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Harte in radical Tyrone squad change

ENTERING his 11th year as Tyrone manager, Mickey Harte has embarked on his most radical squad overhaul with ten or more players - including a handful of household names - set to be excluded for the 2013 season.

It has been widely reported that All-Ireland veterans such as Brian McGuigan, Davy Harte and goalkeeper John Devine are among those who won't be involved in the New Year.

There is also speculation that Owen Mulligan, the mercurial forward who broke Dublin hearts back in 2005, will be omitted. However, his status is less clearcut as he continues preparations for Cookstown's Ulster intermediate final on Sunday.

Speaking ahead of that game, Mulligan said: "I haven't been talking to Mickey at all. I'm just going to wait until Cookstown is finished and see what the story is then. I'm sure Mickey will be looking for me to make a phone call very soon. Maybe after Sunday. We'll see."

Apart from Devine, McGuigan and Harte, reports suggest the Red Hand 'cull' will also include Seán O'Neill, Damien McCaul, Stephen McNally, Aidan Cassidy, Niall McKenna, Peter Hughes and Ciarán Gervin. Suggestions that defender Cathal McCarron is on the way out could be wide of the mark.

The new squad will convene tonight, but it remains unclear if this is just for the McKenna Cup or the National League as well. Harte has not commented publicly ahead of that meeting.