GAA Football

Mickey Harte won't walk away from Tyrone

Mickey Harte has no intentions of stepping away from the Tyrone post despite no extension to his current arrangement as senior manager
From Cahair O'Kane in Fintona

MICKEY Harte says that he’s never believed that this will be his final season in charge of Tyrone and that he won’t walk away at the end of the season regardless of how things turn out.

For the first time in his 15-year reign, the three-time All-Ireland winning boss is into the final year of his existing term without his future having been sorted.

Speaking at a press event ahead of the Ulster final last night, the Tyrone boss said that he was not considering the idea of bringing the curtain down himself and that he hasn’t considered the idea of this season being the end of his tenure.

“It doesn’t feel like [my last year], I don’t even think that way. I’ve never believed that it should be and I don’t believe that it will be.

“I believe that we are building a very good team at the minute and I think that we’re capable of being in a good place for a number of years. And that means being amongst the top teams in the country.

“Lots of other people might feel or think it should be my last year but with the help of God it won’t be, and I’ll still be around here to proceed with what I’m doing at the minute.

“So it doesn’t cross my mind to think this is my last season with Tyrone. I’ve never thought like that and I’ve never put a timescale on when it should end.

“I know it will ultimately be in other people’s hands to make that decision. If they so want to do that, that’s their prerogative to do that but I certainly don’t feel like I’ll be walking away.”

Colm Cavanagh will be given every opportunity to prove his fitness ahead of the Ulster final after receiving confirmation that there is no ligament damage to his injured knee.

The Moy man went off in a club game at the weekend and Harte admitted there was concern initially of ligament damage, but that further examination revealed only bruising.

Given his importance to Tyrone not only as a leading midfielder but as an ever-present defensive shield, he would prove difficult to replace but Harte feels that it would take something resembling wild horses to stop him.

“If there is any good news after an injury it is that there is no ligament damage and it is just bruising,” said Red Hand boss Mickey Harte last night.

“That’s good news but it is not great news that he is injured but I would hopeful that he would be okay after he had a scan today.

“I don’t know the exact detail on when he will be able to train. I just got the news from the medical people that it is just bruising.

“How long he will have to be out of training I won’t know until he comes back tomorrow night but he is made of hardy stuff and unless he is really bad he will be out because he does not lie down easily and if he can be padded up in some shape or form he will continue on.”

Cavanagh’s performance against Donegal was outstanding as he dominated the skies on kickouts from both ends.

His midfield work has been overlooked in recent seasons when it has come to selecting the GAA/GPA Allstars, with his deep-lying role seemingly working against him in terms of personal recognition.

“If people would look at the bigger picture then he would have to be in the running for that kind of accolade but people tend to be very position specific,” said Harte.

“He is certainly playing very well. I am not surprised by that because I have had faith in him for several years now and I just don’t think that not everyone saw what he had to offer.

“Even how the game had developed now you can see how important he is in filling certain roles that not many people can do like he can but it is only now that he is getting the recognition I think he was due.”

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