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Antrim can be successful on a limited budget: Harbinson


Price is right: new Antrim football manager Lenny Harbinson is keen to keep any spending on his team in check
Price is right: new Antrim football manager Lenny Harbinson is keen to keep any spending on his team in check
John Campbell

By John Campbell

New Antrim football manager Lenny Harbinson has pledged to exercise financial prudence in his efforts to bring success to the Saffrons.

At a time when a number of county boards throughout the country are striving to come to terms with huge debts, which have largely accumulated from lavish expenditure on their flagship teams, BT business executive Harbinson is determined not to fall into this trap.

And his decision not to attempt to 'buy' success will be welcome news to his own county board.

Harbinson believes the interests of the GAA in his own county would be best served by "operating within certain parameters rather than splashing the cash".

He reveals some eye-catching findings from a recent analysis he undertook of spending by county boards and, rather than trigger envy, these have forced him to take a pragmatic approach to team spending.

"We all recognise that teams like Dublin, Mayo, Kerry and Tyrone are ahead of the rest in terms of the money that they can pump into their county teams, and obviously they are seeing the results of this," observes Harbinson.

"I think we have to continue operating within certain parameters rather than be seen to be splashing the cash," he maintains. "You can take it from me that we are very keen to get out of Division Four but we don't want to put the county in debt and danger just to achieve this.

"I try to look at the bigger picture and see other projects that require to be financed such as further innovations at our Dunsilly complex, under-age development projects and the funding of camogie and ladies football as well as additional elements.

"To date I have been more than happy with the response we as a county team are getting from the Saffron Business Forum, the Casement Park Social Club and the county board."

"I think you have to cut the cloth to suit," the Antrim boss added. "We are fortunate in that we have a number of talented players who are very committed to Antrim and, while we are working to ensure that they get everything they need to give them a proper chance to do well, we are not necessarily going to extremes to achieve this."

Harbinson has only one long-term injury worry surrounding wing-back Deaghlan Lynch.

"Deaghlan has been troubled by a hip problem. He will now have surgery for this," states Harbinson.

Belfast Telegraph


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