Niall Morgan explains Tyrone's kick out plans and why going long was a key part of their plan 2 months ago

Niall Morgan explains Tyrone's kick out plans and why going long was a key part of their plan

"Contrary to belief, against Kerry, I was probably striking the ball a lot better than against Mayo."

Niall Morgan has suffered his fair share of criticism in the past, but he has been the best goalkeeper in the country this season, and one of the reasons behind that has been his kick outs.

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It almost seems revolutionary now to go long, when short kick outs have become such a common and functional part of the game, but that's been a key component of Morgan's game this season.

Speaking on the GAA Hour, Colm Parkinson asked the Edendork man what the plan was for Tyrone's kick outs this season.

"We have to talk about kick outs, because you have totally justified my analysis here on the show. I have been banging on about long kick outs since the start of this year.

"I think it was the Down v Donegal game where a kick out was won, the wing-back was dispossessed and Donegal scored a goal. Now that was when a kick out was won, but a goal was conceded because of it.

"You're looking at the stats afterwards, 'well we won that,' but what good was the kick out won? Maybe you might tell us on who kind of decided on the kick out strategy, do you get a good say in it? Is it the management?

"It's very obvious that you focused on going long the majority of the times."

Morgan reveals that there was a conscious effort to change the kick outs this year, and the reasoning behind that.

"We have probably been known to be a short kick out team over the last number of years, and teams are pressing us, and pressing us hard.

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"I suppose I can kick the ball quite far, so it was more a case of getting the ball over the top of as many men as possible, like we got absolutely hammered on the short kick out against Kerry down in Killarney.

"In the semi-final we went long a lot, and contrary to belief, against Kerry, I was probably striking the ball a lot better than against Mayo, and it was just - we weren't getting the numbers to the break as quick.

"The analyst after the match tore us to shreds about the kick out malfunction, but we played the ball in Kerry's half, it was hard for them to keep pressing up, keep pressing up, whereas if we had've went short, and maybe won a kick out, but if it's turned over then next thing it's a point or a goal, and people don't really look at that side of things.

"Against Kerry we probably lost a lot of the long kick outs, but they didn't actually score that much off them, because they had to break so many of us down.

"Against Mayo it was probably the same idea, they squeezed us last year in the league game in the second half in particular, and they got a lot of joy out of it. They probably thought we would do the same again, but we worked on getting numbers around the break this time.

"We probably lost a number of kick outs against Mayo as well, but whenever you have midfielders like Con [Kilpatrick] and Brian [Kennedy] who can catch, or flick on, or whenever the communication is good, it definitely helps."

You can listen to the full discussion on the GAA Hour now!

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