Cavanagh: I can't wait to catch up with Harte

Cavanagh: I can't wait to catch up with Harte

Ireland International Rules captain Sean Cavanagh believes his Tyrone manager Mickey Harte will be secretly delighted following Ireland's series success over Australia - this despite Harte having major reservations about the hybrid game.

"I'm looking forward to meeting Mickey now," Cavanagh said after the game.

"To be honest I would challenge anyone to say that International Rules is a sport of thuggery - that was what was said before we came out here.

"Mickey Harte said 'make sure you come home fit and healthy, so as long as nothing happens to me over the next six days!'."

He added: "I would say Mickey had a sneaky eye on the game today and is proud of the four Tyrone lads that we are taking the Cormac McAnallen Cup home."

And the 2008 Footballer of the Year, just like Ireland manager Sean Boylan, was keen to stress than in the euphoria of victory it was also important to remember the late Cormac McAnallen and his family at this time.

"It (this win) probably hasn't really hit me yet but any time I go out to play any sort of football match I think of Cormac, he's a friend and a hero at the same time," Cavanagh added.

"I got cards before I travelled out here from his family, getting all the well wishes from people within the Eglish club saying 'do it for Cormac'.

"Maybe it created a bit of pressure on me and that I got a bit emotional.

"Fair enough, I'm from Tyrone but there are other guys like Graham Canty, whom I'm rooming with, who were big friends of Cormac.

"It was instilled in this squad's mentality and you have to give it to all the guys who stood up and did Cormac proud tonight."

Cavanagh also hailed the input of Boylan and his backroom team in ensuring that this Ireland squad were well prepared for the series.

"Before the first game in Perth, I said that no stone was unturned in the preparations of this team, it was well documented with the likes of Mike McGurn coming in.

"To be honest it's up there as one of the biggest achievements I have ever had.

"I was so proud out there tonight to have guys like Sean (Boylan) and the 'Bomber' (Eoin Liston) and Anthony Tohill, Hugh Kenny...all of these guys.

"They were in it to win it, we weren't here to compete. To be able to work with these guys is something special for me and we have all pulled through in the end."

And Cavanagh also praised the Australian players for their positive input into both Tests, which saw the series pass off without any repeat of the violent incidents which had marred the 2006 series and threatened to end the hybrid game altogether.

"The Australians are very patriotic. They weren't going to lie down and be humiliated on their home turf, and they weren't.

"They came out in that third quarter and went for goals and played fantastic football.

"The level of sportsmanship that they showed before and after the game to us, everyone of them wished us all the best when we were speaking to them.

"They were looking forward to coming back to Ireland next year. As I said whenever this game is being played the way it was played out there tonight, to me it's up with the best games in the planet."

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