GAA Football

Tyrone U20 stars will make senior step when ready: Devlin

Paul Devlin's Tyrone U20s swept to All-Ireland success with victory over Kildare in Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Neil Loughran in Carrick-on-Shannon

Eirgrid All-Ireland U20 Football Championship final: Tyrone 1-20 Kildare 1-14

ALL-IRELAND winning manager Paul Devlin believes “plenty of lads” from all-conquering Tyrone U20 team are capable of making the step up to senior level – when the time is right.

Forward ace Ruairi Canavan delivered another stunning performance in Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday, grabbing 1-7 as the Red Hands saw off Kildare to claim the crown.

And there is already talk that he could be drafted in by Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher as they look towards the start of the All-Ireland qualifiers following Tyrone’s Ulster Championship exit to Derry.

The senior management team were at Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada on Saturday, and Canavan won’t have been the only one to catch their eye, with captain Niall Devlin and midfield powerhouse Michael McGleenan among those putting the cap on impressive campaigns.

Devlin, though, sounded a note of caution as the celebrations got under way after Tyrone added the All-Ireland U20 title to the senior crown secured last September.

“There’s plenty of lads can step it up, but we have to be mindful here in Tyrone – I’m sure Feargal and Brian don’t need me telling them what’s what... there’s a time in getting them through and working with them,” said the Moortown man.

“Eight of that team that started are underage again next year, of the lads that came on as subs two of them are underage as well – Gavin Potter and Fionnbharr Taggart – so there’s a great blend we have. We’re developing lads too for that next stage as well.”

But, having lost previous All-Ireland U20 semi-finals to Cork in 2019 and Dublin two years ago, Saturday was a special day for Devlin.

“The lads have worked very hard, they’ve put a shift in today and you can ask no more from them. Today you got the full flow of them lads, they way they want to play football.”

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