Tuesday, 14 September 2010 09:41
Mayo GAA supporters are still none the wiser as to the identity of the next manager of the county senior team. All the usual suspects are included in the shortlist to succeed John O'Mahony so unless the county board go completely left field (and let's be fair here, it's not normally what county boards do), the new man will be selected from a list of contenders that most
people who keep an eye on Mayo football would have drawn up once John O'Mahony made the decision to step aside.
If the board decide to go with an internal appointment (and there's no reason to suggest otherwise) then this column believes James Horan could be the way to go.
One of Mayo's few top drawer forwards of recent times, Horan appears to have adapted well to the management game since he took over the senior team at his own club in Ballintubber. Word is that he's innovative in his preparation and a very clever user of the resources at his disposal. In other words, he can get the best out of his players.
His appointment would be a moderate risk but no bigger than that. Horan, because of his relatively recent playing career, would immediately command the respect of players, and his newness would allow him a honeymoon period among the supporters to allow him bed in and for his ideas to take shape.
That's not to say a decision to appoint any of the other candidates would be a retrograde step; certainly no one could argue with the appointment of the likes of Peter Ford, who is a proven manager.
But Horan would bring something fresh and new. Mayo could do with some of that right now.
Damien reaps rewards
There was a great boost for the refereeing community in Mayo last week when it was announced that Damien McGrath had been appointed to officiate as an assistant referee (linesman) at a Champions League game this week.
It's not his first major appointment but it is a very significant step in his career as a match official.
Damien has his critics in Mayo (we have been known to exchange words on occasion) where he operates at junior and youth level, but there can be no denying he is the leading referee in the province. He knows the rules, and most importantly, he's fit enough to keep up with the pace of the game.
Referees are fair game for criticism (my own view would be that if it's balanced and not vulgar then fair enough as they do get paid to do the job) but the simple reality is that without them the sport could not be played.
The appointment to Champions League duty for Damien McGrath shows how dedication to a career can have such wonderful rewards. Damien started out at a young age and he appears to have totally dedicated himself to the profession.
He's starting to get recognition now and his achievements in the game are an example to any other young man or woman starting out here in Mayo.
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