McNamee happy to be on home soil

TYRONE star Ronan McNamee swapped the county jersey for the green and gold of Aghyaran following their early exit from the All-Ireland race, but he doesn’t blame his county colleagues who are spending the summer in the United States.

Conor Meyler and Michael McKernan are among those on the other side of the Atlantic at present, while McNamee spent last Friday evening in Newtownstewart assisting his club to a one-point victory against Naomh Eoghan. Jealous though? Not a bit of it.

“Look I went in 2014 and I wouldn’t blame any man, it’s an unbelievable opportunity and in reality it’s like a holiday. God knows if I’d the offers this year myself I could have been away but I have other responsibilities at home at the minute.”

“Anyone that gets the chance I would be telling them to take it, it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“You meet a lot of good people, in Ireland you could be looking through a small lens but over there you meet a lot of people, exiles who have been away for years who have worked hard there.

“They love to see the players and you’d be surprised to see the players you could run into there”

While McNamee is enjoying his club football, he isn’t sure that the split-season is working exactly as it should.

In particular, questions have been asked about the necessity of condensing the intercounty schedule into a 15-week calendar and some would prefer a return to a traditional September slot for the All-Ireland finals.

“The intent is right but maybe we’re not there just yet. It’s a good idea, there just needs to be a few tweaks over the next couple of years to get it right. That said, it’s great to get back to the club.

“It’s brilliant playing for Tyrone but it’s nice to be back in the club circle too.”

Aghyaran, who sit in fifth position in Division Two, kept the show on the road last weekend with a narrow win over Naomh Eoghan.

McNamee scored a point and his overall contribution over the hour was stellar.

The win came at an opportune moment as there’s a double round of fixtures this weekend wherein they take on Beragh on Friday night followed by Kildress on Sunday afternoon.

“There’s never much between us. We were pressed throughout and they did have their chances but we are happy to get over the line.

“They like to try to grind out a result at home against us, as we would if the roles were reversed. Thankfully in the last five minutes or so we were able to hold out so we’re grateful for the two points.”

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