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Tyrone boss is a huge fan of the more compact provincial series

Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte believes that the condensed version of the Ulster Championship - which enters its second season - has added to the excitement of the tournament, rather than diminished it.

Before the restructuring of the All-Ireland Championship with a round-robin series of games at the quarter-final stage last year, the Ulster Championship had a game each week with the final in late July.

Last summer and this, however, a number of double weekends - with games on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons - has condensed the format and the provincial decider will be on June 23 this year.

"I think it is interesting to have a couple of games at the weekend and get to have everything moving faster," said Harte.

"It really should, when all these things are worked out, make more room for club football at a more specific time.

"There are always teething problems with these things and everyone is waiting for this magic formula to make everything perfect for the clubs and everything perfect for the county at the same time.

"That's probably not going to work and we have to get the best possible solution.

"I think there is still work needed to be done in finding that, but maybe condense this and getting things done in a tighter time frame should leave more room for club football."

"I find it interesting enough, or not surprising enough, that we get two thirds of our club football sorted out and it's the last few bits that seem to hold us back. It's play-offs that seem to do that more than normal."

Belfast Telegraph


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