You haven't seen the best of us yet – that’s the rallying call from Niall Sludden as he prepares for the final push in the battle for Sam.

The Tyrone wing-forward believes the team is capable of producing a season’s best performance at Croke Park on Saturday.

And if they click on the biggest occasion of all, it will be a day for rejoicing at the long-awaited re-emergence of the Red Hands as a major power.

"This team has been about a long time, but I suppose under the new management you are still finding those kind of things to gel," he said.

He feels a significant improvement is needed from the semi-final performance against Kerry.

"I think there is still more in us. We need more in us for the next day too against Mayo. It’s been a gradual kind of build-up. We probably know that’s not going to do against Mayo as well.

"We kicked the ball away. We missed a good few. Kerry broke through us a few times and maybe on another day….it was just fine margins as well.

"We went five up and we didn’t realise…..we could have done better in controlling the game. We got there and that’s the main thing."

Sludden's name may be listed on the half-forward line - but he will pop up anywhere on the field

Sludden’s all-action style and phenomenal work-rate symbolise the ethos of a team that plays with heart and soul, never allowing the intensity to dip.

He is in good company as one of a number of players who perform similar roles in chasing, harrying and hunting down opponents.

Kieran McGeary, Conor Meyler and Michael O’Neill all possess quite extraordinary levels of stamina and appetite for hard graft, disruptive and equally creative in the contributions they make to the team dynamic.

"I think we work in tandem. A lot of those boys have been playing well for a number of years. We know our own games, we know our strengths and different things.

"You could find yourself in the half-forwards and next thing you could be in half-back, and we trust each other to know that, 'right if you are in half-forward, I am going to stay down in half-back’.

"You can stay there and maybe press for a kick-out or something like that. It comes from that trust and playing with each other for a long time as well."

"You could find me in the half back line, half forward line, corner forward, corner back, just enjoy that"

The Dromore clubman will never be seen standing still, always on the move and in the heart of the action, whether it entails last-ditch defending or getting on the end of an attacking move.

"I kind of try and cover every blade of grass I can on whatever pitch it is," he said.

"It’s even better when you are in Croke Park trying to cover the blades of grass. You could find me in the half back line, half forward line, corner forward, corner back, just enjoy that. I suppose that’s the versatility that I have and what you need.

"I don’t think that’s changed too much. It’s just given me probably a bit more license to get forward and in defence and I just try and do my bit for the team."

And every ounce of energy was needed from every team member in a dramatic semi-final against Kerry, which Tyrone won by a single point after extra-time.

"I know speaking to Kieran (McGeary) and all those lads and even checking the GPS units after the match, the distance covered was massive and a lot of sore bodies after it. Not even ourselves, but Kerry as well.

"Every ounce of energy needed. That’s what it’s about. You have to. The same’s going to be needed the next day too."

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