Greenan anticipating tough Tyrone test

By Shaun Casey

TYRONE saw off Monaghan on their way to securing promotion to Division Two and almost exactly two months later, the Farney ladies will once again face off against the Red Hands, this time in the Ulster Intermediate semi-final.

Monaghan manager Darren Greenan is hopeful his side have come on since that meeting but it won’t be easy against a Tyrone side that made it to the Division Two final, losing out to reigning All-Ireland Intermediate champions Kildare.

“We’re a new squad, Tyrone have probably a few more miles on the clock,” said Greenan.

“Tyrone has been together a couple of years with Sean (O’Kane), so they’re slightly further down their development plan than we are. That probably showed in the league.

“We played them in round three and we were a wee bit undercooked, let’s say. But then again girls were trying to learn off each other in terms of patterns and just understanding and building up that sort of bond between them.

“It’ll be interesting – that was round three, it was early February when we played them. We’d like to think we’ve made progress, but obviously they have too. They had a great league.

“They acquitted themselves well in the final and were unfortunate on the day not to get a result. We’d not be underestimating them, they’re probably a little bit further on in their development.”

Monaghan will have home advantage for the clash and while Greenan is pleased to play the game on familiar turf, he doesn’t believe it’ll be a massive benefit to his side.

He said: “It is a bit of an advantage but it’s not massive.

“As I said to our own girls, a football field’s the same size more or less wherever you go, and you play it in the white lines.

“Anything else around that doesn’t and shouldn’t really affect things on the day.

“But I suppose probably the travel element takes a little bit of the burden off. People are travelling from their homes and they’re not sitting on the bus for an hour or so. That’s usually a bit of an advantage I think.”

Greenan has a full hand to pick from this weekend as they have no injury concerns heading into the championship.

“We’re in reasonably good shape, we’re happy in that respect,” he added.

“We’ve had about five weeks probably between league and championship, so the girls have been playing a little bit of club league football and, touch wood, they’re all coming back injury free.

“There seems to be a clean bill of health there. We carried a panel of 40 into the National League and we managed to get 37 girls game time during the league, that was really good for us.

“There’s obviously challenges around managing such a large squad, so we’ve cut it back now to 33 or 34 girls. At the moment everybody seems to be ready to go, so we’re in a good place.”

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