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Tyrone look to Canavan for boost in U-21 title bid

By John Campbell

The appointment of Peter Canavan to the Tyrone U21 management team is seen as a significant step in a concerted drive to bring the Ulster U21 championship trophy back to the county.

Under the baton of Mickey Harte, Tyrone were the dominant force in the competition in the period 2000-2004 claiming four Ulster crowns and two All-Ireland titles and in the process exuding an invincible aura.

They won the provincial honour again in 2006 but since then Cavan have made a dramatic surge to the top, annexing the last four Ulster honours.

The inclusion of the legendary Canavan, who has been managing the Cavan Gaels club of late, brings an extra layer of experience to an already solid backroom set-up.

Tyrone U21 manager Fergal Logan is assisted by former Tyrone All-Ireland winning captain Brian Dooher and as Canavan links up with his former Red Hands colleagues he is about to embrace another challenge having managed Fermanagh before handing over to Peter McGrath.

Cavan's dominance in the Ulster Under 21 series has been such that they have already been installed as favourites again.

With a raft of players still expected to come through at Under 21 level from the minor side that has been managed of late by effervescent Aghaloo clubman Mickey Donnelly, the feeling is that the raw material is there to construct a team that can perhaps manage to finally haul Tyrone out of the U21 wilderness.

But with several other counties in addition to Cavan including Donegal and Derry in particular having already fixed their sights on dethroning the Breffni county, Tyrone's bid to end their nine-year provincial U21 title famine will require considerable commitment and the kind of self-belief that has been absent from the side in recent years.

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