Cavanagh surprised by Harte move

November 24, 2023

Mickey Harte

Sean Cavanagh has described Mickey Harte’s appointment as Derry senior football manager as ‘bizarre’.

Cavanagh, who won three All-Ireland SFC medals, five Ulster SFC medals and five All-Stars during Harte’s 18-year Tyrone tenure, admits it will be strange to see him in the dugout of one of the Red Hands' fiercest rivals in 2024.

"It's just so bizarre," Cavanagh told RTÉ at the Goal Mile launch on Thursday.

"When the news came out, the first thing I thought of, in terms of longevity, Mickey was with Tyrone since about the mid-90s with the minors and then he left in 2018 or 19. For that 25 or 30 years, he reminded me of Alex Ferguson.

"What way would Alex Ferguson have gone had he managed at Manchester United for 25 years and then gone across to Man City or gone across to Liverpool? The whole idea of it is just very strange and I still find it difficult to imagine Mickey Harte standing on an opposition sideline to Tyrone.

"He coached me in 2002 with the U21s so I was with him for 17 or 18 of those years. I knew how passionate he was for Tyrone. Everything was 'Tyrone, Tyrone, Tyrone’, nothing else mattered.”

Cavanagh, who retired from club duty last weekend, added: "I’m sure he’s thought [managing against Tyrone] through. I hope he has because that is a likely enough scenario. He’s obviously comfortable with it, I just find it strange.”

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