"Some of the players were hitting 11km on the pitch" - Mickey Harte is just as demanding for Louth as he was for Tyrone 1 year ago

"Some of the players were hitting 11km on the pitch" - Mickey Harte is just as demanding for Louth as he was for Tyrone

"Why are you here?"

For the first time in a long time, GAA fans from all over the country are keeping one eye on Louth whenever they go searching through the weekend's results. This is because legendary manager, Mickey Harte has taken the job there and it has peaked the nations curiosity.


Naturally, the people most interested in this surprise takeover are the Louth players, none least than their captain and star forward, Sam Mulroy.

Speaking on the GAA Hour, Mulroy explains the impact that Harte is having for the squad: " The appointment put out a massive statement from Louth GAA. It was a shock to everyone and there's definitely been a buzz around the county."

One of the first things Harte asked the players was: "Why are you here?"


A simple but powerful question, as he needs his team to figure out their "why" so that when the going gets tough, they will have clarity about what it is they're trying to achieve and will persevere.

"Personally, I demand a lot from myself and I try to improve every time I go out onto the pitch", said the flying forward. "You do have to ask yourself, why am I here? Why am I doing this? It's easy to go through the motions, especially when you don't get that much publicity.

"Are we realistically going to win a championship or an All-Ireland? Probably not in the near future. So you have to find a 'why' and it has to be strong enough for when push comes to shove in a match, to get you out of it.

"I think Mickey has his own 'why', Gavin Donnelly has his own 'why' and I think the players need to have their own 'why' as well. It's about putting Louth back in a good position for years to come, that is a big driving factor of our team now."


Despite masterminding  three All-Ireland's for his native Tyrone, Harte often gets criticised for his counter-attacking style of play, that some people view to be negative or defensive. One thing you can always guarantee from Harte and Donnelly though, are high standards and high expectations.

"They demand a lot of you," continued Mulroy. "They really are chasing high GPS numbers, the lads are putting in a big shift on the pitch, some of the players were hitting 11km against Sligo.

"We have different styles of play, we go attacking from the front, we chase the ball down but also clever enough to know when to sit back and hit teams on the counter. It's finding that nice balance of attacking and defensive football.


"Mickey's brilliant, he's always giving out about people calling him defensive. He thinks it's attacking when we break with the ball, get stuck in and turn you over. That's attacking, and when you see lads running at pace up the pitch and getting ahead of play, that's very attacking.

"Mickey has this reputation to be maybe negative, but from what we've seen so far, there's definitely not anything negative about it."

You can listen to the full interview with Sam Mulroy on the GAA Hour now!