James Horan is the pick of the five named so far

Various media source are reporting this morning that the five nominees for the vacant position of Mayo manager are Mick O’Dwyer, John Maughan, Denis Kearney, Anthony McGarry and James Horan.  Understandably, most of the media attention has focused on the candidacy of the Waterville maestro who would obviously be a high-profile appointment.

Despite his long and distinguished track record, however, I don’t see Micko as the man for the job, not least in view of where we’re at right now.  The national media would love it, for sure, as it’d give them plenty of fodder for lazy-minded ‘Micko’s Mayo’ guff and, regardless of how we’d fare under him, there’d be plenty of vomit-inducing copy with which we’d have to cope.  Succeed and it’d be the one about Micko waving his magic wand and turning our vale of tears into a land of milk and honey, fail and it’d be how even the Greatest Manager of All Time couldn’t deal with our deep psychological failings.  Personally, I think this is a circus we can do without.

In his last two stints on the sideline, John Maughan led us to the All-Ireland final on no less than three occasions and, but for the bounce of a ball that will haunt all of us ’till our dying days, he could just as easily be resting on his laurels as The Man Who Led Us To The Promised Land in 1996.  Many of the present failings in our senior team would, we can be sure, be addressed in short order under a Maughan III regime but I’m not fully convinced that, by once more going back to the future, we’re going to end up where we want to go with such an appointment. That said, if it came down to a choice between Maughan and Micko, I’d have the Crossmolina man in a flash.

I know little about the candidacies of Denis Kearney and Tony McGarry – can anyone enlighten the world in this respect? – and so there’s little I can say for or against either of them.  Neither have, as far as I’m aware, a strong track record in this area (though, as I’ll argue in a minute, I don’t think that should be a determining factor in the appointment) and I don’t know what attributes either of them would bring to the job.  Short of being a fly on the wall at the interview stage, I don’t know how one would go about answering these questions.  I guess all that can be said is that they both deserve a hearing but that the ball is in their court to put forward a compelling case as to why they should get the job.

For my money, though, the obvious standout candidate from this quintet has to be James Horan.  He has some management experience at club level (along with Tony Duffy in Ballintubber) but hasn’t done anything so far on the inter-county stage.  I don’t think that’s hugely relevant: Kieran McGeeney, Pat Gilroy and Kevin Walsh were all first-timers at this lark when given the reins of their respective counties and they’ve all outperformed in the role.  What they all have – and what I think James Horan has too – is a strength of personality and a level of footballing intelligence that makes them very effective leaders.  James also knows the club scene thoroughly and, providing he can assemble the kind of backroom teams that McGeeney, Gilroy and Walsh were able to, I think he could be an inspired choice for us.

It’s still, however, early days in this process.  As I understand it, there’s still time for other candidates to emerge and, once a definitive shortlist is arrived at, the whole selection process (in terms of interviews and so forth) has to take place.  As a result, I think any fears about a speedy appointment of Mick O’Dwyer to the job are misplaced.  Indeed, I reckon that any fears at all on that score are likely to be wide of the mark.

If there’s anything we learned from the ill-fated Johnno II era, it’s that appointing the wrong person for the wrong reason is something we’ll be left with plenty of time to rue.  Whoever gets the job this time has to do so as part of a plan to build for the future and while the appointment of the next manager isn’t the be-all and end-all in terms of getting us to the destination we all want to get to – there’s much to do too with regards structures and so forth if we’re ever to have any hope of become a serious footballing power again – whoever we pick has to be part of the answer.  I can see why James Horan would fit the bill in this regard but, despite all he’s achieved in the past, I can’t see how appointing Micko could form any part of such a plan.

46 thoughts on “James Horan is the pick of the five named so far

  1. The fact that Micko is being even discussed (and it would seem considered) is an insult to Mayo football. It proves once again, if any doubt were present that the only review that needs to be taking place in and around Mayo football is a review of why the feck are the same clowns in charge that have been there for nigh on over 20 years.
    James Horan should be given a 2 year term (I cant see them giving any more) and be allowed pick his own selectors.
    We then need a coaching/player officer in to monitor players transition from minor to senior and the respective management teams of the 3 different panels (Minor – Senior and U-21) need to be meeting at least once a month and be shown useful data on that pool of players from minor right through to senior so people can progress properly and the right choices are made.
    The days of All Irelands coming from the happy accident of a bunch of players being born roughly at the same time, getting a coach who can get the best out of them, and getting a bit of luck that year are long gone. We didnt win one when things were like that, so if we dont start doing something a bit more scientific now we might NEVER win one again.
    Its clear the underage structures are doing something right, the raft of minor and U-21 Connacht titles over the last 5 years and the competitiveness on the national stage show that but its time to bring the other strands into play now before another few generations of talented footballers are lost. If we do that, we have a great chance of landing SAM in the next 10 years but it certainly will not happen though luck and hope.

  2. I do not know much about James Horans coaching abillity but he would be a lot better than Micko.
    Maughan is much maligned but you allways get value for your money from him.

  3. I agree that we need a new fresh start and of the 5 mentioned James Horan would represent that.
    John Maughan was very good at training and motivating a team and his teams never collapsed but he lacked tactical nous and flexibility on match day.
    I still believe that some of those ruling themselves out could still re-emerge as serious candidates should the county board go looking.
    However I think we need to be thinking of a team of coaches each complementing the other. I think we need to be thinking of a sheriff and two or three deputies when next we show up at the OK Coral. We need coaches who can show players how to close out a game, coaches who can show defenders how to remain goalside of attackers and defend without fouling, and coaches who understand the value of goals in big matches (3 goals to 0 last Sunday! )
    We have not scored sufficient goals for ages and have conceded way too many. Goals scored give a huge boost to a team whilst goals conceded are hugely deflationary. We need coaches who can show players how to take the cute way to victory, the chip over an advancing keeper, the fisted finish from a weighted pass to the edge of the box, the daisy cutter, etc.
    We need coaches who will not tolerate the butchering of chances through selfishness or individualism and who insist on repeated drills to get the desired team finish.
    We need coaches who judge our defenders solely on how much they have conceded to their direct opponent, how many frees they have conceded and how many chances they have offered up that may not have been availed of. The top defender is of course the guy with the lowest number and we need to be told who our top defender is after every match.
    We need a statistician or DVD man who reviews these matters and lets us know the figures.
    Here’s hoping we can put such a team in place.

  4. Back when Jack O’Shea was appointed manager, the word at the time was that it was a Dublin based group that put it in place and hijacked the selection process.

    Considering the disaster that ensued, I hope that those responsible are not involving themselves again.

  5. WJ,

    Tried posting this a few minutes ago but not sure if it worked. We have no involvment whatsoever in the selection of the next Mayo manager. We will support 100% whoever the next manager is.

    Message up to all members and non-members on our website: http://www.clubmayo.ie

  6. Sixpointsup might be close there. No way did Mick O Dwyer allow his name to go forward unless he felt it was worthwhile. Did the guys who refused to let their names go forward know something that the others didnt?
    Mayo need a clean sweep. The panel of this years championship has to be scattered. O Mahony wasted the chance to do it in 2006/07. If Micko comes in we will have the same old faces doing the same old stuff. James Horan desreves the gig, will he get it? Never underestimate the wily old fox.

  7. eastcorkexile I think you’re a bit strong there saying discussion of Micko is an insult to Mayo football… given what transpired this year. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if he were appointed- he would provide a bounce in results for two years and it would be up to Mayo co board to look after underage structures and whatever happened after that. He has no interest in club or underage football so the long term future would have to be minded very carefully, something I think we can assume won’t happen.
    To be fair to the man, he has improved every county he’s been in, won cups in Kildare & Laois, and improved Wicklow. It’s a simple tradeoff of some excitement and razzamataz for two years- and an outside chance of a final appearance- or proper systematic preparation for a serious assault on success over 10/15 years. Judge for yourself the chances of such a strategic plan being created & implemented.

  8. Having spoken to a couple of the current Mayo panel, they would be quite happy for John Maughan to be given the job. As one of them said ‘at least we were a team when he was manager’.

    Mind you, I don’t think he would be the county board’s choice.

  9. John Maughan to me is the best option and will have the team playing to their potential, bar a couple of bad tactical decisions in finals he was an a1 manager, the best we have ever had. The period of 96-99 was unreal and theres no point on me harping on about it here as everyone here is aware we done everything bar win it but people do tend to forget jm’s contribution, he had Mayo flying, we were as fit as any county and we played with a bit of umph, something i have not really seen since bar our win against the jacks in 06. I for one would love to see the Crossmolina man back where he belongs and not some bus pass Kerryman who will bleed us dry, i know he’s to be respected and all that but jesus god forgive me he’s like an aul whore going round the country hiring himself out to the highest bidder, no addition to mayo, i’m telling ye.

  10. I don’t believe what im reading! If mayo can get micko, bite his hand off!!I’m pretty sure winning an intermediate with ballintubber( beating a team by a point in the final,a team that went junior the following year) is not enough to be a candidate!John maughan? How many more chances will we give him to prove he is not the right man.One man that has won i’d imagine twice as many ai medals than anybody, brought laois their first leinster title in decades and kildare to ai final. Are ye having a laugh?
    gaamama yeah we were a team that lied down after twenty minutes in a all ireland final! I remember before the 04 game vs kerry, john maughan said we will probably need goals to win it, so yes lets bring back a manager content to lose!

  11. The film title “A Few Good Men” springs to mind; a team with
    James Horan, John Maughan and Liam McHale. Here you
    have people who know the club scene, can motiviate and
    can physically train a team.

    Finally, any results from the County Boards “review” of
    Mayo GAA?

  12. jj….We were not good enough in 04/06, beaten by a far better team. Argument can be made for 96/97 but thats all and that really is nothing to with this appointment as such.

    Mick o Dwyer knows nothing about Mayo club football and that would be a big disadvantage for a start.

    Is Micko going to be the difference in Mayo winning sam maguire or not? imo…not

    Is Mickos training a bit outdated? According to what i hear, yes.

    Did Micko just bring a bit of belief and enthusiasm to middle of the road counties and that brought about a bit of punching above your weight type success. Yes thats all it is, i personally think it’s just useless to Mayo as his methods are outdated to the new game(last 3 years), for christs sake the man wont use a sub unless a player has broken both legs.

    Old fashioned, used up, had his day and i wish the great man would just call it a day before he is found out, this job will prove my point, if my nightmare comes true

  13. Yes Kerry were a better team and yes kerry were better than tyrone in 05 but some homework and an actual GAME PLAN was used,belief aswell and what happened?.1996- had sean boylan been in our dressing room and mr maughan in theirs im sure we would have won convincingly.97- he left james horan(our best forward) on the bench,put pat holmes on maurice fitzgerald when we had an all star corner back.Left maurice to tear pat apart and did absoloutely nothing about it.Now thats what pat holmes is remembered for,which is sad.Same with fergal kelly in 04, gives him his debut(a junior footballer) in an all ireland semi final.Watches us lose the final, only to bring on brady with 20 to go.I agree that mickos methods maybe outdated, but the fundamentals are there. He has brought more than ‘enthusiasm’.Forget wicklow,nothing could be done there.Leinsters with laois and kildare when leinster was strong.He always states that he has affection for mayo and im sure this would get the fire going there.’according to what you hear’ i would love to know your sources.Oh yes your right i forgot mickey moran was a big follower of the mayo club game! but then again i suppose i could be wrong,thats just my belief.

  14. Forget Micko .With JM in charge we would have one of the fittest and strongest teams in the land that defence in 96 was as tough as nails and tackled like terriers look at the way we stood up to Meath man to man then the hardest team around.JH could certainly have a part to play.Has JM burnt to many bridges with the county board or has the decision already been made through Dublin and the sponsors as said before Micko would not let his name forward without knowing something.

  15. Hi Willie Joe

    We know there has been alot of idle speculation about the involvement of Club Mayo in the managerial selection process.

    As you know Club Mayo is the officially recognised supporters club in Dublin. We have released a statement directed to our members on our website – http://www.clubmayo.ie – but is available to anybody who would like to see it.

  16. There is Club Mayo and there are the Mayo’s in Dublin. There is a huge difference. The former will have no input but the latter may have a say.

  17. Typical sleveen behaviour if a repeat of the Jack O’Shea disaster is being contemplated by some. I can’t think that Micko would win any democratic vote among Mayo supporters (that I have talked to or heard of) as the choice to take us forward. If we are lamenting where we are today, we need to look at the legacy he has left Laois who also had plenty of underage talent coming through.

  18. No wonder other counties laugh at us…

    Of the 3:

    James Horan – I don’t know anything about him – Do we really need a manager with no experience

    John M – What he will bring is a solid team – we don’t have the players to win an AI so the best we can hope for is that we won’t be shamed again and that is what he will bring

    Micko – it will be a circus if he joins and expectations will go through the roof and ye will all be on here again next year when we get beaten saying the same things

    Thats my 2 cents anyway – the only thing we have going for us is that we are better than Galway and should win the conn title next then if we put in a good QF performance that will give us a basis to build from

  19. To be honest I can see some of the arguments for the 3 main candidates as it stands.

    Micko – one thing that he has brought to every county he managed has been belief. Which is one thing that everyone in the county knows has been missing at vital times. But is he at the end of the road with outdated training? He would be a short term appointment and to get him and achieve anything less than an AI title would be seen as a failure.

    Maughan – we know his qualities. Tough teams, fit, work for each other, generally have a good plan going out on the day. We also know his flaws; poor sideline management on the day, can oust players not on the same hymn sheet as himself.

    Horan – fresh blood. A clean slate for all players, should know the club scene at intermediate and senior well, respected as a player and has done well with Ballintubber. Would also be given more time and sympathy as well as lower expectations by supporters.

    If these are the 3 candidates the county board have to look at it and see what future they see. Short-term and hope something happens quick or a build for the future appointment.

    Perhaps JM with Horan and Connelly in the backroom staff to take over after a couple of yrs. It would give continuity and help us build for the future. But would be have to be done in a way that too many bridges aren’t burned and with expectations at the right, realistic level

  20. I couldn’t agree more about the comments regarding Micko taking over Mayo. He seems to be on a whistle stop management tour around Ireland. This may be for an extra bit of cash to fund his retirement or to simply pass the time.

    Mayo need to take a long-term approach this time round. We need to build something up for the undoubted talent coming through at minor level. Maughan was much maligned while in charge but we were at least competitive under him.

    JOM took the job to get elected and instilled little ambition or hunger in the side. I think James Horan could at the very least address this. I would like to see Horan being given a tilt at it with the likes of Noel Connelly or Pat Fallon with him.

  21. I would be firmly in the save us from Micko camp and agree with the “aul whore” comment. Let’s have some pride in the county and not go for the quick but deadly fix – Micko might get to a qtr/semi final next year (doubtful) but that would be the end of it and we’ll be here next Aug/Sept with the same debate. Can anyone talk sense to the CB and ask them to look to the future and not just the next campaign or the neediness of an old legend who just can’t let go of the limelight. I can hear Joe Brolly and Colm O’Rourke next year, giving us stick about not having the bottle etc. It’s nearly enough to make you emigrate!

  22. Remember that the John Maughan you get now is not the John Maughan of 15 years ago when he was ahead of his time in fitness preparation and the energy he could give to the role, others have probably caught up with him. His last job in Roscommon was not a happy time, though maybe that should be discounted as it seems ( ref Fermanagh) he was never as good outside Mayo as he was inside, for whatever reason.
    Having him and someone else prob wouldn’t work as he’s used to being the boss- joint managers rarely work maybe because it’s an additional thing to worry about- as if you haven’t enough.
    Rayosilke- anyone who saw the display against L’ford wouldn’t be that confident of a Connacht title next year. You have Sligo- who will know they can win the thing- and determined to make amends for last year- and Roscommon- who will be another year after making progress- and that’s saying nothing about Galway, who will not roll over too easily no matter the circumstance.

  23. Is it a bit of an assumption to assume that it’s between maughan and micko with Horan the outsider?
    Why not Mcgarry or Kearney?
    I don’t know what mcGarry’s done but as he was nominated by a club, he can’t be a name plucked out of the ether and denis has two sligo champs and the last two roscommon with castlerea. That’s more than horan has. Micko may interested and maughan may not so lets not assume anything is set in stone

  24. personally, i would hate to see Micko get the job. if he gets it, its down to the county board needing a celeb to get crowds to McHale park to pay off that huge debt!! Im all for John Maughan. Although no all Irelands under his belt he has being a very successful manager for us and our lads were always hungry & Fit and hard hitting under him. Hes well aware of what is going on in the county club scene too. If he could get the right back room team around him, it could be a great set-up. Maughan as manager, Peter Forde, Colm McManamon & James Horan as selectors. I think the back room team is awful important.

  25. I`ve got to agree with Furlo,Why should denis kearney not be considered.He is a former county player and has brought Curry and Castlrea to (their respective) county champions.What more does a club manager have to do to be considered?
    Or is it all about profile! The county board will hide behind profile Im sure .

  26. My one memory of Denis Kearney was his spat with Liam Hayes in a challange match in Kilmaine in 1987 that ended with Hayes out cold and Kearney getting a red card.Denis was a late comer to the Mayo team ,he had earned his call up through his reputation as one of the hardest men in club football at the time.His brother Tom had played center back a few seasons before.
    Leading up to to this match in Kilmaine was a late league game against Meath that we had to win to stay up.Kearney cleaned Hayes and McEntee at midfield that day scoring 2 points in the process to win in a low scoring game,so there was a niggle in it.He started well again and got a slap from Hayes after which he turned and left Hayes streached calling out for mother!The ref had no option but to send him off but the blood was up and we beat them 1¬15 to 1¬5The same year Meath won the all Ireland and we crashed out to Galway by 0¬8 to 0¬7 in Castlebar in one of the dirtiest gemes i`ve ever been at.
    Denis Kearney has certainly proved himself as a club manager in the recent past and he`s certainly not lacking balls in the white heat of battle.So maybe he could be the man along with James Horan and a couple of others from opposite ends of the county.

  27. People that seem to know Kearney, seem to think he has a lot to offer and i like the way he’s talked up about being tough and hardy. I can’t really remember him playing, i can remember being at the 1987 connacht final, but i was young and Brogan was the only man i looked for in them days, i thought he was mighty as a child back then. Jesus even if he could be brought in some sort of a capacity to train the corner backs, wouldnt that be a big problem solved if he could turn boys into men.

  28. Micko is still living off his reputation from being in charge of a brillant Kerry team. What has been so great about his time in charge of Kildare,Wicklow or Laois. I wonder would he travel to Mayo for training using his free bus pass ? ! ! He has had his day – – we must look to the future with a younger local man that knows the scene and more importantly we don’t need the Mayo Mafia in Dublin telling us what to do. We have some viable contenders in D.Kearney and J.Horan. Don’t rule out Peter Forde yet if certain members of the County Board “restrain themselves”. Also maybe Noel Connelly could be persuaded to come onside as a selector. J.Maughan is past his sell-by date — let’s not go there!

  29. The first thing the County Board should do before getting a new manager is sabotage Croke Park and then over the next few years get all the All Irelands played in the Aviva Stadium. Reasons are we seem to have by either consequence or bad luck a mental block (largely talked up by the media) in winning important matches in Croker. New team has to address that.
    More junior clubs should amalgamate at all levels thus raising the stander of football in this County. Some clubs can’t field underage teams at some levels and then loose players to other sports. By amalgamating with an other club they will get plenty of football and maybe both clubs might benefit with different coaching ideas. County board wants to get rid of all competitive matches up to u16s; this will be a disaster as they need to be competitive from at least u12 up. Maybe its time to renew the County Board first before we get a new Management team.
    My own personal criteria for a new management team is they should have a win at all cost attitude and no ones beats us .Maughan should have an advisory roll. After all he raised our expectations and deserves to have a part to play .Joint managers Connelly.Horan, Carney

  30. If nothing else from this page , can I congratulate Denis Karney for whacking Hayes. Well done and he didnt give him half enough. Pity Mayo dont have a few more like him. Give it to Kearney and lets even a few scores starting with Derry and Brolly, Meath and O Rourke (or is he a Leitrim man?), that will do for a start. We gotta stop been shafted and time to split a few coconuts. If not we will be always nice guys who ultimatly are sniggered at.

  31. If, as it should be the selection of Mayo senior manager is the result of a process somewhat close to democracy then the race is among the Mayo men mentioned James Horan on Gravitas alone should come through.
    Just watched the Minors -delayed viewing due to being away- they put up some fight but in the end not ruthless enough to win dirty ugly whatever way you have to if you want to.
    Watched the last sequence of play over again and again, from the smothered goal effort to the thrown ( one handed ) clearance, Tyrone were not going to loose that lead by any means.
    However our minors were awesome at times and not a one man team either, defense was loose and naive at times and this is a microcosm of our biggest problem – we have to get some ruthless guys in defensive positions who are prepared to STOP the straight running attacks through our middle. I dont think this streak can be coached it is a genetic trait in rare supply in this county at present.
    Please would some hardy young mayo bucks prove me wrong!!

  32. Well said Kevin McStay.
    Seems our so-called review is now being seen by everyone as the shite it is. The appointment of Micko would prove it once and for all:

    RTÉ football analyst Kevin McStay believes that Mick O’Dwyer is not the man to fill the vacant Mayo football manager’s position.

    The former Mayo star and Sunday Game panellist, speaking to Darren Frehill on Morning Ireland, believes that the county should be more progressive in appointing a new manager following the resignation of John O’Mahony.

    ‘The talk in Mayo is now deadly serious about Micko taking over. He has gone public in terms of his interest and he has spoken to one or two guys in the Mayo scene.’

    ‘We were promised a review of football in the county two or three months ago but that seems to have died a death, and now we are appointing key officials before we have even had that review. To me it’s a complete nonsense.’

    ‘It’s not a personal slight against Mick O’Dwyer, but the man is 74. The contract is two or three years so he would be 77 (by the time his term expires).’

    ‘His name has been mentioned in connection with every county where there is a managerial vacancy. He is also still manager of Wicklow and I thought that there would be a certain courtesy involved. Have Aston Villa asked him if he is interested in their position?’

    ‘I think that Mayo should be going a completely different route. I’m disappointed, to say the least, that the process has not been a little more progressive.’

  33. I think it’s about time a bit of pride was restored in Mayo football, i’m sure everyone wants that. I’m sick of near apologizing to others for Mayos performances over the last few years, bowing the head in agreement to everybody laughing at Mayo. As childish as a might sound, but fuck the rest of Ireland, to hell with the so called experts, to hell with micko and his b/s. I’m a Mayo man and proud to be, there are at least 25 other counties that dont get up to hq as much as we do, yet they all want to throw in their twopence about “daft Mayo”. I hope to jesus christ we roll up the sleves no matter whos in charge and show them what Mayo are made of, i know i’m ranting on but i just feel enough is enough. Up Mayo.

  34. Here here ontheroad, DK gets my vote for splitting Hayes. We’ve had to put up with a lot of guff since then from the oaf who sprays nonsense at every opportunity. Sounds like Kearney would pick the type of centre back who takes personal offence to an attack running straight through his patch. Proper order!

  35. Appointing Micko would be a huge step backwards. We have plenty of able people ourselves. All we want is someone who loves Mayo football to give it a hard honest go – pick the best 15 and instill a bit of pride and confidence in them – and see what happens.
    There is very little magic in this business or quick fixes – mostly hard work, passion and commitment……and a good dash of common football sense.

  36. have to admit I didn’t know whole lot about Denis Kearney before his nomination but the more that comes to light about him the more I can appreciate his nomination. Just because he hasn’t been a star in lights or a previous county manager shouldn’t be a reason to dismiss him. But be obviously knows a thing or two about management and winning. Every inter county manager has to get a start somewhere so the question is do the CB go for a name that has previously managed at county level or see enough in the CV of someone like Denis Kearney. The more I look at it I would be less critical of the CB if they gave it to Denis than I would be of them appointing Micko! I don’t think there’s a GAA person out there doesn’t respect Micko but as so many have already argued that isn’t a reason to give him the Mayo job at what is inevitably the tail end of his career

  37. Ballintubber, under James Horan, yesterday defeated the mighty Ballina Stephenites

  38. I assume that the famous review is now dead. I cannot say I am too upset because I would have little faith in it being done properly in the first place.
    So at this stage it really is about getting someone to take over the job of manager and as quickly as possible.
    What is the story with Peter Forde? He has a lot going for him. Former Mayo player – tough man in his day – plenty experience at county level – knows Galway and Sligo at first hand – lives in the county – is a secondary teacher and as such must be a fairly good communicator and has lots of time in June/July/August.
    Denis Kearney would certainly bring plenty of steel to Mayo play but I think there is more to it than that.

  39. Looks like its probably not going to be Micko now, thank God. From the Evening Herald:

    SPECULATION is mounting that Mick O’Dwyer will be staying with Wicklow after all.

    The Wicklow county board will host a scheduled county board meeting tonight, but the position of senior football manager will be on the agenda and one source has indicated there is a “strong possibility” that O’Dwyer will be ratified for a fifth season at the Garden County coalface.

    The GAA’s most decorated manager, now aged 74, has been heavily linked with the Mayo vacancy in the last week, but that trail looks to have cooled somewhat over the weekend.

    Wicklow officials were remaining tight-lipped when contacted by the Evening Herald. However, it’s understood clubs are keen to have the position clarified after two months where O’Dwyer’s name has been associated with a number of other counties, most notably Mayo where he was revealed as one of five nominees on a shortlist for John O’Mahony’s old job.

    The Kerry legend could not be contacted at time of going to press, while a prominent board official suggested there could be news later today

  40. Word on the street is that it was either Micko or the third coming of John Maughan, so presumably is thats true then its JM Mark III.
    At the risk of sounding like James Horan’s agent I think he would be the best candidate, John Maughan has done great things for mayo football and would not be a bad appointment at all but hes had his chance and we cant keep going back to the well there. James Horan has a bit of pedigree now with Ballintubber (it was Ballin who nearly up to a couple of years ago) and it would be a refreshing change.
    They say a sign of madness is doing the same things over again and expecting different results. I know 96 still bothers JM (as it does the rest of us) and I can understand why he’d like another shot at it but I think its time to move on.

  41. I believe the review should go ahead and could be headed up by JP Keane,Peter Ford and Kevin McStay.From what we have been told so far it appears a James Horan/Dennis Kearney team would be by far the best choice at this point.They will have three pretty good minor teams from the past three years and some pretty good under 21 teams also to work with and mould into a great senior team in a few years.Good luck to them….

  42. Thank God that micko fiasco now seems to be over, imagine the crack them bucks above in the rte studio would have had, if he was appointed :-()

  43. John Maughan has shown a massive re-surgence in the betting to be clear favourite with the bookies now. He is odds on at 8/13 , while Micko is at 7/1, behind Horan at at 7/4 and Kearney at 6/1 and McGarry now the long shot at 16/1.
    Would be interesting if JM were to come back for a third stint. Personally I’m a big fan but he will probably have a few critics out there as well. As the saying goes, no smoke without fire and those short odds are suggesting there must be a willingness on his part to take on the job

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