Galway football coach Paddy Tally to set to be named Down manager next week.
The Mournemen have been looking for a new boss since Eamonn Burns ended his three-year tenure in July following the Round 2 qualifier loss to Cavan.
Tyrone man Tally has been credited with refining Galway’s defensive structure during the county’s improvement under Kevin Walsh.
And his departure will be a blow to Walsh’s plans to go a step further than this year’s semi-final defeat by Dublin.
Tally previously trained Tyrone when the county won their first All-Ireland in 2003.
Meanwhile, the position of Cavan senior team manager is a three-horse race between Mickey Graham, Micheál McDermott, and Aidan O’Rourke, it has emerged.
While former Cavan goal king Jason O’Reilly was understood to be on the county’s board’s shortlist, the Cavan Gaels manager has withdrawn in recent days, leaving the way clear for the favourite Graham — his team-mate on the Ulster winning U21 and senior teams in 1996 and 1997 — to battle it out with the other candidates.
Graham, a former Cavan minor manager, has enjoyed success at club level, winning two Longford SFC titles with Mullinalaghta St Columba’s.
McDermott, too, has a strong CV in club football and has inter-county experience as well, having managed Ramor United to the Cavan SFC title and previously guided Kilmurry-Ibrickane to Clare and Munster SFC titles.
Armagh All-Ireland winner O’Rourke, meanwhile, previously held the reins in Louth and has assembled a strong backroom team which includes the coach Steven Poacher and former Irish rugby conditioning expert Mike McGurn.
Interviews are taking place this week, with a manager expected to be ratified next week.