Cavanagh reiterates comments on Tyrone's young guns

May 25, 2018

Tyrone's Sean Cavanagh and manager Mickey Harte celebrate.
©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan.

Former Tyrone footballer Sean Cavanagh is standing by the comments he made over the style of football that the county plays.

Last week, Cavanagh stated that the defensive style adopted by Tyrone has hampered the progress of some top forwards in the county.

Attending a Club Tyrone function, Cavanagh spoke to guests and once again stated that the county's forwards had to focus more on scoring than defending.

"I think Tyrone have the players. It was the Minor Championship launch and the reporters were talking about the development of players, so that is where the likes of Kyle Coney, Ronan O'Neill, Niall McKenna were all mentioned," said Cavanagh.

"I think we have lost some top quality inside scorers - the likes of Kyle, Ronie just hasn't found his feet at that level just yet. I have seen a few players come and go who looked as if they were going to be top players.

"The reality was that the system didn't allow them the game time to flourish. Ronie O'Neill played a couple of championship matches a couple of years ago. One game, we played was Monaghan up in Clones.

"They played nine or ten defenders and he maybe touched the ball two or three times in the game. He got berated afterwards. I remember talking to him on the Tuesday night afterwards and he was down and disappointed and demotivated. You try and pick the lad up.

"The reality was that he could do nothing about it because he was an inside forward and we couldn't get the ball to him. He maybe didn't see game time again for three, four or five matches. So it's hard sometimes. You would like to persist with guys like that because you know the talent is there.

"At times being pulled off at half time or even before that strikes the fear of god into the rest of the guys and the confidence just drifts. They just don't then have the ability to pump their chests out and reclaim a place.

"Maybe some don't have the same resilience as players of old and maybe that's just the society we now live in but the talent is there."

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