Harte: GAA needs to promote National Leagues better

TYRONE boss Mickey Harte believes the GAA could do more to promote the National Leagues.

The National Leagues have been sponsored by Allianz for the last 18 years now but the Tyrone boss feels the competition could be promoted better.

“There’s nothing that couldn’t be done better,” he pointed out.

“How do we help the sponsors, the counties, how do we make this competition be accepted for what it is – the second biggest competition we’re involved in? Plan for next year, observe what’s been good and little things that could be done and how to add value to it in the future.”

Making the leagues more attractive to the general public is one thing, doing the same for the players and managers involved in the competition is another and many a suggestion has been made to make that happen.

The possibility of somehow linking the leagues with the championships, whereby league performances would count towards seedings or home advantage in the summer, has been mooted in the past.

“It’s not something you’d dismiss out of hand but it’s something that would need to be carefully thought out,’’ Harte said. “It’s quite complicated but it needs to be sat down and have a real good think about it. Let it out to a wider audience to see what the potential pitfalls to that are which, incidentally, wasn’t done with these new (experimental) rules.

“A wider audience didn’t get a chance to assess them. I don’t think the league, given it is the second most important competition, should be a ground for experimentation, which it has become this last couple of years. We need to give it the credibility it deserves and say ‘we’ll not be tinkering with the rules’ in this competition, we’ll give it more credence than that.”

Harte has long made a mantra of winning every game, whether it be league, championship or McKenna Cup but it is seven years since the county claimed back-to-back NFL titles and he is hoping that run doesn’t grow legs.

“There’s too many of (the Tyrone panel) who don’t have a league medal and if we continue to perform in the league the way we have done the last few years that won’t change.

“We have been very average and you need to get yourself above average. Do that and you will be knocking at the final and that is a good place to be.”


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