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Cathal McShane should start | "Fantastic" Canavan | Tyrone Depth Chart

Former Tyrone forward Kyle Coney feels that Cathal McShane has to be a starter for the All-Irelan...


Cathal McShane should start | "Fantastic" Canavan | Tyrone Depth Chart

Former Tyrone forward Kyle Coney feels that Cathal McShane has to be a starter for the All-Ireland Football champions this season.

McShane was used effectively as an impact sub in 2021, scoring goals from the bench in the Red Hand's wins in the All-Ireland semi-finals and final.

Coney laid out Tyrone's depth chart on OTB AM and explained the toughest choice when picking his preferred starting 15 for the 2022 campaign.

"It was leaving out Niall Sludden," Coney admitted. "He had an outstanding year last year, that was the tough call between him and Cathal McShane.

"Then I've moved about Mattie Donnelly as he's the type of player who can start at 10 but play anywhere between 10 and 15.

"We had to get Cathal McShane into the team. He contributed highly off the bench last year, he was the top scorer and Tyrone got 2-13 off the bench last year in the Championship.

"They need that freshness and that injection, I think Niall can provide that (from the bench) along with Darragh Canavan.

"Putting Mattie Donnelly out to wing forward would still give you that industrious work-rate, he can then drift into the full-forward line at times with Conor McKenna coming out as a link man."

28 August 2021; Darragh Canavan of Tyrone in action against Graham O'Sullivan of Kerry during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final match between Kerry and Tyrone at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Darragh Canavan was also an important option for Fergal Logan and Brian Dooher last year and Coney thinks he can kick on further this term.

"Darragh is a fabulous player, we've seen his cameos last year. He got injured throughout the campaign and didn't get to. play as much as he would have wanted.

"If he's not a starter by the middle of the year, I think it could materialise by the end of the year.

"There's a lot of similarities between him and Darren McCurry, they can both play inside and are kinky and can get their own scores.

"It's trying to fit all these attacking players into six positions, that's the problem Tyrone has."

In a star-packed front six, Coney opted for Donnelly in a half-forward line with Michael O'Neill and Conor Meyler while Darren McCurry and former AFL player Conor McKenna flank McShane on the inside line.



All-Ireland final starters Conn Kilpatrick and Brian Kennedy remain Coney's first-choice midfield pairing with Ben McDonnell and Paudie McNulty as their backups.

"The two lads had been replaced in every game up until the All-Ireland semi-final, but the two of them had an exceptional game in the All-Ireland final.

"We know that the two of them can get about the pitch and they're tall fellows which allows Tyrone to go long with kick outs to get past the press.

"But with Paudie McNulty coming back into the setup at 31, it would indicate that the management see him as having a big role to play this year."



There's no surprise that Niall Morgan is the first-choice goalkeeper while the All-Ireland final starting defensive unit is backed continue into this season

"Tyrone's backline last year was fabulous, the full-back line came up and kicked a point each in the All-Ireland semi-final.

"Rory Brennan could see quite a bit of game time. He didn't get as much time on the pitch as he would have hoped last year.

"And Peter Tague has had an excellent campaign for his club and can provide competition to Ronan McNamee at full-back."



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