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15th Apr 2023

How return of one player can fix Tyrone’s defence and catapult their season

Lee Costello


“He’s definitely a tough, tough boy and he likes the heat of battle.”

Tyrone got off to a rocky start in the National League but have went from strength to strength and the return of one player in particular can really bring them on.

Ronan McNamee missed almost all of the league campaign through injury, starting only in the final game against Armagh in Healy Park.

The 31-year-old solidified the back line, and made it difficult for the Orchard county to break them down – unlike when they played Mayo and were easily ripped apart.


To make his case even better, the roaming defender managed to score two points himself, and reminded everybody why he’s regarded as one of the best defenders in the country.

Captain Padraig Hampsey, has been shifted around this season to accommodate for McNamee’s absence, but now that the full back has returned, it’s most likely that Hampsey will pick up his man-marking role at corner back again.

Historically the Tyrone defence has always been a fortress, so the frailties at the back earlier in the season were a cause for concern.


However, the Red Hand skipper has revealed that it’s something they have been working on in training.

“Something we’ve focused on the last number of weeks is our defensive set-up, and it’s starting to improve,” said Hampsey.

“We weren’t happy with a couple of our away games, the Roscommon, Galway and Mayo games. Defensively we weren’t at our best, we knew we had to work on that. We’ve tightened up a bit but it’s still something to improve on.”


Hampsey was also full of praise for his fellow defender McNamee, and was delighted to see his return to the action.

“Ronan’s a great player, he has been for Tyrone down the years and it was great to have him back on the pitch. And he’d a great game, scoring two points from play.

“He looked like a man who had been at it all season. It’s nice to have Ronan back beside us, he’s definitely a tough, tough boy and he likes the heat of battle.”

Tyrone play Monaghan on Sunday in the quarter final of the Ulster championship at 4pm.

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