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Mickey Harte ready to take Tyrone to the next level

By Declan Bogue

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has re-iterated his desire to be involved in county football for the 26th consecutive year, despite no arrangement being sorted with the county board for the 2016 season.

The three-time All-Ireland winner said: "My mind is on looking at the club Championship and seeing a player who is really putting up the hand, because I want to be doing that and that's where we are heading now."

He revealed that he had already met with the panel of players that lost to Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final on Wednesday night, continuing: "I gave them a briefing of what I thought about their season, and what my intentions are for the following season. There is nobody under any doubt that we want to be a team to be reckoned with."

Harte was speaking to local GAA website Teamtalkmag.com, and when pressed if he was surprised that the board had not yet sorted out his arrangement, explained: "I don't know if I am surprised or disappointed, whatever it is. But it will be nice to have that invitation for sure. I have worked hard at this for the years I have been at it, from the minors of 1991, I have always put my heart and soul into it.

"I am delighted to have had the opportunity. I certainly would appreciate some more years."

Addressing the suspicion of an anti-Tyrone agenda that many have suggested affected referee Maurice Deegan last Sunday, Harte revealed how Deegan addressed one of his injured players, stating: "When Aidan McCrory went down in the first half to get a ball, Donnchadh Walsh kicked it out of his hands as he was picking it up, which is a free straight away.

"Secondly, he fell over the top of him.

"Aidan McCrory never goes down, has never been injured in the times I have been working with him over the last five years. When the physio was in talking to him, the referee came over and said, 'right, up you get, no diving here, no diving here.'

"What a cheek to say! What a liberty to take to suggest he was faking or feigning or whatever, because this is obviously lodged in his subconscious."

Harte also addressed the question of his health, without getting into specifics, stating: "I would like to thank our team doctor Damian O'Donnell because he is the man who put me on the trail of getting something done."

He continued: "Because of his quick action in getting me into the specialist and getting things treated the way they needed to be, I would be very grateful to him."

He added: "I got that done and I am glad to report that specialists have reported that everything is under control."

ARMAGH are on the look-out for a new Under-21 football team manager following the resignation of Steven McDonnell.

The 2002 All-Ireland winning forward has been in charge for two years but has stepped down in order to focus more strongly on his club commitments with Killeavy.

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