Harte: Not all about brawn

Tyrone defender Peter Harte has downplayed the importance of physicality in modern Gaelic football.

Harte highlighted the examples of Kerry captain Colm Cooper and Barcelona’s stars as proof that size is not imperative to succeed in sport.

“If you look at the way Barcelona play, they are small men but their intense pressure up the field means they turn teams over, I know Gaelic is a different sport, but the same principles apply. Put pressure on in numbers and you are going to turn teams over. Physical size has a bit to do with it but I don’t think it’s the be all and end all,” said Harte.

“A lot of teams are bulking up and getting bigger and stronger. It probably does help to be physically big and strong, but if you can play football, you can play football, it doesn’t matter what size you are.”

Harte admits he is constantly learning from other sports.

“You can take it from all different types of sport, even sporting people, how they work on what they do and it’s nice to be looking into a range of things on how people win things and how they do it.“I know Barcelona were beaten last week but they have probably been the leading team in world sports at playing what they do.”

Harte, a nephew of the Red Hands boss Mickey, is hoping their squad can bounce back from last Sunday’s Division 2 league final defeat against Kildare which ended their perfect record in 2012.

“Sunday’s game was disappointing and it wasn’t the performance we were looking for but that happens. People get hung up on records and it’s an easy headline to write.

“We might look back after the Armagh game (Tyrone’s Ulster championship opener) and say it was the best thing that happens. You know Armagh will be watching and probably plotting how to beat you.

“But that’s the nature of football and that’s what every team does. Tyrone can only prepare as best they can and not worry about what other teams are doing. I would be of the impression anyway that Ulster is one of the most competitive provinces. You look at the last few years, Down got to an All-Ireland final, Donegal last year, Armagh and Tyrone over the last few years have been very strong.”

nMeanwhile, last night the Tyrone county board endorsed Mickey Harte's appointment to stay on as manager for another three seasons.

The Ballygawley man, who has led the county to three All-Ireland senior titles in 2003, '05 and '08, has been in charge of the seniors since the end of 2002 and is currently enjoying his 10th season on the sideline.

Including minors and U21s, Harte has been at the helm of a Tyrone inter-county team every season since 1991.


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