Stephen O'Neill on Jack O'Connor's biggest concern preparing for Tyrone 5 months ago

Stephen O'Neill on Jack O'Connor's biggest concern preparing for Tyrone

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"I think Kerry is under a lot of pressure."


Stephen O'Neill reflects on the quarter final draw between Kerry and Tyrone, and reveals what Jack O'Connor's biggest concern will be when preparing for the Ulster side.

O'Neill is a legendary figure in Tyrone, and played in those famous battles throughout the noughties, so he knows better than most what's needed to conquer The Kingdom.

The Red Hand county were struggling throughout the league and early part of the championship, but last week they finally seemed to kick into gear against Donegal.

Darragh Canavan and Darren McCurry kicked five points each, while Mattie Donnelly scored three from play himself, underlining just how dangerous this forward line can be.


Stephen O'Neil

Throw in Ruairi's contribution of a goal and point from play, and suddenly the firepower looks more impressive than it has in a long time.

Kerry however, are the All-Ireland champions for a reason and any team that has David Clifford on it, will always be the favourites such is the level of the player.

Speaking exclusively on the latest episode of the GAA Hour, O'Neill analyses this weekend's monstrous match up.


"I'm excited, looking forward to the game this weekend, especially now that Tyrone are starting to show a bit of form, that makes them feared, and I think it's going to be a massive, massive game," said O'Neill.

"It's do or die now, and after the round robin games, the weekend's action was so exciting in all of the games that I watched and Tyrone and Kerry has turned into one of those big rivalries, and I'm sure the hole country is looking forward to seeing the match on Saturday or Sunday.

"I'm sure Kerry will have a lot to prove and I'm sure they will be under pressure because of the game two years ago because Tyrone caught them in the semi-final.


"I think Kerry is under a lot of pressure, they go in as All-Ireland champions , and they have a lot to lose. I feel like Tyrone are coming in off a lot of criticism last year, and even this year.

"I feel that they are starting to show a lot of form, some of their key men are starting to get into the kind of form that made them All-Ireland champions a few years back, so I just feel that it has all of the ingredients available to be an amazing festival of football.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing the likes of David Clifford and Sean O'Shea up against the likes of Darragh Canavan, Darren McCurry - you have some of the best forwards and best defenders on show on both sides.

When asked about the Canavan brothers, and if there were any similarities to their father, Peter, the former Tyrone star was full of praise of his old teammate's sons.

"You definitely see similarities, the three Canavan's aren't blessed with height, but they're blessed with everything else - the pace, the power, the talent.

"I think Darragh got a point one time in the first half where he was running, slowed down, and then went again, and left Jamie Brennan, someone who is very quick just sitting, and then he tapped it over the bar.

Stephen O'Neill

"Tyrone are blessed to have that kind of fire over along with Darren McCurry. and Mattie Donnelly playing some brilliant football again this year.


"It asks a lot of questions of the opposition defence, and I'm sure that Jack O'Connor, Paddy Tally and the boys down in Kerry will definitely be concerned about having the back up to deal with all that."

Listen to Stephen O'Neill in studio, as he chats to the two lads about last weekend's action, his incredible county career, and all of the latest talking points on the GAA Hour.


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