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Mickey Harte loses two of Tyrone backroom lieutenants


Stepped down: Tyrone assistant manager Tony Donnelly

Stepped down: Tyrone assistant manager Tony Donnelly

©INPHO/James Crombie

Stepped down: Tyrone assistant manager Tony Donnelly

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte is today coming to terms with a major upheaval in his backroom team.

Assistant manager Tony Donnelly and team trainer Fergal McCann have stepped down having been part of the management set-up since 2005.

Donnelly is a noted tactician who has had a big input into Tyrone's progress while McCann is one of the top county team trainers in the country.

Both provided strong back-up to Harte and their contributions to the All-Ireland title successes in 2005 and 2008 in particular have been highly commended.

Nor have Tyrone's triumphs been confined to the biggest prize of all since the duo took up their county posts.

The Red Hands have won three Ulster senior football championship titles and collected the McKenna Cup on seven occasions since 2005.

But this year Tyrone lost to Monaghan in the Ulster championship and were beaten in the All Ireland qualifiers by Armagh in Omagh – a setback that occasioned deep disappointment within the county.

Tyrone chairman Ciaran McLaughlin has lauded Donnelly and McCann contributions.

"The GAA in Tyrone owes a debt of gratitude to Tony and Fergal for their work over the past decade. Since becoming involved with the senior team in 2005, both have played a major role in all our successes," he said..

Harte also paid a warm tribute, highlighting their "great service".

"I wish to thank both men for their loyal support during the challenges we have faced over the past 10 seasons. They have given great service to Tyrone and to myself during their tenure and I wish both the best for the future," said Harte.

Belfast Telegraph