Down commence process to appoint new boss

By Michael McMullan

DOWN GAA will commence the search to find a new senior football manager after James McCartan stepped down on Monday from his second stint in charge.

The two-time All-Ireland winning forward led the county to the cusp of their sixth All-Ireland in 2010 and was appointed at the eleventh hour ahead of last season.

Down were relegated to Division Three and exited the Tailteann Cup in a season where McCartan had issues with players leaving the panel and rumours emerged that he’d stepped down after a breach of discipline among the panel on a pre-championship training camp.

“After considerable thought during the past few weeks, he has decided to now step aside from the role,” read a comment from Down GAA confirming McCartan’s departure.

“Down GAA wish to place on record our gratitude to James, Aidan O’Rourke, Ronan McMahon and the entire coaching and backroom team for their work during the 2022 season,” it said.

“James McCartan will always be regarded as an iconic figure of Down football.

“He has given outstanding service to his county as a player and manager, and we wish him well.”

When contacted by Gaelic Life yesterday, Down GAA didn’t indicate any process or deadline in relation to appointing a new manager.

In a week when Meath appointed Colm O’Rourke as their new manager, Monaghan are still in the process of appointing a successor to Seamus McEnaney.

It’s understood former Dublin star Jason Sherlock, a selector under Jim Gavin, is the favoured candidate to take over.

Former Dublin footballer and 2011 All-Ireland winner Kevin Nolan, who has lived in Monaghan and played club football in the Farney county over the past few years, looks set to link up with Sherlock should he get the job.

Interviews are set to be held this week and Monaghan could have a new manager in place before the club championship gets underway in August.

After speculation the Farney County were targeting Oisin McConville, the former All-Ireland winner – and current Inniskeen manager – ruled out any interest in inter-county senior management.

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