GAA Football

Ex-Tyrone boss Mickey Harte will not be new Slaughtneil manager

Louth boss Mickey Harte will not manage Slaughtneil next year, contrary to recent speculation. Picture by Seamus Loughran
Neil Loughran

MICKEY Harte will not become the new manager of Slaughtneil footballers, The Irish News understands.

Speculation across recent days suggested the former Tyrone boss was set to take over the reins at the south Derry club after Paul Bradley stepped down in the wake of their comprehensive county final defeat to neighbours Glen.

However, such talk has subsequently been denied by Slaughtneil sources. And, when asked about the situation at a GAA talk night in Kilkeel on Friday night, Harte appeared to pour cold water on the link, saying: “If you believe everything you read, you’ll eat everything you see.”

Harte led his native county to three All-Ireland titles in the Noughties and, two months after his 18-year Tyrone tenure came to an end in 2020, was surprisingly unveiled as the new Louth manager.

In the time between Harte has led the Wee County to consecutive promotions in the National League, jumping from Division Four to Division Two. And Louth were quick to point out that, irrespective of links to any club role, he was still their manager heading into 2023.

“In response to reports today in some media outlets, Louth GAA would like to confirm Mickey Harte’s commitment to Louth GAA and affirm his and Gavin Devlin’s future involvement with Louth.

“We look forward to a promising 2023 in Division 2 of the NFL and our Leinster campaign under Mickey’s guidance.”

Slaughtneil dual player Brendan Rogers was quizzed about the speculation linking Harte to the football manager’s role at the Emmet’s in the wake of the hurlers’ Ulster Club SHC semi-final victory over Portaferry on Sunday.

And, while clearly excited about the potential prospect, the Derry ace insisted the players remained in the dark about any link.

“I’m sure, like yourselves, you woke up one morning and saw the social media posts,” he said.

“As far as we’re concerned, as a hurling team, we were just focused on the hurling. What the committee does and what goes on behind the scenes about management is not really our place. We don’t have a look into it at all.

“We’ve never had a meeting and said that’s who we are getting or anything like that. I couldn’t really tell you what’s happening really, but there’s a bit of a rumour going about.”

He added: “You are looking at a man who has won three All-Irelands and has won many Ulster Championships. Why would you turn your nose up at a man with a bit of pedigree, know-how and ability to win games with a varying range of teams and styles that he has had over the years?

“Of course, you’d love to hear what he has to say but, at this stage, it is speculation.”

Meanwhile, a man who worked alongside Harte in his final year at the Tyrone helm, Kevin Madden, has joined forces with Steven Poacher at Down club Mayobridge.

Former Antrim forward Madden had been manager of Derry outfit Swatragh in recent years, but the Portglenone man will now form part of Poacher’s management team. Ex-Down star Marty Clarke, who was involved with the ’Bridge this year, turns his focus to his county commitments alongside new Down boss Conor Laverty.

GAA Football