McNulty: Players should aim for the stars

By Barry O’Donnell

FUTURE appearances at Croke Park in the county jersey are a realistic ambition for members of his successful All-Ireland winning Schools squad, according to Omagh CBS manager Diarmaid McNulty.

Basking in the glow of the Brothers superb Hogan Cup final showing against Summerhill College of Sligo on St Patrick’s Day, the Gortin man was upbeat about the playing career path which could lie ahead for his young charges.

Asked about the prospects of his players donning the white jersey of Tyrone with distinction back in Croker at some period down the line, McNulty stated that he wouldn’t be surprised if several made the step up to senior inter-county level.

“If they apply themselves as they have done for us, then there could be many of them.

“They have the attributes, so if they can get in they can definitely make an impact. They are a great group of boys. I hope they can go to represent Tyrone with pride.”

Clinching the All-Ireland crown for only the second time in the history of Omagh CBS capped a wonderful debut season in the managerial role for McNulty, who was ably assisted by Pat McNabb and Ciaran McBride.

While he was understandably keen to direct all of the credit onto the playing staff, after their 6-16 to 3-8 destruction of the Sligo boys in the decider, McNulty acknowledged that it was also hugely satisfying from a personal perspective too.

“When I got the job I was over the moon because it’s a job I have always wanted.

“Now to do this on top of it is definitely special. I am delighted for the boys of course but obviously it has a positive impact on myself as well.

“When you are a father of a child of three months it puts life in perspective and underlines that days like this are really special. You should cherish every single one of them.”

And reflecting back on the campaign as a whole, McNulty admitted that the team were able to cast off any inhibitions and produce some scintillating performances once they escaped from the claustrophobic environment which is Ulster schools football.

“The St Colman’s and Carrickmacross matches were real dogfights,” he said.

“The beauty about Ulster is that everybody is in each other’s pockets and there are no real secrets because we are all so familiar with each other.

“They have all played development squads against each other and challenge matches so the boys know each other inside out. They also play each other in competitions at school from first year up.

“That is why it is so hard to win the MacRory Cup. Once we got out of Ulster we started to play with such pace in our last two games.

“Any team would have struggled against us.”

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