WHILE still a youthful 23 years old Pomeroy captain Ryan Loughran has been on the senior set-up long enough with the team to be perfectly comfortable handing out a rollicking if called for to his more illustrious team-mates.
The Plunketts have no shortage of experience in their midst including three players who are very much integral to the future prospects of the Tyrone senior side (the McGeary brothers Kieran and Hugh-Pat, as well as Frank Burns).
However Loughran, a real driving force for Pomeroy around midfield, stresses that nobody is beyond rebuke in the squad and preaches the importance of the collective.
“It’s a real team effort and everyone buys into what we are trying to do. It means a lot yes for me to be captain and if someone slips up there is plenty to let them know about it but we have a lot of leaders throughout the team. Everyone just takes it on board.”
Given the close proximity of tomorrow’s opposition Loughran is very familiar with the Galbally players from his days at school and youth level, right through now to mixing it in senior circles. He states that both teams rarely dominate for too long over the other, with matches usually going right down to the wire.
“Galbally will be hot favourites because of what they are doing to teams in the league and championship all year but we will go and give it our best shot. In a final anything can happen and we are champing at the bit to get at them, they got one over on us in the league. Us and Galbally have went at it hammer and tong in many battles over the years. There’s not much we don’t know about the other team at this stage. We edge them some days and they do the same to us on other days.
“They are young and very fit. I’m sure they are very ambitious and the Championship is the one that you want to win at the end of the day. They have looked very impressive but I suppose many of our players have been there before so hopefully that will stand to us.”
Loughran has already tasted success in the Tyrone Intermediate Championship having been part of the successful Plunketts squad which claimed the Paddy Cullen Cup in 2016. He appreciates that the current squad have come through their fair share of adversity to reach another County Final.
“There is some character in this squad of players. It’s that which has got us to the final. We went down to twelve men against Loughmacrory and managed to get a replay to come through.
“We then lost one of our main men in the semi-final with Owen Roes in Frank Burns. I suppose half-time came at the right time for us. We came in and regrouped and changed a few positions around. Owen Roes have some serious players so we knew it was going to be a right battle till the end. They have one of the best forwards in Tyrone if not Ireland playing on the edge of the square in Cathal McShane and they were looking to lash long ball into him. Our boys dealt with that brilliantly.”
Both Pomeroy and Galbally suffered the pain of relegation last season and a quick return to the Senior grade is uppermost in the thoughts of Ryan who is quick to praise the depth of quality at their disposal.
“At the start of the year we just set out a target of making senior football but obviously you want to go up the right way. We have brought in some great young players this year in Lorcan Kilpatrck and Eoin Duffin, they have been fantastic and have shown real leadership within the squad.
“We have a great squad of players and when the games have been tight and your legs get heavy, you have boys to come in who can make a big impact to get us over the line.”