TIME ON MY OWEN; NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE ONLY ONE DAY UNTIL NFL OPENER; Mulligan: Club Run Has Been Great.But I Want Sam Again

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Byline: PAT NOLAN irishsport@mirror.co.uk

OWEN MULLIGAN has restated his desire to return to the Tyrone panel - and drive them towards another All-Ireland title.

The 31-year-old is currently not part of manager Mickey Harte's squad as he concentrates on Cookstown's bid for the AIB All-Ireland intermediate title, with Kerry champions Finuge their opponents in the final at Croke Park. on February 9.

There was speculation that Mulligan was among the raft of players culled from the panel by Harte pre-Christmas though it appears that the door may not be shut just yet.

Mulligan explained: "I was talking to Mickey before Christmas and he told me to go on ahead with the club campaign. At the end of the day my club has always come first and that's the same with all county Players.

"I'll give him a ring to see what the craic is after (the final). I think there's a few more years left in me yet.

"If I was coming back it would be to win an All-Ireland. The way the boys are talking, a couple of lads have text me to say it's going well.

"It's brutal training but that's what you have to do to win an All-Ireland. I know it doesn't sound appealing but you have to make sacrifices and with Mickey Harte he'll be out to win the big prize."

Mulligan has a history of hamstring trouble, which flared up most recently ahead of the club's Ulster final win, but he is confident that his body can stand up to the rigours of inter-county football for a while yet.

"It took me a long time to get over that one. I can't really complain. I haven't been injured in about six years.

"At the start of my career my hamstrings wouldn't have been that hot. But definitely I feel great and I had a reasonable enough game in the semi-final, I'm good and fit so I think it would (hold up). If Mickey Harte takes me back I think it would."

And Mulligan may not be the only talented Cookstown attacker to make a return to the county panel this year. …