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Top table will sharpen Tyrone's attack: McGinley

By John Campbell

Enda McGinley, a triple All-Ireland winner with Tyrone, is urging Mickey Harte's men to maximise their participation in Division One of the Allianz League next year as a possible precursor to a sustained onslaught on the Sam Maguire Cup.

Errigal Ciaran clubman McGinley, a key figure when Tyrone ruled the roost in 2003, 2005 and 2008, is convinced that the experience the Red Hands are set to gain from playing teams like Dublin, Kerry, Mayo and Donegal will stand them in good stead for the Ulster and All-Ireland Championships.

And while aware of the public perception that Dublin and Kerry are likely to dominate the All-Ireland series for the foreseeable future, McGinley insists Tyrone have the armoury to press their claims for the big one.

But he acknowledges that Harte's men will need to further hone their attacking edge between now and next summer.

"I have no doubt that Mickey will want to see his attack flourish in the league. Unusually, Tyrone missed scoring chances against Mayo in their recent All-Ireland semi-final defeat and he was not too happy about that," said McGinley.

"There is no doubt that his team require an extra dimension up front if they are to become a Championship force next season and I believe the league offers a golden opportunity for that matter to be addressed.

"When you look at the Tyrone side this year, you see how players like Niall Sludden and Cathal McShane have settled in and grown in stature.

"It is also recognised that teams with viable hopes of success must have a strong bench and Mickey certainly has a number of players he can turn to like Rory Brennan, Kieran McGeary, Jonathan Munroe, Padraig McNulty and others.

"I think those players can gain maturity during the league and will become even better for the Championship."

Like everyone else in Tyrone, McGinley is hoping that Sean Cavanagh will commit to the cause for at least one more season.

"I think Sean wields a massive influence within the side. The younger players look up to him for what he has achieved while the more experienced lads see how he has moulded his career and want to follow in his footsteps," he added.

"He is a tremendous competitor and I think that Tyrone need him in there to provide inspiration and leadership."

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