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Cavanagh believes 'something different' required to topple Dublin


PwC All Star footballer Colm Cavanagh of Tyrone pictured with five year old Dylan O'Kane at a coaching session with juveniles from Philadelphia GAA clubs. 
PwC All Star footballer Colm Cavanagh of Tyrone pictured with five year old Dylan O'Kane at a coaching session with juveniles from Philadelphia GAA clubs. 

By John Harrington

Colm Cavanagh believes opposition teams are going to have to do ‘something different’ if they’re to stop Dublin’s drive for five All-Ireland SFC titles in a row in 2019.

Cavanagh’s Tyrone team really put it up to Dublin in the first 15 minutes of this year’s All-Ireland Final but were then dispatched ruthlessly when Jim Gavin’s team moved up through the gears.

The nature of that defeat has convinced Cavanagh that Dublin are still well out in front of their chasing pack.

“It’s hard,” said Cavanagh, who is currently part of the PwC All-Stars tour to Philadelphia.

“If you break the game down and where we were, we started really well and Dean Rock missed a few frees which he wouldn’t normally have missed.

“Everyone was thinking this is our day and whatnot. I think we probably lacked a bit of experience and our decision-making and game management just wasn’t good at 5-1 or whatever we were at. Dublin, they haven’t done what they’ve done for no reason.

“Obviously they’ve been in them positions before where they’ve been behind and they’ve been able to call on that experience there to actually bring themselves back into a game and not panic.

“It’d be very easy for Dublin to start taking rash shots and start forcing things and they didn’t do that. Ultimately the couple of goals killed us.

“Looking after the game…it’s very, very hard to see. Dublin are still out in front. Everyone’s in the chasing pack behind and I’d be totally honest about that.

“If any team has any ambitions of catching Dublin at the minute, we’re going to have to do something different, we’re going to have to adapt somehow to try and stop them because there’s not too many teams that look like beating them at the minute but a new season brings new hopes and styles and everything will change.

“You look at where we went wrong last year, a bit like any team will do. Where did you go wrong last year, especially in that final against Dublin because obviously they’re the benchmark at the minute and they’ll try and change it up again and I’m sure Mickey will be looking to bring in a few lads I’d imagine this year.

“There’s a lot of good lads coming through the Tyrone club scene and hopefully that will shake things up a wee bit.”

Colm Cavanagh pictured with his 2018 PwC Football All-Star.
Colm Cavanagh pictured with his 2018 PwC Football All-Star.

One component part of his team that Mickey Harte surely won’t have any plans of changing is Cavanagh’s role of sweeper.

The Moy man has now won two PwC All-Stars in row thanks to his defensive excellence in a shielding role in front of the Tyrone full-back line.

“I sort of found a wee bit of a decent role in that sort of sweeper type thing,” said Cavanagh.

“That might change, who knows. I don’t know how that’s going to go next year, it may evolve, it may change.

“But yeah, the last number of years I’ve been happy playing and I feel I’ve been playing good football and sort of taking on more of a leadership role on the pitch.

“Who knows how next year is going to go, there are a lot of young lads coming in. You only have to look at the likes of Dublin and that, you have the boys who have won their All-Irelands and their other awards but they are sitting on the bench.

“So I’m fully aware that I have to do more work than probably the rest of the lads to keep myself geared up for next year because I’m that wee bit older and that bit less time probably during the season for extra work like students and teachers and whatnot.”

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