James Horan hasn’t let the grass grow under his feet since stepping down as manager, penning a few pieces for the Irish Independent before and after yesterday’s All-Ireland final. In his column in today’s Indo, once he’d done with discussing yesterday’s vomitfest he had a few words to say about his successors in the Mayo hot seat. What he had to say was positive and supportive.
He described Noel and Pat as “two good men” and expressed his hope that the new team are able to get us over the line. He also noted that the squad he’s handed over to them are “a group of exciting, motivated, driven young players who want to keep improving” and said that “a really exciting time” lies ahead for us. He even managed a kind word for the County Board, saying that the “swift appointment” gives the new team the opportunity to start their planning right away.
Top of the new team’s to-do list, after the formal ratification of their appointment (which is expected to happen this Thursday, by the way), will be to sort out details of their backroom team. This week’s Western People (paper and digital versions) states that Donie Buckley is believed to have confirmed his availability to stay on and so it’s important that this and other key appointments are confirmed as soon as possible.
That piece in the Western also sheds some light on the joint-manager, who’s-really-in-charge issue. It does appear that the ticket is, indeed, a joint one but the Western states that Croke Park are likely to insist on one of the duo being named as manager for the purposes of fronting the operation for interviews and so forth. If this is the case, the Western reckon that Noel Connelly is likely to be the public face of the new management team.