Dooher feared the worst as injuries took their toll
Brian Dooher has admitted there were times when he doubted whether he would make it back for a 15th season with Tyrone.
The double All-Ireland winning skipper, who will soon turn 35, spent the winter fighting injury, and rehabilitation ruled him out of the league. But dedication and an almost super-human determination ensured he returned to lead the Red Hands out for the Ulster championship opener against Antrim.
And as he prepares to take a remarkable career a step further this weekend when the provincial champions take on Down, Dooher is just grateful to be part of the squad.
"You always have doubts," said the Clan na nGael man, who paid tribute to the medics within the Tyrone camp who helped him through the difficult times, the darker days when injury threatened to win the battle.
"We have a very good medical team here and they did a lot of work for me, and thankfully it has turned out all right."
Old friends he has trained and played with for more than a decade also made it difficult for him to walk away, convincing Dooher he must give it at least one more shot.
"I'm lucky to be part of a good bunch of lads here. You want to play football with them. If you didn't enjoy it, you wouldn't be there. That's first and foremost the reason," he said.