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Mayo fall short but Horan leaves with head held high

Editorial

Mayo fall short but Horan leaves with head held high


It’s been some adventure but in the end James Horan’s term as Mayo football manager fell just short of the ultimate goal. For four years, Horan has led this wonderful group of players into the last four in the championship but each year has ended in tears, and there was plenty of those in Limerick on Saturday evening as both players and supporters struggled to come to terms with another painful defeat at the hands of Kerry.
Horan’s first year in charge ended with defeat to the green and gold but this defeat was all the harder to take as Mayo know in their hearts and souls they are every bit as good as this Kerry team. They know too, on their day, they are as good as Donegal and Dublin, as both those sides have been put to the sword during Horan’s tenure, and after Sunday’s amazing victory for Jim McGuinness and his team, how James Horan would dearly love to preparing for another joust with the men from the north west.
Sadly for all of us though, Horan is preparing for life without Mayo and it will undoubtedly take him time to get over the disappointment. Having given four years of his life to the cause, Horan knew this would be his last year as family and work commitments need prioritising.
For the last four years, he has had to try and find time to also be a full time football manager too and he and his extensive background team have left no stone unturned in their pursuit of Sam Maguire.
Horan is remarkably meticulous in the preparation of his teams and he has used every tool possible to ensure his team was in the best place possible to achieve their ultimate goal.
During the last two seasons when Mayo were beaten by just one point in the All-Ireland Final, it could have been argued that Mayo had peaked too soon in their seasons, that the defeats of Dublin and in 2012 and Donegal in 2013 were Mayo at the peak of their powers.
This season we have heard, both from players and management, that the plan was to peak on September 21 but a rejuvenated Kerry also had that date in their sights too, and after two titanic battles, they found a way to close out the game in the second period of extra time at the Gaelic Grounds.
Horan’s team have given the Mayo public four fantastic years full of memorable moments but the time has come to for a change of direction and a fresh impetus. The Mayo public know that this team is young enough to remain highly competitive for at least another couple of seasons so the challenge for the new manager is to come up with a formula that can finally see us get our hands on Sam Maguire. That will be a huge challenge with the likes of Kerry, Donegal and Dublin around but this group of Mayo footballers are ambitious and their goal will be the same in 2015.

Contact
The Mayo News
The Fairgreen, Westport,
Co Mayo. t 098 25311
e editor@mayonews.ie