Connor McAliskey likes to start the year as he intends to continue and he has done that very well this season, bouncing off the bench on several occasions to help Tyrone win a fifth consecutive Dr McKenna Cup.
The Clonoe O’Rahillys forward doesn’t mind not starting games as long as his opportunity to shine comes along during the action.
“Mickey Harte has to rotate his squad and give everyone a chance so I don’t mind sitting back a bit,” says the Clonoe 24 year old.
“I started one game in the McKenna Cup and went in as a sub a few times. The new boys are doing well and they have got to be given time. I enjoyed going in and helping out and getting a few score.”
Those scores were vital on Tyrone’s path to the title, once again, and surely McAliskey’s contribution to the Red Hands’ win over Cavan, in their opening NFL game, was mighty useful, too.
McAliskey had to work hard, however, to be given game time as he explains: “I was away on holidays before Christmas so the fitness dropped a bit and I had to make up for that after the break. That meant doing some work on my own, as well as, training with the panel. It all helps.
“It is great to get a trophy early in the year and winning the McKenna Cup is very important, I believe. It builds confidence and gives the team a great boost going into the National League and Championship.”
This is Connor’s second monthly award and it is obvious that the Dr McKenna Cup is his special competition. It was for his performances in that series during January 2013 that he earned the first honour.
The presentation was made at a function in Quinn’s Corner by former Fermanagh Allstar Marty McGrath, Quinn Products Area Manager. McAliskey receives an engraved Belleek Living Vase, specially-designed silver cuff links from Carlingford Design House, training gear from O’Neill’s Iand a medical kit bag from 3FiveTwo. He will also receive two tickets and overnight accommodation for the next Quinn Building Products UGAAWA Banquet.