'I didn't see it coming'

July 09, 2024

Mickey Harte. ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne.

Oisín McConville was surprised to see Mickey Harte step down as Derry football manager.

While speculation had been rife about Harte's future with the Oak Leafers ever since their dismal Ulster SFC first round loss to Donegal, McConville was convinced he would be back in 2025.

"I'm shocked because you asked me the question last week and I said he'd definitely be there for another season," the Wicklow manager told The GAA Social podcast.

"I didn't see it coming. Having gone to those lengths to appoint him, unless there's massive pressure from the players or from the inside, but I didn't see this happening at all."

As the search begins for Harte's successor, there is already speculation that Rory Gallagher or Damian McErlain could return. McErlain, who spent two years at the helm from 2017 to '19, is viewed as a strong contender after guiding Derry to their second successive All-Ireland MFC title last weekend. 

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