Tyrone’s new management duo tonight extended a hand of invitation to the stars of a memorable club championship to come and join them on an exciting journey.
Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher made it clear that they want to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to make the Red Hands the game’s number one force once again.
Dooher, who captained two All-Ireland winning teams, said he’s sure that a squad already brimming with talent can be improved.
“I can definitely say that the door is open to everybody. It’s an open door policy that we have here, and if anybody on the club scene is good enough (they will be considered)," he said.
“I think this year’s Tyrone Championship was a revelation. Everybody stood up and watched Tyrone football, so I’m sure there’s players out there, and hopefully we’ll be in a position to give those players an opportunity to wear a Tyrone jersey in upcoming years.”
The men who have succeeded treble All-Ireland winning manager Mickey Harte were unveiled at a press briefing at Garvaghey, and Logan paid tribute to the contribution of the man who spent the previous 18 years in the role.
“Mickey has been a brilliant servant of Tyrone football, and he was steadfast at his post,” he said.
“And I hope that Brian and myself can be as steadfast in manning the position now. Tyrone football is up there, we all know that.
“Every man that came into his backroom team, every supporter that pushed this thing up the hill to the summit, we have the highest of respect for everyone who put their shoulder to the wheels.
“What we know and are comforted by is that the clubs are at work, they’re coaching young lads, we have people working on the ground every day, so that’s the privileged position that we’re in, that we get them almost as a finished product.
“But it also brings with it a responsibility, and we don’t underestimate that responsibility.
“But every player, every supporter involved with Mickey over a long number of years, and every club person, who has put their shoulder to this Tyrone wheel, all we are asking is that everybody puts their shoulder to it again.
“That helps push us on and we all get where we want to be.”
Logan managed the Tyrone U21 team that won the All-Ireland title in 2015, with Dooher as part of his backroom team, and it was no accident that the pair have reunited to further pursue their management ambitions.
“When you play together, you rise and fall together, so when you manage together, why wouldn’t you rise and fall together.
“Ultimately, even around clubs at the minute, is a collective. In Stewartstown Harps, we put in a wee collective bunch last year to try and go at it together.
“I ended up getting a text one day to tell me I was the banisteoir.
“Once you’re in the group, it goes from top to bottom, and there’s limited if any hierarchy, so I don’t see it as any issue once we get going.
“It’s exciting for us. Hopefully it brings excitement in our clubs and a wee bit of pride.
“But really, as we all know, you really just want to get on the pitch and get at it, but we might want to study a few regulations before all that kicks in, but we hope to move on quickly and soon.”
They have All-Ireland winners Collie Holmes and Joe McMahon in the mix as well, along with the returning strength and conditioning coach Peter Donnelly, who returns to the set-up after a year with Monaghan.
“Nowadays it’s a fairly big job, inter-county management, and there’s a lot of different pieces of the jigsaw need fitted together,” said Dooher.
And he admitted that past Tyrone successes have created an air of expectation and placed pressures on the new regime.
“There is pressure, and it is a challenge, but it’s an opportunity as well.
“I think whenever we were playing, what Mickey did for us, he gave us the opportunity and the platform to be the best that we could be.
“That worked out in those three years, 2003, ’05 and ‘8, and that was because of the structures and everything else that Mickey and the county board put in place.
“And now that’s up to us to put the structures in place again so that our players can develop to their full potential.
“Who knows what’s out there in front of us, but that’s all we can do, do the best we can, and see where that takes us.
“There is pressure on, there are expectations, but it’s a challenge, it’s an opportunity.”