Cumann Chat: Mickey Graham miracles, Down steel and burly full backs

Can Mickey do it again?

MICKEY Graham, the man with the midas touch, right? That’s the general idea, and he’s definitely earned all the praise that’s come his way in the last few years. Their league form was incredibly worrying, though. Relegation to Division Four definitely wasn’t in the script, whatever about the cliche that Mickey doesn’t give a hoot about the league, and injuries to the likes of Ciaran Brady have only made things tougher ahead of the championship. If Graham engineers a victory against Tyrone, it’d be right up there with his greatest achievements. It just shows how fickle some supporters are that he’s already received a fair bit of criticism from Cavan fans online in the last few weeks, but if anyone deserves another chance, even if they do go down to Tyrone, it’s the man from Cavan Gaels.


A steeliness about Down

THERE was a steeliness about the Down camp when I interviewed a few of them at Páirc Esler last week. The words coming out of their mouths was what you’d expect from an underdog ‘not here to make up the numbers’, ‘anything can happen on the day’ etc, but you got the sense that they believed it. Sometimes you can interview a player before they play a Donegal or a Tyrone and you know that they are already thinking about the Qualifiers (in pre Covid times anyway). Maybe Cavan’s win last year really did pull away a layer of invincibility. Let’s see how Down get on this weekend, I have a feeling Donegal will be pushed to the pins of their collars.

What happened to burly full backs?

DERRY’S win over Offaly saw the mighty Oak Leafers lift another title, following on from their 2019 promotion to Division Three. In last week’s issue of Gaelic Life, former Derry player and current Kilcoo coach Conleith Gilligan explained how Rory Gallagher has set up his team. He explained that Gallagher has deployed big players throughout the team, and by that I mean athletic midfielders who are comfortable being on the ball. The thinking is that players have to be able to rotate, and play in every position. It is an exciting development, but if this is the way that Derry is going then players with unorthodox builds will no longer be seen at Celtic Park. The nippy corner-forwards, and the burly full-backs, what will happen to those guys?

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