Tyrone manager Mickey Harte may be forced to introduce fresh blood into his side rather sooner than had been anticipated following two retirements and two long-term injury set-backs.
Ryan Mellon, who has collected three All-Ireland medals, has called time on his inter-county career while Colm McCullagh has defected from the Red Hands citing ‘family and business reasons’.
Mellon played at midfield and in the half forward division although his appearances in more recent times had been restricted, while Dromore clubman McCullagh had been expected to play a bigger role for the Ulster champions this year.
As well as losing this duo, Harte must plan for the early part of 2011 without experienced goalkeeper John Devine, who has sustained a serious shoulder injury in training, and veteran corner back Conor Gourlay who yet again seen his career disrupted, this time because of a knee injury.
Gourlay has coached the St. Patrick’ s Academy, Dungannon side to success in the colleges’ sphere but has been unable to sustain his own inter-county career.