Irish Daily Mail

I DID NOT ENJOY 2008 FINAL WIN – CAVANAGH

- By MICHEAL CLIFFORD

TYRONE football legend Seán Cavanagh has revealed that he was so critical of his own performanc­es during his career that he unable to enjoy his greatest game.

Cavanagh has admitted in a TG4 Laochra Gael documentar­y to be broadcast next week, that despite sealing his third All-Ireland win with a manof-the-match performanc­e against Kerry in the 2008 Sam Maguire Cup decider, he went to bed early over his disappoint­ment at spurning a goal chance in the game.

‘I was that annoyed with my own individual performanc­es in ’03 and ’05 in the finals that I just saw it as another chance to almost redeem myself,’ admits Cavanagh.

‘It just worked, it just clicked, every ball I kicked seemed to fly over the bar at a ridiculous pace.

‘It just was one of those days I could do no wrong, the less I seemed to put effort into things the more things seemed to happen.

‘But as brilliant a day that was I found a chink in it all, whereby I felt I had let myself down by not going for goal when I had the chance to score that goal in the All-Ireland final, to be like Peter Canavan in ’05, to be like Paudge Quinn in 1986, Seamus Darby for Offaly.

‘I went to bed early that night in CityWest, lying listening to the cars on the N7. I remember looking at my phone, it might have been half three in the morning and I had been in bed from maybe 11 or 12, but I just couldn’t sleep because all I could think of was “why did you not go for goal?”.’

And Cavanagh, who retired in 2017, also admitted he was ‘hurt’ by a claim made by Mickey Harte in his autobiogra­phy that his failure to start in the 2009 semifinal against Cork was because he could not handle the pressure.

‘It was hurtful, he said the ghost writer had written that and it wasn’t him. He apologised for it. I suppose that was difficult for me to accept given the fact it was his book.’

 ?? SPORTSFILE ?? Red Hand regret: Seán Cavanagh felt he should have netted in the ’08 final
SPORTSFILE Red Hand regret: Seán Cavanagh felt he should have netted in the ’08 final

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