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Rory Kavanagh gears up for a return to Donegal duty

By Declan Bogue

Published 12/01/2016

Comeback: Donegal can call on Rory Kavanagh
Comeback: Donegal can call on Rory Kavanagh

Donegal boss Rory Gallagher has been handed a timely boost ahead of the National League with the news that Rory Kavanagh is coming out of retirement for the 2016 season.

There had been much speculation about the St Eunan's man over the winter and it is believed that Gallagher visited him personally to convince him to reverse his decision to retire at the end of the 2014 campaign, after Donegal were beaten by Kerry in the All-Ireland final.

At 33-years-old, Kavanagh's form at club level last year was still sufficiently impressive to show he has something to offer at county level, where he can still prove to be a real danger in midfield.

It also brings back the question of Gallagher's attitude towards the more experienced players on the Donegal panel. According to Jim McGuinness' autobiography, Gallagher was pushing for an overhaul of the panel in the wake of a defeat to Mayo in the 2013 All-Ireland quarter-final, with the veterans to be cut adrift.

Gallagher then responded to the contrary, and has since kept on the 30-somethings in the Donegal panel such as Karl Lacey, Eamonn McGee, Neil Gallagher and Colm McFadden.

Kavanagh's return has been a familiar theme in Ulster this winter. In Down, Benny Coulter has decided to give it another go under new manager Eamonn Burns.

Seanie Johnston made a return to the Cavan colours in their Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup clash against UUJ on Saturday night, coming on as a substitute.

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