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Sean Cavanagh, Gaelic Writers Association Awards Football Personality winner in 2017.
Sean Cavanagh, Gaelic Writers Association Awards Football Personality winner in 2017.

Sweet Moy success for Cavanagh


By Cian O'Connell

Sean Cavanagh might be stepping away from the inter-county stage, but it still has been a busy couple of months.

Moy claimed their first Tyrone Intermediate Football Championship title since 1982.

The win was a particularly sweet success for the Cavanagh family. "It was special," Cavanagh admits.  "We had not won it since 1982 when my father was playing. We had been to a couple of finals since and lost. 

"I played in the one in 2008 and we lost another one in 1998. I played 18/19 years, I started out when I was 15 with the seniors so I have seen a lot of Championship defeats and I thought it was never going to come. 

"It worked out well and we just got over the line. It made all the more special to have dad there, Colm with his recent arrival and my wife, who is due again shortly, and kids. 

"It was a lovely family moment at the end and we had great craic in the clubroom afterwards."

Cavanagh acknowledges that due to the hectic club schedule he hasn't had too much time or space to reflect on his retirement from inter-county duty. "The grieving process has probably not had a chance to set in because of the club," Cavanagh says. 

"When I finished up against Dublin I knew it was over so I was able to go back to the club and go and enjoy myself.

"It was nice to go back playing with a smile, and to be back in among friends, having the craic at training and I have not really had the time to take in that the high pressurised environment I was involved in for so long is now gone.

"It is great be giving back something to a club that has been so good to me over so many years and that has given me so many great frjends, You just feel free again, you feel you have a licence to go and play for fun again with a smile on your face and that is what I  have been doing for the past couple of weeks.

"The county thing will only hit me when I see Colm and the lads heading back to Garvaghey to go training and I am sitting back with a new-born baby at that time. I have been lucky enough to have had an incredible innings with Tyrone and at this moment I am just fully immersed in club life."

Sean Cavanagh retired from Tyrone duty in August.
Sean Cavanagh retired from Tyrone duty in August.

Winning silverware with Moy brings pleasure to Cavanagh. "I am really enjoying it because it was something that I did not want to retire from football without winning something with the club," he adds.

"I did not believe that it would come so quickly and that I would have had to hang on for another couple of years which I will do anyway, but it is a great relief to have won something with the club."

Moy now enter the Ulster Intermediate Club Championship. Perahps one more Croke Park appearance could be made in the Moy jersey?; "Of course that would be special," Cavanagh acknowledges.

"I would be more delighted if it happened for the guys who have soldiered so long with me.

"There are a few guys who have been there for 17/18 years trying to win a championship with Moy so if that happened it would be incredible. We are playing Carrickmacross in a couple of weeks and that game will have special significance because it will be the first time that we have ever represented Moy outside of Tyrone.

"It is a proud time to be from the Moy and it is probably perfect timing from my perspective that I have just walked away from something that I was involved in for such a long time and I am now able to put my energy into my club which I have loved even longer."

In the future Cavanagh hopes to embark on a coaching career too. "At some stage I probably will get that urge," Cavanagh says.

"I never want to be disconnected from the game and I am going to be involved playing the game at club level for the next few years but possibly after that I may be able to get involved in some managerial aspect.

"I have a tendency to overthink things so if I ever did go into such a role it would want to be the right time from my family perspective.

"I would say no in the short-term, but in a few years’ time it is something that I would have to consider. I will spend a few years with Moy before that happens to try to catch-up on the time I missed out."

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