Monday 10 December 2018

'There is potential of an All-Ireland in Monaghan' - Dick Clerkin says Malachy O'Rourke must change up tactics

20 May 2018; Conor McManus of Monaghan shoots to score a late point during the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Tyrone and Monaghan at Healy Park in Tyrone. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
20 May 2018; Conor McManus of Monaghan shoots to score a late point during the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Tyrone and Monaghan at Healy Park in Tyrone. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Sam Roberts

Dick Clerkin believes Monaghan can win an All-Ireland, but only if they change their style of play ahead of the big games this summer.

Monaghan won their Championship opener against Tyrone on Sunday with a narrow two-point victory in Omagh.

Last year's All-Ireland quarter-finalists pulled away from Ulster champions Tyrone in injury time, thanks in large part to one of the points of the season from corner forward Conor McManus.

Fermanagh await in the semi-finals for Malachy O'Rourke's men, as they look to win their first Ulster championship since 2015.

Former Monaghan midfielder Dick Clerkin said his county have a rare opportunity to go the distance in the All-Ireland, but only if they can get their talented attacking players on the ball more often.

"I think there is potential of an All-Ireland in Monaghan," Clerkin told The Throw-In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast.

"You have a group of players there, you have the scoring forwards to do it.

"If you're looking, what do you need to win an All-Ireland, what do the teams who win an All-Ireland have? They play a more expansive game, they try and hit their inside forward line as fast and as often as possible, and Monaghan don't do that.

"Before Mansie [Conor McManus] hit his injury time point, that was his first kick on goal in open play for 70 minutes. By any analysis you'd have to question is that going to be good enough to win an All-Ireland? Absolutely not.

"The opportunity to win All-Ireland's in Monaghan does not come around that often. I'd just love to see them open up that wee bit more, because then I think that would really bring them up in that conversation.

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