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Search for new Mayo manager begins


SIDELINE VIEW The search is on for the next Mayo senior football manager. Pic: Sportsfile

Mike Finnerty

THE process of appointing a new Mayo senior football manager will begin on Monday week next, according to County Board chairman Seamus Tuohy.
Last night’s (Wednesday’s) monthly meeting of the Mayo GAA Board was told that the ‘ultimate goal’ will be ‘to build on what we have achieved’ by ‘getting the best man for job’.
The chairman also thanked James Horan for the ‘huge sacrifices’ he had made and ‘huge commitment’ he had given to Mayo football over the last four years, and said Horan had ‘brought Mayo GAA to new levels’ during his time in charge.
The Breaffy clubman also dismissed speculation that he had offered a two-year contract extension to Horan earlier this summer. “That was never the case,” said the chairman.
“Firstly, I’d like to thank all the players, management and backroom team for their contributions over the year, and indeed over many years,” Tuohy told club delegates as he reflected on Mayo’s exit from the All-Ireland series last weekend.
“There were some very good days and some very bad days, losing All-Ireland finals and losing to Galway here was hard to take, and losing on Sunday to Kerry.
“But there were some very good days.
“As we all know at this stage, James stepped down last Monday. I’d just like to thank himself and his backroom team for all their efforts with this team. We were very competitive during the years of his term and had some great days.
“I just want to put on record at this stage, there’s been a lot of mentions of this on social media, that I personally offered this guy [James Horan] a two-year extension contract,” he added. “That was never the case. And I just want to put on record, there was never a discussion about a contract.
“James, to be fair, done his job professionally in every way. He was fully focussed on the job at hand, and there was absolutely no discussion with either myself or any other principal officers as regards an extension of contract.
“So his four-year contract ended once they exited the championship this year, so that’s the reason he stepped down.
“I’d like to thank him, personally, for his contribution to Mayo football.
“He made huge sacrifices, gave huge commitment over the last number of years and he brought Mayo GAA to new levels. As he said himself, we’re going in the right direction and it’s important we build on that.”
The chairman, who was elected last December, then went on to explain that the search for Horan’s successor will begin in earnest on Monday week next — as ‘the focus’ in the meantime will be on the All-Ireland Minor Football Final between Mayo and Galway on Friday week next at Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon.
“I think this is a time for clubs, and for you as individual delegates, to reflect on where we are at within the county and where we want to go,” said Seamus Tuohy.
“And to consider the options that are out there, suitable candidates or otherwise to fill this post.
“We want to build on what we have achieved, that is our ultimate goal. It’s not about a step back, it’s about a step forward. To build on the great work that has been achieved over the last number of years. We have a great bunch of young lads coming through, it’s important we keep them on the right journey.
“Whatever structures we need to put in place, we all need, and we all share this common goal. We need to get the best man for that position for the next couple of years,” he said.
Tuohy also confirmed that a ‘preliminary review’ of the ‘Mayo GAA management appointment policy document’ had already started; this document, which is contained within the Mayo GAA Operations Manual, will form the basis of the appointment process.
This policy document was used last year for both the Mayo Under-17 and Under-20 managerial appointment processes. It lays out the procedures to ‘ensure the overall integrity of the recruitment and selection process’.
“So that process itself will start on Monday week, where expressions of interest will go out to clubs,” said the Mayo GAA chief.
“In the meantime, there’s a management document that was already mentioned at the start of the meeting. . . We started a preliminary review of that ourselves tonight, and we have put together a small committee that will look at the document and we will finalise that process so that we will have some direction about how we will go through this process over the next number of weeks.
“This is a position that is going to be ratified by ye, as delegates. It’s not going to be ratified by social media or otherwise. Because there is a lot that is going to be written over the next couple of weeks, so it’s important for me, as chairman, that we get this right and get the best man for the job.”
Westport GAA club delegate, Willie McDonagh, then asked if there will be ‘a review with James [Horan] and his backroom team before you go forward?’
“Yes,” confirmed the chairman.
Garrymore GAA club delegate John Farragher also requested that the ‘appointment policy document’ be re-distributed to clubs.
He also thanked James Horan on behalf of Garrymore ‘for the great days’ that Mayo supporters had enjoyed during his time in charge.
“It was great and we appreciate it,” said Farragher.
A letter from Crossmolina GAA club was also read out at the start of the meeting, thanking James Horan for his efforts as Mayo manager.


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