Manager Terry Hyland plays down role in Cavan’s emergence
Fermanagh’s offence tackled by ‘natural instinct’ of honest players says boss
Fermanagh’s Brian Cox does best to tackle Eugene Keating of Cavan during the Ulster football championship quarter-final at Brewster Park. (Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho)
Quietly, unobtrusively, Terry Hyland is building a solid coaching reputation for himself. Having overseen much of Cavan’s underage progress in recent years, he has laid out a senior side that is organised and intelligent and that does more than just funnel numbers back in the hope that population size will keep the score down.
Their tackling was a particular feature yesterday and though Hyland was keen to brush off any suggestion of his role in it, they clear didn’t lick it up off the stones.
“Well, there’s an honesty factors that’s in the players,” Hyland said afterwards. “It’s a natural instinct that’s in them. It’s great to have a bunch of lads who naturally have that in them. They’re honest and willing to work at it. You must stop the opposition and then you must turn defence into offence. We do a lot of work on that, there’s no point saying we don’t. We have a lot more to do on it as well. We’re very far from the finished article.
“But you know the squad is young, they’re very willing to learn. We probably run a kind of a very open policy when it comes to discussing the way we play. We take a lot of feedback from the players and we see what they’re comfortable with. That’s the way we operate because there’s no point giving lads something to do that they’re not comfortable with.”
For Peter Canavan, this was a second championship defeat to Cavan in as many games. They made more of it this year than last year, drawing level with five minutes to go. But it was the poor start to the game that cost them.
“It was anybody’s near the end there and I was expecting our boys to kick on. I was expecting a big finish and a good finish because they have worked very hard all year. I suppose the fact that Cavan have played a match previous to this in the Championship was a big bearing.
“It was 10 weeks since our last competitive match against Meath and maybe that’s the reason for our slow start. Cavan were up to pace of Championship football and they really made it tell in the first 10, 15 minutes.
“I am bitterly disappointed. We haven’t planned or haven’t talked about the qualifiers to be honest. We thought we had a good chance of beating Cavan today and we didn’t take that chance.”