Tyrone squad gets facelift

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte looks set to give youth its chance, if his provisional panel for the Gaelic Life Dr McKenna Cup is anything to go by.

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte looks set to give youth its chance, if his provisional panel for the Gaelic Life Dr McKenna Cup is anything to go by.

More than half of the 31 players selected are newcomers to the Red Hands' senior set-up. Harte has gone for a mix of club talents, combined with graduates of Tyrone's successful minor and U21 outfits, and the tried and tested.

After a disappointing 2006 season, Tyrone are sure to be under the microscope this term and the management have left no stone unturned in their search for the perfect panel.

In total, there are 17 players who are either new to the squad or are returning from prolonged absences.

Errigal Ciarán centre half-back Paul Quinn, who was recently crowned Tyrone Club Player of the Year, is back. He made his inter-county debut during last year's McKenna Cup campaign.

Cookstown clubman Paul McGurk, a regular squad member until he sustained a serious leg injury in 2002, is another to return, as is Ardboe attacker Tommy McGuigan, a younger brother of Brian, who is bravely fighting his way back from a broken leg.

From the pool of underage talent, Harte has promoted Sean Cavanagh's younger brother Colm, among others, and there are three players called up without any previous inter-county experience: Christopher Colhoun from Pomeroy, Donaghmore's Damien McCaul and Declan Treanor from Dungannon.

There is good news for Red Hand followers in the fact that a number of their injured stars, including Brian McGuigan, are set to return to the fray. Team captain Brian Dooher, Conor Gormley, Collie Holmes and Ciarán Gourley are close to making their comebacks.

Key defender Philip Jordan is due back from travelling the world and John Devine and Colm McCullagh are making good recoveries from short-term knocks.

Harte's charges take on Queen's University in their McKenna Cup opener in Omagh this Sunday (throw-in 2pm).

TYRONE SQUAD: D Carlin (Killyclogher), C Colhoun (Pomeroy), C Donnelly (Clonoe), N Gormley (Trillick), D Harte (Errigal Ciarán), Kelvin Hughes (Donaghmore), Kevin Hughes (Killeeshil), P Marlow (Eskra), R Mellon (Moy), M Murphy (Galbally), O Mulligan (Cookstown), A McCarron (Fintona), C McCarron (Omagh), D McCaul (Donaghmore), P McConnell (Newtownstewart), C McCrory (Galbally), D McDermott (Errigal Ciarán), S Cavanagh (Moy), C Cavanagh (Moy), B Boggs (Owen Roes), M McGee (Loughmacrory), C McGinley (Errigal Ciarán), E McGinley (Errigal Ciarán), T McGuigan (Ardboe), P McGurk (Cookstown), R McMenamin (Dromore), S O'Neill (Clan na nGael), M Penrose (Aghyaran), P Quinn (Errigal Ciarán), P Rouse (Brackaville), D Treanor (Dungannon).

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