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Meyler throws in his lot with St Mary's but keeps Tyrone in focus

By John Campbell

Conor Meyler has already laid down a marker that he is keen to be part of the Tyrone set-up again through his industrious performances against Louth and Armagh in the O'Fiaich Cup.

But the Omagh St Enda's player will now step aside from the Red Hands squad to assist St Mary's University College in the Dr McKenna Cup conscious that competition for places in Mickey Harte's starting line-up for 2017 will be fiercer than ever.

A raft of experienced players have yet to don the county jersey for a variety of reasons thus affording newcomers to stake their claim for regular recognition in the side, but even though he will distance himself from the Red Hands squad for the next month or so, Meyler will be very keen to remain in Harte's thinking.

St Mary's are bracketed with Antrim, Fermanagh and Monaghan in Section B of the McKenna Cup and Meyler, who along with Niall Sludden proved a welcome breath of fresh air in the Tyrone side this year, believes that the quality of their opponents will bring out the best in the students' side.

"These matches against county teams will help to set us up for the Sigerson Cup, but for me, when you try to focus on too many things it ends up as a juggling act so I'm just looking at the McKenna Cup for now," states Meyler.

"This is the one we must focus on and not look too far down the line. We hope to set out our stall for it and see what we can achieve. Whatever comes after that will mean that we must re-focus again."

Meyler's work-rate, his ability to track back and help his defence and his clever distribution made him a key cog in the Tyrone line-up this year.

He is no stranger to adversity, though, and is hoping to enjoy a clean bill of health for the foreseeable future.

"I had a couple of hamstring problems over the past year or so and getting games under my belt is very important," says Meyler.

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