Monday 24 April 2017

Cavanagh signals changing of guard for Tyrone

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Sean Cavanagh expects a significant changing of the guard in Tyrone over the next few months, with a number of retirements anticipated.

Cavanagh said he knows "for sure" that a number of their players have committed to ending their inter-county careers now that the season is over.

Speculation will inevitably fall on team captain Brian Dooher, who is 36 and has been playing for Tyrone since 1996.

Philip Jordan retired briefly earlier in the season and he, too, may decide to hang up his boots, while Enda McGinley is another who looks set to bow out.

Ryan McMenamin didn't feature in the first 20 on Saturday night and that may precipitate his departure.

Cavanagh acknowledged that change was inevitable but doesn't see it as an end of an era.

"I know for sure a few guys have said that this is their last year," he said. "There is going to be a slight change of the guard there.

"But that does not mean the end of Tyrone football. There's an awful lot of good young players sitting on that bench itching to get a chance to play football at the highest level.

"I don't think this is the end of Tyrone. As hard as it is to take a defeat like this, there still is the basis of a good team there."

Cavanagh admitted that Dublin's pace and power was too much for Tyrone. He also acknowledged that the Dubs' system of play was far superior.

"We were expecting more from ourselves, but the energy, the pace and the power of Dublin just blew us away. You have to bow down to that whenever you are beaten by a team that is far superior to you on the day.

"There is no easy way to lose but it is probably the best way to lose. Dublin beat us in all sectors of the field and their energy and their system of play was far superior to ours," added Cavanagh, who now expects Kerry and Dublin to contest the All-Ireland final on September 18.

Irish Independent

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