Horan handed Mayo contract extension

James Horan is set to continue as Mayo senior football manager into the 2013 season and beyond.

Next year is the last of Horan's current three-year term, but a new two-year extension has been tabled by the Mayo County Board following "a very productive meeting" between county officials and the Ballintubber clubman.

In a Mayo GAA statement released last night, they said: "It has been unanimously decided to recommend to the Coiste Banistí of Mayo GAA that James Horan be given a two-year extension to his three-year term contract.

"This recommendation will go before next Monday night's County Board Meeting."

The news will come as a relief to Mayo fans after an article in the Western People suggested that Horan was considering his future in the role.

Horan was said to be unhappy with the Mayo County Board over some logistical issues, according to a source close to the manager.

These issues included the Mayo squad's hotel accommodation for matches in Dublin, the availability of MacHale Park for training purposes and the provision of training pitches.

The Mayo County Board hit out at these "unconfirmed and unwarranted reports", adding in their statement: "The Mayo senior football manager and the Mayo County Board have always had and will continue to have a very good working relationship.

"The Mayo County Board, along with the Mayo senior football management, are committed to ensuring that the Mayo senior footballers receive the best available resources and facilities in order to help them fulfil their full potential.

"Mayo have made tremendous progress under James Horan in the last two years. The board are delighted to have a manager of his calibre and remain extremely confident that this team will realise their ultimate goal in the very near future."

Horan's men fell at the final hurdle in both the Allianz League and All-Ireland Championship this past season, but they did manage to retain their Connacht SFC title and as a team are certainly heading in the right direction.

There are a number of young players pushing through, as evidenced by their ten nominations for All-Stars awards this year.

One such player, the 2011 Young Footballer of the Year Cillian O'Connor, will join Horan in Castlebar on Saturday to launch the Mayo GAA Senior Football Development Academy.

The Connacht champions have set up the Academy to "cater for the development of high potential players between the ages of 19 and 22" within the county.

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