By Niall Gartland
Lat Monday marked the long-awaited return to collective training for clubs in the North, but questions remain about how the upcoming season will unfold. Accordingly, we’ve sought the views of a number of Tyrone club players on their hopes for the year ahead.
Here, Kildress footballer Philip Lennon answers our questions.
1. How has the latest lockdown been for you and Kildress?
Lockdown for everybody is obviously tough. The GAA in Kildress is a massive part of the community and when Covid has put a halt to that it makes you realise even more how much so. Our club has been able to run a few virtual events which has been able to keep everyone together as such. Personally lockdown has been busy enough as we have just had our second child at the beginning of March. I think when you have good family around you lockdown is manageable.
2.The GAA released its revised calendar last week – what did you make of it from a club players’ perspective?
From a Kildress perspective we would hope that the club league can be played while the county season is ongoing, if we can’t get playing any league games until Tyrone are out of the championship it will be a long year for the club players. On the other hand I can see the point of clubs that have a handful of county players, it wouldn’t be ideal for them to have to play away at league games without them. Here whatever will be will be, we are lucky that we are able to get playing football again.
3. Do you feel the Tyrone CCC did a good job with last year’s fixtures? Did you enjoy it and would you like any changes this time around?
The Tyrone CCC have a very difficult job doing what they do, last year was great in Tyrone, football week in week out is what everyone wants. One thing I would change and I’d imagine it would be the opinion of a lot of others would be the Sunday fixtures. Saturday evening league games has to be the way forward.
4. What are your hopes for the season ahead? What is your club looking to achieve?
From a club perspective we are hoping to get into our newly constructed community hub, an unbelievable facility that we now have. The work that a lot of people within the club carried out to get this building completed has been a credit and we just can’t wait to get using it. On the field our senior team would be looking to push on from last years championship win and establish ourselves in intermediate football.