The Tyrone County Board last night turned down Mickey Harte’s request for an extension to his term as senior football manager.
In an unexpected twist, the county executive decided to maintain the status quo. Harte’s current two-year term is due to come to an end at the end of next season.
Last month, he requested a one-year extension to his term, but last night at Garvaghey, officials decided not to add a further season
This season, he guided Tyrone to a first Ulster SFC title since 2010, ending a losing sequence at the hands of Donegal with a two-point victory in the final at Clones.
Tyrone went on an eight-month unbeaten run during 2016, also winning the NFL Division Two title. That run came to an end at Croke Park, where they lost by a point to Mayo in the All-Ireland quarter-final.
Harte is already the longest serving football manager in the country. He took over late in 2002, and led the county to its first All-Ireland title in his debut season, adding further triumphs in 2005 and 2008.
Sean Cavanagh is the only remaining link with the maiden All-Ireland in 2003, but his future remains uncertain. Cavanagh has yet to decide whether to commit to the 2017 season.
Meanwhile Kerry delegates unanimously ratified Eamonn Fitzmaurice as Kerry senior manager for two more years at last night’s board meeting in Tralee.
Fitzmaurice will be at the helm for a fifth year in 2017, having led Kerry to four successive Munster titles and an All-Ireland in 2014. Fitzmaurice will reveal his backroom team at a later date.
However, there was bad news from Tim Murphy, the county development officer, with a delay at the proposed centre of excellence at Currans now expected.
Murphy informed the meeting that while progress has been made at Currans, it may not be ready for Kerry teams to train on as planned this year and next spring.
Murphy said: “The start date at Currans of the building was delayed for different reasons for about three months. We are working with the contractors to try and have part of the new building ready but it may not be possible so I think it maybe the middle of next year before Kerry teams can train there.”
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