Lyons and Maughan in fight for Mayo post
MAYO are expected to name their new football manager next week following a four-way heavyweight tussle in which the front-runners are former manager John Maughan and ex-Dublin boss Tommy Lyons.
Denis Kearney is the latest nominee to withdraw from the race -- following in the footsteps of Tom Carr and Mick O'Dwyer -- and the Mayo board have confirmed that members of their executive have already had a preliminary meeting with the four remaining candidates -- Maughan, Lyons and ex-Mayo players Anthony McGarry and James Horan.
A five-man committee has been set up to interview them in more detail.
This interview panel will feature county board chairman James Waldron, treasurer JP Lambe and youth officer Padraic Walsh, as well as Denis O'Boyle (chairman of Connacht's coach education committee) and John Farragher (Garrymore).
"Any of the four candidates would be well capable of doing the job," said Waldron, adding that the interview process would establish each of the candidates' prospective back-room teams and "the finer details".
Those interviews are expected to take place this week and while the board, who met on Tuesday night, did not set a date for their next meeting, a decision on John O'Mahony's replacement is expected to be made and ratified next week.
Elsewhere Kilkenny chairman Paul Kinsella has declared himself "very hopeful" that Brian Cody will stay at their senior hurling helm, despite the recent All-Ireland final loss.
"I would be very hopeful that Brian would view the result against Tipperary as more of a challenge for the future than a disappointment of the past," said Kinsella of the Cats' failure to pull off the five-in-a-row.
"One defeat doesn't make Kilkenny a bad team overnight and I feel that the team management and the players possess sufficient ability, drive and enthusiasm to make us strong contenders for major honours over the next few years."
Kilkenny have enjoyed a remarkable vein of success during Cody's 12-year reign, but the manager is not expected to make a decision on his future for several more weeks.
"Since Brian became Kilkenny manager, we would never discuss until well into October if he was going to stay on for the following year," Kinsella stressed.
Meanwhile, Galway football fans will have to wait at least another week to find out the identity of their new manager, though it now appears to be a two-horse race between outgoing minor manager Gerry Fahy and former Westmeath boss Tomas O Flatharta.
The interview process was due to begin tonight to find Joe Kernan's successor, but as one member of the interview committee is unavailable, the five candidates will not be vetted until early next week.
Seamus O'Grady, secretary of the Galway Football Board, said they expect to reach their decision in the next week. "The committee will meet this week to decide on the process," he said.
"I expect that we will complete the process over a couple of days next week."
According to the bookies, the battle is a two-man race, with Fahy quoted at 8/11, and Kerry native O Flatharta at even money. Former Mayo midfielder Pat Fallon, who took Barna to the semi-finals of the Galway SFC for the first time this year, is also in the running, along with Annaghdown's Matt Duggan and Peter Warren, who was a selector with John O'Mahony when Galway won the All-Ireland title in 1998 and 2001.
Three candidates have emerged to replace Malachy O'Rourke as Fermanagh senior football manager and are expected to be interviewed this weekend.
Former county U-21 boss Darren Chapman, who currently manages Cavan club Mullahoran, is the front-runner. The other nominees are ex-county minor boss John O'Neill and Sean Maguire. O'Neill was a selector during Charlie Mulgrew's reign as Fermanagh senior boss while Maguire guided local club Donagh to their first county senior title in 2008.
Former Fermanagh star Raymond Gallagher, who took his first step into management with Belcoo this year, is believed to be part of Chapman's proposed back-room team.
O'Rourke's successor is expected to be appointed at the next Fermanagh County Board meeting on October 4.