I was out at a meeting for the last few hours and only got back in a short while ago to discover that there were developments at tonight’s County Board meeting in relation to both the senior and U21 management positions.
Let’s start with the U21s, where Ballaghaderreen’s Michael Solan was confirmed by the County Board as team manager for next year. His backroom team will comprise Joe Keane (coach/selector), John Ginty (selector), Liam Moffatt (Head of Medical) and Barry Solan (S&C).
First up, congrats to Mike and his management team on their appointment and the best of luck to them in the role next year. We’ve punched badly below our weight at U21 in recent years and the hope has to be that the new team will be able to engineer a fairly radical improvement in our fortunes at this level.
The second point to note is that Barry Solan, Mike’s brother, is on the ticket as S&C man. Does this mean that the Gooner Solan’s talents will also be available for the seniors? One would have to hope that they will be.
Thirdly, the appointment of Michael Solan by the County Board means that the Board’s own nominee, John Maughan, didn’t get the job. An obvious point to make, perhaps, but one that I have to confess I’m as confused about as everyone else is sure to be.
Onto the senior job, where November 1st has been set as the closing date for nominations. At tonight’s County Board meeting, Chairman Mike Connelly said that the aim was to have the new manager in place by the third week in November (report in the Mayo News here).
Given that we’re now heading rapidly towards the end of October, that timeline is probably the best one could hope for. The important thing now is that there isn’t any slippage on it.
On the thorny issue (one that has dominated much of the discussion here on the site of late) of whether or not the players’ grievances with Noel and Pat should be aired in public, the Chairman stated that there was “no point in going back” and that the important thing was that a similar occurrence should not happen in the future. To this end, Mike proposed that some kind of charter be drawn up between players, management and the County Board with the specific aim of heading off at the pass any such problems in the future.
On that point, I think Mike is right – we could, for sure, spend the winter months trying to get to the root causes of the revolt but ultimately it’s hard to see what the benefit of such introspection would be. The only sensible thing to do now is to move on, while doing everything possible to ensure that the problems that arose this year don’t rear their heads again next year. It’s great, then, to see that the process for appointing the new senior manager has begun and the sooner this is completed, the better.
Finally, speaking of appointments, at tonight’s County Board meeting it was also agreed that Enda Gilvarry be ratified as minor team manger for a further twelve-month period. Best of luck to Enda as he prepares for another minor campaign in 2016.