Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes set to take charge of the Mayo footballers
The Mayo County Board this evening confirmed that Connelly and Holmes have been recommended to succeed James Horan by a committee tasked with choosing the next Mayo manager.
Connelly and Holmes managed the Mayo under-21 side to an All-Ireland title in 2006 – a team that included a number of players from the current senior squad – and this evening’s announcement confirms that they have been selected ahead of the other leading candidate to succeed James Horan, Sunday Game analyst Kevin McStay.
Both Connelly (Hollymount/Carramore) and Holmes (Castlebar Mitchels) are currently in charge of club teams in Mayo and Holmes was in charge of the Mitchels team that suffered defeat to a Diarmuid Connolly-inspired St. Vincent’s outfit in the All-Ireland club final in March.
Mayo GAA released a statement this evening which read: “Today Saturday 20th September 2014 the Mayo Senior Football Team Interview Committee met with the Executive of the Mayo County Board where they gave the recommendation that Noel Connelly & Pat Holmes be put forward for the position as Senior Football Team Manager.
“The other candidate in the process, Kevin McStay, was this afternoon informed of this intention. Mr McStay, while very disappointed, stated he was happy with the board’s decision and wished Noel Connolly and Pat Holmes the very best with their future endeavours.
“The Mayo G.A.A. County Board would like to thank most sincerely Kevin McStay for his time in this process and we wish him the very best in the future.
“There will be no further comment until the new Management team has been put in place.”
With James Horan having guided Mayo to two All-Ireland finals, two All-Ireland semi-finals and to four consecutive Connacht titles in his four years in charge, Connelly and Holmes will have a hard act to follow, but they will be taking over a squad that still has a lot of life left in it and will harbour hopes of finally ending the most famous famine in the GAA in the near future.