James Horan is back in the spotlight today but only in the context of his new role, that of Gaelic football pundit for Newstalk.
The radio station launched their summer coverage yesterday and James was asked about whether or not he might be seen prowling the sideline in charge of some other county. James was pretty clear in responding to this question:
At the moment I’m happy painting the house and that. I just couldn’t see it at the moment, no, it’s not something I’ve considered or would consider.
That’s reassuring to know, I have to admit. Although there’s no vacancy at the minute for his old job, there will be again at some time in the future and it’s good to know that James doesn’t, like some of his predecessors, have any intention of getting onto the roving county manager circuit.
James was a bit more coy when questioned about returning to management at all in the years ahead, saying that he could probably see himself doing this and remarking that “you never know what’s in the future”. Aside from knowing that we’ll never see Dublin play a championship match outside Croke Park again, that pithy observation about the unknowability of what lies ahead has got to be correct.
You get the impression that, after giving it socks for the last four years in pursuit of Sam, James is enjoying taking it easier this summer. From what I’ve heard of him on the radio, he makes a decent fist of the punditry too. I hope he’s as nifty with his brush around the architraves at home.
In other news, as was mentioned last night, Armagh’s Padraig Hughes has been appointed to ref our match against Galway next month. We’ve never had the Armagh official for a championship match before and he didn’t do any of our League games this year but we had him twice in spring of last year – up in Omagh against Tyrone and then at HQ in the League semi-final against Derry.
We lost both of those games but that wasn’t, in truth, anything to do with the ref. And, hey, look on the bright side – he’s not from Meath.