Cavanagh pays tribute to retired Tyrone ace O’Neill

Stephen O'Neill

Seán Cavanagh has paid tribute to the retired Stephen O’Neill.

“He is probably the most natural scorer I have ever played with. I played with (Peter) Canavan and Canavan is probably the greatest player to have ever played the game. But in terms of natural scoring instinct, especially in ’05 whenever he had a run of games for about a year and you could see his fitness building up, he was one of those guys who could win a game on his own. And he did that for us. He probably won us the All-Ireland.

“The injuries always seemed to catch up with Stevie and that is sad because we never saw his potential barring that one year. He was a fantastic player.”

Cavanagh revealed locals in Melbourne have been telling the Ireland players they will be well beaten by Australia next Saturday.

“We were down around the town for the last couple of days.

“We were chatting to a few of the Australian supporters.

“They were more or less telling us that we were in for a hiding. They were saying that they have seven captains from the AFL teams.

“We are hearing all these names of these star players and how fast they can run and how hard they can hit. It is going to be a massive challenge.

” I was out here in the ‘05 Series and the Australians wiped us. We have to compete with them. We are not going to shirk the challenge.”


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