Jim McGuinness will not be the next Mayo football manager, with the 2012 All-Ireland winning Donegal boss ruling himself out of the running to succeed Stephen Rochford.
When asked at yesterday evening’sAll-Ireland preview event at Croke Park if he was interested in returning to inter-county management, McGuinness replied: “Not at the moment, definitely not.”
McGuinness, who left his assistant coach role at Chinese club Beijing Sinobo Guoan in January, is committed to soccer for the immediate future.
I am on a journey, really. I have come back and finished my badges. I’m ready to take a managerial position [in soccer]. The important thing is not about getting a club, it’s about getting the right club.
James Horan, who served as Mayo manager from 2011-14, was far less emphatic about the possibility of him returning to the post when speaking at the same event.
Horan said he’d “love to get involved again” with Mayo, but is unsure if the time is right for him to reclaim the bainisteoir’s bib.
“Stephen [Rochford] has had a very successful three years involved with Mayo. I just think he needs a bit of space. You don’t need people shouting, ‘I’m going for it’. Let’s let the process take its course. I am the manager of Westport. Really enjoying that, working with an ambitious group of young players. I genuinely haven’t really thought about [the Mayo position]. I am very happy with Westport.”
Horan added: “I’m a Mayo man that absolutely loves Mayo football and I really love coaching guys that are ambitious for teams to do well, so that’s what I love doing.
“At some stage, of course, I’d love to get involved again, but is the time right for me, for the team, for the county board? I don’t know if it is. There’s so much stuff there. At the moment, I would say for me, personally, no. I’ve so much going on at the moment. In the future, who knows what will happen.”
Earlier yesterday, 2016 footballer of the year Lee Keegan said the series of events which led to Stephen Rochford stepping down, citing a lack of county board support, were “poorly handled”.
We were all a bit shocked, as a group. I think we all fully believed Stephen was going to be our manager for 2019. We were looking at that and were going to build for that,” Keegan told Off The Ball AM.
“Stephen couldn’t give much more as a manager. From a player point of view, I know he was highly regarded within the group.
“Of course, Stephen’s biggest challenge was trying to fill a backroom team that was with us for four, five, six years and, if that was happening in any other county, including Dublin, Kerry or Tyrone, that’s a huge void to fill and a lot of pressure on people. I think you need to take your time in doing the process and looking at the best possible candidates to come in and pick up what’s left behind.”
Elsewhere, Carnacon were last night awaiting word of their appeal to Connacht Council. The 2017 All-Ireland club champions were thrown out of the Mayo championship as a result of eight of their players walking out of the Mayo squad this summer.
Delegates at a Mayo county board meeting voted to eject the club under Rule 288 of the LGFA, which states that “any member of the Association found guilty of conduct calculated to bring the Association into disrepute shall be liable to expulsion or suspension”.