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Mayo legend Ciaran McDonald joins James Horan's backroom team

Mayo GAA have confirmed an interesting addition to the coaching ticket.

Ciaran McDonald on the ball for Mayo in 2007.
Ciaran McDonald on the ball for Mayo in 2007.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

MAYO LEGEND CIARAN McDonald has undertaken a role in the county senior footballers’ coaching team, manager James Horan has confirmed. 

Mayo GAA released a statement this afternoon announcing the appointment of their newest coach with immediate effect. 

McDonald lined out for the Green and Red for 14 years between 1994 and 2008, and starred in the forward line. The 44-year-old enjoyed a successful career with his club, Crossmolina Deel Rovers, with an All-Ireland title coming on that front in 2001.

Having been involved with the Mayo GAA academy teams for the last number of years, 2004 All-Star McDonald’s role will now be to work closely with James Burke in a coaching capacity as he supports the development of players on the field.

“I am really delighted to welcome Ciaran into the Support Team of Mayo GAA,” Horan said. “He brings a wealth of experience, vision and skill to our coaching set up and this will also fit in very well with the development phase we are currently in with this senior squad.

11 years on from his last senior appearance for Mayo, Ciaran is still being acknowledged nationally as one of the finest exponents of the modern era. He is also a player’s player – someone who made his own opportunities on the field of play, creating some outstanding moments and demonstrating great flair, fitness, endurance and individual talent.

“I know he will bring all that innate ability and commitment to this present squad. It will be a welcomed and a valued addition to the excellent team of committed people that are already driving this team forward and achieving great things.”

“We have a clear vision for the Mayo team – to develop and grow as a squad, one that is relentlessness in its ambition to perform at the highest level, and that takes individual and collective responsibility on and off the pitch to get us to our goal,” he added.

“Ciaran embodies very many of those qualities and principles. Our players will benefit enormously from his insights and presence and I view this as a hugely positive development for Mayo GAA particularly as we look towards 2020 and the upcoming National League and Championship.”

McDonald himself added that it is a great honour to join the set-up. 

“I am really delighted to have been invited by James to join his back-room team,” he said. “I really admire the work being done behind the scenes and the highly professional way in which James is moving it forward.

“I am excited about both the approach and potential of these talented players over the coming years. We saw some great new young players coming onto the field this year and there is a good pipeline of talent coming through thanks to the good work being done at underage and academy level throughout the county.

“I hope to add to that and will assist in every way I can. I’m really relishing the opportunity to be back involved with the Mayo Senior Football team once again.”        

The management team and squad officially recommenced training for the 2020 season on 1 December at Elvery’s MacHale Park.

In their 2020 Division 1 league opener, holders Mayo face Donegal in Ballybofey on Saturday, 25 January.

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Emma Duffy

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