McMenamin retires from inter-county football

Veteran Tyrone defender Ryan McMenamin has announced his retirement from inter-county football, having informed manager Mickey Harte of his decision on Monday night.

Veteran Tyrone defender Ryan McMenamin has announced his retirement from inter-county football, having informed manager Mickey Harte of his decision on Monday night.

McMenamin, who enjoyed a 13-year run with the Red Hands, leaves the top level of the game as a three-time All-Ireland winner.

Explaining his decision to quit, the 2005 All-Star told the Irish Times: "I thought about it for a long time, but I had sort of given myself a manly word last year, that 2012 would do me.

"So the time has come and I think it's the right time for me to move on.

"After playing 13 years, you kind of think you could still play on, but I want to be fit to continue to play for (my club) Dromore and give them 100% whilst I still can."

'Ricey' captained Tyrone during the 2006 season in the injury-enforced absence of Brian Dooher, and was a cornerstone of the county's defensive line - first at corner back and then as a hard-edged half-back.

Asked about his All-Ireland haul, he admitted: "Yes, three All-Ireland medals is nice but at the end of the day, you look back and you would be kind of tinged with regret that we didn't win more.

"We were definitely unlucky in years with injuries and different setbacks, but I suppose when I look back three All-Ireland medals is a nice reward."

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Gavin Devlin will come on board as the Tyrone team trainer for the 2013 campaign. Devlin was centre back on Harte's maiden All-Ireland winning side of 2003.

Elsewhere, Cork goalkeeper Alan Quirke will miss the bulk of next year's league campaign.

The 36-year-old, All-Ireland winning stopper will be on peacekeeping duty in the Lebannon and will not be back until April.

Ken O'Halloran, David Lordan and Sean Mellet are expected to battle for the number one spot.

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