The full, unexpurgated version of Mike Finnerty’s interview with James Horan is in this week’s Mayo News, which is available today in print and digital versions. The paper released a taster of the interview last week but the complete thing is spread over two pages in this week’s paper, broken into a number of sections.
Part of the interview deals with preparations for next summer’s championship, in which James states that a proper tilt at the league would be ideal in this respect. James reckons that our league form hasn’t been consistent enough – he’s right too: think of that stupid loss to Tyrone and the even more stupid manner we got turned over by Kildare this spring, both of which games were played on home turf – and that we were unable to “ground out some of the hard games that we could have ground out.”
But it’s not just a more consistent approach to the spring campaign that the boss wants. He’d like us to go on and win it, reasoning thus:
The best preparation for the All- Ireland championship would be a national title victory. I don’t think there’s anything better you could do in training that would help the team like that would.
You can’t really argue with that logic. The added bonus of winning a national final in Croke Park before embarking on another championship campaign wouldn’t go amiss either. If we get into a final, though, we’d need to make sure we win it.
This bit of the interview is also carried in today’s Irish Examiner (here) and this includes James’ firm dismissal of the rather ridiculous rumour that ex-Donegal selector Rory Gallagher might be in the running to join his management team. I’ve no idea where that one came from – we’re nowhere near April 1st – but the notion that that loon would ever form part of James’ team requires, I reckon, a few fairly large imaginative somersaults.
Other bits of interest from the interview include the revelation that all of last year’s panel will be on board again for next year – including Ger Cafferkey – and that club players who have shone in recent weeks, Kiltane’s Mikie (is that really how his name is spelt?) Sweeney among them, will be given the chance to break into the panel next year. In truth, though, it’s best to get your hands on the full version yourself as it all makes for very interesting reading.
Separately, the Mayo News also reveals that, since the All-Ireland final was played, James has been inundated with large volumes of post from ladies of a certain age. Just one of the many perks of the job, I guess.