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29th Jan 2024

“I hope that he is wrong” – Peter Canavan on difficulty ‘accepting’ Mickey Harte as Derry manager

Lee Costello

Peter Canavan

“There’s even a few Derry people finding it difficult to accept.”

Tyrone legend Peter Canavan admits that he is still struggling to accept that his former manager Mickey Harte is now in charge of Derry.

Canavan and Harte are both clubmen at Errigal Ciaran and shared an unbelievably successful relationship as player and manager when the now Derry boss guided the team to an Ulster club title back in 2002 before taking the county job.

The ex shay shooter was captain of Tyrone in 2003 when Harte came in, and together they went on to win the county’s first ever All-Ireland title before winning a second in 2005.

20 years on from ’03 and the man who guided the Red Hand county for so long was still wearing red and white, but this time it had the Oakleaf crest on his jacket instead.

After viewing Derry’s victory against Kerry in their opening game in the National League, Canavan admits that he still hasn’t quite got used to it yet.

“I think Sean (Cavanagh) made it clear that for a lot of Tyrone folk, they are still finding it hard to come to terms with the fact that Mickey is managing Derry, I’m still finding it hard to accept as well – Louth people are finding it hard, Tyrone people are finding it hard, there’s even a few Derry people finding it difficult to accept.

“They are just happy that so many Tyrone people are annoyed with Mickey. He was entitled to do that, he believed that he still has a lot to offer. He believes that he still has that hunger and that drive to carry on, and he believes that Derry will win an All-Ireland title, that’s why he is there.

“It’s obvious that the Glen payers have bought in to what he is trying to, there were three Glen players playing last night, if they didn’t believe in him then they wouldn’t have been there.

“There are so many similarities to back in 2003 when he came into a Tyrone set-up that was there, or thereabouts to win an All-Ireland, but he came in and he made sure that not only would we win won, but win a number.

“I think that he has seen something similar there in Derry – I just hope that he is wrong.”

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