Hurling and camogie

Frustrated Casey lashes out at Tyrone board

Tyrone hurler Damian Casey

TYRONE hurler Damian Casey has launched a scathing attack on the Red Hand county board, saying they “don't give a f***” about the hurlers.

Dungannon forward Casey, who has been the star turn for the county over the last decade, yesterday tweeted about the fact that no manager has yet been appointed.

“Are @TyroneGAALive hurlers the only county team in the country who haven't got a manager, for what was supposed to be one week away from collective training resuming?? Not for the first time, we've been let down by a county board who don't give a f***!!” he said.

Speaking to The Irish News last night, Casey revealed that on top of the lack of movement over a new manager, there were a series of long-running issues with the county board that stretch back over several years.

Mattie Lennon's three-year term as manager ended last season, and with inter-county training originally due for resumption next Friday before a stay was put on earlier this week until February, Tyrone have yet to appoint a new manager.

“I know for a fact there was a good, genuine manager's name in the mix and he went until the week before Christmas, he received no correspondence from the county board of any description and he removed his name,” said Casey.

“It's not good enough. A management needs put in place, a backroom needs put in place, a squad needs picked, that manager needs to speak to players, who's available, who's not, trials – whatever the case may be.

“It's not our job but it would be a start if they even if they approached the players and asked if we knew anyone interested. There's been nothing.”

He said that the hurlers had “a struggle every single year” over being paid their expenses and the receipt of gear, both of which are entitlements under the GPA's charter agreed between players and county boards.

“Sometimes the expenses are a bit slow but you're always fighting them. Gear is always delayed or late, we're maybe rocking into a league game in the previous year's gear.

“We're not looking the land, the moon and the stars, we're just looking the bit of backing we're entitled to.”

Casey also claimed that he'd “never once” had access to a GPS tracker as a player since he first joined the panel in 2012 and that, after “weeks and weeks of asking”, then-manager Mattie Lennon was told last summer they would be made available “once the under-20 footballers were done”.

The 27-year-old, a previous captain and the leading name for the hurlers in recent years, also said the hurlers haven't been able to use the main changing room at the county's Garvaghey training base for “as long as I can remember”.

“There's a main changing room that the footballers use most of the time. In it, there's a hot and cold bath for recovery. I couldn't tell you the last time we were allowed into that main changing room.

“I know last year with Covid, you put that aside, but before that, I couldn't tell you the last time I was in there to make use of those baths. What's the reason for that?” said Casey, who pointed back to Ciaran McLaughlin's chairmanship as “a brilliant time for Tyrone hurling” and praised the efforts of the Strabane man, along with Aidan Maguire (current team liaison officer), Eunan Lindsay (former vice-chair) and Eugene McConnell (current PRO).

He also said that Lennon had quit before the National League game with Louth last year over issues with the county board, but agreed to return when a delegation of players met with the board and were given assurances that the issues would be resolved – something he claims still has not happened.

Responding originally to Casey's tweet, Tyrone chairman Michael Kerr told The Irish News that the process to find a new manager was ongoing but had been delayed by issues around Covid-19, and said someone would be in place before the official resumption of training.

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Hurling and camogie