Sport Gaelic Football

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Where are they now?

John Maughan
John Maughan

JOHN MAUGHAN (Former Mayo manager)

NOT many inter-county managers can say that they flew home from Cyprus to be interviewed for the job, but that is what John Maughan did in 1994 to become manager of Mayo. He was on duty with the United Nations at the time.

A knee injury in 1986 put an end to his playing career with Mayo, so he began his coaching career while in the Army, coaching the Defence Forces and Galway club, Caltra.

In 1990, he took over Clare. He guided them to the All-Ireland 'B' title in '91, and the following year created history when they won the Munster title, beating Kerry in the final.

When he was appointed to the Mayo job, he commuted from Cyprus for the first couple of games, but had a good four years with his native county, leading them to All-Ireland finals in '96 and '97, both of which were lost.

"'96 was the one that got away from us," Maughan recalls. "If we had won that one, Mayo could have gone on to win a few more."

After leaving Mayo in '99, he guided Fermanagh to an All-Ireland 'B' title, before taking over a Crossmolina team that had won the All-Ireland club title, and led them to another final, which they lost.

He then returned as Mayo manager and led them to the 2004 final, but defeat was their lot again, as it was for his under 21 team the following week. All-Ireland finals were not happy days for him. After that, Roscommon, Crossmolina and NUIG were the last stopping points on his managerial career, and for the last few years he has been coaching the under 14s, 15s and 16s in Castlebar Mitchels, which is now his home club.

Married to Audrey, a Galwegian, they have four children, aged from 25 to 16. Maughan left the Army in '99, and is employed by Mayo County Council as Purchasing Procurement Officer.

While he envies the resources managers have nowadays, he has no regrets. "It was a privilege to coach a team," he says, "and I made so many friends and met so many good people.

"I always knew when it was time to get out, and felt I did the right thing. Four years was the longest I ever did. It was a hard slog with the day job.

"I have great empathy for Kieran McGeeney, who gave his all and with little success, but Kildare have become a highly regarded team and, with the under 21s coming through, they are in a better place because of him."

Sunday Independent

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