It was confirmed earlier on today that Andy Moran has been appointed as the new manager of Leitrim. The two-time All-Star and 2017 Footballer of the Year succeeds Terry Hyland in the role. The official announcement of Andy’s appointment is here.
Joining Andy’s backroom team in the Ridge County is his Ballaghaderreen co-manager Mike Solan who takes on the role of Assistant Manager. Mike is, of course, a former manager of the Mayo U21s with whom he enjoyed All-Ireland success back in 2016. Also appointed as selectors today were former Leitrim players Barry McWeeney and James Glancy.
It was more than a decade ago at a match in Portmarnock attended by no more than a few hundred people that it first hit home with me what a leader Andy Moran is. The game was a challenge one against Dublin and what I recall most from it was Andy’s vocal presence throughout and how, operating at wing-back, he organised everyone around him.
Much more recently, listening to him on the podcast with Paddy Andrews, it was impossible not to be struck at how deeply Andy thinks about the game and what a tactical mind he has. He has all the appearance of someone who was always destined for inter-county management.
I know it’s jumping more than a few steps ahead but the reality is that one fine day we’re going to be looking for a successor to James Horan as Mayo manager. Andy wouldn’t be the first ex-player to cut his teeth in management at inter-county level outside his native county and you’d have to think that taking over as manager back in Mayo is likely to be something he’ll be looking to do at some stage in the future.
For now, though, Andy’s job is to take charge of the Leitrim footballers. They had a tough enough time of it in 2021 and so Andy will be looking to engineer an improvement in their fortunes over the next few years. The best of luck to him in the role … aside, of course, from when we get drawn to play them in the Championship.