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Hungry Harte isn't ready to walk away from Tyrone just yet

 

By Declan Bogue

Despite being in the final months of his two-year arrangement, Tyrone manager Mickey Harte sees himself going into 2018 as the Red Hands boss.

While taking time out from preparing for the Ulster final against Down - in which he is aiming to land his fifth provincial title - he insisted to the gathered press corps at Fintona Golf Club that he sees himself continuing in the role beyond the conclusion of their involvement in this year's Championship.

"It doesn't feel like that to me," said Harte when asked if this was his final year. "I've never believed that it should be and I don't believe that it will be.

"I believe we are building a very good team at the minute and I think that we're capable of being in a good place for a number of years. And that means being among the top teams."

Harte is not naive enough to ignore that there are some that would wish to see him replaced, and acknowledged: "Lots of other people might feel or think it should be my last year, but with the help of God it won't be, and I'll still be around here to proceed with what I'm doing at the minute. So it doesn't cross my mind to think this is my last season with Tyrone.

"I've never thought like that and I've never put a timescale on when it should end. I know it will ultimately be in other people's hands to make that decision. If they so want to do that, that's their prerogative to do that, but I certainly don't feel like I'll be walking away."

Harte's involvement with managing Tyrone sides stretches back 26 unbroken years to his first year in charge of the county minors in 1991. He insists his hunger for the job hasn't diminished.

"If you didn't enjoy it and didn't enjoy the prospect of working with the best players in Tyrone at senior level then you really shouldn't be there. I just love it as much as the first day I started," he said.

"It really energises me, and to see new and younger players come along who were only at primary school when we won our first All-Ireland, and to be working with those who are top quality players now, it is a privilege.

"I just love the chance to do it and really enjoy it. Myself and the people who work with me put in such an amount of work into doing the best we can because we are proud Tyrone people too. We're every bit as proud of what goes on as the people in the terraces."

In other news, Harte believes that Colm Cavanagh will recover from a knock sustained in a club game for Moy against Cookstown at the weekend to take his crucial position as sweeper for the Ulster final.

"If there is any good news after an injury it is that there is no ligament damage and it is just bruising," revealed Harte.

"That's good news but it is not great news that he is injured, but I would hopeful that he would be okay after he had a scan today."

Belfast Telegraph

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