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Tyrone's Niall Morgan: It might sound like an old cliché but we did learn from ‘disastrous’ league loss to Kerry

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Niall Morgan during the 2021 All-Ireland football final against Mayo. Photo: Sportsfile

Niall Morgan during the 2021 All-Ireland football final against Mayo. Photo: Sportsfile

Niall Morgan during the 2021 All-Ireland football final against Mayo. Photo: Sportsfile

Tyrone goalkeeper Niall Morgan can hardly wait to get back into action now that 2022 is about to dawn.

The Edendork clubman proved a defensive pillar as the Red Hands soared to their fourth All-Ireland title in September and is in no doubt as to just where the seeds for his team’s epic championship journey were laid.

He has an all-too-vivid recollection of the acerbic analysis that was conducted in the immediate aftermath of the team’s Allianz League hammering by Kerry in Killarney, yet it was to prove a panacea for the future.

“I will start with myself. To be honest, I don’t think I have ever had a great day in Killarney. I remember James O’Donoghue scoring a hat-trick there against me in the league, and this year we conceded six goals. We maybe thought that we could take Kerry on man-to-man, but that did not work out,” reflected Morgan.

“It was a bit of a disastrous day for us. I know from my own perspective when we got back to the hotel I threw my bag on the bed and I cried my eyes out. It might sound like an old cliché but we really did learn from that game.”

It was when team management duo Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher subsequently laid it firmly on the line that what proved to be invaluable pointers were absorbed from the soul-destroying 6-15 to 1-14 setback.

“They certainly told us a few home truths and pinpointed areas in which we needed to show an improvement,” Morgan said. “As a squad, we were able to take stock and move on, but that game really proved a wake-up call.”

Morgan certainly stamped his skill and personality on Tyrone’s All-Ireland title success but is quick to point out that this will guarantee the side nothing as they prepare to enter 2022.

“There will be other teams out there who will be very anxious to knock us off our pedestal, but we for our part will be very keen to keep a firm grip on the Sam Maguire Cup. We had to work very hard to win it, particularly when you consider the problems that the Covid pandemic created, and we will not surrender it easily,” insisted Morgan.

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