Return of the Mac is a timely boost


This afternoon’s announcement by Mayo GAA (here) that county footballing legend Ciaran McDonald has joined James Horan’s backroom team in a coaching capacity is the kind of good news Mayo fans everywhere will welcome.

There’s still over a month to go before our opening match in 2020 – we play Galway in the FBD League semi-final on 12th January and two weeks later open the defence of our National League title, with a first round Division One clash with Donegal in Ballybofey – and there’s been precious little on-field action to focus on of late. At the same time, of course, there’s no apparent end to our off-field troubles, though, as ever, the less said about that the better.

Into that void drops this very welcome development. Ciaran has, of course, been involved with underage coaching of academy teams at county level for the last few years and it always seemed that it was only a matter of time before he’d be given the chance to ply his trade at senior level. That time is now.

In welcoming the Crossmolina man to his management team James Horan paid tribute to Ciaran as “someone who made his own opportunities on the field of play, creating some outstanding moments and demonstrating great flair, fitness, endurance and individual talent.” James added that the new man will be “a valued addition to the excellent team of committed people that are already driving this team forward and achieving great things.”

Mayo supporters everywhere will undoubtedly share those sentiments and share too the same hope that Ciaran’s input on the coaching side will drive the team’s performance to higher levels in 2020. With collective training having resumed inside the last week, a new year of football action is drawing ever nearer. It can’t come a day too soon.

Best of luck Ciaran and welcome back into the senior set-up. We’ve missed you.

31 thoughts on “Return of the Mac is a timely boost

  1. First bit of positive news regarding mayo G.a.a. in quite a while. Can only be a good influence on the younger players especially. Roll on January.

  2. You are right WJ, good news and something 100% of Mayo supporters can agree on.

    I am a huge fan of Ciaran. He was a great talent and although coaching played a role in his success too, without doubt, the biggest factor in his success was the countless hours of practice he put in on frees, left foot, right foot, dummies, , swivel etc etc. Are the current young Mayo forwards spending that kind of time on ball skills?

    I only have one misgiving – if the Mayo forwards have some bad days next summer, will there be people on this and other sites asking ‘what the hell in McDonald doing?’, ‘We need a new forwards coach’. I really hope we avoid that. People only have good things to say about Ciaran now as a person and a footballer. It would be a real shame if that changed. I am sure Ciraran will do a good job, but, he can’t do the player’s job.

  3. Thank god thank god thank god.
    So fed up of the rubbish from everyone except the team.
    Great news and very wise move.
    Well done James

  4. Will be interesting to see how this will work out, great players do not always make great coaches but he has been involved under age so may already have developed into a good coach.

    We need to strengthen our attacking play so this is a positive statement of intent, so best of luck to the management team.

  5. I said on a comment after the Dublin Game that this was the first thing Mayo needed to do . This is a Good Posotive Move . Ciaran was a wonderful player & he will be very good in his new Role. There are many young players in the county & a number of them will have to be brought into the team .

  6. Mike, your negativity is most unhelpful on such a positive development. Talk about not giving the man a chance- before he even gets going, your talking about what might happen if he doesn’t succeed !! Give us a break!

  7. Mac will definitely help the younger players and if a bit of steel is required on the line Mac won’t be found wanting. His left peg and left hook trumps Jayo and Bernard Dunne anyday! Seriously though a very positive recruitment for the group.

  8. GvB – read my post again – it’s not negative about Ciaran in any way, quite the opposite if you read my comments
    let’s not set Mac expectations that he (or anyone else) cant possibly meet –
    Will he make our young forwards like Boylan and Conroy better ?- absolutely, I am sure he will
    Will he turn some decent players in to Clifford and O’Callaghans – No, he (or anyone else) wont do that.
    So, let’s just temper expectations a little and not set him up for failure before he even starts.

  9. Bold move by Horan. Have not lived in Ireland in some time and was unaware of Mac’s youth development work, but if he can bring something different to the coaching of our attack (a longstanding issue for Mayo teams of all descriptions) then it will have paid off.

  10. Off topic. The County U20s have a league comp in Jan.

    V Roscommon (A) 4th of Jan
    V Derry (H) 11th of Jan
    V Donegal (H) 18th Jan
    A final for the group winners on the 25th of Jan.

  11. Ciaran is a good boost for Mayo if the following things happen. He needs to have the authority to be allowed to have a say in what team is picked and let play the type of football that will be good. He needs to be able to say to some of our ” Special Chosen Ones” sorry guys your day is done. If not then Ciaran will be like James Nallen he will walk away. Its time going into 2020 we have to say farewell to our great players of the last 10 years. Time and tide waits for no man. Anyways I wish Ciaran all the best.

  12. Hopefully Ciaran can add something new and positive to the Mayo set up. Wishing him every success in 2020 and beyond.

  13. some great forward talent coming through in Mayo, like Carr ,Boylan , McDonagh , O Donaghue, Hanley and more, if Mac is given a free hand to coach them he could make them great forwards , think he should be let select the forward line and make changes there during a game.

  14. True grit, the manager makes all those decisions you mentioned, the manager picks the team, the manager had the final say on the type of football is played and only the manager tells players when it’s time to move on (only as respect to the player if nothing else) the manager is James Horan. What you decribed would totally undermine Horans authority and ultimately cause a divide in the setup. There can only be one boss.
    I’m certain Mac will add to the team and be a success but those who thing he will be running the show or will be on equal standing to Horan are mistaken, he will be a coach and reports to the manager, not the other way round.

  15. @Culmore the manager picks the team otherwise you’d have the backs coach picking the backs the forwards coach picking the forwards and Someone else picking the midfield. No doubt Horan will take his coaches and selectors opinion on board but Horan is his own man and I’d say he goes with his gut. That’s the way it has to be as a manager and you live or die with your decisions after that.

  16. He should coach them and make recommendations, JH has to make the final decisions, its ridiculous to think otherwise.

  17. “Una Duce, Una Voca” -the inspiration came from Italian Fascist Leader Beinto Mussolini..”One Leader, One Voice,” as PJ Mara, then Fianna Fail national handler in Chief said once upon a time, of a famous Mayo Man, Charles J Haughey… However when it comes to a completely non political entity (in theory) like Mayo GAA…our best playing performance came from a collaboration of Brain Power by our the Managment team’s…’Two head’s are better than one’ so the old saying goes, and so it seemed when the Dynamic Duo of Moran and Morrison held the reins of Mayo….. Without doubt the best Football performance’s from any Mayo team, against the very best opposition (some say the greatest team of all time) came when , Rochford, Buckley and McEntee combined so well… James Horan has a proven record, and definitely saw the greatest improvement in terms of performance and competitiveness , a brilliant CV, but to reach the heights of his Managment abilities possible, he will have to collaborate effectively with those around him…. We are coming into the season of the ‘Three Wise Men’… hopefully ‘Wisdom’ will be in abundance in Mayo in 2020…

  18. 45 do you know the panel of players that will be playing on that under 20 team?
    Very early start

  19. Bit off topic here but the most important Mayo GAA convention in a long time is coming up. I would urge every club member to inform themselves on the candidates and let your club rep know your feelings. I am not trying to influence anyone’s opinion here but it’s very easy to sit back and complain about things. Nows the chance for every club member to have their say.

  20. After reading the nominees for Chairmans statements today on the Mayo News , I think Liam Moffatt is definitely the man to lead us out of the current mess and provide a much brighter future for all the volunteers and club within Mayo Gaa.Hopefully our Club delegates get behind him Sunday!!

  21. TH/all – you’ll be able to hear more from both candidates shortly as we’ve a special podcast episode coming out tomorrow featuring in-depth interviews by Rob Murphy with both Seamus Tuohy and Liam Moffatt.

  22. It’s on Sunday, 12th January, against Galway at MacHale Park, 2pm throw-in. It’s not really a League competition anymore as this is a knockout semi-final tie. If we win the final is on the following Sunday.

  23. Could someone tell me the point of the FBD?

    Leinster teams out in the O’Bryne cup last week and will get plenty of match practice. Our match against Galway could be rained/snowed off, or guys not available, or a host of other things and that could be it.

    Underdogs match was more useful to us IMO.

  24. Mayo might do what Offaly did last night when they elected a new face in Michael Duignan with no ties to old regime.

  25. Catcol – The FBD game vs Galway will be competitive and a way of players getting match sharp for the league. There will probably be a couple of challenge games on top of it.

    No comparison to the underdogs which was just an exhibition game.

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