Sport

One game at a time for Pomeroy insists manager Mark Harte

Hugh Pat McGeary lifts the trophy after Pomeroy’s Tyrone IFC final win over Derrylaughan last Sunday 
Francis Mooney

IT’S embedded in the DNA and coursing through the veins. Now, a new generation of the Harte clan is making its mark in the world of management.

Mark Harte, son of treble All-Ireland winning boss Mickey, won his first championship title as a manager last weekend, guiding Pomeroy to the Tyrone IFC title and promotion to senior football.

Harte and his Errigal Ciaran club-mate Adrian O’Donnell helped the Plunkett’s celebrate the club’s centenary year with a 3-12 to 1-12 win over Derrylaughan in the final at Healy Park. And in the true spirit of the longestablished tradition of taking one game at a time, Harte confessed that he wasn’t aware who the newly crowned champions’ opponents would be in the Ulster Club SFC.

He now knows that it’s either Killinkere or Arva, who will meet again in a replay of the Cavan IFC final next weekend, but preparations for that October 30 encounter can wait until the obligatory celebrations are dispensed with.

“I had no idea who we had. Our entire focus was on Aghyaran, Gortin, Eskra and then Derrylaughan in the final,” he said.

“When the dust settles, we’ll look ahead, but we’ll enjoy this first, and whatever happens down the line, we’ll enjoy that as well.”

Centenary events have been ongoing in Pomeroy since the beginning of the year, in tandem with preparations for a gala ball, but the players have been steered away from all the potential distractions.

Their focus has been solely on winning a championship and taking the club on a journey that will lead it to the homes of all the county’s major forces in 2017: “That’s something [centenary] that the entire club was looking at," Harte said. 

"As a group of players, all they can do is prepare for a match, and we did that. So it will be a big occasion. They have a gala in a couple of weeks' time. It will be a big occasion for them, but as a management team, our entire focus was just about getting 30 boys ready to play football, and that was it all year.”

The Plunkett’s are now beginning to realise the potential that has existed for many seasons. The club did win an intermediate championship in 2004, going on to win the provincial title, but subsequently failed to establish itself in the senior grade.

“I think that label has been with Pomeroy for a few years now, that they have potential, and thankfully that potential came to fruition,” said Harte.

“They have had a good underage structure this last few years, but for one reason or another they haven’t done it at senior level. So it’s really satisfying to see people working hard to get their rewards and I’m delighted for everyone involved with the club.

“These opportunities don’t come around that often. It was 2004 when they last won anything at this level at all.” 

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