Which one of the magnificent seven will win out?

First there were five, now there are seven, in the hat to become the next Mayo senior football manager. Last weekend Mayo county secretary Seán Feeney confirmed to the Mayo Advertiser that the county board had received expressions of interest in the role from two outsiders in the position. Last Monday at a county board meeting those two outsiders were revealed to be former Dublin managers Tommy Carr and Tommy Lyons. Carr recently finished up a stint as Cavan manager, having previously managed Roscommon as well as Dublin. Lyons has also previously managed Offaly, winning a Leinster title in 1997, before taking over Dublin. Both men’s entry into the ring has heated up the competition for the role. But as John Maughan reveals in his exclusive Mayo Advertiser column this week, one other former inter-county manager would have liked to express his interest in the role, but didn’t because of distance he lives from Mayo.

It was decided at the meeting that the county board would write to the seven men who were in the frame for the job and they would be asked to outline their plans for football in the county. They will have two weeks to respond to a questionnaire complied by the county board. It was also decided at the meeting that a sub committee of the principal officers of the board, chairman James Waldron, secretary Seán Feeney, treasurer JP Lambe, and vice-chairman Paddy McNicholas, would go through the responses and report to the delegates again before the interviews take place.

At the start of the meeting the floor was opened up to the club delegates to express the views of their clubs on the issue. An overwhelming majority of delegates who spoke said that their clubs favoured the appointment of a manager from within the county. This would leave John Maughan, Anthony McGarry, James Horan, Denis Kearney, and Mayo native Tommy Lyons in the frame, it would seem.

A report in yesterday’s Irish Times quoting county secretary Seán Feeney seemed to rule out Mick O’Dwyer. The quote said, “We believe Mick O’Dwyer is out of the running but his name is still in there.” When contacted about the quote, Feeney told the Mayo Advertiser, “He is still there and will be sent out the questionnaire like everyone else, but you got the feeling from the meeting that there wasn’t much support for him.”

Two managerial appointments that were taken care of at the county board meeting were those of the minor and u21 jobs. Both Tony Duffy and Ray Dempsey were ratified by the delegates for their second years in their respective roles. Duffy brought Mayo as far as the All Ireland semi-final while Dempsey, after leading Mayo to the previous two All Ireland minor finals, had a disappointing first year in charge of the u21s. John Hopkins, chairman of the Mayo hurling board, said that moves were under way to appoint a new hurling manager and they hoped to have it taken care of inside the next month.

The semi-final draws for the senior, intermediate, and junior championships will take place in the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, on Monday September 13 at 8pm. In the premier competition Castlebar Mitchels, Shrule Glencorrib, Knockmore, and Ballintubber are still in the shake-up for a spot in the final.


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