Mickey Harte's 18-year spell as manager of the Tyrone senior football team is over, with the three-time All-Ireland winner confirming he has stood down as Gaelic football's longest serving manager.
RTÉ Sport understands that the hugely successful Harte made the decision to step down after his request for a one-year extension was not granted by the Tyrone management committee.
Four management positions are due to become vacant and subsequently filled in the coming weeks. These include the senior, U20 and minor football posts, along with the senior hurling position, which were all renewed for three-year terms in late 2017 and expire at the end of this season.
The Errigal Ciaran man would have had to reapply and interview for the position, presumably in competition with other candidates and has now opted against that.
Harte had been in charge of the Tyrone team since their maiden All-Ireland win in 2003.
His time in charge yielded a very impressive six Ulster Senior Championship titles and three All-Irelands.
The last All-Ireland victory came 12 years ago, while their most recent All-Ireland final appearance at Croke Park ended with a clear beating by Dublin in 2018.
With ultra-talented forwards like Mattie Donnelly, Cathal McShane, Conor McKenna and Darragh Canavan, Darren McCurry and Mark Bradley all available for selection in 2021 all eyes will be trained on the county's next manager to see if a different approach can help the team recapture the glory days.
Former All-Ireland under-21 manager Fergal Logan would appear to be one of the leading candidates.
It’s understood that Logan’s coach to that team, the legendary Peter Canavan, is not in the frame to seek any position in the coming years.
The changing of the guard will be a seismic moment for the county after the most successful manager in their history has stepped aside.
For much of the last 10 years Harte didn’t always have star quality to call upon in attack and instead developed a team proficient in counter-attacking with strike runners capable of scoring all over the pitch.
His repositioning of Mattie Donnelly and Cathal McShane gave the team an added cut over the past two seasons but Harte was devoid of McShane for this year’s Championship through injury.
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