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McCann makes his mark against Derry

Conal McCann was star performer for Tyrone

CONFIDENCE was the key to unlocking the unrivalled display produced by Conall McCann as he led by example from midfield to spearhead Tyrone’s emphatic victory over their old rivals from Derry.

It was the latest highlight in a whole series of magic moments for the Killyclogher player. A county title with his club was followed by a central role with St Mary’s in winning the Sigerson Cup.

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But the task of reaching his potential at county level was the one outstanding aim until yesterday at Celtic Park. The 22-year-old’s determination to make his mark was clear and he was understandably delighted with how things progressed in the 0-22 to 0-11 victory.

“Things probably couldn’t have gone better for me today. There was only one shot that I had which I was disappointed with, but all in all I’m happy with my performance,” he said.

“It’s important to get off on the front foot in your debut. Thankfully Colm (Cavanagh) won the ball and thankfully I was able to get on the ball from early. There were a few nerves beforehand, but it’s not a hard team to come into with all the experienced players.

“We had a couple of in-house games last weekend and the weekend before. A few players are just basically saying to Mickey Harte that they want to play and I was one of those. I’m thankful that he showed his faith in playing me because this is a seriously competitive squad.

“Even in midfield, I’m competing against four other players. Thankfully, I got that chance and it’s my jersey to lose now. Coming off the back of a good club season and the Sigerson, I have that confidence now where I’m not happy sitting on the bench and I just want to show people that I’m good enough to play at this level.

“That chance has come now, but this is just one match. We’ll have plenty more this year and the hope for me will be to show Mickey (Harte) the talents that I have.”

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