All-Star nominated Tyrone defender Tiernan McCann has admitted he’s ‘sorry’ about his infamous dive during the 2015 Championship.
The powerful wing-back dropped dramatically to the ground after his hair was lightly touched by Monaghan’s Darren Hughes in their All-Ireland quarter-final tie, prompting Hughes’ dismissal.
McCann was retrospectively banned for eight-weeks though successfully appealed and played in the semi-finals against Kerry.
The Killyclogher man has gone on to enjoy strong form for Tyrone and was among their standout players in last year’s campaign, adding an important attacking dimension to his play.
He reckons that Tyrone supporters and football fans generally now realise that he’s an honest player who simply made a mistake in 2015.
“I’d like to think that I’ve gone on since then and shown people that I was sorry for it and that I’ve learnt from it and that I’ve tried to play my best football and tried to be as honest as I can since then,” said McCann.
The Dublin-based pharmacist revealed that the wave of criticism which flowed his way bothered him initially.
“It did at the time,” he continued. “But you have to get over it.
“I just concentrated on my football and that’s genuinely what I did. I tried not to worry too much about it because I couldn’t change it.
“Just control the controllables. Like, how hard can I work? I can control that.
“How disciplined can I be over a year? I can control that. So I concentrated more on those things than worrying what people thought or that I was perceived as this or something else.”
Pundits were highly critical of McCann at the time and he agreed with the suggestion that such analysis can have an impact on a player’s personal and professional life, and that commentators should choose their words carefully.
McCann said: “At the end of the day, we’re amateur players.
“We’re not Luis Suarez or some of these fellas getting 200 grand a week.
“It’s not our professional job — but it can impact on our personal lives.
“That’s their job as pundits, they have to go out and analyse games and call it as they see it.
“They’re being asked most of the time straight after the event whereas maybe if they had a chance to sit and reflect on it, they wouldn’t be as personal.”
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