for four or five years, especially without necessarily winning a title, but I think success has to be measured in different ways for us.

"I think he'll look back at his spell in charge as a success and I've no doubt in my mind that very significant progress was made."

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While their goal of an Ulster SFC title wasn't achieved, O'Mara feels the goals will be similar next season but urged for caution and time for the "right appointment" to be made with a "strong core group of players".

"I wouldn't sidestep away from it, our goal this year was to win an Ulster Championship and we feel we're there within striking distance of that," he said.

"Whoever is the manager that comes in that's certainly going to be the ambition again, that won't change. We'll be looking to push on. We're in the top table now in terms of league football.

"We want to win Ulster Championships, that's where the squad's mentality and dynamic is and the most important thing is that we find the man that can do that in a style and a way that everyone's comfortable with."

Alan O'Mara was speaking at the launch of GAA/HSE Health and Wellbeing Day which will take place in Croke Park on August 28 during this year's second All-Ireland football semi-final

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