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Published: 10:10 | 15/4/16

Cavanagh drops retirement hint

Tyrone star made inter-county debut in 2002

Sean Cavanagh says he may call time on his 14-year Tyrone inter-county career at the end of the season.

Cavanagh is Tyrone's longest-serving player, winning three All-Irelands and four Ulster titles since making his debut in 2002.

The Moy native was expected to announce his retirement following Tyrone's All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Kerry in August 2015, but decided to play on for another year.

Now, the 33-year-old admits that the strains of inter-county football are beginning to take their toll.

"I'd say there's a fair chance [of me retiring] there's no point in me saying any different," he told the Irish News.

"I'm 33 now and like anything in life, the injuries start niggling at you a wee bit.

"I'm lucky enough at the moment that I'm in pretty good shape, but it just gets tougher, it gets tougher every year for the time commitment and the injuries and everything to do with it.

"You always think about these things in the off-season, but I'd say there's a fair chance it will be."

2008 Footballer of the Year Cavanagh says he probably would have retired at the end of last season if Tyrone had beaten Kerry and gone on to win the Sam Maguire.

"I'm long enough in the game now to know there's no such thing as fairytale endings," he continued.

"To be honest, I'd say if we had have made it to the [All-Ireland] final last year and if we had have won it, I think I would have been happy to walk away.

"There is always that wee bit in you, and I think it happens every sportsperson that you'll always want that bit more, but I've been around long enough to know that you shouldn't overstay your welcome either.

"It does get more difficult to put out the same energy as what you had done in years gone past. But at the moment, I'm still living the dream, I'm still loving playing football for Tyrone."

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