BY CHRIS MCNULTY
FOUR Masters have turned to former Tyrone player Ciaran ‘Dinky’ McBride in a bid to revive their fortunes.
The Donegal town side have lost their opening three games and their 2014 squad has been decimated – but hopes are high that McBride can give the kiss of life.
McBride, who played for Tyrone between 1991 and 2001, lining out in the 1995 All-Ireland final, won’t be on the line for this Sunday’s game against Dungloe, but will be at the helm from then on.
Having met with club chairman Eamonn Gorrell and vice-chairman Paddy Muldoon, McBride was ratified at a club meeting on Wednesday night.
“Hopefully Ciaran will give us a lift – we have met him and I have to say he’s an inspirational man,” Gorrell said.
“We have been really impressed by him. He’ll take a lot of people with him. He is taking overall charge of the senior team and we’ll hope that he can take us forward.
“His record speaks for itself. He will inspire us, I have no doubt about that. I have never come across a man as enthusiastic. We have a lot of young players coming through in the club and we wanted someone in to develop those players, to push them on.”
An Omagh native now based in Carrickmore, McBride was a dual player, who played both hurling and football for the Red Hands. The winner of All-Ireland Under-21 titles in 1991 and ‘92, he also collected three Ulster SFC medals with the O’Neill county and most recently sat as a member of the Football Review Committee (FRC).
A coach with Carrickmore at underage level, he works as Head of PE and Sport at Omagh CBS – and his big coaching success was in 2007 when he led the ‘Brothers’ to Hogan Cup glory.
McBride has a big job on his hands at Tir Chonaill Park. All-Star goalkeeper Paul Durcan has transferred to Ballyboden St Enda’s, while Luke Keaney – a member of the 2014 Donegal senior squad – recently moved to America, Raymie McGroary is in Syria with the Irish Army, Brian Egan has also transferred, John Boyle is lining up a move to America and Jamie McCrea is currently unavailable as he sits his accountancy exams.
Gorrell said: “We haven’t just lost a lot of players – but we’ve lost a lot of big players from our senior squad. It’s been difficult, but hopefully we can get a lift again.”
The club’s hierarchy consulted with senior players like four-time All-Star winner Karl Lacey and former Donegal players Barry Monaghan, Barry Dunnion and Michael Doherty, with Lacey a key link in the chain.
Gorrell said: “Karl was the main contact between the club and Ciaran. Karl deserves a lot of credit for it. He really showed us how much the club meant to him because he’s put a lot of work in and it’s a great credit to Karl.”
Next up is a meeting with Ulster rivals Monaghan in Clones on Sunday afternoon, throw-in 2pm, with games against...