This afternoon’s announcement by Mayo GAA (here) that county footballing legend Ciaran McDonald has joined James Horan’s backroom team in a coaching capacity is the kind of good news Mayo fans everywhere will welcome.
There’s still over a month to go before our opening match in 2020 – we play Galway in the FBD League semi-final on 12th January and two weeks later open the defence of our National League title, with a first round Division One clash with Donegal in Ballybofey – and there’s been precious little on-field action to focus on of late. At the same time, of course, there’s no apparent end to our off-field troubles, though, as ever, the less said about that the better.
Into that void drops this very welcome development. Ciaran has, of course, been involved with underage coaching of academy teams at county level for the last few years and it always seemed that it was only a matter of time before he’d be given the chance to ply his trade at senior level. That time is now.
In welcoming the Crossmolina man to his management team James Horan paid tribute to Ciaran as “someone who made his own opportunities on the field of play, creating some outstanding moments and demonstrating great flair, fitness, endurance and individual talent.” James added that the new man will be “a valued addition to the excellent team of committed people that are already driving this team forward and achieving great things.”
Mayo supporters everywhere will undoubtedly share those sentiments and share too the same hope that Ciaran’s input on the coaching side will drive the team’s performance to higher levels in 2020. With collective training having resumed inside the last week, a new year of football action is drawing ever nearer. It can’t come a day too soon.
Best of luck Ciaran and welcome back into the senior set-up. We’ve missed you.