It's only three months since Tyrone were humbled by Kerry in the Allianz League, but for Seán Cavanagh there was always the belief that the squad would show their true worth.

Of course, many would argue that there is a world of difference between the league and championship but given the short proximity between the two competitions in 2021, accurate form guides can be assessed.

Tyrone took on the lessens from that Killarney mauling to go all the way in summer combat, eventually regaining Sam Maguire after a gap of 13 years.

Cavanagh, a three-time All-Ireland winner with the Red Hand during the noughties, does see some similarities between then and now. Speaking on The Saturday Game, he said: "As part of the noughties team, it's great to see that the county has made another breakthrough.

"In '05 and '08 we weren't favourites [All-Ireland finals against Kerry] but we were able to put something together mid-season. This team have put something together mid-season. Tyrone like the feeling of going into games as underdogs but within the camp there was a real quiet optimism and confidence.

"What we have now are players that can see a game through. We are looking at players in a different light from a few months ago.

"You look at Burns, Meyler, McGeary and Sludden - people may not have know them - but look at them now they are superb footballers."

In hailing the Tyrone management team led by Brian Dooher and Feargal Logan, Cavanagh added: "There is a real feeling of contentment within the county, real feel-good factor, that's what the management have brought, a freshness and an energy.

"Coming through the other side of this pandemic, that's what people have been looking for."