Tyrone Minor manager Mickey Donnelly has spoken out on those sledging allegations by Donegal and the treatment of Tyrone by the media as a whole.
In an interview with our The 16th Man podcast, Donnelly said
‘‘I would be a bit reluctant to talk about that in that it’s still probably in a legal form, but we were very annoyed about it (the manner of the accusation). I would back my players to the hilt and the players that the finger is being pointed at I would be very strong in my backing of them.”
“It was frustrating the way it was handled, if that was me, if it was one of my players deemed to be on the receiving end of that, I would like to think I would go to the opposing manager and discuss it and I would hate to think I would go to the print press or write a column in the Irish independent to see where it went. “
Mickey Donnelly also gave a fascinating insight into the consequence of the criticism on supporters and younger players.
“There was definitely a sense in Croke Park that Tyrone support was galvanised yesterday. Things have changed as there was some criticism in the county six/eight months ago, maybe not criticism but certainly scepticism about Tyrone’s standpoint with RTE but over the last few weeks everyone’s been behind the team and behind the management. There’s a real sense of unity, something I haven’t felt in a long, long time.”
For the players it can also have an impact, as Donnelly explains.
“From a personal point of view as a parent as a teacher a club youth officer it is frustrating because we are working as hard as any other county to try an stamp things out to do things properly to try stamp things out, to try respect the referee, to try respect officials, to try get young fellas to play football and it’s a very difficult climate for everybody. Society has changed dramatically when I played football twenty five years all lads wanted to do is play football, that’s all they wanted to do. Now there’s so many external influences and it’s not as cool to play football at 16, 17, 18 so it’s frustrating when you hear that sort of ventral coming out against your own county especially when it’s unwarranted.”
Donnelly did not shine from accepting responsibility and admitting wrongs have been committed.
“Listen ill hold my hands up where there’s many situations in teams that I have managed that incidents have happened that you weren’t proud of but they weren’t incidents that you planned for or that you coached or schooled boys for.”
“People in Tyrone are very annoyed about as if this is something we’re trying to publicise, promote or develop almost as if it’s an inherent skill of the game like kicking or catching or picking the ball up we’ve also got to teach our players to goad, to teach our players to be underhand, it’s ludicrous.”
Mickey also spoke about Tieran McCann’s now infamous dive.
“Did he make a mistake? Of course he did one hundred percent… the outcry I don’t think Aidan O’Mahony was subject to the same amount of criticism that Tieran was. I don’t think Michael Shields was subject to the same amount of ridicule that Tieran was. All we would ask is that there’s a level playing field.”
To hear the full interview including Mickey Donnelly’s thoughts of the South Dublin based media, the right way to develop young players and previous dealings with Radio Kerry listen to our podcast here.