Potter praises character of Tyrone U20s

By Niall Gartland

TALENTED young Killyclogher star Gavin Potter has praised the character in the Tyrone u-20 squad as they gear up for Sunday’s date with destiny against the Kingdom.

The dynamic half-forward is bidding to win his second All-Ireland U-20 title in three years, having been part of the team that produced a spell-binding performance against Kildare on a summer’s day in Carrick-on-Shannon in 2022.

But that was then and this was now, and a host of younger players have also stepped up to the mark when needed most throughout this year’s run to the cusp of All-Ireland glory.

Against Roscommon last weekend they reasserted themselves when rocked by the concession of two second-half goals, and that’s without mentioning their thrilling comeback victory over Derry in the Ulster final, eventually settled in a penalty shootout.

Potter commented: “This team has shown great fight throughout the campaign. Whenever we were four points down in extra-time against Derry, I remember looking at one of the lads and thinking ‘we’ve lost one’ but jeez, we kept on going and managed to come through it.

“It was the same against Roscommon, they brought it back to a point when they hit us with two goals, but we just kicked on again.

“This team has shown it can take hits and give ever bigger hits in response,” he added.

A swashbuckling player who’s also shown a willingness to track back and help out his teammates in defence, Potter says the management team led by Paul Devlin have placed their trust in him to go out and do what he does best in the bearpit of championship football.

“Paul just tells me to go out and play football, he doesn’t want me to overcomplicate it too much with me. He’s happy enough to let me go out and do my thing. It’s just great to be part of it, we’re all a band of brothers and it’s been a real journey.”

Potter is – in relative terms – one of the elder statesmen of this Tyrone u-20 team. He came on as a sub in the All-Ireland final of two years ago, and one of the starters that day was his Killyclogher teammate Michael Rafferty, now captain of the team.

“There are a few lads still involved as well as Michael, like Ruairi McHugh and Ronan Donnelly. Michael is our captain and I’d say it won’t be long before he’s captain of Killyclogher as well.

“That was a great experience for us well and hopefully we set a good example to the new lads on the squad, some of them are still in their first year but they’ve been brilliant.”

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