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Mickey Harte delighted to remain in charge of Tyrone

By Declan Bogue

Finally, 23 days after Tyrone exited the All-Ireland Championship following defeat to Kerry at the semi-final stage, Mickey Harte has been given the go-ahead to oversee what will be his 14th season in charge of the senior team.

As it happened, Harte was given a huge mandate by the clubs, who voted 52-3 in his favour, and he has been handed a two-year term. The clubs that voted against Harte were Dromore, Newtownstewart and Eglish.

The Errigal Ciaran man got the nod after a county board meeting held at the Garvaghy training complex, with the vote on his future going to club delegates.

After hearing the news, Harte said he was "delighted to have received such positive support from the club delegates and content with the outcome".

After meeting with the county executive the previous week - as exclusively revealed by the Belfast Telegraph - the county board recommended that Harte's future should go to a vote among the clubs.

The Tyrone county board released a statement after the meeting. It said: "Following a meeting of the County Committee tonight, Coiste Contae Thir Eoghain wish to confirm that Mickey Harte will continue to manage the Tyrone Senior Football team for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

"Also confirmed was that Feargal Logan will continue as manager of the Under-21 Football team along with Peter Canavan and Brian Dooher, also for the 2016 and 2017 campaigns."

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This was the first time Harte had been in this situation, as he always had another couple of years at least to run on his arrangement.

It would appear that some changes on the county executive have brought about this change in procedure, and it would seem to be reflected in similar treatment to the Under-21 management, who won their All-Ireland Championship earlier this year.

This now brings Harte's spell in charge of Tyrone teams, since starting with the minor side in 1991, to 25 years' unbroken service. He has racked up a total of 25 trophies over his tenure.

The news will be welcomed by Tyrone's players, who were supportive of Harte.

Asked his thoughts on the matter by the Belfast Telegraph, Colm Cavanagh maintained: "As for the players, we would love to see him back and everyone is behind him. I have been asked this question last week too and I try to stay out of these things. Players are there to do their job and see how it goes.

"But I would say the obvious thing is that he would, after the good season that we have had, continue into next year."

In an interview broadcast on a local radio service for Tyrone GAA fans on August 28, Harte had confirmed that he had already started his preparations for next season.

"My mind is already on 2016, my mind is on looking at the club Championship and seeing a player who is really putting up their hand to say, 'you need to be looking at me', because I want to be doing that and that's where we are heading now," he said.

"I had a meeting with the players last night and I gave them a briefing of what I thought about their season, and what my intentions are for the following season.

"There is nobody under any doubt that we want to be a team to be reckoned with in the season that's coming."

Asked if he had been surprised or disappointed by the seeming lethargy in the county board in offering another spell in charge, he answered: "I don't know if I am surprised or disappointed, whatever it is.

"But it will be nice to have that invitation for sure. I have worked hard at this for the years I have been at it. Since I was in charge of the minors in 1991, I have put my heart and soul into it."

Belfast Telegraph


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