Cathal McShane: Forward to stay with Tyrone after turning down move to AFL side Adelaide Crows

Cathal McShane won an All-Star in 2019
McShane was a spectator at Tyrone's recent opening League win over Meath

Cathal McShane will be resuming his Tyrone career after turning down a move to Australian Football League side Adelaide Crows.

The Crows said the All Star forward would not be pursuing a career with them after a 10-day trial there last month.

McShane is understood to have met with Red Hands boss Mickey Harte and informed him of his decision to stay.

The Crows said McShane felt it was "in his best interests to stay in Ireland".

"It is a big decision to relocate to the other side of the world and pursue a professional career in a different sport," said Crows general manager Justin Reid.

"Ultimately, this was not something that Cathal was ready for and we wish him the very best in his endeavours both on and off the field.

"We will continue to look for opportunities to bring talent into our club."

Cathal McShane battles with Kerry's Jason Foley in last year's All-Ireland Football semi-final
Cathal McShane is expected to be available for Sunday's Division One game against Kerry

McShane set to feature against Kerry

McShane did not train with Tyrone on Tuesday evening but will now link up with the squad and is expected to be back for this Sunday's league match in Omagh against Kerry.

Tyrone won their Division One league opener against Meath before losing last week away to Monaghan.

McShane was the top scorer in last season's All-Ireland Championship, earning an All-Star award in the process.

His decision to ultimately reject the lure of a professional career in the AFL will be a huge boost to manager Mickey Harte and Tyrone football in general.

At 24 years of age, fitness and form permitting, McShane will be expected to be a regular fixture in the Tyrone line-up for the majority of the new decade.

Analysis

BBC Sport NI's John Haughey

After Mickey Harte's apparent pessimism over the weekend about McShane's prospects of wearing the Red Hand jersey this season (or indeed beyond that), the overnight news from Down Under will come as an unexpected but pleasant surprise to Tyrone fans.

Tyrone's performances in their opening two Football League games only emphasised the All-Star forward's importance to the Red Hands.

Against Meath, the Tyrone attack malfunctioned for the first half before the admittedly limited Royals' kickout woes in the second period allowed the Red Hands to take control.

Last weekend, Tyrone's forward line lacked physical presence against a motivated Monaghan line-up which brought into even sharper focus McShane's absence.

His performances last year gave Tyrone a totally new attacking option of the long ball as opposed to their long-time possession method.

And the introduction of the new 'mark' rule, in theory, should play to McShane's strengths.

The 'will he, won't he go' hype will bring its own pressure, with McShane also having the weight of expectation to repeat and perhaps exceed his excellence of 2019.

But this is unquestionably a positive development for Tyrone football.