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'Absolute nonsense' - McGeary denies Tyrone training session before league defeat to Kerry

It had been claimed by former Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice that Tyrone had trained on the morning of their 6-16 to 1-13 defeat.

Tyrone's Kieran McGeary.
Tyrone's Kieran McGeary.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Updated Sep 1st 2021, 6:30 AM

AT THE TYRONE pre-All-Ireland final press night, Kieran McGeary – man of the match in Saturday’s semi-final win over Kerry – denied that the Tyrone team had a gym and running session on the morning of their league loss to Kerry in Killarney.

It had been claimed by former Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice that Tyrone had trained on the morning of their 6-16 to 1-13 defeat to the Kingdom, but the Pomeroy man scotched that version of events.  

“Ah, this is absolute nonsense. It’s not true,” McGeary stated.

“We were in Killarney National Park. But I would say I have done more walking up around here than we did in Killarney National Park that day.

“It’s absolutely not (true). I was just thinking when I was watching a few Kerry people walking by, ‘I guarantee somebody will say we were training here.’

“So that’s obviously where that has come from, but no. We did not do a gym session.”

Meanwhile, joint-manager Feargal Logan stated they would not be revisiting the circumstances around the spread of Covid in the Tyrone panel prior to and after the Ulster final that caused a two week delay to their semi-final against Kerry.

County board Chairman Michael Kerr welcomed the press to the Garvaghey complex yesterday evening, and then Logan took over, outlining their policy.  

“You will understand that we’re looking at a very important day on Saturday week, a very important footballing day for Tyrone generally and all of ourselves. So in the circumstances, feel free to ask whatever you want to ask,” he explained.  

“If it strays beyond football and it enters arenas of Covid or vaccinations, we don’t feel it’s appropriate. We don’t mean any disrespect or ill-will if we say to you ‘Listen, have you a football question please?’ That’s the way we’ll be dealing with it. There’s a time and a place.

“It’s a very serious issue, what’s happening around our own county at the moment. So we don’t think it’s appropriate to be batting it about. We’re happy to answer all your football questions. There will be a time and a place, if there’s further enquiry needed, we’ve absolutely no difficulty. But tonight is a good football night for everyone so we look forward to it.”

When asked later about the privacy of players who had suffered the effects of Covid, he added, “Well, that takes us into another debate. In any event, whatever about any other debate in the privacy of the squad we would just honour our position. We’ll review it all and see where it lands us but be assured that there were several players that we just felt were not right.”

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After Taoiseach Micheál Martin suggested that outdoor events could take place with 75% attendances from September 6th, providing proof of vaccination is provided, Logan broadly welcomed the move.

“Well, Listen, as a player you would like to play in front of the biggest crowds you can play in front of because the atmosphere on Saturday was very good and that would be added to with more people there.

“On a very practical level it would ease a bit of difficulty around this county in the next few weeks on pure tickets but those are things that are way beyond our control and whether number of thousand, we were appreciative and glad that there was 24,000 in last weekend and it added to the occasion.

“And, of course, in an All-Ireland final you would like to be there with 82,000 but whatever happens we will just have to deal with it. I am sure everyone involved in it will deal with it sensibly and as best as possible in all the circumstances of a public health emergency we are dealing with.”

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