132 thoughts on “James steps down

  1. Very sad day for Mayo football, he gave us so many good days out!! As supporters we will be forever grateful to him.

  2. Horan brought a lot of consistency and high level performances…that’s a fact when you compare it to our record pre- 2010.

    It’s not his fault that Conroy, ROD were injured and COC was not match fit.

    We also altered our playing style yesterday with more kick passes into forwards…which was criticised after Galway game.

    He’ll be a hard act to follow…and remember we don’t have much raw material up front.

    It’s easy to micro criticise and analyse…but the new manager cannot turn water into wine!

  3. Thanks James Horan for all the memories. And what a footballer he was too. Up Mayo!!

  4. Thank you James Horan you have given us so many good days and given us pride to wear the mayo jersey as suppourters,you have brought in so many new guys and set a good foundation for the next manager to come in let’s hope now that some of our big guys such as leeroy stay on for another year to give this new manager a try.

  5. I’m sure its a decision he contemplated strongly after the Tyrone disappointment last year, but they’re always difficult circumstances in which to walk away (like with after the 2013 final)

    Look, on the face of it after two tankings against Kerry in Croke Park and likely ceding provincial dominance to Galway, it’s going to be some job to pick this side back up again in 2023, and after 8 campaigns in charge it’d be very difficult for him to have the stomach to go on for what is likely going to be a few tough seasons ahead

    He deserves great credit for again bringing Mayo (several levels below the side he first managed) to the latter stages the last few seasons, but ultimately the team is only heading one way.. and it does need freshening up

    Fascinating to see who the replacement is, and it could well be a saga that will go on for quite a while.. not the easiest circumstances to take the job either, given Mayo are now (what appears) further away from an All Ireland than they were before Horan’s first tenure. As a result, an outside manager – or Henry Shefflin style left field option – would appear unlikely… Rochford and McStay (and maybe even Andy Moran) the early initial frontrunners I assume? Ray Dempsey will probably be mentioned also

  6. Well done ? James as a manager and footballer you were great sad day thank you for your commitment and the good days out plus the great team you have developed best wishes to you and your family up Mayo ?????

  7. Great Player, manager and great Mayo man. Our county owes him a hell of a debt of gratitude for all he has done for football in Mayo. Best of luck in the future

  8. How long approximately would we have to wait before we get a good idea of who the new manager will be?

  9. Thank you James Horan for all the incredible days. You put Mayo back on the map.

  10. Dempsey looks like the most obvious candidate and possibly the safest choice given his recent record and his knowledge of club football in Mayo. Horan has brought us to the top table, such a shame that neither he or so many great players managed to pull off that one big win.

  11. The man deserves a lot of credit and praise for the job he’s done. Fantastic servant

    The last few years have been tough for everyone. I can’t blame anyone who feels the need to step away and recharge the batteries. (that goes for players too)

    JH will be back in the Mayo dugout some day. Wishing him well on his journey

  12. Thanks James for the memories! He led us through the best period for Mayo football. Thanks to James a wonderful crowd travelled to every match. He made us all proud of the Green and Red.

  13. From the doldrums to the present day, a Mayo journey. Yes we didn’t win the ultimate prize but the standard of players we had has changed. The game moves on.

    It was not JH’s fault we lost, game execution was, ball over the bar……

    Managing Mayo has huge appeal but it is a phenomenal task due to our legacy.

    A fresh perspective now, off we go again.

    As an aside, the atmosphere yesterday was so far removed from where we were. You are there to back your team and not only when winning.

    Best wishes to James.

  14. Thanks James Horan for some amazing days out all over the country its been a blast. Great servant to Mayo as player and manager go raibh maith agat.

  15. A very sad day for mayo. I’ve at times being frustrated with James for his tactical stubbornness…but nobody on this blog can deny how much he has brought mayo gaa onwards and upwards. He raised our hopes and aspirations to great heights on a consistent basis. We as a footballing County are in a better place thanks to James. Not long after we lost to Tyrone last year I lost my father and I can honestly say I enjoyed so many great days away supporting mayo, hours and hours of discussing and at times arguing about mayo football with my dad and its down James and the fantastic players I and us all owe a huge thanks. This is just a twist in the road. We will dust ourselves down, regroup and go for it 100 percent again and again until we achieve our ambition to be all ireland football champions. I’m convinced it will happen for us.

  16. Thanks to James Horan for his service.
    Weighing up candidates I see no stronger option than Ray Dempsey.

  17. Sad news in my opinion. He hasn’t left a shambles behind him that’s for sure. Time to go outside the county now.

  18. Gutted for him, Mayo football’s been transformed since he first took on the role. We hopefully now have a foundation and set of standards to hold onto for as long as possible into the future.

    Incredibly grateful for all the effort he’s put in over both spells.

  19. Liverpools Jurgen Klopp said in his first interview that he wanted to turn them “from doubters to believers”. This is what James has done for Mayo. As the expectations rise so does the fall.

    As easy as it is to be an online critic these days, we can’t forget the vicious work that goes on behind the scenes. This is a serious commitment.

  20. Thanks James for a very good 2 terms at the helm. Not perfect, but has left us in a strong position despite what the naysayers would have you believe.

  21. Raymond Dempsey would be the obvious choice with Terry Kennedy in the background. Dempsey has won back to back Moclair cups something very few men have done , he knows the talent out there better than anyone.Please let’s us not here Andy Moran who has very little experience in management as of yet or Kevin McStay who has no experience of the Mayo Club scene.Best outside choice would be Eamon Fitzmaurice but to me he looks a staunch Kerryman and can’t see him managing any other county.

  22. End of the Horan era, beginning of the Horan legacy.

    Thanks for everything James.

  23. Best of luck to James. We are in a better place because of him. The elephant in the corner over the last eight years of his service is no All Ireland.

    He owes nothing.

    I think Ciaran McDonald would be the best choice if he’d take it.

    He knows the panel they know him. He’s seen close up where it went wrong. He’s a forward, so could have full control in managing the side and how we play up front.

    Also, a choice like McDonald might encourage the likes of Keegan to hang on for another year.

  24. Club football a world away from managing a top class intercounty setup. Knockmore failed to impress in Connacht and Dempsey was a disappointment at u21 level, while good at minor. Think his time may have passed.

    We need to be openminded. Who can realistically work with a team for 3/4 years and deal with life post Keegan, o Shea and McLoughlin, while keeping us at top level?

    Look at Kildare, Cork and others. It is easy to slip back

  25. No outside managers! It rarely ever works. Also, the knowledge and pride that a local manager brings always means so much in the GAA. I think it will be between Andy, Rochford, and Dempsey. Dempsey is a long time managing without getting a look in at senior inter county so I’d be very hesitant, despite his recent success with Knockmore. Andy is so green, and is friends with half the players! So, probably Rochford with Andy as a coach! By the way, don’t dismiss the amount of modern, inter-county knowledge Rochford has built up. He’s still relatively young and such a proud Mayoman.

  26. You would like to think that the County Board would cast the net as wide as possible. It’s an attractive job to get. You’ve got Mullin, Conroy, Carney, O’Donoughe and Hession all looking like they can be top players. Then you’ve Durcan, Flynn, Diarmuid and Ruane in the older age category not to mention the older statesmen like Cillian, Aido, Keegan and Hennelly. Get a few of the minors through in the next few years and that’s looking like a potentially exciting team.

    With a new game plan and a little luck there’s no reason why we couldn’t go far in the coming years. Go out and get the best that we can get.

  27. Where is all the Andy moran talk coming out of. Maybe one day but he has achieved zilch in management so far. Fail to get leitrim out of div 4 or to tailteann semi. Failed to get out of group with ballaghdereen.

    I have no doubt he will be ready one day but not yet

    Dempsey/Kennedy for me

  28. Thanks James for bringing us on an incredible journey.. you got us so very close.. and gave me memories that I will treasure for ever. Sadly time moves on, as it must, but you have left us in a very good place for others to see if they can break that glass ceiling. The standard has been set and there is only one plan

  29. Thank you James – I always felt he stepped away too soon in 2014 but this time I think it’s the right time. If he wanted it I still think he’d have a massive part to play in player development from youth squads.

    He took the bullshit out of Mayo football and made us consistently competitive as promised.

    I hear Viper has Gareth Southgate lined up for the job Supermac

  30. Every potential option should be looked at before rushing in for a replacement: Mcguinness, McEntee, Rochford, Galvin, Andy Moran, Peter Forde, Kevin Walshe, Kieran Donaghey, Colm Collins etc. Get outside input on what coaching structures should be put in place, input from the likes of Connacht Rugby maybe. It needs to be a mgt group that’s put in place with proper structure

  31. Sad to hear that. No one and I mean no one has done more to get us to the top table.
    Consistently competitive.
    We are that now thanks to him.
    Mayo will win All Ireland someday and we will look back to James as key to that.
    But it is time for a fresh outlook and approach.
    My take on this season is Kerry and Dublin are definitely beatable on the day.
    Galway Derry Armagh are not going away and will improve.
    Tyrone will be back.
    So we need to start winning Connaught at minor u20 and senior levels consistently and keep us at top table.
    Look at Meath and Cork as examples of how easy it is to fall back into also rans.
    Next manager is probably the most important in our future.
    My vote is Kevin McStay or Andy Moran.
    Outside bet is Jim McGuinness.

  32. To reiterate what people are saying here,thanks for so many great days.life isn’t a fairy tale unfortunately or he’d have finished with an allIreland.All the best in future endeavours. Maigheo Abu.

  33. What about a Malachy o’rourke +\- McDonald or Dempsey ticket.
    Meath are apparently looking at o’rourke but let’s be honest he’s rather Mayo I’m sure

  34. Thanks James for all the memories. Probably time for change, but you gave me the best years of my life. I would love to see him involved in some capacity at underage or development squad. He really knows how to find and improve new players.

  35. Yesterday was a sad day for Mayo football. Today is worse. Thanks for all the good times James. You will be a hard act to follow.

  36. Dempsey Kennedy have coached the first thing we need to solve “Concede less goals “.
    Solan- no, he was conceding goals with an exposed full backline.
    Andy has one year with Leitrim and patchy with Ballaghadereen.

  37. A class act. Great servant to Mayo football. What a job he did in both his spells. Just unfortunate for him that our Dublin team was around at the same time. From a Dub James thank you for playing your part in one of the best sporting rivalries not just in the G.A.A. but all of Irish sport. Best of luck for the future.

  38. James Horan has made a great and lasting contribution to Mayo football. His legacy will live on in the young lads and lassies that attended all those great matches down the years. He has laid the foundation. Let the house be built starting with the under 17’s. Thank you James for all the wonderful days out and the memories. A giant of Mayo football.

  39. Best of luck to JH, really deserved better and was so unlucky especially first time.
    Not sure we’re we go from here but don’t think Rochford is the answer.
    I think we need someone with no baggage

  40. It’s think it’s very clear how single minded James is, to a fault, so perhaps Mcdonald could take the project on himself. Give him two years and see. It’s going to be at least a 5 year barren spell anyway. At least he knows the younger players and he hasn’t really any loyalty to the older lads. Give McDanger the opportunity to do his stuff, completely on his own terms.

  41. Thanks for the memories James and some of the greatest days out supporting this team.

    A true Mayo GAA legend who owes us nothing, enjoy your time with your family and friends and hopefully see you involved again with Mayo in some Capacity.

  42. Very sad day you were an inspiration in both management and footballer.You developed a very good team brought through fantastic players and you did us proud and great day’s out very unfortunate on the injury front to great players but bounced back up.Best wishes to you James and your family and a big thank you and best of UP MAYO.

  43. Sad to see you depart James, you brought Mayo football on in leaps and bounds since you took over in 2010. You had us consistently dining at the top table and whilst the icing on the cake eluded us, your commitment to the cause could never be faulted. You gave us Mayo fans many many glorious memories that will live with us forever.
    Thank you.

  44. Willie Joe, please put up a poll asap on who people would like for a new manager. We need something to talk about to purge the disappointment!! No disrespect to James, but time to move on now.

  45. Best of luck to Horan he’s taken us as far as he can , I’m shur candidates have been weighing things up for a few weeks now as things were inevitable and a few might have teams in place that saying I’m not shur the list is long , in my opinion maybe a man with credentials from out side the county would be the best option Kevin Beirne would be a good call but also need a mayo man in the team that nos mayo club football inside out

  46. A sad decision but the right one in my book, perhaps James went on a year too long in hindsight, which of course is 20/20. Nonetheless he has given us some great days as a player and as a manager, and owes us nothing.

    I don’t really get the hostility to an outside manager from some posters. Unlike most of the counties we are competing with, we haven’t won an All-Ireland in the past several decades and thus lack a bit of generational know-how. The last Mayo men to win Sam represented Louth in 1957! Therefore I believe we might need to go outside to get the job done eventually.

    Jim McGuinness would top the wish list but it is unlikely. Eamon Fitz is a good shout, with his Mayo connections.

  47. McDonald has no management experience. He has been there for the last few years. If he had no input he should have walked, if he had an input it did not work.

  48. JH deserves great credit for raising standards in the senior set up. The Co Board should ask him to be the Academy Director. The Mayo senior job is still an attractive opportunity for an ambitious coach. I hope the Co Board cast the net wide.

  49. Kevin Johnson did a great job with Ballintubber I thought. Knocked Castlebar Mitchels of their perch and really put it up to Corofin in Connacht.

    Ray Dempsey has done well with knockmore the last 2 years. Has been managing a long time without going for a senior intercounty job though.

    Andy Moran hasn’t done anything yet in terms of management. I’d be open to him as a forwards coach though.

    Rochford will be in the running, but I think we need something new.

    I’m sceptical of outside managers to be honest, but definitely an outside coach/selector should be brought in.

  50. Fitzmaurice works in dingle so no he’s not a realistic option.

    Malachy o’rourke
    Kevin Walsh
    Corofin manager
    Andy Moran

    Or a combination of above. Open to other options

  51. Next manager needs to be an established name within the game, able to attract experienced intercounty coaches to the ticket. Look at the backroom teams Kerry, Galway have, experienced intercounty coaches/past managers. County board need to push for top names experienced in county football. We can’t afford to take chances now with past players/club managers hoping for results, would set us back years it it didn’t work.
    Another important appointment in the U20 manager. There is a talented group of minors who need proper management to senior level, ideally minor manager would step up a grade.

  52. Thanks to James for putting pride in the Mayo jersey again, he has developed many younger guys to step up to Senior level,
    I think of the great days I had out at Mayo games in 2011, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21 particularly the big Croker games with the celebrations afterwards.
    Management is a tough business and requires a high degree of bravery for one to step forward to take on the job and most times ends in resignation or the manager being ousted.

    I think of the many Mayo managers over the past 35 years who have gave it their all in the pursuit of Sam Maguire, Horan had kept us at the highest level over the longest time period.

    Thanks again James for the journey.

  53. I won’t be putting it up straight away, Liberal role in the tie. I agree that a poll would be useful but not now, only a few hours after James has stepped away.

  54. How would anyone become a county msvsger6if we say only county managers are an option.
    Plenty county managers are frankly dinosaurs.

  55. As an outsider it’s clear to see that in his first term he brought a huge amount of professionalism into the setup and he clearly set a standard that took Mayo to a level of consistency where they were a match for any team in the country.

    Personally I feel he should have soldiered on for another season or two in 2014 as he had the team eating out of his hand, the emotion on the faces of his players when he informed them of his decision showed the deep respect and belief that had in him. I would agree with decision to step away now tho as Mayo need a fresh start on many levels.

    Promoting managers of underage teams is not a smart idea if they haven’t also served as part of a senior setup for at least two years as their is no comparison between the two positions. Andy has not had enough experience and would be too closely connected to the current team in my humble opinion.

    I hope ye get a worthy replacement and I hope Keegan will commit for another few seasons, he did some job on Paudie Clifford yesterday and was willing to sacrifice his usual game to nullify Clifford’s huge impactful contribution to the Kerry attack. He is just a wonderful player

  56. Thanks to James for the memories and making our county consistently competitive

  57. Liberal role. Give the people a chance to wish him the best before a poll for a new manager is put up. He deserves that at least after all he has given to Mayo football since 2010.

  58. Shouldn’t have any kerry man near the mayo job. Imagine kerry hiring a mayo man. God almighty galvin didn’t make much of an impression on underdogs and remember we made fitzmaurice a “tactical genius” in 2014 when he sprung donaghy from the bench

  59. Thanks for all the great memories James.

    Its been a fantastic period in the history of Mayo football.

    Great service as both a player and as a manager.

    I hope you get to enjoy great times now with your family and that you will always get the credit you rightly deserve for all your work.

    End of an era really.

  60. I think there will be plenty of time, if ever there is a right time for a poll on who should get the job next. Out of respect for James and all he has done for us can we leave it at that for now. No harm in speculating I guess but a word of caution in that it will be a hard road for the next manager whom ever it is. I disagree with others in that I believe James got the max out of what was available to him and often over achieved especially second time around. I expect a number of players to jump ship with James if the calibre of manager isn’t to their liking which will truly feel like the end of an era. Its a sad day for Mayo football but we have been here before and the roof hasn’t fallen in. Maigheo abu

  61. No disrespect to any of the names being put forward above, but I feel we need someone who has actually won an All Ireland either as a player or manager.

  62. Sad day to see horan go, super manger and deserves
    Everyone’s respect and acknowledgment. Will be a massive loss.
    Unfortunately just not enough coming through at the moment players wise, some may not agree, but we need 4-5 forwards, will be good to have Conroy and rod back , but need half forwards and aido / cillian best days are behind now. Were in for a Barron spell I feel,
    Good luck to James horan.

  63. Agree there gamechanger – walking away in 2014 was a mistake. He should have given it at least another season. He wasn’t too far from finishing the job then and potentially could have done so in 2015. I believe he’d had it with the county board at that stage though.

  64. @dreamsleepynightysnoozysnooze couldn’t agree more. Always felt he left too soon and I think that definitely niggled at him in the following years. Though I think in hindsight he should have probably left last year I think. Hard to get it right.

  65. Thanks very much James Horan for all the great times in the past 11 years that you have given to Mayo football and Mayo supporters alike. No Mayo manager in my memory has been anywhere close to your success with the County Senior team and to repeat it for a second stint as manager was frankly unheard of and goes to show the magnitude of your achievements. The professionalism and dedication you put in place and have left in situ is your legacy to our County and it will be a very difficult act to follow. So the County Board should take time as we as supporters want to see these levels that our successive teams have reached continue to be attained going forward. All the best in the future James and hopefully you will be involved in Mayo football in some sort of level of guidance, be it at Club level or perhaps some other role in the County setup.

  66. Best of luck James, the level of professionalism has set a great base and we need to ensure that this is built upon. This is a crucial appointment or we will lose that standard very quickly which would suggest an all ireland winner would fit the bill.

    While I also agree that this was the right time fit the teamand himself, I hope that fans fully recognise and appreciate the improvements in our set up and mentality which was set by James.

  67. Sad day. James, thank you for the memories. You’ve been a fantastic servant, and have brought us so close.

    There’s a fantastic panel, that James has developed, with some more good ones coming through.

    The future is bright.

  68. Thanks to James for all he has done. He transformed Mayo into a consistent top 4 team. He walks away with his head held high. I think its the right move he just could not bring us the final step. Maybe he will come back at underage level in the future i think he would have a lot to offer there.
    I dont understand why people are suggesting Ciaran Mac Donald. Surely the appalling state of our forward play rules him out.
    Personally i would like to see Stephen Rochford back with Andy Moran maybe. I would also love to see BJ padden involved. What a football brain he has!
    At least nobody is suggesting Maurice Sheridan..

  69. Did someone actually write the name Shane Curran for the job.

    Stop, this is serious, not a Father Ted sketch.

    No more mad stuff.

    It’s a bad 48hrs for us without it turning into some kind of muck fest.

    The next appointment needs to be on the mark on alot of fronts. But mainly you want to stay static and move forward not backwards.

    So no more jokes about fellas I wouldn’t have managing the under 10’s.

  70. Billie Joe Padden does indeed have a tremendous football brain for a backroom tactical role.

  71. Horans job was thankless and he has transformed mayo into a consistent top 3 team. However i think he robbed lee Keegan and oisin mullen the last 3 years playing them as full backs

    Remember 2019, put kèegan corner back vs con o callaghan…roasted. 2020 vs tipp struggled against quinlivan in full back.

    I think Jim Gavin would be an unbelievable appointment. He’d take professionalism to a level we would have never witnessed before

  72. To think of where Mayo were in 2010 when James Horan first came in, to where he brought the county over his two 4 year stints.. light years apart. Whatever about his shortcomings, if it wasn’t for bad luck he’d have no luck at all, particularly around injuries this year.
    Thanks for the memories, I think we’ve all enjoyed the journey, it has been epic.

  73. Viper – you’ve finally gone too far this time. Showing your true colours, perhaps? You won’t be commenting again for a while here after that pathetic effort.

  74. I’m not convinced by any of the names put forward so far by posters here, especially our own RTE pundit and contributor to this blog. I swear to god if he takes over I give up completely.

  75. James Horan certainly changed things for the better when he took over and made us a force to be reckoned with . Like all of us, he had his shortcomings, but he did an awful lot right as well. It was the right decision to resign at this stage and he deserves to be commended for doing so quickly and not allowing it to drag on. We now have plenty of time to appoint a new manager and like all Mayo supporters I hope we get a good one.
    He deserves our thanks and respect and I wish him well.

  76. Lookit , the allergies are bad today ( hay fever I think )so that’s why I need the tissues.

    It’s a sad day for us all and a great man has once again done what he believes is the best thing for his county and stepped down.There is no doubt in my mind that James Horan would love to do this job forever. But selflessly ,as always ,he realized it’s someone else’s turn.

    He leaves us in Mayo with a legacy of hope and loyalty,trust and friendship,ambition and class.

    Most of all he leaves our hearts filled with pride and a sense of community and togetherness. We are one tribe. It is so easy to love this man-even with all his(mainly just tactical)flaws.

    He spoke eloquently about “ removing the bullshit” from Mayo football and as much as it could ever be done he did it. It is quite the Herculean task.

    He promised that he would make us “consistently competitive” and that is how we perceive ourselves now and how others perceive us.In the same period the standards all over the country have gone through the roof,yet we were always in the final few.

    He completely overturned a perception that Mayo were lovely footballers but ultimately soft.Now the perception is widespread that Mayo are tough, hard and they never say die. Can anyone who lived in the pre Horan era say hand on heart that that doesn’t give them immense pride ?

    That alone was transformational. We haven’t crossed the Rubicon yet,but we are getting closer.

    We are not blessed with numerous gifted forwards and never have been. Yet he leaves us with the promise of Ryan and Tommy C and Jack Carney and James Carr. They are primed by James Horan to achieve great things. That’s a huge foundation.

    Our defenses have been stalwart all the way through his reign and he made defenders exciting players to emulate. Young kids around the county now want to be Lee Keegan or Oisin Mullen,or Boyler ,or Keith Higgins or Chris Barrett ,David Clarke or Robbie Hennelly among many.

    Speaking for myself and probably many others, he gave us some of the best memories of our lives. I ( a successful professional and entrepreneur )can honestly say my life has been happier from following this team since 2011. Don’t get me wrong ,I’ve had a thousand near heart attacks but I wouldn’t give one of them back. What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger(We are all a more robust group now)

    James Horan had a tell. In pre match interviews you could always tell when he believed his charges were about to unleash mayhem. He couldn’t stop beaming with pride that his boys from Mayo were about to set Croke Park alight. I loved that about him. So honest and so true.

    Finally,to his wife and young family I say this.Your Husband / Father is a great man.He’s a gentleman.And he embodies everything that’s good about the best human beings.He’s a Mayo man to his marrow.Thank you for sharing him with us for the last decade.

    Thank you James Horan and family for everything.

  77. Thanks to James, the best 12 years of supporting Mayo football, he really put us one of the best teams for exciting and stylish football, best of good health to James in the future, i am a Mayo supporter since the 60,s and that was the best I’ve seen.

  78. Thanks for everything James. You brought a serious level of professionalism to the team and staff. Definitely made us consistently competitive. All the best in the future.

  79. God I think I’d follow a different county if Dessie Dolan came in. I’m so horrified nearly made me laugh.
    Thank you James. I’ll never forget the last 11 years but I also think we all need a break. And then roaring aback afresh next season.
    This has been the hardest season from coming back from AI loss to Tyrone to no training ground in the worst of the weather, no home venue and never ending injury upon injury upon injury upon injury. The life was practically sucked out of us all. Can you imagine how it affected the players, knowing they were probably going to fail again – get themselves back up countless times only for another injury days before games – how many times? Every game? It was constant this season. So hard on them. How deflated and flat we were! They were the ones really affected.
    They need to go hooring and touring and live it up. Their lives are too serious for young fellas. The whole lot of them should take 4/5 months travelling. Live life for a bit like most 20 somethings. And forget about Mayo GAA for a while. They got little thanks for their commitment. All the guffawing, groaning, moaning, impatience and mocking in the crowd in Castlebar a few weeks ago was telling. We ALL need a break from the relentless rollercoaster. A short one! And we will be back fresh.

  80. A huge thanks to James for what he’s done for Mayo football both as a player and manager. He said when he took over as manager that he wanted to make them competitive. And he surely succeeded in that. Yes, he missed out on the big prize, but he sure as hell gave us some great days out following Mayo. By my reckoning Mayo have won 50 championship matches in the last 12 years since he first took over as manager. Only Dublin won more. Kerry and Tyrone trail behind. He will be a hard act to follow. Happy retirement James.

  81. In the Davin stand yesterday evening heard a little boy aged about 3 telling his Mammy he wants to play for Mayo. That’s thanks to James and our players.

  82. Thank you James Horan for elevating our standards and ambitions. It’s a work-in-progress but at a much higher level than you inherited in 2010. I”m thinking in particular of S&C and crusading a playing philosophy which has served us so well, albeit having to settle for silver when gold eluded.
    Mayo teams, panels & coaches under your leadership have mobilised a tsunami of support from Mayo people around the world.
    That support was recognition of warriors giving their all so that they and we might surf the tide of elation – thank you James Horan for making it all possible.

  83. Sinead37..great comment overall and especially”hooring and touring”..that really made me laugh.

  84. When we do bring Sam across the border into Mayo….and we will….the team and management will talk of those who came before them. They will talk about those giants on whose shoulders they stood to get us over the line. There will be no taller giant on that day than James Horan. What he has done for Mayo football is immeasurable and we all deserve his gratitude. I sincerely hope he stays on in some shape or form to nurture the young talent coming through and continue to help us on the journey. Best wishes James H. and family. Thanks for all the great memories.

  85. Thanks James for the legacy . Thank you for your resolving character that showed no lapse of pride and dignity in all of your 8 year term . And yes a lesser coach would have let fly at different times at referees ( 2014), the GAA it’s self , certain opposition at times , the supporters who with the best will in the world can cut you in two . All of this and your character still stood strong .
    May the next coach have half of that and we will still follow them .
    Our legacy is still coming . Our U17 team are in a final and there does seem to be some serious talent coming through . We might loose a few greats in the next year or two but we will certainly have unfolded one or two more .
    Thank you for the past 12 years .

  86. Thanks for everything James. It’s been a decade like no other. Never have we been so high in the pecking order for so long, great times. Unfortunately an awful lot of fans who get a taste of life at the top table start to feel “entitled”. At the end of the day James Horan is a victim of his own success. Even this season with an horendous injury list we made a league final and A.I. quarter final. Can only wish JH all the best for the future.

  87. Can’t do any better than what you posted Food4Thought, superb. I think the vast majority realise the huge transformation James has led for Mayo. An absolute legend.

  88. Horan had a seismic impact on Mayo football. What a legacy he has left for the new management team. He has left a squad of players with the skill set, conditioning, and most importantly the belief that they can win an All Ireland every year. And they nearly did on so many occasions. He certainly delivered on ‘making Mayo consistently competitive’. He is highly rated outside the county so yes expect him to step back for a while and enjoy quality time with his family but other top counties will certainly try to entice back to the game.

    In terms of replacements, personally I’d like to see an outsider get the job. A proven winner with an All Ireland winners medal in the back pocket. Somebody that don’t be swayed by emotion or connections/ ties with a club. Don’t forget, it’s the wider team that matters; defensive coach, attacking coach, S&C etc.

    A few names spring to mind, Tony McEntee as manager, Ricey McMenamin as defensive coach, Andy as forwards coach.

    The idea of a rebuild is horseshit. Why can’t Mayo be competitive in 2023? The talent is there (Mullin, Conroy, ROD, Flynn, Ruane, Hession, Carney, Durcan). That’s serious top level talent. Yes they may be a few retirements but frankly McLoughlin’s and Doherty’s legs are gone after years of outstanding performances. Cillian never had pace – he’s still recovering from 14 months in rehab & has more to offer. Goalkeepers can play well in their late 30’s so no issue with Rob. AOS may have a peripheral role but so be it. Keegan has a great attitude and doesn’t get too emotional so I expect him to stay for one more year and why not – he was brilliant all year.

    The players need to hear a fresh voice & will benefit from a new voice in the dressing room.

    So we move forward with confidence rather than dwell and feel sorry for ourselves.

  89. Thanks for that, Viper – as I suspected, out come the true colours at last. That’s you done here for good and I can tell you there are plenty of regular contributors who’ll be glad to see the back of you as, in truth, am I.

  90. Ah Viper. All that the Mayo team needed was his preparation plan.
    So innovative it could only ever be hinted st here but never explained.
    He had some good points but ultimately never would give solutions.

  91. This feels like a day when you hear the news of a close relative or friend passes suddenly. It makes time falter for a second or two.
    Following Maigheo has been a wonderful rollercoaster over the years. The semi final against the Dubs last year was one of the greatest days of my life. At the final whistle a lady beside me gave me the biggest hug and we both burst into tears. Yesterday in Croker felt earily unreal,as gone were the usual sea of Green and Red and the chants were a faint echo of the past glory days.
    I guessed from the interview after the match James gave that something had shifted. You could see a sort of relief in him.

    Thank you James for the Journey and the Halcyon days, thanks too to your family for the time you sacrificed to the Green & Red.
    Think we all need a breather, and then on we go again.

    Apologies for all the soppy shite, but the last Thank You has to go to Willie Jo.
    This Blog has been a tonic and a great resource over the years. The patreon has kept me sane lately.
    Maigheo Abú

  92. First of all can’t give enough credit to Horan for all he has done for Mayo football, an absolute transformational leader. A fantastic manager, huge professionalism, obviously created a mindset and atmosphere within the group and got so much of the behind the scenes efforts up to scratch. He’s given us and the team so many great days. Personally I’ll always be in awe of his ability to develop players (remember 12 of the starters in Longford in 2010 would go on to play in AI finals for us and another off the bench). Over the course of his second term a whole team of stars retired relatively seamlessly (Clarke, Barret, Ger Caff, Higgins, Vaughan, Boyle, Jason gibbons, Seamie, TP, Andy, Drake and a couple more in the coming months).

    In terms of a new management team the three obvious ones in the mix are Andy/Solan, Rochy again and Dempsey and all 3 have pros and cons. Of the outside ones mentioned so far the only ones I’d see as capable are Fitzmaurice and McGuinness. I’d highly doubt it if either would be interested.

    Outside of the box options (some of these are more realistic than others): Donie Buckley, Pat Gilroy, Mickey Graham, Tony McEntee. If you want to go really out of the box you could bring in someone like Davy Fitzgerald onto the management team.

  93. James, fair play, 8 years of honest effort and savage work ethic to make the people of this county happy, even the ones that didn’t trust you. It’s always easier to critique someone then praise them and whilst James didn’t get over the line he transformed players and built a fantastic fighting spirit in the team. He set a standard higher then by previous manager in mayo and ultimately was a victim of his own success in many ways. All the best in your future endeavours James.

    The next question is who takes over? It’s not an easy one to answer. But anyone that thinks Jim McGuinness would go for it, I’m sorry but it won’t happen. If anything he’s going back to Donegal. The team is in a delicate place now. There will be incoming and and outgoings just by the natural age of the team. I think having an inside man is needed. Dempsey would most likely have the best knowledge of who could come in and offer something new to the team when compared to someone outside the country. Yes he’s hasn’t managed a senior inter county team before but if memory serves me right neither did Brian Dooher or Dessie Farrell and both of them have seen success in the last 2 years. I think Dempsey with a solid back room team (one or two outside coaches) could do the trick. Interesting times ahead.

  94. – Thank you James Horan and your backroom team for the massive commitment to Mayo football.
    – What I admired most was your decision to come back for a second term as you knew exactly the work, pressure and hassle involved and you met it head on.
    – You leave a great legacy, I bet many of our U17 team were inspired by Mayo’s journey over the past 10 years.

  95. I was going to write a lengthy post but Food4thought has summed it all up for me.
    Great to see all the love and respect for James,I hope he reads this.

  96. Kevin Johnson is made for that job.
    If Mayo don’t take him some other county will very quickly.

  97. Thank you WJ for all your efforts on this blog, unreal. Brillant that the snake is now banned, probably gone to a top class coaching job.

  98. Time for fresh thinking again, some very good players still there with mayo, very least good enough for quarter final positions with out doubt and even further with out injury’s, still think some good footballers in the county early 20s that should be there with the county,

  99. Fair play WJ! I found Viper’s arrogance and condescension totally off-putting.
    I felt he introduced a nasty tone into the blog that was never there before. Your patience was admirable! And yes I agree a lot of us will indeed be glad to see the end of this individual.
    Keep up the amazing work WJ and someday you will have the well deserved pleasure of reporting on a Mayo victory in the All Ireland!

  100. Well done willie joe. Clearly viper is not long following mayo football. Next manager. Jim mcguinness. Paul galvin. Mcstay. Slolan. Or will the panel have a say ?

  101. Timing is right for change , and credit to James for reading the mood of the Mayo supporters over the past 12 months . The loss to Tyrone was the breaking point and this year I’m afraid went from bad to worse . Ultimately until we can get across the line and win Sam we have to accept that we have had good mangers over the last 30 years that have won Connaught titles and brought us to finals …I’m thinking of John O’Mahony , John Maughan , Mickey Moran , Stephen Rockford and now James. All good mangers that have brought Mayo to the level we are today since Johno’s first final in 89 since 51…
    The missing component over that period is out ability to make and convert scores compared to the opposition ….we have been second best whether we wish to accept it or not. While luck plays its part we have to ask the hard questions now about our coaching structures , club games and why we are not producing scoring forwards like Kerry , Dublin etc on a continuous basis…All in all plenty to look forward to with a good pipeline of young players coming through over the next few years.

  102. No problem WJ, that was an insensitive suggestion on my part so soon after James stepping down.

  103. Dear James.
    There are some beautiful words and heartfelt sadness as you depart.
    I am so grateful to you for sharing your heart for our county. You deserve the gratitude, not just of Mayo people everywhere, but of anyone with a passion for football. The championship, in the past 10 years, would have been a damp squib without Mayo GAA. I’m beyond proud and grateful.
    Thank you, to you and your wife and family. I’ll never forget you. Please God we will all live to see our county get over the line….
    The dream lives on.
    I love food4thought post. And Sinead37.. hoorin and tourin. . You sound like you could train and manage this team..
    Best wishes James. Thank you. Green and Red forever.
    Maigheo go deo.

  104. When you think about it, timing is everything. James Horan produced fantastic teams in his first spell and again this time round. For several years they slugged it out with Dublin who are widely recognised as the greatest of all time and came so close to toppling them in finals. Then we come to 2022 and none of the semi-finalists would get close to Dublin or Mayo at their peak but alas we are in transition and in the middle of an injury saga like I’ve never seen before. One of the present Dublin, Kerry, Galway or Derry teams will win a below par championship compared to the last decade. Not their fault and well done and good luck to whoever does win it but it’s all about timing. The Mayo team of 2017 would be raging hot favourites this year but unfortunately……..bad timing.

  105. I see what you mean Joe and there’s merit in it but I’ve always felt that overall was an excuse. I’d argue that as a collective, we were better than Dublin in ’13 and we were by far the best team in Ireland in ’14 but we blew it, not helped by the Ref in Limerick. But we had chances and should have gotten over the line then. From ’15 onwards, Dublin went to a different level. I always felt that their performance in a rain-soaked final in Croker V Kerry that year was their very best. Kerry looked like an average club team in that match, but Dublin made them look that way.

    No, overall, Mayo had their real chance in 2014. Last year too, but last year’s team wasn’t a patch on the ’14 team. The players need to shoulder the burden of blame for failing in ’14. That and Kerry cuteness. But that’s not an excuse. The best team needs to push beyond that.

    On an aside, I sat back and admired Galways slick penos the last day. Made me wonder, how many of those would Mayo have scored??

  106. He has taken us to a competitive level like never before and he is very unlucky not to have a couple of All Ireland medals as a manager

  107. I hope the Co board his thoughts on who his successor should be.
    We can go backwards from here.
    I would love to see Tony mcantee as manager with oisin mcconvile and Buckley selector’s.
    Mcconvile forward coach and Buckley what he does best defensive coach.billy Joe and James Burke as part of the backroom team.
    Burke to keep charge of the Dublin based players and Billy Joe on analysis.
    Get a few new lads in Irwin callinan and C Dempsey. P Henaghan deserve a try.

  108. He left Mayo, in way better place in 2014, from what he took over in 2010. And while we might not be in as good of shape this time, he has rebuilt 2 completely different teams that have contested back to back All Irelands in his two phases. While he made mistakes, I argue he has been the catalyst on how competitive Mayo football has been in last 12 years. It just unfortunately not to have one all Ireland under his belt. And think Donegal, and especially the Tyrone final will haunt him, as 1996 will forever be milestone around Maughan neck. But should leave knowing if Oisin Mullin, Matty Ruane, or some of the U17, like Clark, Hurley do lift a Sam, it the minimum standard that James has installed in Mayo Gaa, has alot to do with it.

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