UK news Niall Morgan: why I am giving back to GPA after their support in my hour of need last news

MetiNews.Com - In this golden age of the anonymous Twitter troll, the very idea of literal hate mail might seem quaint, twee almost.

UK news Niall Morgan: why I am giving back to GPA after their support in my hour of need last news

MetiNews.Com - In this golden age of the anonymous Twitter troll, the very idea of literal hate mail might seem quaint, twee almost.

UK news  Niall Morgan: why I am giving back to GPA after their support in my hour of need last news
01 August 2020 - 08:40

Breaking News ! "In this golden age of the anonymous Twitter troll, the very idea of literal hate mail might seem quaint, twee almost. That's not how it felt to Niall Morgan's mother Pauline in mid-March last year.A local postman had spotted a letter addressed to 'Niall Morgan, Edendork GAC, Co Tyrone' in the sorting office and brought it up to the Red Hand goalkeeper's mother's house. She sent him a picture of the envelope and he replied to instruct her to open it.She did so and found a letter written in red ink, warning him to "watch his back".It was a few days after he had collided with Dublin forward Paddy Andrews during a league win in Croke Park. It was an accident, and Andrews accepted that during their talk. Others felt that Morgan needed to go door to door around Dublin in sackcloth and ashes. Either way, Pauline didn't tell Niall about the contents of the letter until after the next game."The whole thing just got on top of me and I contacted the GPA to see if I could talk to somebody about it," Morgan reveals now."They put me in touch with a man called Fran, who called me that day and talked me through a few different things."He has been in touch with me ever since from time to time, just to see how things are. Just simple things like that made a huge difference to me."Dealing with the aftermath was one thing, but there was a residual stress about the future. Tyrone and Dublin meet in high-stakes games regularly and Morgan was cute enough to recognise that, at some point, a reporter's question would land on that Andrews incident.And so, the GPA provided him with some time with fellow Tyrone man, and manager of The Communications Clinic, Eoghan McDermott."I went down and met him one day and he talked me through how to approach interviews with the media, just trained me in that respect," he says. "That is one of the things that all new players could be doing with - especially county players because they usually burst onto the scene, they do well and everyone wants a piece of you."It taught me how to answer in the right way - without saying something silly, but also giving a proper answer."Which is interesting because here we have a player praising the impact of media training, while Morgan is an excellent interviewee. Has been since he burst like a comet across the 2013 National Leagues, plucked out of the Dungannon Swifts goals by Mickey Harte to stand in between the sticks and kick all the frees within 60 yards.There's been the odd bump on the road too, all of which go into making Morgan one of the more compelling figures playing Gaelic football right now.Perhaps it comes down to personality. He spreads himself right across his career, life and numerous side projects.He's a husband to Ciara and father of little five-month-old Críostaí. He teaches in Edendork Primary School, doubling up as an unofficial recruiting agent for his club. Last year, he had a significant contribution to the David White book 'Superstitionism - The Psychology of Sport'.He has commitments with Precision GK, the company that backs him. He got involved with the Healthy Kidz summer camps and in recent times has become the Edendork Youth Officer and is bursting with ideas for developing players in the club. Pre-lockdown, he had an exciting coaching clinic involving top coaches scheduled for March 28.So yeah, he's busy. And still he didn't hesitate when GPA CEO Paul Flynn asked him to join the National Executive Committee."If I couldn't put enough time into it, I wouldn't do it," he reasons."So basically the reason I took it on is that there are not enough boys I think in our area that do speak up. Aidan (Forker, the Armagh player) was stepping away, so I felt it was important to have another voice from the six counties to make sure we are still being heard."So I suppose it is just important to reflect what the players are feeling about different things. We have to get that across and the only way to get that across is to put ourselves in that position."Lockdown has tempered some of his manic commitments, but he wouldn't have been satisfied with how his teaching profession was left - and remains - swinging in the wind with a lack of leadership."I was working quite a bit.

."I was on the laptop every day sending out work. I was available all day to speak to any parents. I was doing up the answers and we did it all on a day-to-day basis. Some groups did it on a week-to-week basis and there were some schools giving out packs to last the children three or four weeks."To me, it was a little unfair on everybody. Those teachers sending out the packs to us that were doing it day-to-day, nobody knew if we were doing it right. You had parents at home who it wouldn't have suited in certain circumstances."I think it was a disaster, the whole lockdown. It didn't suit anybody."Outside of his working life, some truths dawned on him. Like many others, he cannot believe how much of his life he gives over to Gaelic football. It's a common issue that a significant number of players are wrestling with, placed on the back burner as a short season awaits. There are means of curtailing that, however, and it starts with abolishing mandatory collective weight sessions."There are nights we would have been getting up to Garvaghey and you are thinking, 'Why are we here again?' I am sure we are not the only car pulling up to a facility thinking that, or the only players in the country thinking like that. There has to be players in each county feeling like that," he says."I have my gym equipment at the house that I purchased over lockdown so I can do my gym stuff at my house, I don't need to drive 45 minutes to do a 45-minute session and drive 45 minutes home. That's a lot of time out of your evening."Players from all counties talk and, in the course of certain discussions, it has emerged that some prominent counties are conducting conditioning sessions through Zoom classes. While a crisis has prompted this innovation, few would complain if it became accepted practice."How can it help a player to be in a car six times a week driving to training?" asks Morgan."The way I looked at it, if me and (fellow Edendork players) Darren (McCurry) and Con (Kilpatrick) were doing our session in the gym here, and we pulled in four or five Edendork players, surely we are developing another few players which would help not only the club but the county as well."Surely it makes more sense to develop more players right across the county, rather than just your own county team?"Under new manager Lorcan Martin in his first year, Edendork have made a blistering start to Intermediate football, with Morgan playing out the field in wins over Tattyreagh and Naomh Eoghan. He believes that the GAA were right to close down early, but is not so sure now about reopening. Parenthood is a steep learning curve."Bringing back matches but no spectators, it sounds to me like it's okay for the players to put themselves at risk, but they don't want spectators putting themselves at risk," he points out."It's far easier for people to social distance around a pitch than it is for people on the pitch. If I am playing a match, I have no option but to get close to a player from the opposition team, whereas spectators can stand around in space."After a couple of seasons remaining involved into the depths of winter, the extent of collective Tyrone activity during lockdown has been a solitary Zoom call.Team doctor Damian O'Donnell talked the players through the Return To Play protocols. Strength and conditioning coach Jonny Davis spoke about physical conditioning and Mickey Harte said his piece."I have been very surprised. I might have thought that we would have done something, but Mickey said until we are allowed, we are not going back," he states. "I will be happy whenever we do go back. I'm happy that Mickey hasn't flouted the whole thing and he has let us have our time."I think that was important because a lot of us have been there for a lot of years and we needed a bit of a break."After all we have come through in 2020, the madness that is the arrested development of the inter-county player has to stop. With a seat at the GPA top table, Morgan has the hard-worn experience that can affect change.Keep an eye on him." , "isAccessibleForFree": "False", "hasPart": { "@type": "WebPageElement", "isAccessibleForFree": "False","cssSelector": "#flip-pay"} }

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UK news Niall Morgan: why I am giving back to GPA after their support in my hour of need last news


UK news Niall Morgan: why I am giving back to GPA after their support in my hour of need last news


UK news Niall Morgan: why I am giving back to GPA after their support in my hour of need last news


UK news Niall Morgan: why I am giving back to GPA after their support in my hour of need last news

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