HomeFootballNiall Morgan to return for Tyrone in 2025

Niall Morgan to return for Tyrone in 2025

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Niall Morgan has guaranteed to return with Tyrone in 2025 and ruled out any more attempts at landing an NFL contract.

The 32-year-old goalkeeper ranked the 2024 season as his best yet in a Tyrone jersey, though it was another disappointing campaign for the group overall following an All-Ireland preliminary quarter-final exit.

Morgan described it as another season ‘not wasted, but left behind I suppose’, acknowledging that they have had ‘three difficult years’ since collecting the Sam Maguire Cup in 2021.

But supporters will be heartened to hear that he fully intends on returning to the county set-up again for a 13th year.

“Absolutely, yeah,” said Morgan when asked if he’ll keep going.

“I have no notion of retiring yet. Goalkeepers seem to be able to go on a bit longer. It is tough and it’s a lot of commitment, I have a wife and two kids.

“Christy is now starting to play football for Edendork, so I’m not one of the U6 coaches! I actually get tasked with the U5s, which is even more difficult.

“I don’t want to miss out on it because only for my Dad being there and pushing me on, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am now so I have to consider them as well.”

Morgan attended an NFL international combine in England after the 2023 inter-county season. Down’s Charlie Smyth was there too and eventually earned a lucrative contract in the US. Morgan said that there won’t be any second attempts to play in the NFL.

“I went to Birmingham in October and performed really well,” said Morgan, a primary school principal.

“I was probably in the top two selections over there. But I had a bad day in Dublin and it just knocked me out of the top five and I didn’t get across to America.

“The door is closed now. I tried it, I’m glad I tried it and I have no regrets in terms of trying it but I’m content now with where I’m at with the job and all in school, everything seems to be going well in that regard. I think I’m more content this year than last year.”

Morgan lamented Tyrone’s inability to string a number of wins together in the period since winning the All-Ireland.

They did knock Donegal out of last year’s Championship though, beating a struggling Tír Chonaill by 1-18 to 0-13 in an All-Ireland preliminary quarter-final.

A year on, Donegal look a rejuvenated team under Jim McGuinness, have won Division Two and Ulster titles and will face Galway in Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final. Morgan puts the turnaround down to the influence of McGuinness.

“The belief that Jimmy McGuinness brings to them, it’s huge,” said Morgan.

“From the minute he was appointed, Donegal were winning things again. Surely, he’s not that good!

“It has shown that no matter what he says, they do. We went in at half-time against them in Celtic Park and thought that we were pushing ahead in the game but he just seemed to find an answer to the facets that the game opens up to.

“It must be unbelievable to be in a changing room with him and I just think Donegal have bought into it. To him, it doesn’t matter who you are.

“He’s not afraid to call you out. You can hear him shouting at different players and telling them what to do and I think that’s massively important as well.”

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