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I'll make Mayo proud: Horan

James Horan was last night named Mayo manager after beating off competition from Anthony McGarry and former Dublin boss Tommy Lyons.

Horan was handed a three-year term by the county board and is expected to run county-wide trials in a bid to unearth new talent for the westerners.

Last night's decision will come as a blow to Mayo native Lyons, who hadn't actively courted an inter-county job since his departure from the Dublin hot-seat six years ago.

There is bound to be a question over whether the Sunday Game analyst will return to elite management after this snub.

Lyons had been installed as short odds favourite after John Maughan withdrew from the race last week, but there had been a surge of grassroots support in favour of Horan since the weekend, which may have influenced the thinking of the five-man sub-committee.

The timing of the appointment worked out perfectly for Horan, who only last Sunday led his unheralded home club, Ballintubber, to the Mayo SFC final.

Horan, who was recommended for the position by the selection committee, and ratified by Mayo GAA club delegates, will be assisted by Martin Connolly (a former Mayo footballer and current joint-manager of Westport), Paul Jordan (ex-manager of Castlebar Mitchels) and the most-capped Mayo footballer of all time, James Nallen.

He won three Connacht senior championships and two All-Star awards during a decorated playing career with Mayo.

He also played in three All-Ireland senior finals -- including replays -- and scored two points against Kerry in the 1997 decider after coming off the bench.

"I'll give it everything I have," Horan told the assembled club delegates last night.

"I'm really looking forward to the challenge. I'm honoured that people placed so much trust in me to be the next Mayo manager. I can't wait to get started.


"Mayo is full of good footballers and I think our management set-up can bring something. I think we can set an environment where players, if they want, if they have the right attitude, and the right character, can flourish. That's what we're about.

"We want to bring some sense and some structure and, I know it's an overused phrase, but we want to restore a bit of pride back into the whole thing."

Next year's championship will mark the 60th anniversary of Mayo's last All-Ireland senior title win. They are currently available at odds of 25/1 to regain the Sam Maguire next September.

Horan will begin his competitive reign as Mayo manager on home soil in the opening round of next year's National Football League against beaten All-Ireland finalists Down on Sunday, February 6.