Tyrone legend, Owen Mulligan says up and coming talent, Darragh Canavan, will remain grounded despite his prolific rise.
Darragh, son of Peter Canavan, burst onto the inter-county scene last year when he starred for the U17 side, scoring 1-03 against Roscommon alone. He made his senior debut off the bench in the McKenna Cup earlier this month.
Mulligan has been very impressed by the youngster so far and maintains that his parents will keep him grounded amid the current attention.
“He got some welcome coming on against Derry! I think Peter and his wife will keep him grounded. He’s a grounded lad anyway. I only chatted to him a few times over the years but he’s an exceptional footballer and an exceptional talent.”
“You only have to look at his underage scores on social media, he’s very like the father, but not taking away from the mother. She’s McGarrihy, and her brother played in the ‘95 All Ireland team when Dublin beat them, he was right half-back. So he has football coming out of his ears.”
“He’s an exceptional talent and hopefully he can emulate his father.”
The Paddy Power GAA Ambassador warned, however, that Canavan won’t be guaranteed a starting position on his pedigree alone, but believes that the forward is doing enough to impress Mickey Harte.
“Mickey Harte’s very good at keeping you grounded as well, especially a young talent, he’ll take them out and put them in, take them out and put them in. He’ll get the same chances as everyone else.”
“If you impress Mickey, he’ll start you. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough. That’s the thing about Darragh, he’s produced all of this underage and now he’s coming up and hopefully, he can do it in seniors.”
Reaching the All Ireland final for the first time in 10 years was a major bonus for Tyrone last year, but given their collapse against Dublin, and during the Ulster championship, Mulligan insists that supporters will be more cautious heading into the 2019 season, while also warning that the players will need to gain some mental toughness if they are to avoid similar outcomes.
“I think Tyrone supporters were just happy enough to get to the final last year and I don’t buy into that. If you get to the final, you have to win it, it’s as simple as that, but everybody still fears Dublin, no matter what you say.”
“I just thought Tyrone buckled too easy in the All Ireland final and accepted defeat. I played under Mickey Harte, that’s not Mickey Harte’s style. Maybe the players need to toughen up mentally, and hopefully, they can do that, but supporters as well need to accept that this Dublin team is exceptional, but you have to believe that you’re going to win the All Ireland.”
Irish bookmakers Paddy Power have announced their GAA Ambassadors for 2019, revealing that former Kerry football star Darran O’Sullivan has joined their crack squad of columnists which include, Tyrone great Owen ‘Mugsy’ Mulligan, Cork hurling hero Diarmuid ‘The Rock’ O’Sullivan and the pride of the Premier Country, Tipp’s Eoin Kelly.