Mayo GAA announced today that the county’s U20 football manager Maurice Sheridan would not be seeking to continue in the role next year following the completion of his three-year term.
The Balla man steps away from the U20 role having not succeeded in landing any major honours with the team during his three seasons in charge. He did, however, oversee two Connacht final appearances in his first two years, with victories over Galway on the way to the final both times (the first after a penalty shootout), but in both deciders his team malfunctioned, losing to Roscommon in 2021 and then to Sligo last year.
This year Sligo again proved to be the rock we perished on, on this occasion at the semi-final stage. The young Magpies then went on to claim a second Connacht title in a row before beating Kerry to make it to the All-Ireland final where, sadly, they lost out to Kildare.
If team success eluded Maurice in the U20 role, he can claim to have brought through a number of talented young players who have since broken through at Senior level, a point alluded to by County Board Chairman Séamus Tuohy in that statement linked above. Players such as Ruairí Keane, Jack Carney, Frank Irwin, Donnacha McHugh, Sam Callinan and Bob Tuohy all featured on U20 teams Maurice managed and all of them have seen competitive action at Senior level with us this year.
Nominations will now be invited from clubs for the vacant U20 post. Speaking to the Mayo News today (here), Séamus Tuohy expressed the hope that the new manager would be in place by the start of the club Championships in mid-August.
He cautioned, though, that there’s a debate ongoing within the GAA about what the primary underage grade should be next year, with the possibility that it would shift to U19. Listeners to the podcast in recent weeks would have heard Nigel Reape provide his well considered thoughts on that particular topic, on which a Special Congress decision is expected in September.