Monaghan Senior Footballers have their opening game in the 2011 Championship on Sunday,
June 5th at 3.30pm in Healy Park, Omagh against the home team, Tyrone, under referee
Joe McQuillan. Tyrone are defending champions and defeated Monaghan in the Ulster
final last year but failed to carry through to All-Ireland. They have had various
problems to contend with over the Winter, not least the murder of Michaela Harte,
but they have shown in the league that they are going to make a determined effort
to win Ulster and All-Ireland in 2011 though that spark was not consistent. However
Championship is a different game. Eamonn McEneaney begins his effort with Monaghan
and has a second bite at the cherry but is it too early to expect his team to go
all the way? He has lost a number of the top players like Tommy Freeman, Gary McQuaid
and Rory Woods but the new blood has been making an impression but may lack the experience.
It is a tough start for them and McEneaney but maybe that challenge will bring out
the best in them. What an upset that would be - to defeat Tyrone in their home ground
in the first round!!!
PRO, Siobhan McQuillan, organised a Press Night on Friday, May 27th, when Journalists
and photographers were given one hour in which to get their interviews and pictures
and then asked to leave the panel alone until after the Tyrone game. This seems to
work well and allows the panel to concentrate on their preparation without journalists
turning up at all sorts of time and place looking for answers to their questions.
Watching the players who were there and the manager during the Press Night there
was a calm determination and no sense of being second best and they have the confidence
to pull it off.