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Colm Cavanagh ready to be a leading man for Tyrone

By John Campbell

Colm Cavanagh is poised to assume additional responsibility as Tyrone prepare to launch their bid for what would be a fourth consecutive Dr McKenna Cup coup.

The 26-year-old midfield ace, who was Tyrone's most consistent player this year, acknowledges that the retirement of players such as Stephen O'Neill and Martin Penrose opens the door for others to share the mantle of leadership.

"Obviously when we look around the dressing room as the competitive action gets under way in January we will note that some familiar faces are missing but that means others like myself must be prepared to accept more responsibility," states Cavanagh.

"I think it represents an opportunity to show leadership and I'm looking forward to that. While 2014 has not been one of Tyrone's best years, we have to take the positives from it and move on."

And the affable Moy clubman, an accountant in the family business, has little difficulty in pinpointing what was the low point of the season just ended.

"That defeat by Armagh in the All-Ireland qualifiers was a real shock to the system," he admits.

"People just did not see it coming. It is always galling to lose to your greatest rivals but we just had to take it on the chin. Hopefully we will have learned from that."

Introduced as a substitute against Derry in the Allianz League in the very early stages of this year, Cavanagh nailed down his midfield berth for the rest of the term, earning lavish praise from manager Mickey Harte in the process.

Indeed, Cavanagh's consistency gained him the county player of the year accolade - something which gave him considerable satisfaction.

"It's always nice to win an individual honour and I was delighted with that award," smiles Cavanagh.

"But obviously in 2015 all the boys will be focusing on much bigger honours.

"We would like to win back the Ulster title and hopefully give the All-Ireland Championship a good rattle.

"But it's first things first. We will be giving the McKenna Cup competition the respect that it deserves and hopefully we can make it four triumphs on the trot."

Belfast Telegraph

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