Why Owen Mulligan joining the Tyrone u20 coaching staff is great news for the county 3 weeks ago

Why Owen Mulligan joining the Tyrone u20 coaching staff is great news for the county

"Entertainment and social manager."

Owen Mulligan first and foremost, is a legend for the Red Hand county. Three All-Irelands, All-Star, and beautiful memories of some of the best dummies, goals and points, displayed by a forward.

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Off the field, he has a reputation of being a bit rogue, and enjoying himself, sometimes at the expense of Mickey Harte's well-tested patience.

Bottom line though, is that he is a winner, and even though his perceived personality doesn't fit the look of a strict, stern manager, coaches need to have a variety of personalities in order to succeed.

Speaking on the GAA Hour, Colm Parkinson points out some of the social media reactions to the "Blonde Bombshell's" return to the county set up.

"Mugsy, Owen Mulligan has gone in with the Tyrone u20s, so a big appointment for the Tyrone u20s. 

"I saw somebody on Twitter, I had to laugh at it, he said ‘What’s he coming in as, the entertainment and social manager?’"

27 August 2005; Owen Mulligan, Tyrone, shoots past Stephen Cluxton in the Dublin goal to score his side's second goal. Bank of Ireland All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final Replay, Dublin v Tyrone, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Ray McManus / SPORTSFI LE

I joined Wooly on the show, and weighed in on the discussion.

"This could be the first time ever that the players put a drinking ban on the management team," I joked.

"I remember reading Mulligan’s book, and he talked about how hard it was for him in 2013 when he didn’t get back into the panel, how he didn’t get the call from Mickey to join, and how he really struggled with his identity, because he seen himself like: ‘I am a Tyrone player, that’s what I am, that’s what I do.’ 

"He really loves Tyrone, he loves playing for his county, football was everything to him - is everything to him. 

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"You look at it even pragmatically, he’s got three All-Irelands, an All-Star, he was Man of the Match in that 2005 final, he scored maybe the best goal ever in Croke Park history, like how could he not be invaluable to young players coming through?

"Obviously he has this reputation, he’s a bit of a joker, he has the craic, but maybe that’s what they need.

"If you have a really stern manager, he could be that approachable coach, you could go to him with your problems and stuff, and it’s a nice blend, I reckon it’s a good move for Tyrone. 

"You can’t really go wrong bringing in someone with that level of success into the background team."

Wooly expanded on the idea of coaching teams needing a member who can be a bit more involved and hands-on with the players.

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"Yeah, kind of legendary status that u20s would just look at Mugsy and think ‘Oh my God, it’s Owen Mulligan.’  

"I do agree with you, the management team needs one of those fellas who almost acts like a captain, in that he’s very friendly with the players, and he’s on that side.

"He will drink with the players, I don’t think any manager should really be drinking too much with the players, I think there should be a separation there with management teams at inter-county level. 

"Obviously get on well, but there comes a point at 11 o’clock, the manager needs to tip on now. 

"I think there needs to be a kind of respect for the manager that he isn’t really in that craic, whereas Mugsy could be bringing him back the stories. 

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"He’s your inside man."

Listen to the full discussion on the GAA Hour now.