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James McCartan returns to familiar territory with new management role

The former Down boss has hardly been a month out of work.

James McCartan has managed the Down senior footballers over the past five years.
James McCartan has managed the Down senior footballers over the past five years.
Image: Presseye/Russell Pritchard/INPHO

JAMES MCCARTAN HAS wasted no time in returning to management, taking up the role of head coach with Queen’s University Belfast yesterday.

In late July McCartan stepped down as manager of the Down senior team, having been at the realm since 2009. He now returns to the Belfast University whom he had previously led to four Sigerson Cup finals, winning one in 2007.

The former Down legend will commence training in the coming weeks, with details of his support team being announced in the next few days.

James McCartan Queens manager James McCartan back in 2006 as Queen's manager Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Queens Sport yesterday revealed that McCartan would become ‘the leading figure in a new coaching structure for Gaelic Football at the College’.

McCartan, a two time Footballer of the Year himself, also won two Sigerson Cup medals with Queen’s as a player in both 1990 and 1993.

QUB GAA Development Officer Aidan O’Rourke welcomed the appointment.

“James has an exceptional record and it certainly helps that he is familiar with the university scene,” he said.

“Recent coaching teams have worked tirelessly to bring the club forward and I would like to place our thanks on record for those efforts. We are now building for the future and there is a determination that we should try to maximise the potential within our teams and the GAA Academy.”

James McCartan talks to his team Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Things haven’t quite been as successful in the university since McCartan’s departure with the eight time winners failing to even reach a final since the heroics of their one point victory over Jordanstown in 2007.

The man who guided Down to the 2010 All-Ireland final has inherited much of a squad who were knocked out of last year’s Sigerson competition in the opening round by GMIT.

But according to O’Rourke the college now have the right man in place to turn things back around.

“At Queen’s, we have a very strong tradition in Gaelic Football and we want to be competing for honours again. So appointing a solid coaching team is the first step.”

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