Horan nominated for manager’s job

Photo: Belfast Telegraph

Nominations closed at 1pm today for the vacant Mayo manager’s position and it’s been widely reported over the last few hours that James Horan’s name has been put forward to fill the role.

The Mayo News broke the story this morning on Twitter about James’ impending nomination and several sources had it by lunchtime – RTÉ, Irish Independent, Irish Times, Balls.ie.  That piece in the Indo states that James was nominated for the position by his own club Ballintubber.

There’s been no confirmation as yet as to whether or not any other nomination for the post was received ahead of today’s deadline. There’s no word either on where the process goes from here or how long it’ll take to be finalised but if it turns out James is the only nominee you’d have to think this will be wrapped up sooner rather than later. Here’s hoping.

UPDATE: RTÉ have now reported (here) that Mike Solan was also nominated for the manager’s job ahead of today’s deadline. This means that the County Board now have a big decision to make, one that, for everyone’s sake, needs to sorted as quickly as possible.

95 thoughts on “Horan nominated for manager’s job

  1. The less shlobberin done now the better. A popular choice with the players too I’d say. I hope he gets it.

  2. It is great news if James gets the nod. He worked wonders last time with loads of room to improve. Mayo football 2011 – 2018 sure beats Longford 2010. That is all down to James.he saved the Board’s financial bacon too with his onfield success

  3. Great news in my opinion. Hopefully the process is wrapped up soon and we can start to look forward with optimism once more.

    I firmly believe that Horan is 100% the best man for the job at hand.

    It is disruptive for the Westport lads but such is life. It might be a job that interests Stephen Rochford who I also believe will be back in the Mayo hot seat down the line.

  4. Good news, best man for the job. He will have first hand knowledge of alot of new players, hopefully if appointed he can bring in his own team of coaches/selectors. Onwards and upwards

  5. Great news but it just says he’s been nominated, doesn’t say he was interested. I like so many here hope he is but I also hope he’s let run it professionally. After the McStay McHale shambles there was a bit of a CB clearcut but the modified board still managed in the eyes of many to make a complete balls of Rochford’s continuation. Our clubs really need to be asking is this a good enough way to run the County going forward.

  6. … the idea that members of the CB were second guessing Rochford’s panel choices angers me. They support the structures, funding long term development etc. and manager picks the team. Of course there’s give and take but whoever undermines the manager should have their hole kicked.

  7. Great news and hopefully there will be no more messing but this CB is capable of foiling the best laid plans!
    No doubt James will take the lessons learned from his last stint. He must be mindful that this squad is 3 years older and may be faced with some hard decisions regarding who to drop. The flip side is anyone considering retirement will surely re-think as they know the professional approach james will bring! But all that’s for after he’s ratified!

  8. Its looking good at the moment for Horan, although if ever there was a county that could pull defeat from the jaws of victory..

  9. Really good news. Mayo football and the CB are lucky, over the recent period, that there has always been another very capable man ready and willing. This has been despite abhorrent treatment of previous managers and potential managers. I hope we never see managers or potential managers treated like this again. Really positive news.

  10. Oh stop Liam…that made me burst out laughing!!! Are there are any other nominees, will we know tonight, so many questions!! I am too ‘involved / invested’ in this cult!!!!

  11. I hope he gets it and hope he is giving time to build a team again it’s going to take a few years but no better man for the job

  12. A manager will be selected…. But, I don’t buy into this it can only be James Horan mind set… I think in all likelihood it will be James Horan, If it is, I wish him all the very best, but others could do a very good job as well…. Whoever the next manager is will have to decide on whether it’s one roll of the dice with this particular team (easily the best team never to win an All Ireland, ) or to rebuild for the future? … Good luck to whoever gets the job!

  13. I’ll wish J Horan luck if he gets the gig but I won’t be doing somersaults.

    Some of the players that people have constantly barked at Steven Rochford about, for bringing off the bench, were starting on the Horan teams.

    He’ll need to properly prepare strategically for the biggest of games. We were left very badly exposed in certain positions in finals and semi finals so all I will say is, he will need a very good backroom team and will need to take their input on board if he takes the job.

  14. Lookit..Will believe it when it’s signed, sealed and that Mayo cap is firmly back on his head..There’s always a place for a twist in the tale ..Very hopeful though..Can someone explain where Mike Solan is in all this??Thought his name was still in the ring..

  15. I’m surprised and delighted that Horan seems to be interested.As others have mentioned though there is always a possibility/likelihood of a monumental f/up.

    If it is James I don’t think he’ll be coming back with the idea of one more go for glory with his old team.I think we’ll see a mix of youth and experience….Jesus in even feeling a bit optimistic!

  16. I am delighted that J H has shown interest in the job. A great time for him to return to the county setup. Give him time, space and resources and our progress will continue in the right direction I am sure.

  17. Good news,does this mean that he had accepted to take the job before he was nominated?
    If he did that’s fantastic.
    Note to C.B. This is a great chance to redeem yourselves so don’t make a. balls of it give him the job and the resources to get the best possible management team. Confne your selves to the boardroom and stay out of the dressing room and hopefully we can at least win a Connacht and put those Galway and Roscommon pretenders back to where they belong.

  18. I think time out of Management will have given Horan a fresh perspective and will have seen the various tactics used by the 2 intervening Management teams. Fairly optimistic but depends on CB agreeing to his terms and not undermining him like they did Rochford and depends also on him getting good deputies in Mayo and Dublin. Also we’ll need to unearth a few midfielders, hopefully Diarmaid will fill the Tom P void for now. I can see Aido being used there more often but no obvious replacement for Seamie. Some of our old warriors may now be encouraged to stay on.

  19. Please god don’t let this get fucked up. I thought when we went out against kildare there would be peace and quiet across the county for months on end.. good weather and nothing to stop us. Instead my head is wrecked with controversy after controversy. Whether James gets it or not (and I would love if he did) can this process be amicable and respectful on all sides with the best person getting the job if there is more than one candidate. Fingers crossed we will have an easy ride from here to the League

  20. Leantimes, if the Monsignor does come back for a 2nd term he should be able to mount a proper assault on the big one, while also introducing youth. If things are done properly in a county you should always be competing at the ‘top table’. Theres no reason why Mayo should ever find itself out of the reckoning before the season ever starts. Kerry never think that way, even when they are ‘rebuilding’.

    The league is the time to give untested lads a go. I couldn’t believe the amount of game time Kev McL put in during the past two league campaigns.

    We need to see the Grim Reaper brought in and other young lads with potential. It’s time for Loftus to step up to the plate on a consistent basis. He has bags of skill but has only shown glimpses of what he can do, a killer pass here, a top corner goal there but never a real dominant 70 mins performance where you think ‘yeah this guy has made it’. The hype he received after a few points in Balleybofey was way over the top! He looked like a kid out there v Galway in the championship. Without meaning to be harsh cos I like him but its time for him to man up.
    Personally, I always felt Liam Irwin had class and instinctive football intelligence that you cannot coach. Maybe if the Monsignor comes back he could entice lads who for whatever reason haven’t made a breakthrough to get back on board.

    Let’s wait and see..

    Up Mayo.

  21. JH has the respect of the players and the wider squad. He’s had a few years to be the hurler on the ditch and reflect on his time in the role. He took charge and we came roaring back to be the team we still are. Granted he made some tactical errors but no manager is perfect.

    I hope there are no obstacles in his way now and the CB and the Executive sort their house out. This is crucial.

    I wholeheartedly support JH as manager and after an unusual year supporting Mayo it’s time to get back to the top table.

    Dublin have proved that no other team poses any real threat to them other than Mayo. They won the All- Ireland this year at a canter.

    When the Fire and the Fury in the Green and Red arrives into Croker for the league game this year I expect a new benchmark to be laid.

    On to the hunt for the Nestor cup then and away we go.

    Will it be easy, no way but for one I can’t wait.

  22. He’s the only confirmed nomination, James, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t others whose names haven’t yet been made public. No official statement has been made as yet by Mayo GAA on who has been nominated and it’s possible no such statement will be issued before the process is concluded.

  23. Surprised there wouldn’t have been/hasn’t been some leak (from the relevant club) to confirm a Solan or other nomination.

    If JH (and I’ a believer), can see, and it would be right and proper, some intense discussion on structures, control and CB relationship, before it’s all done and dusted.

  24. I’m with ya Philor. I was pulled in on the side of the road when I got the news about Horan’s cap being in the ring and the very first thing I thought of was bursting the Maroon Balloon in Summer ’19. We can handle them sheep shtealers anytime….wink wink
    Anyway, nothing ironclad yet but it’s good news….and don’t we decking well need it?

  25. Ah I dunno……..I dunno…….I ever got over the Freezer surprise substitution in the AIF a few years back……

  26. Horans 2014 panel who are still there

    David Clarke 35
    Robbie Hennelly 28
    Brendan Harrison 26
    Ger Cafferkey 31
    Keith Higgins 33
    Chris Barrett 31
    Colm Boyle 32
    Lee Keegan 29
    Donal Vaughan 30
    Stephen Coen 23
    David Drake 28
    Seamus O’Shea 31
    Tom Parsons 30
    Aidan O’Shea 28
    Diarmuid O’Connor 23
    Kevin McLoughlin 29
    Cillian O’Connor 26
    Andy Moran 35
    Jason Doherty 29
    Conor O’Shea 25
    Adam Gallagher 24

    Who are gone from Horans tenure

    Kenneth O’Malley emigrated to Dubai
    Tom Cunniffe emigrated to New York
    James Burke let go Holmes/ Connelly 2015
    Shane McHale let go by Rochford 2016
    Kevin Keane let go by Rochford 2017
    Cathal Carolan let go by Rochford 2016
    Jason Gibbons let go by Rochford 2017
    Brian Gallagher let go by Holmes/Connelly 2015
    Barry Moran retired
    Richie Feeney retired
    Alan Dillon retired
    Mickey Conroy retired
    Enda Varley let go by Holmes /Connelly 2015
    Alan Freeman dropped out Work commitments
    Mikey Sweeney let go Rochford 2016
    Darren Coen let go by Holmes/Connelly 2015

  27. Now Horan’s name is out in the ether the CB will have to release the names of other candidates (if any) to ensure full transparency.

    Horan wouldn’t have allowed his name to go forward if he didn’t want the job, and if he didn’t feel he could add something to it.

    I won’t sit on the fence on this – I want Horan installed asap.

  28. That was a poor call alright, as was leaving caff isolated on donaghy in limerick but overall he instilled a new psychology and fortitude into the Mayo senior team. Some mistakes can be forgiven, you’d hope that IF Horan comes back in that he’ll have learned a bit and might recognise the importance of selecting a right hand man who he’ll listen to. I appreciate Peter Canavans record in management isn’t stellar but he’s a winner. He seems a shrewd character. I think he would be a positive influence. Obv its all speculation so far. Someone like John Divilly or Maurice Sheridan would also be good selectors. Both learning the trade so to speak but clever clued in guys.

  29. JOM brought Galway to the promised land..twice…might be nice if someone from that era Galway team could give something back in return!!!;)

  30. Great news on JH nomination ..Need CB to get this ratified asap (like tonight ! ) .. Very important that there is strong Dublin based trainer in the JH set up ..

  31. Delighted if Horan let’s his name go forward and I just hope that he is allowed the leeway to renew and revitalise the team. TBH he’s the only one out there available with a proven record at intercounty level and thats exactly what this team needs right now. I also hope that after this debacle is finally over that the Mayo County Board set about getting their own house in proper order to ensure sustainable success into the future – but I wouldn’t hold my breath!

  32. Yeah sure Horan made mistakes but he also got done by disgraceful refereeing in that match in Limerick.

    Horan is a smart fella and we have to trust that smart fellas can learn from their mistakes.

    I back him 100% ( even though I feel Rochford was very hard done by, but that’s over now ) and if the CB don’t accept the get out of jail card – one they don’t deserve – then God help us all. They can’t be that stupid can they ? Nobody answer that please.

    Give him the bloody job and carte blanche with picking selectors and let’s all get back to talking about football.

  33. RTE reporting Solan is in as well…. they are the only two candidates according to the national broadcaster….
    What chances a dream team combination of the two??

  34. I am happy if James Horan becomes the next manager. Despite being critical of some of his decisions in the past I reckon he is probably the best option right now (if not the only one). Assuming he is selected by the County Board it will be interesting to see who he will have as his management team. Quite a few have come and gone during his last period with Mayo. Hopefully, he can persuade some of the best in the business to come on board. Also I hope most of the older lads decide to give it another rattle in 2019. You’d never know where this might end!

  35. JH made an awful lot of mistakes last time out. The Freeman substitution was never explained other than to say he had flu which I don’t think anyone believed. Really missed the fact that Dublin were down to 14 men at the end of that game then the issue down on Limerick with Donaghy where he watched a situation unfold for 115 minutes and just didnt do anything about it. I have not ever heard him say that was a mistake. It’s very hard to understand not only how he didn’t think it was a mistake but how could he stand to watch it.
    You just have to hope he has learned from all of that and that he can get us across the line over the next 2 years if he does get the job.

  36. Solan obviously has some ability but he REALLY made a mess of the match in Croke Park. I’m genuinely very surprised that he put his name forward. He must feel he is ready. I dont think he is. Has he won anything at adult level as a manager? If this were two candidates going for a job, there’d only be one outcome.

  37. I never doubted that JH would get the gig. John Divilly would be a great addition – great crack.. Now all that needs to be done is get JH and JD sewn onto the kit gear – just in case they get them mixed up. ?

  38. The romantic script:
    JH is appointed Mayo manager, Mike Solan part of the backroom.
    JH is given full and unlimited support by the CB.
    All underlying “concerns”, previous baggage are dealt with and resolved. There is no lingering tension.
    JH inspires old guard to remain and up-and-coming youth cohort to step up
    There is a dramatic lift of morale across the county and the diaspora. Economic output grows by 200%
    Mayo march back to the AI final and like roaring bare-chested warrior heroes defeat the evil Dubs and 70 years of torment is ended.

    The reality-bites script:
    JH gets appointed amid a bit of tomfoolery and uncertainty.
    Major dramas are avoided but a few lingering tensions remain.
    Old guard players decide to stay around to relive the dream.
    This prevents a fresh rebuild and effective implementation of a new system
    Mayo take back Connacht title and progress through the super 8s however cracks and uncertainty appear.
    Mayo fall in the semis albeit with one or two incidents of heartbreaking drama.
    People call for a fresh start and a panel rebuild. Mostly the CB is blamed.
    Dublin win AI 2019.

    The alternative script:
    JH is appointed with minimum fuss.
    JH brings lessons and observations and new ideas formed since 2014 establishing a fresh approach based around systemic and individual excellence – not on heroes and character or hurt or desire.
    Some senior players are pushed to the periphery – some walk away.
    Mayo reform a new team around mid-20s crew plus an injection of youth.
    There is no target of winning Sam in 2019.
    There is simply a target of consistently exceeding the highest known levels of performance.
    Mayo win Sam in 2021

  39. galway, dublin and co will be watching this appointment with great interest I’m sure. A vicious Mayo next summer wouldn’t suit them at all,but let’s not get too excited yet about James Horans return, sure as hell our county board will end up making a mess and he won’t take the job.
    Has anyone heard how tom p and Seamie o Shea are doing?

  40. Replying to TH on James Horan’s team 2014. Stephen Coen, Diarmuid O Connor were not on James Horan’s 2014 panel. Jason Gibbons was released by Stephen Rochford in 2018. Probably Gibbons is still good enough for the 2019 season. Diarmuid is definitely but I wouldn’t bet on Coen. Where would you put him?
    Solan if nominated has not yet proved that he can manage a senior team. OK he won a Under 21 title, but this year he could not make a decision on letting the Kildare forward destroying us and he knew before this game that this fellow was dangerous, and did nothing about a plan to mark him. He would want to manage a senior club team first, but then didn’t Rochford manage a senior club team. At this point in time James Horan is the man most equipped to at least win a Connacht title.

  41. Question – why is Solan going for this gig now? If the comments on here are a reflection of the wider Mayo community, then it’s very very clear who the people want. James Horan. (With the strong majority also in sympathy with Rochford)

    Am I being too harsh on Solan? I don’t feel that I am. He has no proven record at senior inter county or even adult level. He inherited a very talented bunch of 20/21 year olds in early 2016 and brought them to an All Ireland which they were favourites for. Lost to Galway last year in Tuam and having been at that game we were comfortably beaten. Won a Connacht title this year beating fairly weak opposition. Beat an ok derry team (I was at the game, they were only ok) and made a big blunder tactically in the final when it was there for the winning. I genuinely find it strange that he in contention for one of the most high profile jobs in senior intercounty football. I’m not trying to be unfair on the guy (maybe I’ll be proven wrong) but if he is appointed now, I think its incredibly premature.

  42. Yes, that would be far better (and I’d look at someone like yer man who manages the Ballinrobe school, Damien Egan isnt it? as u20’s boss) but can it really happen now – Solan wants the no.1 gig obviously enough.

  43. @Lorete road, just after seeing your comment, the reality check Dublin will win Sam in 2019 and will make history.
    Our time will come again, but if we look back at the past 29 years, could he 4/5 years before we make another final, as always I will live in hope.

  44. I am quite happy with James as !manager,he certainly brought a new intensity to Mayo when he was in charge,but feel Stephen brought a lot more ideas to the team,forget about counnaught,we had more medals than we wanted Ros and Galway won it but does anybody care ,we need to be in the final and take down the Dubs,it will be mostly the same squad forget about getting five or six newcomers not going to happen

  45. Interesting if he does return, its not common anymore for a manager to return for a second stint with his own county. I know john o Mahoney did it, nobody else comes to mind at this time.

  46. Solan has done really well with the U-20s but it’s too early for him in my opinion. Like many others I’d like to see him working with Horan, and tasked in particular with bringing some of his protégés through to the senior squad.

    If Horan is passed over I can see the entire Mayo football landscape turning absolutely toxic.

  47. For the 2019 championship i expect this team to be first choice for James Horan for the business end of the championship and Tom Parsons will be a starter if he recovers fully from his injury of course.

    David Clarke
    Brendan Harrison, Chris Barrett, Keith Higgins;
    Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Donal Vaughan;
    Diarmuid O’Connor, Seamus O’Shea;
    Kevin McLoughlin, Aidan O’Shea, Paddy Durcan
    Cillian O’Connor, Andy Moran, Jason Doherty

    By 2020 a lot of the 30 year olds will then be replaced or only given sub roles and that’s where things get tricky as it will be transition period where a dip and some some bad results are to be expected.

  48. @Mayonaze…’Solan inherited a bunch of very talented bunch of 20/22 year olds’ your words… firstly the competition was the first U20, since 2014 we have been absolutely hammered at Minor and U17 … What Solan inherited looked very talented, after he took charge of them..Galway were in the 2016, All Ireland Minor U18 final, and last year U21 final..Mayo U20s were not expected to come out of Connacht, not by a long shot..I know Roscommon beat a very fancied Galway, but Mayo were very impressive winner’s of Connacht easily beating Roscommon in the Hyde, with Roscommon having serious support, given that their Seniors were in the Connacht final the same day.. Further more, Kildare were favorite’s to beat Mayo on the day of the U20 final. . I do agree with you, that on this Blog , James Horan is probably the preferred option, but current popularity on any Blog should not be considered when the County Board are making it’s decision… Next month, someone else might be the most popular choice… Now, whoever the player’s might consider the best, will have to be taken into account, Probably/Possibly James Horan might be the Senior Player’s first choice, then again. Maybe Mike Solan might be the choice of the Younger Player’s, many of whom will be the future Mayo Player’s, If we are to have a future…. Both candidates are serious candidates, and deserving of careful consideration!

  49. I’m very much in the camp if this being a straightforward decision. Mike Connolly and the Board have to swallow deep and take back James Horan. His track record speaks for itself.

    Michael Solan could be a man for the future but 6 weeks ago he turned up in Croke Park for a winnable final with no gameplan and left the Kildare star forward unmarked for the game. He has lots to learn

  50. Some posters are using the opportunity to trash talk the good name and reputation of Mike Solan. Mike has made an enormous contribution to underage football in this county. Anyone remember that May day in Ennis in 2016. I believe it was Mayo day. One I will always remember and be grateful for. That evening in Sligo in the Connacht final game with Roscommon. One Roscommon deserved to win but were out thought and out fought by Mike and his team. Tullamore against a Dublin team that were literally wiping the floor with all comers until they came up against Mike Solan. Maybe you remember Carrick in jULY or Roscommon at the Hyde. There is a big step up between managing underage teams and Div 1 senior team operating in top flight football. Our man for the senior job is JH for the inspiration he brings to the team. I would not move Mike from the U20 setup as he is doing a fine job. Next time you feel like listing someone mistakes be honest enough to include a list of your own mistakes along side just for balance.

  51. Solan would be my choice. Younger players would move mountains for him by all accounts and he is a serious operator. The added bonus of causing a meltdown among the cohort who are just presuming Horan will get the job will be good craic also. Win win

  52. Feck John Divilly that fella was in the pub having pints with the Dubs 2 days after winning this years All Ireland that sickens me, hes also from North Galway who have a real Anti Mayo hatred in them.
    James Horan , Peter Canavan and Tom Prendergast are good enough team to land the Big one if appointed!!

  53. @Ger
    Didn’t Johnny Maughan , Hylands maker get concussed an removed early in the game? Pretty sure Hyland destroyed Dublin and Kerry this year also…sometimes players are fairly decent you know.

  54. I believe Mike Solan will make an excellent senior manager for Mayo, just not right now. No more than rushing players through to senior to quickly, I think you can rush managers along to quickly also. I still feel that we need to be realistic about 2019 and winning an All Ireland, I don’t think it will happen. The age profile of the team is high and Dublin are getting younger and better. I’d agree with most of what Loretto Road said in his 3rd vision of the future. Horan is the right man for the job at this moment in time. He will keep the core together, he will insist on continuing the high standards he set and he will instill the drive in another generation that he instilled in this amazing group. If all goes to plan then Horan should set things up nicely for Solan to take over a solid, high performing team in 3 years and finally reach the summit***

    ***this being Mayo the chances of all going to plan are fairly low, but we can only hope.

  55. Solan has got a bit too much stick for the Kildare game. As Alf said, when Maughan went off injured Cathal Horan had to mark Hyland which wouldn’t have been planned. We were also missing Oisin Mullin in defence through injury.

    What are people suggesting should have been done? Put 15 behind the ball?

  56. @Leantimes; I said Solan inherited a talented bunch of 20/21 year olds in early 2016. I didnt say 22 year olds. It’s true and fair to say that the team he managed that year were arguably the best group of lads at that age group that we have produced since 2006 so my point being that while he has managed Mayo to an u21 All Ireland title, that we were one of the favourites to do so that year.

    @PJMcManus; no one is using the opportunity to trash talk. We are talking about the most important job in Mayo GAA management and at crucial period. I have no hesitation in saying that Mike Solan gives hugfe time and dedication to Mayo gaa and credit to him for that. The point I made was very factual. He has not much if any real experience managing an adult team . He has done a good job at the u20’s, as pert my paragraph above he won an all ireland in 2016 but he had inherited an superb pool of players form the 2013 All Ireland minor winners and the 2014 all ireland semi finalists. I was at all those games in 2016, the connacht final win in sligo was brilliant and a night I’ll never forget, Diarmuid O’Connor dragged us to victory that evening, a match we wouldnt have won without him. Mike Solan deserves credit for victory that year but since then hasn’t done a huge amount. Last year was a write off. This year we beat a very weak leitrim, an overrated roscommon side and an ok derry team to reach a final (quite an easy route to an all ireland I think everyone will agree). We lost narrowly in the end to a kildare team but it was a game we really could have won, had we had any defensive plan and the buck stops with t the manager on this one. So, overall I think Solan has done a decent job in teh 3 years he has been in charge and I would like to see him continue. I think he needs to get more experience before taking on the Mayo senior job (a position he should aim for in the future) Those were and are my points. Zero trash being spoken, just opinion based on facts as I see them.

    Alf Stewart says young players will move mountains for him and if so, then that’s great to hear and very encouraging but it’s a massive jump up to take over this current Mayo senior team.

  57. What are the record books to an unbiased mind?

    Criticism can be constructive or destructive depending on the intention.

  58. Wideball, no one is suggesting that he should have put 15 behind the ball. If you were at or watched our win over Derry you’ll have noticed clearly that our full back line was vulnerable and easily our weakest point. Derry should have scored 3 goals in the 2nd half and I was standing behind the goals in that half.

    The dogs on the street knew that Kildares strongest line was their full forward line, particularly Hyland.

    With this information to hand, utilizing a man for man defensive strategy, particularly on a pitch as wide and open as Croke Park was a recipe for disaster and it could be said, tactically naive. Play some kind of sweeper system; sacrifice some forward so that you can play someone ‘in the hole’ ahead of Hyland. The kid played havoc with our defence in the opening quarter and that’s essentially the period that decided the outcome of the match – and worse, it was obvious what was happening and nothing was done to rectify the situation. Credit to our lads for their never say die attitude and perhaps Solan instilled that in them so he too deserves credit for that, but the main reason we lost the game was 1. Defensively torn apart in the opening 20 mins and 2. failed to take several scoring opportunities in the 2nd half when overall we were probably the better side.

  59. Think back to when you were walking out of Pearse Park in 2010, listening to people on the radio laughing at Mayo football. James Horan effectively took Mayo to a new level altogether and maximised the talent he had to put together an excellent Mayo senior team who were unfortunate to lose back to back finals in 12 and 13. Horan managed Mayo to 4 Connacht titles in a row and in 2014 we were absolutely shafted by the ref in Limerick and had we got any kind of fair play from the official that day we would have won and I’m convinced we would have beaten Donegal in the final. Sure, Horan made some mistakes – the substitution in the 2013 final and leaving Higgins in the corner. Then Caff/Donaghey in 2014 but this is really picking at straws. He is very arguably our greatest manager in the modern era. Prior to this he won a senior county title with Ballintubber and won 2 all stars as a player so has experience as playing at the highest level as a player – which current players respect and can learn from.

    Michael Solan managed Mayo to an u21 title in 2016 and to an all ireland u20 final in 2018. He has done a decent job and will hopefully manage Mayo some day at the highest level.

    But right now, how can anyone look past Horan. On paper he is the obvious choice. There is a huge leap of faith involved in selecting Solan, a much bigger risk. What Mayo needs right now is some degree of stability.

  60. Fair play to Michael Solan for backing himself, and having the conviction and self belief to throw his hat in the ring.

    To those ready to canonise James Horan, don’t forget that he had 4 years at it before, and didn’t land Sam.
    With the backbone of those teams now in the twilight years of their careers, where is the evidence that Horan can do any better.?

    Regardless of who gets the job, I believe that the All Ireland ship has already sailed for this particular Mayo team, but that’s just my opinion.

  61. Solan is not experienced enough and I’m surprised he allowed his name to go forward. However, there is reason to believe that the county board want him in the job. There are still people on the board who do not like Horan.

  62. And why wouldn’t John Divilly have a few beers with the Dubs after AI. Sure didn’t he manage several of the players in UCD Sigerson; McCaffrey, O’Callaghan, Mannion. Logistically, being stationed in Dublin, would be ideal for training Dublin based players. Then again, JH might have Con Mort lined up that job..lol

  63. @Mayoanaze, Yes I stand corrected, you did say 20/21 year olds… but the competition was still for U20s…my misprint to write 22.. the rest of my argument stands up I think, as I expect most people will figure out!

  64. @Tuamstar. John Maughan was another manager returned to the Mayo helm for a 2nd stent, I think 02 -05 after having managed us from 95 – 99.

  65. Tuam star. Most Mayo managers get a second chance. O Mahony, Maughan and Holmes in recent times. Looks like Horan will be added to the list. Poor Mike solan is suffering from the fresh in the mind syndrome. His mistakes are fresh in the mind whereas Horans are blurred with time. Everyone hoping that he has learnt a thing or two in the intervening years, but no one seems to believe that solan can learn from his. Most have been looking for a big name manager and I suppose Horan ticks that box. But Horan was not a big name when first appointed and neither was Rochford for that matter. I would be quite happy to see horan back but I believe it is a year too early for him. Reason, because I think it would be far easier for him to dismantle his team next year when they’re well gone past it than this year when they’re just gone past it and maybe think they’ve another year to give.
    Anyway if James Horan does get it, which I believe he will, I for one wish him the best of luck.

  66. For those who keep buggeling on and putting forward JH’s dominance in Connacht as the great barometer I would ask. How good was our Connacht opposition at the time ? With no disrespect to them, it was poor.

    In the real Litmus tests under JH’s reign we were outfoxed against Donegal against Kerry and against Dublin.

    The Dublin team Rochfords Mayo have done battle with are a far better, more matured and settled team and history will show that the only great challenge that the soon to be labelled greatest team of all time faced was from Rochfords Mayo. It will also show that the soon to be crowned greatest team of all time needed 2 own goals just to draw with Rochfords team and they also needed to have Mayo’s greatest player black carded to live with us as well as some very questionable refereeing and of course a silly moment of indiscipline when we would have gone a man up when we were in control.

    I’ll wish whoever gets the managers job the best of luck and support Mayo to the hilt but let there be no mistaking, Mayo’s greatest football displays have been under Steven Rochford.

    Connacht titles against poor opposition don’t cut the mustard.

  67. Revellino, your comment about Mayo’s opposition in Connacht during Horan’s previous tenure, reminds me of comments made at the time by the then, Galway manager, Alan Mulholland.
    He implied that Galway and Roscommon needed to ask themselves, why they had fallen so far behind Mayo, at a time when Mayo couldn’t win an All Ireland Title.

  68. Lads you just know they are going to give it to Mike Solan. The signs were in the tea leaves of all of this including the SR potential exit when Mike Connolly gave that bizarre interview being somewhat critical of SR and his lack of use of the younger players.
    I don’t know much about Mike Solan bar the success he has had on the field but I have to imagine he would be easier for the county board to handle. Couple that with on field success of an all ireland and a runners up and the fashion we’re seeing in Limerick and tipp hurling of bringing the U-21 (in their case) on as senior bannisteors the groupthink will make the case.
    Will Mike bring James in as a selector? 🙂

  69. The “real” tests – for goodness sake. Eaten bread is soon forgotten I suppose.

    A “real” test for Horan was picking up a team that had just lost 3 championship games in a row. I’d wager there are few times in history where that has happened. Did he do that? Did he exceed expectation? He absolutely did, by a million miles I would suggest.

    Does anyone here remember his other “real” first test? It was when a handful of the “greatest supporters in the world” traveled east to see Cork “wipe the floor with Mayo”. They were defending champions.

    The following year, we swatted aside Down, who had been All Ireland Finalists in the same year we were losing games to Sligo and Longford (for the sake of context, the only other team Longford beat that year was Kilkenny). We beat them with incredible ease. For the first time in my life, I was sat in Croke Park with 25 minutes to go in a game thinking “this is over!”. Then the unthinkable happened and we lost Andy, but still managed to make our way past All-Ireland Champions, Dublin, in what was, as I would regard it, a “real” test.

    Nobody needs to be reminded what we did to Donegal and Galway in ’13, as well as a comfortable win against Tyrone.

    And in ’14, we completed 4 in a row, for the first time in a century, while dispatching Cork for a 2nd time in 3 years in Croke Park.

    So spare me the “real test” nonsense Rev. You can’t just decide that the only tests Horan had were the games he lost!

    Lest we forget what Horan took over in late 2010. Lets hope Mayo football never, ever sinks to those standards again, because it is because of Horan that we have left those days behind us.

  70. Hi all,does anyone know when our new manager is to be announced? or does it drag on for another week, if the county board want to keep any little bit of credibility out of this fiasco, its an no brainer,what they should do,appoint Horan as soon as possible,let him get on with the job, on his terms,and get his backroom team in place,while they get their own house in order in the meantime.Maybe, jus maybe, they might do the right thing for once, and surprise and shock everybody,and gain much needed respect in doing so.

  71. @revellino and ah now thanks on those two, For what its worth i remember squirming in my seat in Pearse stadium on that fateful day in 13 when a very good Mayo team hammered us and thinking how had Galway sunk so low. We were in a terrible place then. Horan brought a real professional set up to that Mayo squad. Galway on the other hand were a shambles.

  72. I fully agree with MayoMark. There’s a tendency among some Mayo fans to define our past manager’s tenures by the low points, whereas managers from other counties are given a much fairer assessment.

    For example, are we ever going to bloody well hear the end of:

    Freeman being taken off in ’13
    Not beating a ’14-man’ team in ’13
    Not properly shackling Donaghy in ’14.

    And now Solan repeatedly gets it for not taking care of Hyland, despite doing what few Mayo managers have achieved – winning an All-Ireland.

    Revellino, under your own litmus tests, Rochford repeatedly failed against Galway and Dublin, yet you still have him down as a better manager than Horan. All this is subjective of course but you can’t just brush aside Horan’s achievements in complete domination of Connacht and swiftly bringing us back to the top table after our lowest ebb in a generation. I always thought he went too soon in ’14 and had unfinished business to take care of. I would be delighted to see him back.

  73. Your correct Ultair and Mayo Mark. Horan of course elevated Mayo and did a wonderful job when in charge. I’m not arguing that. He would certainly have a better provincial championship record than SR but I always felt that Connacht titles were of little or no interest to SR. I think his aim was to win the big one and that he fully believed he could win it and but for a, b and c he would have won it.

    Would Jim Gavin be happier facing against a JH Mayo in an all Ireland final or a SR Mayo in an all Ireland ? I would say he would be more worried about facing a SR led Mayo but I could be wrong.

  74. Mayomark Well said. The 5 Connacht titles were not given any value by many Mayo people because we had become programmed to winning in Croke Park all this time. Then in 2016 it was the end of the world that we lost to Galway. Trying to please everybody all the time is a losing game.

  75. Agree with Ultair. It’s easy to point out where things went wrong but on a whole, his management was a success.

    Horan makes sense if this team is having a final go at things. He already knows the lads and they respect him.

    Get him in and offer Solan a place at the table with a view to him taking the reigns when James leaves.

  76. I would make the argument Revellino that Connacht titles were important to Rochford and the team given the fact it’s a straight path into the quarter finals/Super 8’s, and even in the event you lose a Conancht final the team is still only one game behind. Contrast that with what happened this year, losing to Galway and being dropped straight into the minefield that is the qualifiers, it proved to be the undoing of the team.

    With the Super 8’s and all the extra games it brings, teams that serious about making an An-Ireland final must be getting to their provincial finals at the very least, otherwise the mountain is too big to climb.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *