Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport GAA

Mickey has his Harte set on third Sam title

By John Campbell

Tyrone football team manager Mickey Harte has set his heart on winning a third All Ireland Football title now that he will remain at the helm for another three years - at least.

The county board's decision to rubber-stamp Harte's tenure as team boss until 2010 represents a massive vote of confidence in the man who has revitalised the Red Hands' fortunes.

Tyrone may have fallen short in their bid to reach the last four of the Bank of Ireland All Ireland title race this year, but Harte believes he has the talent, the determination and the support to make his team a major force again.

"We cannot live in the past, we have to move on," declared Harte.

All Ireland crowns in 2003 and 2005 have already suggested that his entrance into the pantheon of great football team managers will be more a probability than a possibility, particularly should he oversee a return of 'Sam' to O'Neill territory.

While he is giving nothing away in terms of the possible composition of his panel for next year, it is expected that Harte may opt for changes.

Certainly, the Dr McKenna Cup competition in January will be used to assess new blood - and gauge the hunger of some of the more established campaigners.

Even in the immediate aftermath of Tyrone's 1-13 to 2-8 defeat by Meath in the All Ireland quarter-finals last month it was abundantly clear that Harte was not for moving.

" Maybe some people would like me to go, but they are not going to get their way, " he said.

Harte was named as the new senior team manager in November 2002 after the role was vacated by dual bosses Eugene McKenna and Art McRory.

Former county player Harte had a proven track record after taking the Tyrone Minor and U21 sides to All-Ireland successes.

Harte was managing the Errigal Ciaran club side at the time of his appointment and had taken them into the semi-finals of the AIB All Ireland Club Championship.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph