A little piece of history was created on Saturday when Johnny Lafferty took to the field for Tyrone’s Qualifier with Roscommon.
The 25-year old was given the nod to line-out at full-forward at Dr Hyde Park and in so doing joined colourful characters from Urney’s past like Seamus ‘Congo’ O’Kane, Hugh Kelly, Joe Harper and Sylveter Kirk in representing the Red Hands in the Senior Championship.
Lafferty has had to bide his time patiently on the sidelines over the last few months, hoping to catch the eye of Micky Harte and his backroom team. Naturally he therefore savoured the run-out at the weekend, even if Tyrone as a whole laboured for much of the first period to shake off their stubborn hosts.
“It was enjoyable alright, the second half much more than the first. It opened up and there was a lot more football played by us. It was nice to get the spot and to contribute in some way to the victory.
“When you’re involved and there is 35 boys going for fifteen places you know you have to be patient and bide your time. It’s a matter of working hard and keeping the head down and if the chance does come you have to try and take it.”
Speaking ahead of the draw which pitched Tyrone in with Kerry in the next round, Lafferty felt that if the side came through the Qualifiers unscathed they would be in pole position to push for honours.
“We’ll be kept busy I know but I see it as a positive, although some say that so many games can eventually catch up with you. We have no time to dwell on the Roscommon game, it’s a matter of getting back out at training and preparing for next Saturday.”