Lyons and Horan head Mayo list

MAYO GAA chiefs will announce their new senior football boss after a county board meeting in McHale Park, Castlebar tonight.

A press conference is scheduled following the gathering where delegates are expected to ratify the recommendation of the selection committee.

Speculation was rife in the county last night about who had done enough to impress the five-man committee with James Horan and Tommy Lyons believed to be in pole position, ahead of Anthony McGarry.

Both men are believed to have outlined their respective plans and projected costings, as well as revealing the identity of their proposed backroom teams.

The selection committee (which includes three members of the Mayo GAA Board Executive – chairman James Waldron, treasurer JP Lambe and Youth Officer Pádraic Walsh, as well as Denis O’Boyle, chairperson of the Connacht Coach Education Committee, and Garrymore GAA club delegate John Farragher) will recommend a candidate for ratification later tonight.

This recommendation will be made, firstly, to the Mayo GAA executive and then to the County Board delegates of all the GAA clubs in the county.

Interestingly, the executive officers do not have the power to ratify or reject the selection committee’s recommendation.

However, delegates will have the final say in terms of the new Mayo manager when they vote on the name of the candidate put before them.

Meanwhile Derry football boss John Brennan is set to address clubs from throughout the county at a specially convened meeting in Owenbeg tonight.

A perceived conflict between the interests of clubs and county has often been cited as key factor in the county’s lack of silverware over the last decade and it is an issue that the Lavey man is intent on tackling at the start of his tenure.

Brennan was appointed as Damien Cassidy’s successor a fortnight ago and has invited the chairman, secretary and top-level manager from every club in Derry to tonight’s briefing.

“My view is that the clubs have to be more involved and sooner rather than later.

“I want to hear the views of the clubs and I want them putting their players forward for the county team. There’s been this thing of the clubs versus the county in Derry and that’s totally wrong, the clubs are the county.

“I want the clubs to feel that their say is being heard. People across the county want to see a successful Derry team but if they want improvement they have to be agreeable to releasing players when necessary. There has to be communication.”

Meanwhile new Fermanagh manager John O’Neill has admitted he is facing a big task in trying to reverse the Erne county’s dismal fortunes.

The former Fermanagh defender fought off strong competition from Darren Chapman and Sean Maguire to secure a three-year term in charge.

He replaces Malachy O’Rourke and has a huge task as Fermanagh get set for Division 4 league football next spring following two successive years of relegation.

“I have always wanted to manage my native county at senior level.

“I know there is a big task ahead. We are the only Ulster team in Division Four next year which is not ideal but I am hoping we can do well.”


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