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Dick Clerkin's and Sean Cavangh's persistence is simply awesome

By Declan Bogue

Published 02/11/2016

County farewell: Dick Clerkin has retired
County farewell: Dick Clerkin has retired

Mickey Harte is often fond of using a particular quote from George Zalucki, a personal development trainer, for the benefit of his Tyrone players.

"Persistence is awesome, it is absolutely awesome - it is this that takes an average performer of average ability and moulds him into a champion," it goes.

At 35 years of age, Monaghan's Dick Clerkin has retired from inter-county action, vacating his position as the longest-serving player and handing that mantle to Fermanagh's Ryan McCluskey. If following his father, Hugo, into the engine room of the Monaghan midfield was a natural sequence of events, the grim determination with which Clerkin stuck to the task was anything but.

He made his debut as a schoolboy, playing Championship football at full-forward and tagging along in his uniform with a bagful of books the next day.

But the years pass fast in football and by the age of 32 he had become the type of impact sub that new manager Malachy O'Rourke required to close out games, and Monaghan won their first Ulster Championship since 1988.

The following year he played some of the best football of his career, including a sterling performance in the Ulster semi-final replay against Armagh. In 2015, he won his second Ulster title.

On Twitter yesterday, another veteran made a revelation about his future. Sean Cavanagh, a recent convert to the social media forum, posted up his intention to give it 'one for the road'.

The Moy man has achieved everything you can in the game. If he was to stand in the Hogan Stand steps on the third Sunday of September once again, it would be his fourth time.

Cavanagh has also captained a victorious Ireland team in the International Rules series. But still, he hungers for more and believes Mickey Harte can deliver it.

Yes indeed. Persistence is awesome.

Belfast Telegraph

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