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Cavanagh in hunt to take Tyrone armband

By John Campbell

Sean Cavanagh is finding himself eased into pole position to become the new captain of Tyrone.



Over the course of the past decade just three skippers, the late Cormac McAnallen, the legendary Peter Canavan and the just-retired Brian Dooher, have led the O’Neill county.

Now as manager Mickey Harte and his backroom team prepare to take in the senior football championship semi-finals this week-end, speculation is mounting as to just who will replace Dooher as leader on the field of play.

Cavanagh, who has just been named as one of this year’s Allstar nominees, would appear to be the short-odds candidate given his experience in the side, the fact that he led Ireland to success in the 2008 International Rules series in Australia and the dynamic influence which he already wields within the side.

But Cavanagh is the first to admit that whoever replaces Dooher has a hard act to follow.

“Brian Dooher led by superb example — the man did not know what the pain barrier was,” points out Cavanagh. “He never gave less than 100% effort and would not have asked any player to do something that he would not have done himself. He was a one-off and will certainly be difficult to replace.”

Cavanagh, who himself is currently recovering from injury, is among a platoon of seasoned players who will be back in the Tyrone squad next year the others being Conor Gormley, Eoin Mulligan, Enda McGinley, the McMahon brothers Justin and Joe, Stephen O’Neill and Davy Harte.

But decisions on the future involvement of Brian McGuigan, Ryan McMenamin, Philip Jordan and Kevin Hughes are still awaited, the experienced quartet currently reflecting on their futures.

McMenamin will give his decision when Dromore’s club championship run ends while Jordan may defer the call until later in the year.

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