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Gaelic football on the cusp of an exciting new era, says Harte


By John Campbell

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has slammed "the naysayers" who he maintains have of late been lamenting the manner in which gaelic football is currently played.

Since the start of the year, media analysts and other pundits have been calling into question the overall appeal and skill levels of the sport.

But a defiant Harte, whose side brought a whole new dimension to the championship season through their scintillating victory over Donegal, has lost patience with the culture of criticism.

Instead, he comes out with all guns blazing to not only shoot down those who endorse negative thinking but to make a firm forecast that standards are on the up and up.

"The naysayers who were prevalent in many, many quarters and those who have been decrying the standard and state of our games were putting this all out in the public domain as if to say that nothing would ever change," insists Harte.

"But things do change. People decide to change and therefore the game will evolve. It doesn't take rule changes to make the game change. People decide to do something different and then if that works for a while, somebody else is going to try and do something different again.

"We will see more variety in our games than there has been for maybe the last 12 or 15 months."

And Harte refutes the theory that the introduction of the 'mark' has helped to boost standards.

"I would not say that the mark is a big factor. The mark is there but I can tell you for sure that I have never once mentioned the mark to our players," reveals the Tyrone boss.

And he believes player ratings can lead to a distorted view, highlighting one game he had watched. "The winners had only two points to spare yet someone decided that there was a 23-point difference in the players' ratings," he adds.

Belfast Telegraph


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