Tyrone icon Mickey Harte’s future in the balance

Allianz Football League Division 1 Semi-Final, Croke Park 14/4/2013
Tyrone vs Kildare
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte
Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Donall Farmer
Allianz Football League Division 1 Semi-Final, Croke Park 14/4/2013 Tyrone vs Kildare Tyrone manager Mickey Harte Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Donall Farmer

The Tyrone County Board has turned down Mickey Harte’s request for an extension to his term as senior football manager.

In an unexpected snub, the county executive decided to maintain the status quo. Harte’s current two-year term is due to come to an end at the conclusion of next season.

Last month, Harte requested a one-year extension to his term, but 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 2 title, the Dr McKenna Cup and the ó Fiaich Cup.

But 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 Sam Maguire Cup triumphs in 2005 and 2008.

Seán 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, but has revealed that he is reconsidering his decision that this was to be his last year playing inter-county football.