Tyrone county board chairman Pat Darcy has issued a clarion call to Mickey Harte’s team as he enters the final months of his five-year term in the top office.
“I want to see us with a fourth All Ireland title in the first decade of the new millennium and I am more than confident that this can be achieved,” maintains Darcy, a retired nursing executive.
Darcy had barely warmed the chairman’s seat when Tyrone won the 2005 All Ireland crown and he again led the celebrations when ‘Sam’ was recaptured in 2008.
Now, although disappointed that the Red Hands have failed in their bid to make it back-to-back titles this year, Darcy is launching a wave of optimism for 2010.
“I honestly believe that with the talent we currently have on our bench and given the number of young players that could be added to the squad, we will have the resources to make a strong pitch for the major honours next year. I know for a fact that Mickey Harte believes this too,” insists Darcy.
In pointing to players such as Raymond Mulgrew, Colm Cavanagh, Niall Gormley, Aidan Cassidy and Sean O’Neill from the current tranche of reserves, Darcy is convinced that the experience they have already acquired at National League level, even if their championship pedigree is somewhat limited, will help to bolster Tyrone’s challenge next year.
And, like manager Harte, he is clearly excited about the potential offered by up and coming players such as Niall McKenna, Peter Harte, Mattie Donnelly and Kyle Coney who have yet to make the squad.
“These boys are very skilful, composed players who are already showing that they are ready for the step-up. Obviously we want to have keen competition for places and I think Mickey will certainly be provided with that. Maybe we are out of the big picture for the moment but Tyrone will be back. I will leave the office of chairman with a treasure trove of golden memories and, even more importantly, the belief that the Red Hands can remain a major force on the big stage,” states Darcy.