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Dublin: 17 °C Friday 25 May, 2018

Tyrone legend Owen Mulligan rules out playing return with London as he focuses on coaching

Mulligan started a challenge game for the Exiles last weekend against Waterford.

TYRONE LEGEND OWEN Mulligan doesn’t expect to be involved with London during this year’s championship – not in a playing capacity at least.

Paddy Power Announce GAA Ambassadors 07 Former Tyrone forward Owen Mulligan was speaking at a press conference where he was announced as Paddy Power's GAA ambassador. The three time All-Ireland winner will contribute a series of exclusive columns to the Paddy Power Blog throughout the championship in which he’ll candidly discuss the key matches, tactics. Source: lorraineosullivan

The three-time All-Ireland winner is based in London and transferred to local club Fulham Irish earlier this year.

He made a brief appearance for the club’s hurlers in the London club championship last month, which made him eligible to line out for the Exiles in the upcoming Connacht quarter-final against Leitrim on 28 May.

Mulligan featured for the Exiles in a challenge game against Waterford in Dungarvan last weekend, prompting further speculation he’s in line to make his first championship appearance at this level since 2012.

But the 35-year-old Cookstown native said his playing days at the top-level are behind him. He says he featured against Waterford as the squad was depleted due to injuries.

“No I don’t think (I’ll be playing),” said Mulligan. “I was playing some club with Fulham Irish over there. I was asked to help out with the lads and that’s what I am doing at the minute, just helping out in training and stuff. It is going good, I am feeling fit.

“I helped them out in Waterford. (I’ve been playing) some club football, there were injuries, and I was asked would I play.

“I last 40 or 50 minutes. It was tough and I hadn’t played championship football in 5 years. It was a big ask. But I felt well at training when it comes to runs but matches are totally different.

“You always think there is a bit of fight in there but I didn’t have the best of games. Got on plenty of ball but the old shooting boots weren’t with me and the fella got the better of me. I think I have to hold my hands up there.”

Owen Mulligan Mulligan in action for Tyrone in 2012 Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Mulligan, an All-Star in 2005, was held scoreless by Deise defender Thomas O’Gorman as the home side ran out 1-13 to 1-9 winners.

London manager Ciaran Deely brought in the Tyrone man to help out with their forward unit, and Mulligan has one eye on getting into management down the line.

“Ciaran asked me to help them with attacking play and I enjoyed it. We met for coffee and he asked me to come into the squad, to help him out and I was honoured to be asked. I was only over in London to play club football and work.

“I enjoyed the whole buzz of the county set-up and how it works over there and I want to go into management sometime myself. All the experience helps. He is a great man, London are going well too and I helped him out in the circumstances.

“They were working on the same basics, tackling, shooting, things like that. Different managers, different set-ups, but they are all after the one thing success and if I can help them out a wee bit with my experience so be it.

“I was glad to be asked you don’t often get those opportunities to come in and be a help. I wasn’t really on for playing but I joined in the training sessions and it went well.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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