Neutral mediators were this morning attempting to repair the damage caused by an internal rift over the sock/stockings issue which has blighted the Tyrone senior county squad since the start of the year. Tempers were said to have exceeded boiling point last night when nine players turned up to training allegedly wearing the new sock/stockings imported from a warehouse in Bangladesh. Calling themselves ‘The Nylon Nine’, spokesperson Cathal McCarron is adamant they will not back down on this:
“Yousins don’t know what it’s like. We’re running about a field in the depths of winter with a t-shirt, shorts and rolled up socks whilst yousins all sit with your coats and hats on, drinking team and all. In Casement last week I couldn’t feel my legs half way through the warm-up. They won’t let us wear tracksuit bottoms or hats but there’s nothing in the rulebook about these new stockings from Bangladesh. I’ve been wearing them to training at Dromore for a couple of years now and even Ricey eventually bought into them. He calls them suspenders but on the box it says socks/stockings. It’s time Mickey and the backroom lads moved with the times. Tony Donnelly has been wearing long-johns since I joined the panel. It’s one rule for them and none for us. We’ll be wearing them in Armagh this Sunday. Mark my words.”
Harte has set in place contingency plans this weekend to counteract the possibility of the Nylon Nine turning up kitted out in their new attire for the Fermanagh game. A backroom member, who wished to remain anonymous, told us:
“Holy ghost lads, they’re suspenders. SUSPENDERS! Can you imagine the goading they’ll be getting from them Fermanagh lads who spend their entire lives walking about in the rain wearing Frankie Goes To Hollywood or TheA-Team t-shirts without a complaint. We’ll be laughed out of Armagh. There’ll be some noise coming out of our changing room tomorrow if they go ahead with the threat. You’ll hear the slaps. There’s a rake of lads from Urney and Dregish who’ll take their places.”
Fermanagh manager Peter Canavan has refused to comment but an Erne insider claims the former Tyrone captain nearly wet himself thinking about it this morning.