Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Tyrone manager Harte in gear for even more glory

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte will remain in his post for as long as he wishes.

It is now traditional in virtually every county - although not admitted everywhere - that a manager’s role is reviewed on the completion of each championship campaign.

And indeed this year there has been a quite inordinate number of managerial casualties, some predictable and others rather surprising.

But Harte will now remain as the Red Hands supremo for the forseeable future.

And that could bode ill for those counties currently entertaining aspirations of dislodging his team from their proud perch.

Harte may have shipped sharp criticism when his side surrendered to Down in the Ulster Championship but if they lost that particular battle, they certainly won the All Ireland war in spectacular style.

And Harte has made it clear that the brickbats which he suffered in the wake of that Down setback did not seriously impact on his approach nor on his commitment.

“If people with limited knowledge wish to have their say, then that is their prerogative,” he said tersely.

Given the depth of talent contained on the Tyrone bench on Sunday and the sparkling form being shown by the current Minor side, the future certainly looks optimistic for the county.

Chairman Pat Darcy said: “It’s just unbelievable to have won a third All Ireland crown in six years. We have raised the bar for ourselves, of course, but we hope to go on raising it. This is a particularly sweet success for us.”

When Tyrone won the All Ireland title in 2005, they played no fewer than ten championship games - Kerry would have won three Munster titles in the past playing that number!

But Harte’s enthusiasm for confronting a challenge certainly shows no sign of waning.

“I wan to be involved, I want to be winning. The players are dedicated and we hope to take things on from here,” he added.

Meanwhile, the GAA may decide to take another look at how the presentation of major championship matches in particular can be improved.

The unseemly events at half-time on Sunday when the Kerry vice-chairman was pushed to the ground did nothing for the image of the Association.

Nor, indeed, does the Kerry habit of putting verbal pressure on referees with Kieran Donaghy invariably in the vanguard of this practice.

Tyrone preferrred to let their skill do the talking on Sunday to devastating effect.

And in manager Harte and skipper Brian Dooher they had two exceptional leaders.

The marked bond between the two men is clearly instrumental in motivating and sustaining the team’s overall efforts.

It’s a partnership made in heaven as far as Tyrone’s thousands of fans are concerned.

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