Sport Gaelic Football

Wednesday 7 December 2016

'There's going to be talk of the RTE situation': Canavan and McGuigan slam Tyrone over Harte snub

Declan Bogue and Colm Keys

Published 09/09/2016 | 02:30

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte

Two Tyrone greats have slammed the decision of the county board not to give Mickey Harte a one-year extension to his current term as manager.

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Despite having the backing of the county executive, Harte's request to extend his term to the end of the 2018 season was surprisingly turned down, albeit narrowly, by club delegates on Tuesday night.

In his column in today's Irish Independent, Harte's former captain Peter Canavan criticised the action.

"I don't know if Mickey Harte feels unwanted, but the way he has been treated is totally unwarranted," he said.

"To turn down a request for an extension of just one year to Mickey's term smacks of a decision in which internal politics are very much at play.

"If the team were in decline, you could say something, but all the signs this year were extremely encouraging and it's clear that Tyrone are going in one direction and that's upward. Most people outside the county are completely baffled and so they should be."

There has been some local speculation suggesting that Harte's continued non-compliance with RTÉ lies at the heart of a stand-off between him and the county board, and Canavan's former team-mate Brian McGuigan feels there must be a better way to do business.

"There is going to be talk about the RTÉ situation," McGuigan stated. "There are no winners in the whole thing. Whether that is a motive behind the county board's actions, I don't know.

"When you look at the Kerry situation with Eamonn Fitzmaurice, when he looked for an extension there were no questions asked. Mickey is the most successful manager we have ever had, but there always seems to be issues hanging over him. It's not fair on the man himself and it needs to be resolved."

Elsewhere, Benny Guckian has been confirmed as the new Leitrim football boss with former Connacht Championship winning manager John O'Mahony in an advisory capacity. Guckian will be joined by another member of that 1994 triumph, full-back Seamus Quinn, as a selector. Former Crossmolina All-Ireland club winner Michael Moyles will be the team's new physical trainer. Guckian takes over from Shane Ward who stepped down after two years in charge.

Irish Independent

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