GAA Football

Darren McCurry among experienced trio back in Tyrone frame as Mickey Harte considers options

Free-scoring forward Darren McCurry, who opted off the Tyrone panel back in March, is among those who have attended recent trial sessions with the Red Hands. Picture by Philip Walsh
Neil Loughran

SOME old ‘new’ faces could be set for a return to the Tyrone fold after experienced forwards Darren McCurry, Kyle Coney and Shay McGuigan were among those who attended recent trial sessions.

With the Dr McKenna Cup getting under way at the end of December, its earliest start yet, Red Hands boss Mickey Harte is continuing to assess the talent within the county before pulling together a panel for the pre-season competition.

Edendork ace McCurry opted off the Tyrone panel back in March, and missed the county’s run to the All-Ireland final, which ended in defeat to Jim Gavin’s all-conquering Dublin side.

After starting six of the Red Hands’ seven National League games in 2017, McCurry was taken off at half-time in the final day collapse in Kerry and subsequently failed to regain his place in the starting line-up.

He didn’t start any of their five Championship games that summer, and his only start in this year’s League was in the opening day defeat against Galway.

At the time, McCurry cited work commitments and the difficulty in attending training as the reason behind his decision to opt out.

“We have a lot of work in north Antrim at the moment and I was finding it difficult to train three or four nights a week,” he said.

“That is the level of commitment that you have to give to county football and I feel that I’m not in the position to do that at the moment. I will concentrate with the club for the season ahead and I will review my situation after that.”

Kyle Coney, who hasn't featured for Tyrone since January 2015, was in impressive form for Ardboe as they reached the last four of the county championship. Picture by Seamus Loughran

Coney, meanwhile, hasn’t featured for Tyrone since January 2015 but his impressive form with Ardboe sees him back in the frame.

Now 28, Coney – who plays around midfield for his club - was seen as a star in the making when he helped the Red Hands to an All-Ireland minor title in 2008, and this could be an opportunity to reignite his county career.

Club-mate McGuigan was also a central figure as Ardboe reached the semi-final of this year’s Tyrone championship, where they lost out to Killyclogher.

He finished up as top scorer in the championship with 3-11, while McCurry registered 0-19 during Edendork’s run to the last four.

Shay McGuigan. pictured centre battling for possession, was the top scorer in the Tyrone championship

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