Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

GAA legend Canavan facing a new ball game

Peter Canavan

Few gaelic footballers can match Peter Canavan’s impressive list of achievements as a player.

The Red Hands legend, one of the most decorated competitors of his generation, has long since carved out his own special place in the annals of GAA history.

But right now the Cookstown schoolteacher has his sights set on a new sporting goal.

He is hoping to bring the Tyrone senior championship title back to Errigal Ciaran, the club which he served so magnificently as a player, in his current role as manager.

Canavan will take his baptism in the championship sphere on Saturday when Errigal Ciaran face Donaghmore at O’Neill Park, Dungannon (5.45) and is looking forward to the challenge.

“Obviously managers at all levels are generally judged on what they achieve or don’t achieve in the championship. It’s a new ball game for me but I’m looking forward to the challenge. We have a decent mix of young and experienced players and we’re hoping that we will do well,” says Canavan.

Errigal Ciaran have just received a new sponsorship boost, there is a palpable air of anticipation within the club and the team’s followers will be out in force on Saturday.

But the wily Canavan, whose feet never left the ground during his success-laden playing career, knows that all this guarantees precisely nothing.

“It’s what the players themselves do when the whistle blows on Saturday, that’s what it all comes down to,” observes Canavan, “The competition for the Tyrone title will be intense, you can be sure of that.”

Canavan captured six Tyrone championship medals during his club playing career and now fronts up to what he sees as a formidable challenge in his managerial role.

Enda McGinley provides a solid core of experience in the Errigal midfield and his battle with the emerging Niall McKenna, a Donaghmore pillar and son of former Tyrone player and manager Eugene McKenna, should have a big bearing on the outcome of the game.

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