James Horan special – Mayo News football podcast 2020 E8

Mayo are in the midst of a tightly compressed series of National League Division One games right now and, as often is the case at this time of year, there are positives and negatives to how the county’s senior team has performed so far. James Horan has his hands full at the minute but, despite this, the Mayo manager took time out from his schedule this week to speak with the Mayo News football podcast.

In this special bonus episode of the podcast, Rob Murphy and I sit down with James Horan for an in-depth interview to take stock on how his Mayo team are shaping up at the halfway point in this year’s Division One campaign. James talks about what’s working well and not so well out on the pitch this spring, he discusses his management style and the coaching team he currently has with him and he also reflects on how the world of Gaelic football continues to evolve, including the all-pervasive scrutiny social media places on players and managers.

In addition, James provides an informative update on the current squad, in particular relating to players who have yet to feature for Mayo this year.

This special bonus episode of the Mayo News football podcast is now online and is available to listen to on iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify and Podomatic. You can also listen to it directly on the Mayo News website as well as here on the blog using the SoundCloud player below or the one in the panel on the right.

The Mayo News football podcast now has its own Twitter presence, @MayoPodcast, so, if you’re a Twitter user, you should follow us there to make sure you get the latest podcast-related updates, including new episodes. 

The Mayo News football podcast’s League coverage is proudly sponsored by J Streicher. “When it absolutely, positively has to be financed on Wall Street”. Visit our website at www.jstreicherglobal.com.

69 thoughts on “James Horan special – Mayo News football podcast 2020 E8

  1. Hi Alll very encouraging to hear what JH has to say. What a great attitude. He seems very happy with those around him and sounds the right person to be building the new Mayo team. Now i will sit back, relax and enjoy the Kerry gane as i watch the great Mayo team developing.

  2. Looking forward to seeing Rory Byrne in nets, hopefully he’ll get his chance at the weekend.

    JH seems to radiate calm, which is a good sign given how difficult this league campaign has been to date.

    We need a plan to deal with Clifford and co. next Saturday as we will be well and truly hammered if we allow as many goal chances.

    Is the Kerry game live on TV?

  3. Really enjoyed that. Mayo GAA owes a lot to James Horan and he more than anyone else deserved the time and patience to develop what is a new Mayo team. I’d say James has brought through more in the last 18 months than the previous 6 years. Also great to hear the player updates. There’s a serious first 15 there when all is available.

  4. I haven’t even listened to it yet lads but what a brilliant idea…well done to you all

  5. Good to hear the updates on where certain players are from the horse’s mouth. Some of the rumours would drive you mad!

  6. Enjoyed that no end . Great to hear directly from James and fair play to John and Rob for asking the questions we would if given the chance. I never doubted it, but it reassures me that Mayo football is in good hands. I’ve said for years, if they’re there James will find them. We must have patience. No easy job trying to replace some of the lads of the last 10 years. Cool, calm and collected , with honest answers about players not currently on the pitch.

  7. Brilliant interview lads. Nailed all the key issues and James was very clear and open with his answers His calm positive attitude no doubt rubs off on all the players. Let James and the squad do their job and we do ours. Hon Mayo!!!

  8. Great stuff lads and good to hear James speaking so positively about the squad and the coaching staff. We will not be giving up our Division 1 status without a major fight, that is for sure!

  9. Great interview clears up so many issues for the supporters. More confident about the Summer listening too that!!

  10. Great interview, JH comes across as very calm and positive. The bit of positivity is badly needed this week. A great feature though….and will go a long way in dismantling the rumour mill. Thanks all

  11. Great podcast lads well done. James Horan is one of the really great managers this county ever produced. His ability to empower the people around him is legendary at this stage. He has produced some of the best players we have had the pleasure of watching. and it is reassuring to see that work continue in places like Ballybofey and Clones.. Kudos also to the system that had him return to mold the next generation of Mayo footballers. If you are a true Mayo supporter my advice is to stand loud and proud on the sidelines of McHale Park on Saturday night to salute these great Mayo men. Ni ceart go cur le cheile.

  12. Great podcast yet again. Huge effort by yourself Willie Joe to finish work, travel to Castlebar, conduct the interview, travel home and upload a second podcast in three days. For a man who said he was rowing back on things, the opposite appears to be the case. Many thanks for 41 minutes of great audio.

  13. Thanks all for the positive comments on the podcast, all. Glad you enjoyed it.

    The drive down and back up last night was tough enough, Near Hand In, but it was Rob who did all the subsequent editing and uploaded the finished product. It was a good team effort.

    Credit to James too for making himself available and engaging so openly with us as well as giving us such a decent chunk of time.

    Just a reminder that the podcast now has its own Twitter home (@MayoPodcast) so if you could follow it that would be great. We’re aiming to make this the podcast’s online home so the more people we can reach with new episodes and podcast-related news and promotions the better.

  14. A great podcast for sure, very informative.
    Lets be positive and get behind James and his management team and also all of the Mayo panel who are doing their utmost in representing the county. Lets cut out the negative comments re certain players. Remember they are amateur players! Remember they have families too who read the negative comments!
    Bigi le foireann Mhuigheo i gconai
    Mhuigheo abu!

  15. Thanks for this interview. Good to hear Irwin making progress. Pity Gary B is released but guess he needs more time playing ball. Have to say though, James response re Oisin Mullen doesn’t fill me with confidence. Of course he’ll be involved with Mayo for 2020 Its 2021 and onward we should be concerned about.

    Mayo cannot afford to lose players of this calibre and expect to win an All Ireland. That’s my opinion.

  16. Great podcast, really enjoyed the journey home from work this evening. Provided a lot of clarity on many players, and am also confident that in time a new Mayo team will be challenging again for Sam. I agree with Mayonaze above, I’m very concerned Re Oisin Mullin after 2020. We just cannot afford to lose him.

  17. Well done Willie Joe you put a lot of time and effort in to that podcast driving up and down from Dublin etc. It certainly paid off. I’m glad James Horan is at the wheel he’s calmness personified i dont know how he gets the time to do everything I often meet him mornings on my way to work driving into Coca Cola in Ballina managing Mayo these days is like another full time job.

  18. Great work on the podcast, it’s refreshing to hear an intercounty manager speak openly about matters that we all question every day. At least it may put some of the rumours to bed for now. The most concerning part about the podcast was, as mentioned above, Oisin Mullin’s future. We know he will be involved for 2020, that’s a given, however if we want to win All Irelands in the near future we need to keep talented players like Mullin. He’s the future of Mayo football and it’s around lads like him that we need to build the Mayo team. The lure of Aussie Rules may be very appealing to a young player, however how many have gone over and not made the cut. Many return and never make it back to intercounty level football again. At the end of the day, it’s Mullin’s choice and good luck to him, however if I were a CB member or financial supporter of the Mayo set up I’d be making sure that I’d do everything in my power to keep the young man here. Kerry moved heaven and earth to keep Clifford playing GAA, they know how valuable he is to them, we should be doing the same. We won’t win anything by exporting our best players, he’d be a huge loss for Mayo and an even bigger one for Kilmaine.

  19. I think we should probably save ourselves the frown lines of worrying about Mayo players heading off to AFL. It’s entirely up to the people involved and none of us will have any input to the decision.

    Honestly, unless there are pressing personal circumstances keeping them at home, very few people would spurn the chance to live the life of a pro athlete in Australia, especially if you’re a young single man. And the chances are that if they go, they will probably be lost to Mayo GAA forever, either through making it (as Pearse Hanley did) or through long-term injury.

    So let’s enjoy seeing these young fellas in 2020 and see what happens long-term.

  20. @ Albanyender, you hit the nail on the head, and Kerry did make it their mission to retain Clifford because not only would they have lost a unique talent to Australia but it sets a poor precedent as well as effecting the morale of the squad of players. If Mullin goes down under it will greatly impact on Mayo’s chances of success and would be a failure on the part of Mayo GAA to retain its best talent. And let’s all not be naive enough to start waving the amateur flag on this.

    @It Means Nothing to Me; I honestly couldnt disagree with you any stronger on this topic, but I’ve said my piece on this several times before so not going start repeating myself.

    If Mayo are really serious then Oisin will stay at home and commit to his county. He has been nurtured through his club and with Mayo underage. He is now part of a strong and emerging panel with a chance over the coming decade to do what no Mayo team has done in almost 70 years.

  21. @Mayonaze: Mullen would indeed be a big loss to Mayo if he decided to go eventually (as would Matty Ruane). But can you explain how Mayo GAA would be able to prevent him leaving, if that’s what he decides to do? Mayo GAA don’t pay anyone’s mortgage at the end of the day.

    This is the unfortunate downside of amateurism (which has many more upsides, in my opinion). The GAA will always be vulnerable to professional sports picking off its best talent, and not just by AFL but also rugby union, soccer, basketball etc.

    People here are citing Clifford but ignoring that Kerry lost Mark O’Connor, Stefan Okunbor, Tadgh Kennelly, Tommy Walsh (came back eventually but has never been the same due to injury IMO) etc.

    In my honest opinion, we are living in a dream world if we think that the majority of fellas offered pro contracts will turn it down: they won’t.

    But this is all speculation for now, let’s focus on the here and now.

  22. What a brilliant podcast, fair play to Horan for clearing alot of issues up. I like that he admitted Monaghan were further down the road than us fitness wise (at this time of year)…makes me hopeful for the summer, regardless of relegation or not.

    Regarding the Aussie rules, its not massive money their making over there. 90% of Aussie rules players have to find employment after retiring. I think some people think they earn premier league soccer wages…its not even close. My point is Money isn’t the main motivator for going, its the life style, weather, something different. In saying that, their are ways county boards and benefactors to the team can “persuade” players to stay. I think everything possible should be done by the co board to keep Mullin.

  23. where is all this Mullin to oz speculation coming from? I havent read or heard anything to that affect.
    i cant think of any example of too many examples of players returning from Oz in better condition for football, most of them are badly riddled with injuries.
    Marty Clarke of down was probably the most successful example of a player returning at top form, but even he succumbed to the wear and tear and was forced to retire early

  24. If David Clifford really wanted to go to Aussies rules – there isn’t a thing Kerry county board could do to stop him. If they could – why didn’t they stop all the other Kerry players from going. He made up his own mind – just like the players that decided to go. I am sure Oisin will be encouraged and offered good incentives in terms of a job to try and keep him at home. After that he makes up his own mind.

  25. @Supermac: In Marty Clarke’s case it was illness that forced his premature retirement, rather than injury as such. But yeah, Aussie Rules is a very physical code of football which places heavy burdens on the body, and several players haven’t been the same upon returning.

    Having done a bit of googling, it seems that the average AFL player’s salary is somewhere between 300,000 and 370,000 dollary doos per year. Granted, it’s an expensive country in which to live, but it sure bates what you’d get working in a factory somewhere in Co. Mayo, which seems to be the alternative on offer if we look at the present panel.


    By all means, the County Board should do everything it can to keep our young starlets, but given that our major sponsor has had well-publicised financial issues and also that they’ve just told a major fundraiser to go do one, they may have to be creative in that sense.

  26. I don’t think there was ever anything concrete behind the Clifford to AFL rumours. Tadhg Kennelly said that publicly. Clifford’s main strength is what he can do with a size 5 ONeills ball, he’s not very quick or athletic which you need for Aussie rules.

  27. Tagdh Kennelly came back didn’t he and lifted Sam , sure I recall him doing a jig of some sorts . Tommy Walsh has also came back and again m sure he has won before going and will probably win after too as in this year .
    David Clifford didn’t go cause he was pursuaded to not go .

    Pearse Hanley went and never came back .

    Yes Kerry do that whole oz thing better than mayo .

  28. Great podcast, shortened the drive to work this morning. Good to hear James speak openly about things without giving too much away at the same time. I’d agree with the posters above regarding Mullin. I firmly believe there are the players there to win us an All Ireland over the next 2/3 years. (Horan is building for the future, give him time). Mullin is central to this, I’d expect the Board to do their best to keep him playing for the green and red of both club and county. Every young lad / lady in Mayo that is interested in GAA has a dream of playing for Mayo and climbing the steps of the Hogan. If I was in Mullins shoes, the lure of Australia would be huge, but that dream of reaching the promised land in Croke Park should over ride that. (I believe we will be back in an AI final within 2 years). At the end of the day, he grew up in south Mayo, what would mean more, an All Ireland Medal or a shot at a professional contract in Aus. Money or not, most would choose the medal because that is what we live for, that is why we play for our clubs and support our county.

  29. Great podcast, very enjoyable and informative.
    Surprised to hear Boylan is gone from panel but thats the way it goes.
    Irwin, if he can get his fitness to the right level, could be that target man we have been missing. Would be a great sub option e.g. against a team like Monaghan with 20 mins to go. He offers us something different for sure.
    Sounds like Ruane wont play in the league but it will be an interesting call when he is fit – presume Aidan and Ruane are the starting MF with Diarmuid in HF line??
    Massive game against Kerry – we’re not favourites, but a win would change the whole dynamic of the league for us.

  30. Great podcast.
    Thanks also to James Horan for being so honest and answering all questions.I don’t think hed have been half as open in a national interview,he must be a fan of the blog too!
    Seriously though,a sit down honest chat like this goes a long way towards cutting out the rumours and shite talk that dont help the cause.
    Entertaining and serves a real purpose too,you can’t ask for more than that! Well done all.

  31. @Supermac, it’s fairly well known now that the Aussies are chasing Oisin, it’s not just rumour or speculation.

    Anyway, I think we all agree it would be a terrible shame if he left us.

    Sin é

  32. I see there is an orange wind warning for Mayo on Saturday.
    Will the game still go ahead. Remember the Roscommon league game last year – outside of the wind destroying the game – it was dangerous for supporters. Will common sense prevail and the game be deferred to next weekend or will they plough on with a lottery of a game.

  33. Really enjoyed that interview.
    Left me with the feeling that we (Mayo) have a Classy Manager.
    Congrats to the Mayo GAA Blog & Mayo News on its professionalism in how that interview was handled.

  34. Good honest interview with Horan. No places guaranteed and that’s good. I expect we will see a few changes again for Saturday night. I’m just hoping we are strong up the centre including midfield. We are a little bit too rellient on experienced players, who are at below full levels of fitness. Let’s hope we have a couple of standout performances from the younger ones.

  35. I hope supporters come out in force Saturday night from what I heard support was down in comparison to other years up in Clones.The team needs us more than ever if we are to avoid relegation.looking forward to the battle of Oisin Mullin v David Clifford this could be a match up in this fixture for the next decade all going well.

  36. Jaysus the blog is certainly different from others and all for the better .Serious rumours going around on other blogs regardless if they are true or not it shouldn’t be put up .Sorry Wj if I ya think I’m spreading gossip delete if necessary but I just wanted to to say that it’s because this site deals with facts makes it all the better .
    Looking forward to listening to podcast on drive home to mayo .

  37. James Horan. Talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words. You have assembled a panel of players since last October and 5 months later you don’t have a clue of what 15 you will start on any match. We are half way through the league and we still haven’t got a natural forward who can go forward and score from play. Its all passing back the ball or cross field play. Take a look at Galway and the ball is going forward at all times. I,m listening to podcasts about how this and that will and should be done, but at the end of it all we are still wondering if this and that would be better. I wont make reference to any player as they are coached and instructed what to do. Time now for James to have learned something over the last 10 years. Putting on subs with 5 minutes has not changed, and will not change . Its going to be a uphill battle this year, and for the next few I would say. We don’t have any player that has the skills of the Dubs, Kerry or Galway right now.

  38. As there is an up-coming gale warning lapsing on Sunday afternoon, surely the logical response is to defer Mayo v Kerry to Sunday evening.

  39. Talk is cheap alright True Grit. Lucky enough with Horan on board actions speak louder than words. 5 years managing Mayo and 5 years in A I semi finals having beaten every power house in the country. 4 Connacht titles in a row and when he returned last year we got the better of Galway .for the first time in 8 games. A league title last year for the first time since 2001. In the process of trying to build a team at the moment as the warriors grow older and we savagely hit by injuries. James is giving youth a chance despite the fact that our under age structure hasn’t been great of late. True our neighbours are flying getting a bounce from their new manager and with some outstanding forwards as well as a huge range of very talented young lads emerging. But it’s February. When have Mayo ever peaked in February and anyway what would be the point of doing so. It’s all about long summers and we have had 5 of these under Horan. By the way brilliant podcast. Well done WJ and friends. On the weather I wonder if Mayo game may be pushed back to Sunday to avoid the orange warning.

  40. A huge thanks to Rob and WJ for the tremendous gift this was. Greatly enjoyed the insight into James’s thinking and for cleaning up some of the player questions. Thank you to James as well for taking the time and having the class to pass on the TOL inquiry.

  41. Fair play to you to win just once and eloquently put. Pure trash talk from True Grit. Such rubbish about Galway and skill levels over our lads. Being honest, our teams are very even. If I was picking a combined team, 7/8 of our lads would make that team now and that’s in the end of February. Might be different in the heat of summer.

  42. David Shaw played last weekend for Kerry, he mightl be lining out against his cousin Aidan O’Shea this weekend.

  43. Hi All . Think James has seen that on all Ireland days in the past we have been beaten by a team with a stronger panel ( better subs) . It’s great to see him giving youth its fling . This year for me is all about winning Connaught , not an easy prospect but doable. Think Tom and Matty are our best midfielders with Aiden at 11 .
    Will the knives be out for JH if we get relegated.
    For me NO, as championship is what it’s all about.
    Looking forward to the Kerry match and hopefully it will go ahead

  44. To win just once. History is fine. To win just once would be great. Its sad to hear that “The Flying Doctors” medals are all we have to show since 1950/51. That too is history. Its now and tomorrow I,m looking at. We are still a long way off winning an AI. Its is great to hear about our getting to finals etc, etc. Its winning one that would be great.
    Winning a league title in 2019 and getting beaten in Castlebar 2 months after doesn’t say much for management.

  45. Does any one know are he GAA going to issue a statement confirming the game is definitely going ahead tomorrow evening. Like a lot of supporters – and Kerry supporters – I plan to make the 3.5 hour journey back to Castlebar for the game tomorrow evening. There is a yellow rainfall warning and the game is due to be played in the middle of an orange wind warning. If it goes ahead it will be a farce of a game – like the Ros league game last year. But I hope they don’t decide at 5 or 6 o’clock tomorrow evening – oh its very stormy, the area around the ground and inside the ground is not safe for supporters – we have to postpone the game for H and S reasons.

  46. Agree south mayo exile. I’ve a two hour trip ahead so hopefully they will confirm either way early tomorrow

  47. Hope the GAA make an early call on the game tomorrow. Lots of supporters will be travelling long distances in poor conditions. The game in the League V Roscommon last year should never have gone ahead, it was dangerous for both players and supporters. Looking at the forecast, tomorrow looks like it’s going to be worse than that night. Most people wouldn’t have a problem with it being pushed back to Sunday afternoon. This call needs to be made this evening / very early tomorrow.

  48. Id guess unless it goes to red warning it will go ahead, tv rights will play a part in that decision you’d imagine .

  49. Really enjoyed that podcast. Well done John and Rob and of course James for making himself available. Open honest interview. You can’t beat it. Well done all.

  50. My team to face Kerry

    1 Rory Byrne
    2 Pádraic OHora
    3 Oisín Mullins
    4 Brendan Harrison
    5 Eon O’Donoghue
    6 Stephen Coen
    7 Paddy Durkan
    8 Aidan O’Shea
    9 Tom Parsons
    10 Diarmuid O’Connor
    11 Ryan O’Donoghue
    12 Fergal Boland
    13 James Carr
    14 Darren Coen
    15 Kevin McLoughlin

  51. @To win just once/True Grit…. Debate is a good thing regardless of what opinion anyone holds, for me it’s what makes this Blog worth reading in the first place. We Mayo do NOT have the perfect management team or administration…I think that is Self Evident…. Not going into any details, where would you start in the first place? And where would you finish?..Then again no County has the perfect, administration or management… Not even Dublin and their magnificent 5 in a Row… But they did have Jim Gavin….Who undoubtedly reached a level of exellence for a long period of time in both league and championship… The number of tight Big Game’s, where Jim Gavin’s Dubs, got a draw where they might have lost, got a one point win where they might have lost or drawn to both Mayo and Kerry is remarkable and hardly a coincidence!.. That’s where the bar is now, even after Jim’s retirement and it’s pointless saying anything else… You can argue that Mayo were their biggest rival’s, got closest most often against them, with 3 different Management team’s, Horan, Connelly/Homes and Rochford, and under Rochford Mayo played the best big game’s we ever played…. What Dublin under Jim Gavin done better than anyone else, was Not take any team for granted, even after many a big hammering to numerous team’s, Jim always took the attitude that their last performance was far from perfect and worked to improve the next day out… Dublin under Jim would approach the second half of the game determined to put right what they hadn’t done right in the first half…. James Horan has a really difficult Job right now…Too many serious Footballers unavailable for game’s just now….So far in the league we are very very fortunate to have 3 points, and that’s not an exaggeration….. Napoleon preferred Lucky Generals to good one’s, but in the end he too ran out of luck and met his Waterloo..I think if James Horan can keep us in Div One, it’s quite a challenge with the game’s we still have to play, we will have to credit James with being a good manager…All we can do as Mayo fan’s is get behind the team… Collectively in our multidude we are worth a point or two to the team in every match…In that sence, every Mayo Manager, and every Mayo County Board has been very lucky down the year’s with the magnificent Mayo support… Get behind the team again on Saturday night, weather permitting!

  52. Galway and Clare counties gone red for between 1-4pm tomorrow…with Kerry fans traveling through those counties tomorrow I wonder if our game v Kerry will now be moved to Sunday or cancelled?

    Either way in the interest of safety they need to make a statement and confirm if it’s going ahead or not.

  53. @Yew-Tree… Agree, Safety first has to take presidence over everything else… Fan’s, team’s with journey’s to plan have to be informed early!.. Hopefully a sensible decision will be made!

  54. We may get lucky and sneak a result v Kerry, some of the following games may fall victim to the new bug, the Corono Virus not the weather warnings.
    The longer break will take the steam out of the top guns, the Dubs and Galway.

  55. @Mayo88…. Suddenly demotion doesn’t seem quite so bad ..if the alternative is the Corona Virus in order keep us up!…Twill be a bitter day for this Village, the day the World come’s to an end… However I don’t expect to live to see that day! Taught I would just stick that in while some of us are looking at the Glass half full in a most peculiar way!

  56. I see Sligo rovers game at home to Waterford tomorrow evening has been postponed to a later date in the interest of player and supporters safety. Do soccer people have more respect for their players and supporters than GAA. Unfair to ask players and supporters to travel to a game in the middle of an orange wind warning. Player welfare??

  57. As Baldrick used to say in Blackadder ‘I have came up with a most cunning plan’. The Mayo forward’s should tell their Kerry Markers that they have the dreaded Corona Virus….wear a mask and do a bit of sneezing…It will be a Mayo Victory by a cricket score!

  58. McHale Park will be in terrible condition–should have got pitch right before stand.Pairc Tailtean was perfect for our last game.Best to postpone but Kerry probably have a hotel booked & paid for.

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