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James Horan isn't expecting any retirements as he gears up for second crack at Mayo job

The returning boss will hold trials over the upcoming bank holiday weekend.

Mayo manager James Horan meets the press at the Greenway Café, Lough Lannagh last night.
Mayo manager James Horan meets the press at the Greenway Café, Lough Lannagh last night.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

MAYO MANAGER James Horan has said that he is yet to hear of any retirements from the 2018 playing squad as he begins his second term in charge of his native county.

The two-time All Star told reporters at last night’s Mayo GAA press event in Castlebar that he has already had conversations with ‘some of the older players’ ahead of the upcoming county trials taking place on the October Bank Holiday Weekend, and none have expressed their intentions of stepping away from the panel.  

“The players that have played in 2018, I’m working through those and I haven’t come across anyone yet that’s stepping out,” he said. “Obviously I would have gone to some of the older players first and had these conversations, so anyone I have talked to is extremely keen to be involved in the trials and get cracking.

“Anyone I have talked to is mad to get involved in the trials; some of them didn’t think they had to play in them, but they do, so that’s where it is, certainly the enthusiasm is there.”

The Ballintubber native has been handed a four-year term by the Mayo County Board this time around, having managed Mayo to two All-Ireland finals between the 2011 and 2014 season previously.

Horan, who has named Mayo men Martin Barrett (selector), Daniel Forde (trainer) and James Burke (Dublin based trainer), in his backroom team so far, feels that he is in a much better position, experience-wise, this time around.

“[In] 2010 there was a very young team, very young management team, [who] didn’t know a lot of what what lay in store and we had to suck it an see along the way,” he said.

“We were operating blind for a lot of it until you figured or experienced it, so it’s different this time for myself and if you look at the experience of the playing group, there’s eight or 10 years of playing at the highest level [since then], so that’s a huge amount of knowledge to have.

“Hopefully I have learned something over the four years I had on and four years I had off…. so in that regard it’s very different.

“But how we play or what we do, a lot of that is going to be based on very familiar principles or approach.”

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Ger Flanagan

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