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Byline: orla bannon

DOUBLE All-Ireland winner Joe McMahon is among six players to have left the Tyrone squad ahead of the start of the Allianz league campaign.

Manager Mickey Harte has dramatically culled his squad in the wake of Saturday night's McKenna Cup win, with fitness issues and time constraints conspiring against McMahon and Dermot Carlin, But both may return for the Championship.

However Kyle Coney, Mark Donnelly, Plunkett Kane and Kevin Gallagher are gone for the year.

There was some confusion last night as to whether Coney, who was substituted at half time in Saturday night's McKenna Cup final against Cavan, has quit the squad or been axed.

It's understood Mark Donnelly, Plunkett Kane and Kevin Gallagher were informed by the Tyrone manager on Monday night that their services will not be required this season.

"The panel is reviewed as always afer the McKenna Cup and we now have a trimmed down panel for the league," said Tyrone spokesman Eunan Lindsay.

Aside from the withdrawal of McMahon, who is expected to return, the departure of Coney, 24, is the biggest surprise.

Injuries and a lack of consistency have prevented him from building on a promising underage career when he starred in Tyrone's 2008 All-Ireland minor winning team.

It's not known if his annoyance at being taken off at half time in Saturday night's McKenna Cup final win over Cavan is a factor in his departure.

Faced with a four-point half-time deficit, Harte made a triple substitution, taking off Coney, Kane and Joe McMahon, who was off the pace in what was his first appearance of the season having missed pre-season training.

All three players are now gone, while the absence of Carlin means that Sean Cavanagh is now the only surviving player from the historic first All-Ireland victory in 2003.

The latest withdrawals have decimated Tyrone's dwindling bank of experience even further, following the retirements of Conor Gormley, Stephen O'Neill and Martin Penrose over the winter.

CAPTION(S):

no go Joe McMahon is out of the League campaign

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Jan 28, 2015
Words:339
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