Tyrone board to hold talks with Mickey Harte to discuss future

Mickey Harte is to have talks with the Tyrone County Board over his future as manager of the Tyrone senior team.

The county committee met last night at Garvaghey to discuss the management positions for all the county teams, but reached no conclusions.

Uncertainly still surrounds the future of the treble All-Ireland winning boss. It is expected, however, Harte will be given the green light to remain in charge for at least one more season.

For the first time since his appointment in late 2002, he does not have an agreed extension to his term in place.

His latest two-year term expired ten days ago with the All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Kerry.

But Harte made it clear immediately after that four points reversal that he wants to hold on to the job, an assertion he has publicly repeated on a number of occasions in the meantime.

Three days after the loss to the Kingdom, he held a meeting with the players at which he outlined his plans for next season. And he revealed he will scout for fresh talent at club championship games over the next two weekends.

It is understood the All-Ireland winning U21 management team of Feargal Logan, Brian Dooher and Peter Canavan are ready to commit to another season. However, Tyrone are on the lookout for a new minor football manager, after Mickey Donnelly stepped down after five years in charge. He guided the young Red Hands to an Ulster title and to an All-Ireland final appearance during his tenure

Meanwhile Diarmuid Connolly’s Central Hearings Committee (CHC) meeting in which Dublin hope to free him up for Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final replay will take place in Croke Park tomorrow night. The county board are understood to be confident about the case they are putting forward against Joe McQuillan’s decision to issue Connolly with a red card in the closing stages of last Sunday’s game.

Connolly was dismissed after a wrestle with Lee Keegan. Both men fell to the ground as they grappled one another and the Mayo defender was shown a yellow card. McQuillan made the decisions having consulted with his linesman Conor Lane.

However ironic it would be, it is unlikely the CHC’s decision to rescind Kevin Keane’s proposed one-match ban arising from a striking incident in the quarter-final win over Donegal can be used as a precedent. But just as ironic could be that a ruling made in the wake of Keegan having his red card in last year’s drawn semi-final against Kerry rescinded. Mayo successfully argued to the CHC Keegan did not kick Johnny Buckley, as mentioned in the referee’s report, but attempted to kick him.

However, it is now in the CHC’s power to alter an alleged infraction to a lesser or different one but in the same category. For example, if Connolly has been cited by McQuillan for striking but Dublin argue he didn’t connect with Keegan, the CHC may alter the charge to “attempted to strike” or “to behave in any way dangerous to an opponent”.

All are category three offences which carry a one-match ban.

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