James Horan new Mayo manager

November 8, 2018

Courtesy of the Mayo News 

Mike Finnerty

A NEW ERA for Mayo GAA was ushered in at McHale Park, Castlebar tonight when two-time All Star James Horan was ratified as the new manager of the Mayo senior football team.
The 38 years-old father of four, who was born in New Zealand, managed to hold off the not insignificant challenge of former Dublin manager, Tommy Lyons, and Anthony McGarry to secure one of the highest profile jobs in inter-county management.
Horan, who was recommended for the position by the five-man selection committee and ratified by Mayo GAA club delegates, will be assisted by Martin Connolly (a former Mayo footballer and current joint-manager of Westport), Paul Jordan (ex-manager of Castlebar Mitchels) and the most-capped Mayo footballer of all time, James Nallen.
The current Ballintubber manager won three Connacht senior championships and two All Star awards during a decorated playing career with Mayo.
He also played in three All-Ireland senior finals (including replays) and scored two points against Kerry in the 1997 decider after coming off the bench.
‘I’ll give it everything I have,’ Horan told the assembled club delegates after making the short journey from his home in Castlebar to McHale Park following a telephone call from Mayo GAA Chairman, James Waldron, to tell him he had got the job.
‘I’m really looking forward to the challenge. I’m honoured that people placed so much trust in me to be the next Mayo manager. I can’t wait to get started.
‘Mayo is full of good footballers and I think our management set-up can bring something. I think we can set an environment where players, if they want, if they have the right attitude, and the right character, can flourish. That’s what we’re about.
‘We want to bring some sense and some structure and, I know it’s an overused phrase, but we want to restore a bit of pride back into the whole thing.’
Speaking to The Mayo News recently, Mayo minor manager, Tony Duffy, who worked alongside James Horan as joint-manager of Ballintubber in 2007, had nothing but praise for his old team-mate.
‘James is very hands-on, very well-organised and very committed. When he takes on a job, he goes for it 100%. I found him to be a very good communicator and he’s got a great presence in the dressing-room.
‘He doesn’t lack confidence either. He’s got an awful lot of belief in his own ability too, in work, football, golf, everything really,’ he smiled.
Horan’s appointment brings to an end a saga that began last June when John O’Mahony stepped down as Mayo manager after his team were knocked out of the All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers by Longford at Pearse Park.
Next year’s championship will mark the 60th anniversary of Mayo’s last All-Ireland senior title win. They are currently available at odds of 25/1 to regain the Sam Maguire next September.
Horan will begin his competitive reign as Mayo manager on home soil in the opening round of the 2011 National Football League against beaten All-Ireland finalists Down on Sunday, February 6.