Simply earlier than Christmas, the Tyrone crew gathered up a crew to satisfy a request from Armagh supervisor Kieran McGeeney.
rmagh needed a problem recreation, with a purpose to elevate funds for the ‘Time To Play’ fund. The goal was to construct a play park in reminiscence of McGeeney’s cousin, James Reel.
Typically, requests of this kind are virtually by no means turned down within the GAA. However McGeeney has a standing in Ulster and in his personal native county that meant it was a certainty.
He even attended a pre-Christmas press occasion, taking part in on his oyster pictured pictured by sporting a jumper with considered one of Snow White’s dwarves.
Which dwarf? grumpy yep
In any case, McGeeney and Tyrone joint-manager Feargal Logan have an extended historical past. Whereas their taking part in careers overlapped for seven seasons, that they had a spell taking part in collectively for Queen’s within the Sigerson Cup.
By 1996, Logan was winding down his taking part in profession with Tyrone, although he continued for a number of years together with his membership.
McGeeney will be mentioned to be much more a product of the twenty first century. An early champion of the Gaelic Participant’s Affiliation, he has been affixed to county soccer since he joined the Armagh panel in 1989.
There hasn’t been a season since the place he hasn’t been in intercounty motion, between taking part in, teaching and managing with spells with Armagh, Kildare, Tipperary hurlers and again with Armagh.
In the meantime, till Logan took the county U-21 supervisor job in 2014, he had been 17 seasons away from county involvement.
In accepting the invitation to play Armagh, Logan mentioned, “Video games are what it is all about and Tyrone-Armagh is all the time an fascinating fixture regardless of the backdrop so it is good to have this recreation and have the ability to help with this charity,” he mentioned.
“Round county soccer there aren’t that many alternatives for gamers to exit and impress. This supplies a chance for gamers to try this and put their hand up and it is the identical in Armagh as will probably be in Tyrone – as soon as gamers take to the sphere they typically wish to win.”
No one was taking the sport itself critically. That wasn’t the purpose of a enterprise like that within the mouth of Christmas.
However this weekend will see a really completely different ambiance.
Armagh’s win over Dublin may have sharpened minds round Tyrone. They by no means like dropping to their neighbors anyway, however there’s a concern that the hole is closing over the previous couple of years.
In final yr’s league, Tyrone gained out by 5 factors of their assembly. Armagh suffered a number of early accidents and had been compelled to do operating repairs all through that made it onerous for them.
No matter they did in pre-season, they’re being pegged as many individuals’s darkish horses within the Ulster and All-Eire Championships. That is what occurs in a sports activities media that exists to be considerably hysterical and associate with knee-jerk reactions.
No matter in regards to the hype, Armagh have arrived into the season able to go.
Tyrone have the goal on their backs.