Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Sean Cavanagh looks forward again

Sean Cavanagh is pressurised by Mayo’s Aidan Higgins (left) and Keith Higgins during this year’s qualifiers

Sean Cavanagh has already two All Ireland medals in his locker. The Moy clubman, though, is fiercely determined to make it a treble - and may yet do so in what for him is a comparatively a new role.

Cavanagh has been cutting a dash at full-forward for Tyrone of late, although against Mayo in the third round of the Qualifiers he was brought out to his more familiar midfield berth in the second-half to shackle the westerners’ increasing dominance there.

He is expected to wear the No 14 shirt again on Sunday - and that will surely be a source of worry for Dublin.

The Leinster champions’ manager Paul Caffrey is expected to give the nod to Ross McConnell to return at full-back and the task of policing Cavanagh will be the biggest the player has faced since coming into the side.

Even though Dublin have tucked away their fourth Leinster title on the bounce, there are still certain misgivings about aspects of their defence.

And their full-back line is deemed vulnerable, with McConnell in particular still striving to convince the management and supporters that he can become a regular incumbent in the position.

Cavanagh’s finishing has been explosive of late - this, too, despite the fact that his season looked to have been brought to a premature end when he was stretchered off in Tyrone’s second qualifier tie against Westmeath at Omagh.

But he bounced back a week later against Mayo, apparently none the worse for what had initially looked like a serious tumble. His younger brother Colm has not quite been so fortunate, though. He is still recovering from a broken collar-bone sustained in that game.

On Saturday, Cavanagh snr will be at the heart of Tyrone’s attacking strategy - and that’s something he relishes.

“It’s always great to get the chance to play in Croke Park, especially against the Dubs. These are the kind of matches that really test you and we are certainly up for battle.

“We know that if we play to our potential and give little away, we will be in with a big chance,” says Cavanagh.

The opportunity of further improving his scoring ratio does not have anything like the appeal of victory as far as he is concerned.

“As long as we win, that’s the main thing. Kerry, Cork and Wexford are still in there as well as Dublin and ourselves so it’s all to play for,”add Cavanagh.

Tyrone are the last Ulster team standing in the race for ‘Sam’ - and Cavanagh is particularly keen that they should do the province proud.

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