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Donnelly could help Tyrone rediscover their swagger

By John Campbell

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte is still in the process of compiling his backroom team conscious that a major all-round effort will be required if his team are to return to the glory days of the 2003-2008 period when three All-Ireland titles were won.

Donegal's emergence as a football superpower has certainly helped to focus minds within Ulster with every county now acknowledging that an entirely new process is required if success is to be obtained.

This being the case, it is hardly surprising that Peter Donnelly, who won an All-Ireland U21 medal with Tyrone a decade ago and is currently Cavan's full-time strength and conditioning coach, is still linked with a move back to the O'Neill county.

While Gavin Teague remains part of Harte's backroom steam, the acquisition of Donnelly, who has been doing excellent work in Cavan recently, would be seen as a significant coup.

Donnelly has had an input to Cavan's recent success at Under 21 level – they have won the last four provincial championships at this level – and is held in high regard by the county board there.

But there would appear to be an acknowledgement that he might be on the move.

"Obviously if any approaches were to be made that would be a matter for Peter to deal with and we will just have to wait and see what happens," says PRO Declan Woods.

"Obviously we are very happy with the progress we have been making in Cavan at Under-21 level and the hope is that this can be transferred to senior level in the near future."

Tyrone spokesman Eunan Lindsay confirms that there are "no moves yet" in relation to the appointment of Harte's backroom team but expects that it will take shape shortly.

"There is no rush," states Lindsay. "The whole focus now is on the senior championship final between Omagh and Carrickmore which is a very attractive pairing and is a match that is arousing tremendous interest throughout the county."

A number of high-profile county players will be involved in the match while several others from both teams will now have a golden opportunity to persuade Harte that they are ready for the big step-up.

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