County Board PRO Aiden McLoughlin has told the Mayo News that it’s open season for applicants who fancy taking on the vacant position as manager of the senior football team. He confirmed that the process is still at an early stage, with no candidates nominated as yet and no interviews having taken place. He also clarified that the new man will be free to pick his own backroom team:
It’s also not in the County Board’s nature to dictate to any of our managers who he works with, or might be involved as selectors etc. That is the reality of the situation.
No deadline for nominations was mentioned in this piece.
The same paper carries a report this week stating that former captain and U21 co-manager Noel Connelly may be interested in the job. Connelly himself refused to confirm or deny the story when questioned by the Mayo News last weekend, pointing out that he’s already got a team to manage. His charges – Hollymount/Carramore – beat Swinford at the weekend to reach the Mayo IFC semi-finals.
Also in this week’s Mayo News (paper and digital edition this time so no link to it), Aidan McLoughlin has strongly denied the veracity of the story in last Friday’s Irish Examiner stating that the new manager would have to comply with various restrictions imposed by the County Board. He said that this was “certainly not the case” and suggested that Chairman Paddy McNicholas had been “misinterpreted” in the comments he’d made which were picked up in that Irish Examiner piece. The PRO stressed that what the Board wanted was an agreement with the new manager that would ensure “all parties can work well together” and insisted that the Board’s objective is “to build on the progress that has been made over the past four years”.
Sean Rice, meanwhile, writing in this week’s Mayo News reckons that it’s James Horan’s achievements over the past four years that might prove the biggest stumbling block, as it could “scare away even the most qualified of would-be successors”. I think Sean has a point there but I’m not so sure he’s correct in saying that Kevin McStay may have his eyes more firmly fixed on the Roscommon job (when it next becomes available) rather than our hot seat.
Betting on the vacancy has, by the way, reopened on Paddy Power with McStay still the favourite, though Noel Connelly’s odds have now been pared to 2/1 while Tony McGarry is priced at 4/1.
Finally, an embarrassingly overdue congratulations to the Mayo Minor C hurlers who at the weekend lifted some of the gloom surrounding the world of Mayo GAA. Up in Ballinamore last Saturday the hurlers clinched back-to-back All-Ireland honours at this grade by beating Monaghan in the final on a 2-11 to 1-10 scoreline. Well done to them.