James Horan has been quiet enough on the media front since last December’s All-Ireland final but he’s returned to the circuit in recent days. I gather there’ll be a bit of coverage with him in the local print media over the coming week and, ahead of this, the Mayo manager did an interview with Caoimhín Rowland for CRCfm’s Saturday Sport show.
In a wide-ranging interview, James speaks about the emergence of all the new talent at Senior level last year and the retirements of the six hugely experienced players early this year, emphasising the willingness to learn amongst the former group and paying tribute to the enormous service given by the latter.
James enthuses about his backroom coaching team, in particular Ciaran McDonald, of whom he says that he’s an even better coach than he was a player in terms of “his understanding of what’s needed and how to communicate that” to the players.
On Oisín Mullin, James confirms that the current Young Footballer of the Year is fully committed to Mayo “at the moment.” He describes the Kilmaine player as “a very exciting prospect for us and will only get better, given the mindset and attitude he has.”
He talks too about the split season – which he fully supports – and expresses his support for this year’s set-up, with the inter-county action taking place first. He’s less effusive about the other recent changes, noting that, as an organisation, “we’re mad to change rules.”
On the likes of Jason Doherty and Brendan Harrison – who both missed out on the action last year through injury – James says that he’d be very keen to get both of them back on the field this year. He cautions, though, that there’ll be a “shotgun start” to this year with games possibly every weekend so it’ll be a case of “who’s running on top of the ground” when the action starts up again, including for the pivotal goalkeeper’s position.
You can listen to the interview in full below.