TYRONE All-Star Cathal McShane could yet line out for the Red Hands during either the National League or championship in 2020.
That’s according to team manager, Mickey Harte, who says that he is encouraging the Owen Roes attacker to remain with the county this season.
He was speaking following the 1-13 to 0-10 win over Cavan in the Dr McKenna Cup at Omagh. Conal McCann’s second half goal and an outstanding display from debutant, Conn Kilpatrick were among the main on-field talking points.
But it was the future of Cathal McShane which dominated the off-field discussions and Harte says he has been in talks with his star forward following the news that he could be making the trip Down Under. He also severely criticised the role of ex-GAA players in scouting for the professional Australian Football League.
It has been reported that the Allstar full-forward is due to travel to Australian Rules football soon, but has yet to sign an official contract to travel Down Under on a professional basis.
Both the Owen Roes player and the manager have discussed the issue in recent weeks, and Mickey Harte has made it clear that he feels the career of his star forward would be best served by remaining in Ireland.
“Cathal is on his way temporarily I would suggest, going out to see if that is something that he wants to do. He has not made any final decision yet one way or the other,” said Mickey Harte following yesterday’s 1-13 to 0-10 win over Cavan.
“As long as he has not made the decision to go there, then I would still hold reasonable hope that he could still be playing football for Tyrone this year. But if he makes his decision to go then that’s his perogative to do so.
“I have given Cathal my views on what I thought in my heart and soul would be best for his career both on and off the field. The very simple answer to that is that I thought it would be best served by him being here.
“He has to take that on board and look at what may be on offer elsewhere. He has to make that final decision and I respect him for that. I’d be speaking to him on an ongoing basis. He is going out there to examine the situation for himself, but he hasn’t signed anything yet and until he does I would still be optimistic that he could still be a Tyrone player this year.”
With McShane due to travel to Australia in the coming weeks, Harte has also criticised the GAA’s connections to the AFL.
“It would be well known that I would not be a fan of gaelic players being scooped by the AFL and it’s a bit sad I think that this used to be the job of unknown scouts from Australia but now it’s actually ex-GAA people from Ireland who are actually scouting our players to take them away to another league which is of no benefit to us whatsoever.
“It’s one-way staff, loss loss for us and it doesn’t make much sense to me that we would still engage officially with that outfit while this goes on. It saddens me to say the least and I hope that somebody somewhere sees the nonsense of what we’re doing and cuts ties with them officially.”