Keane to get keys of Kingdom as Horan seals four-year Mayo term
Two of the chasing pack hoping to prevent Dublin's five-in-a-row have drawn up their battle lines with both Mayo and Kerry putting the finishing touches to their management teams.
James Horan was last night confirmed as the new Mayo senior football manager on a four-year term.
Horan's appointment was a formality given he was the only candidate for the role after the only other nomination, Mike Solan, opted out of the process.
Daniel Forde (trainer), Martin Barrett (selector) and James Burke, who will train the Dublin-based players, have been confirmed as part of the management team.
Others will be added in due course.
Kerry are expected to follow suit on Monday when clubs of the county will be asked to ratify Peter Keane as their new senior boss for what is expected to be an initial two-year term.
Two months have passed since Eamonn Fitzmaurice stepped down as manager in the wake of their disappointing 'Super 8s' showing, sparking a hunt for a manager Kerry didn't expect to be undertaking given that Fitzmaurice had been handed an extension until 2020 last winter.
And after a protracted saga that saw several names linked with the post, including Jack O'Connor and Maurice Fitzgerald, Keane's name will be put to delegates on Monday. The make-up of his backroom team has yet to be finalised but it has been confirmed that the clubs will be expected to vote in the management team en bloc.
It is expected that Keane will retain the services of former star Tommy Griffin, who he worked with at minor level over the last number of years.
Keane may also bring his St Mary's clubmate and Kerry legend Maurice Fitzgerald on board.
Fitzgerald commands the utmost respect in Kerry football circles and also retains a link to the last management team, having served as a selector under Fitzmaurice.
It's also expected that highly-rated coach Donie Buckley will be on board after he opted to leave the Mayo set-up in the wake of their qualifier defeat to Kildare. Buckley worked briefly with Kerry in the past under O'Connor.