Devine remains on Red Hand duty

John Devine has confirmed he has not left the Tyrone squad.

The treble All-Ireland winning goalkeeper was reported to have been among the players omitted by manager Mickey Harte, but Devine insists he remains part of the Red Hand set-up.

“I’m still involved this year and I’m looking forward to it. I never officially departed. It was good to get a wee bit of time after the club season finished, it went on a bit longer than normal,” he said.

The Errigal Ciaran man admitted to some uncertainty over his future in recent weeks, but a spell of reflection since the end of an extended club season has left him in no doubt about his commitment to the cause.

“After the Errigal season finished, I probably hadn’t given the Tyrone year much thought, and I probably wasn’t as ready to commit as quickly as some players. It just took a couple of weeks for injuries to settle down, just to take a wee bit of time to myself, to chat things through and find out what was best for me.

“But I knew I still had something to offer Tyrone, and if I was selected and the offer was made for me to be in the panel, I would take it up.

“This will be my 12th season, and it’s an honour to be involved, and you have to appreciate it when you’re playing with your county.

“When you’re still fit to play and still fit to offer something, it’s good to be there.” With the exception of Owen Mulligan, who is preparing for an All-Ireland IFC semi-final with Cookstown next month, and whose inter-county future remains uncertain, it appears no concessions will be made to players who wish to take time out at the start of the season.

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