Monday 18 December 2017

Horan sets sights on Buckley

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Donie Buckley is top of James Horan's shopping list to be Mayo's football coach in 2013.

Buckley is wanted by Horan, who has agreed to remain on as manager for three more years, to fill the vacancy left by Cian O'Neill after he stepped down in the wake of the All-Ireland final defeat to Donegal last month.

Buckley was coach to Kerry when they lost the All-Ireland final to Dublin last year but, having had to take time out due to a knee problem, he did not return in 2012 when it became clear he was only required for a role as a selector.

He is highly regarded, though, and his departure is known to have caused disquiet among the Kingdom players this year.

Buckley coached Limerick for three years under Mickey Ned O'Sullivan's management and was a joint manager with Clare before Paidi O Se's arrival. He's based in Ennis and the journey to Mayo may yet prove prohibitive, but the challenge of working with another top-six team will be strong.

O'Neill is expected to be unveiled as one of Eamonn Fitzmaurice's Kerry back-room team on Monday night. Mikey Sheehy and Diarmuid Murphy are also expected to be on that ticket.

Meanwhile, Ken McGrath has stepped down as a Waterford hurling selector. McGrath and Sean Cullinane joined Michael Ryan's team after a disappointing start to the league when two other selectors, Brother Philip Ryan and Nicky Cashin, stepped down.

Personal reasons have been cited for McGrath's decision, which is a blow to Michael Ryan after their recovery last season.

Irish Independent

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