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Search for new Mayo manager begins


PLANNING PROCESS Mayo GAA secretary Dermot Butler. Pic: Conor McKeown

Michael Gallagher

THE new Mayo senior football manager will hopefully be in place before the club championship gets underway on the first weekend of September.
That was the message delivered by Mayo GAA secretary Dermot Butler when he spoke to The Mayo News last night (Monday).
The Crossmolina clubman was speaking just hours after the county board released a statement seeking expressions of interest in the vacant role after James Horan stepped away at the end of his four-year term following the recent All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Kerry.
“We have asked for expressions of interest in the position and these must be with us by 6pm on Friday, July 29. Genuine applicants will then receive an application form which must be returned to me. There will be a shortlist drawn up from the applications and interviews will then take place,” explained Butler.
He then explained what would happen if a candidate of interest to Mayo GAA officers did not apply through the nomination process.
“We want the best man for the job, and if the right candidate hasn’t applied I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t seek them out. That’s not in any way implying that they’d end up getting the job. We want everything around this appointment to be transparent, that’s why we’re going to employ a HR company to oversee it. This will put transparency and governance at the heart of the process.
“We will be guided by the management appointment document adopted by the county board. “There will be a number of people from the [Mayo GAA] executive on the committee along with a former player and a HR expert.
“It will take a couple of weeks to sort it out and we would ideally like to have the new manager in place by the start of the club championship and if that’s not possible, we definitely want him in charge before the second round games,” the secretary continued.
The Mayo News was made aware of speculation over the weekend that contact had been made with a number of former All-Ireland winning managers outside the county to gauge their interest in the role.
However, Dermot Butler said he was unaware of any such actions being undertaken by any County Board officers.
“All I can tell you is, I haven’t made contact with anyone about the job and as far as I’m concerned nobody else has either.
“At the end of the day we want to do it right. We want to get the right person for the job.
“This can be a very exciting time for Mayo GAA. There will be some players retiring in the not-too-distant-future, but there is great talent out there. We have a good young panel and we want to get the right mix of manager and backroom team to develop that and drive it on,” he added.
“There isn’t much separating the top four or five teams in the country and we have been knocking on the door for the past few years. It’s great to be at that level and we must build on that going forward.
“We will review the season with James (Horan) and take whatever learnings from that, like we will review the season with all our managers at inter-county level. James is as disappointed as anyone that we aren’t still in the championship. I truly believe if we had our shooting boots on against Kerry (in the quarter-final) we’d have beaten them, but we didn’t and that’s life.
“We had a huge amount of injuries this season and not to take away from anyone, but being without the scoring threat of Tommy Conroy and Ryan O’Donoghue was huge. I would love if Mayo could just go through one season injury-free to see what would happen.
“There is huge talent in Mayo. James has brought through a lot of really exciting young footballers. We have to remember that eight of our finest players retired over the past couple of years, yet James kept us competitive and chasing All-Irelands. Now, is the time to build on that and drive on, so it’s vitally important that we get the right person in place.”


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