James McCartan steps down from role as Down manager
James McCartan has stepped down from his role as Down senior football manager.
McCartan took charge of the Mourne men in 2009 and led them to the 2010 All-Ireland final in his first season where they were beaten by Cork.
Down made their exit from this year's championship when they were defeated by Kildare in Round 2B of the qualifiers a fortnight ago.
In a statement, he said: "I have informed the officers of Down GAA County Board of my decision to step down as manager of the county senior football team.
"It has been a pleasure and a privilege to hold this position since my appointment in 2009, just as it was to represent my county on the field of play.
"It was my intention to do my very best in trying to bring Down back to the top and while we did not achieve the titles and silverware that we craved, it was not for the want of trying. We came very close to claiming the greatest prize in 2010 and there were plenty of good days.
"It was important for me to have a Down team playing regularly in Croke Park and 2014 was the only year of the five in which this didn’t happen.
"I have enjoyed the challenge. But it is time for a new voice and I wish the next manager well. He and the players who wear the red and black will always have my support.
"I wish to thank all those who featured in the Down jersey during the past five seasons and those great people who were part of the management and backroom team. They made my job much easier and all the more worthwhile.
"I also want to thank the county board who gave me the honour of managing the county side and were always supportive and courteous. The same applies to the clubs of the county and to Down supporters and all who followed us up and down the country over those five years.
"Finally, I wish to thank my family who have been patient and encouraging."