GAA Football

Tyrone boss Mickey Harte loses another back-room boy as Stephen O'Neill goes

Stephen O'Neill (left) with Tyrone manager Mickey Harte, pictured during last year's Ulster SFC. Picture Margaret McLaughlin

TYRONE senior football manager Mickey Harte will be without the services of another high-profile member of his back-room team for the 2020 season as Stephen O’Neill has stepped away from the senior set-up.

O’Neill is believed to have informed the players at the beginning of the weekend that he will not be continuing as part of the senior back-room set-up next season.

O’Neill, who won Minor, U21, and Senior Ulster and All-Ireland medals under Harte had been brought in at the beginning of the 2018 season to work alongside Tyrone forwards and evidence of his work had been there for everyone to see as Tyrone began this year with a new style in their offensive play.

The Clann na nGael clubman was undoubtedly a major influence in the transformation of his fellow north Tyrone man Cathal McShane into one of the most dangerous full-forwards around.

However, the departure of Mark Bradley, Ronan O’Neill, and Lee Brennan from the squad this year reduced Tyrone’s availability of natural forwards with an eye for scores and defeat to Donegal in the Ulster SFC semi-final saw the management team opt for a more defensive game-plan, with McShane often ploughing a lone furrow up front.

The news comes on the back of Peter Donnelly’s departure as Strength and Conditioning coach to the Tyrone senior and youth squads; the Coalisland man recently joined up with Ulster Rugby.

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GAA Football

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