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Conor Gormley

Conor Gormley

Gormley ranks Tyrone team of noughties above Dublin


By John Harrington

Conor Gormley believes the Tyrone team he played on that won three All-Ireland titles in the noughties would beat the current Dublin three-in-a-row All-Ireland winning team.

The Tyrone legend has a huge regard for this Dublin side, particularly their strength in depth, but would have relished going head to head against them when players like himself, Peter Canavan, Sean Cavanagh, Stevie O’Neill, and Philip Jordan were in their prime.

“I'd love a crack at them alright, I definitely would,” said Gormley yesterday at the launch of the EirGrid All-Ireland U-20 Football Championship.

“I would have been an interesting game. Two different styles, but I'd like to get stuck into them alright and see how it goes with them.

“I'd go for ourselves, definitely, but it would be a good game. There would be great hype about that game.

“It would be a massive, massive game. They've some unbelievable players when you look at what they have at the minute.

“I mean, they haven't got Diarmuid Connolly whatever the situation is there, but you look at the players they have to come in.

“The likes of Paul Flynn to come in, Kevin McManamon isn't really a full starter all the time, they've boys like young Costello to come in, Howard coming in out of nowhere, young Scully as well.

“They've a bunch of stuff, it's unbelievable. I wouldn't mind a wee crack at them now, definitely wouldn't.”

2003 Tyrone All-Star Awards winners, back row, (from left to right), Brian McGuigan, Brian Dooher, Cormac McAnallen, and Philip Jordan. Front row, from (left to right) are Sean Cavanagh, Peter Canavan, Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and Conor Gormley.
2003 Tyrone All-Star Awards winners, back row, (from left to right), Brian McGuigan, Brian Dooher, Cormac McAnallen, and Philip Jordan. Front row, from (left to right) are Sean Cavanagh, Peter Canavan, Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and Conor Gormley.

Gormley is adamant that the key to beating this Dublin team is to first of all really believe you’re good enough to do so and then back yourself to have a cut off them like Mayo have over the course of the past couple of years.

“Mayo were very unfortunate not to turn them over once or twice,” said Gormley. “Maybe they're up on a pedestal, the media or whatever puts them up that high and maybe that can affect players individually or the team come the crunch time of the game.

“The likes of Kildare pushed them hard a couple of times when they played them and fell away in the last quarter. They're not unbeatable.

“Tyrone last year, their performance didn't go to plan against the Dubs. If I was a Tyrone player now I'd be thinking, 'Get to May, get a bit of a run going and I want to be playing Dublin come the Super 8s (All-Ireland Quarter-Final series), or the Semi-Final or Final.

“That's where I want to be, I want to prove that I can play better than what I showed last year.

“Work hard and the challenge is there to get to that level. Can we get there? Individually as a player and as a team, that's the challenge for Tyrone at the minute.

“We can do it but we need to get that next step to push them and turn them over. Teams are pushing them. Teams are pushing them, but having to turn them over is the key for a lot of us at the minute.”

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