Tyrone coach Kevin Madden has said that he is really enjoying his experience as part of Mickey Harte’s backroom team.
Madden, who played for Antrim for nine years, and has been a coach for over a decade said it was a ‘no brainer’ decision for him to join the Red Hand senior set up over the off season.
He was contacted last year, and was delighted to come on board as part of Harte’s management team for the 2020 campaign.
The Red Hands started off the year with another successful McKenna Cup campaign, while after that they endured a mixed National League, winning their three home matches and losing two heavily on the road, before Covid-19 brought about a curtailment of their Division One programme.
Despite the protracted break right now which he obviously finds frustrating, Madden has enjoyed being part of the Tyrone camp.
“I’m really enjoying it, though I am not enjoying it at the moment (in lockdown). Our last day out was a good experience. That was an enjoyable one, beating Dublin in Omagh. The one before it not so much (away to Galway).”
The Portglenone man has extensive coaching experience, and he has worked as an assistant to Liam Bradley when Glenullin won a Derry Senior Championship in 2007. He was assistant to Damian Cassidy the Derry manager in 2009 and 2010, and more recently he had managed in his own county Antrim.
However, he said that it was an easy decision to join Mickey Harte’s coaching staff.
“When Mickey came knocking it was a no brainer for me.
“Here was an opportunity, and not just for me to bring something fresh to Tyrone, but also a chance for me to sit back and learn to grow as a coach.”
Madden played county football from 1996 through to 2007, but a heart defect discovered in the early noughties, shortened his career severely and he turned to management to fulfil the competitive gap.
However, he said himself that he is still surprised that he has ended up coaching the Tyrone team.
“If someone had said to me that I would be coaching Tyrone I wouldn’t have believed it.
“If someone had said to me in 2007, (after Glenullin had won the championship when he was assistant) that the Baker (Glenullin manager Liam Bradley) would manage Antrim and I would go on to be assisant manager of Derry, I would have said that was too far fetched.”
Madden’s decision to take a coaching role is an interesting one. He has already worked as the manager a various club teams including Creggan and the Loup, where he was the main focal point of the team. But this is a different role again. He is not making tactical calls. He is merely in the background, working with players, and how they are performing.
So it almost seems like a step back from what he was doing.
“I enjoyed working with clubs, and I had four good years with Creggan. I kind of felt that when you are managing a team and you are the main coach, and you are the main communicator and the main person at looking after the tactical side of things, there comes a point where you are not developing as a coach, and you are not moving forward. I felt that I was a that point.
“I felt that it was an opportunity to row back, and to come in and work at county level again.”
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