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Dublin: 5°C Wednesday 25 November 2020
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Back in charge! Horan returns as Mayo appoint new senior football manager

The county board have confirmed their former manager is at the helm again.

JAMES HORAN IS once again at the helm of the Mayo senior footballers after it was confirmed tonight that he has been appointed as manager of the county side and handed a four-year term.

James Horan James Horan was previously in charge between 2011 and 2014. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

The way was paved for Horan’s return when Mike Solan dropped out of the race to become manager last Friday with his withdrawal leaving Horan as the only contender still in the running after the nomination process.

His appointment has been rubber-stamped by the county board and means he will succeed Stephen Rochford who departed in late August, citing a lack of support from the county board executive, after a summer that saw championship losses to Galway in Connacht and to Kildare in the All-Ireland qualifiers.

Daniel Forde is set to act as trainer on Horan’s management team with Martin Barrett working as a selector and James Burke, a Mayo native who lines out for Ballymun Kickhams, likely to fill the role of training the Dublin-based players in the squad.

“I am delighted to be involved with Mayo and am really looking forward to getting on the field with the players. All clubs (senior/intermediate/junior) within Mayo will be contacted immediately seeking suggestions of players that may have the potential technical/tactical/physical/mental attributes required for the inter-county game.

“There has been a coaching movement in Mayo over last number of years that has been staggering in its’ progression. In conjunction with clubs and divisional Boards we have seen huge advances with clubs across the county driving very high standards.

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“That is something I want to be involved with, and help ensure that progress continues. It is busy but very exciting times in Mayo GAA and I cannot wait to get started.”

James Horan celebrates at the final whistle James Horan celebrates after the 2013 All-Ireland semi-final win over Tyrone. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Horan is now set to be in control for a second spell, four years after his initial tenure came to an end in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick when Mayo lost out to Kerry after extra-time of a pulsating All-Ireland semi-final replay.

It is eight years since Horan became Mayo boss for the first time and he took charge for four seasons between 2011 and 2014. He enjoyed notable success in Connacht during that time as Mayo clinched four successive provincial final wins against Roscommon, Sligo, London and Galway.

James Horan with Aidan O'Shea at the end of the game James Horan with Aidan O'Shea after the 2014 Connacht senior football final. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

In 2012 and 2013, Horan steered Mayo to All-Ireland football final appearances where they lost out to Donegal and Dublin respectively. Their 2011 campaign had ended with an All-Ireland semi-final loss to Kerry before the Kingdom were their conquerors again in Horan’s most recent championship tie in charge.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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