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Mike Solan adds another heavyweight ticket in Mayo as managerial race heats up

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Mike Solan

Mike Solan

Mike Solan

A second heavyweight managerial ticket has emerged in Mayo as the race to succeed James Horan heats up.

All-Ireland winning U21 manager Mike Solan is understood to have named Armagh’s Aidan O’Rourke, Sligo All Star Eamonn O’Hara, ex league of Ireland manager Alan Murphy and former Mayo player Mark Ronaldson as part of his backroom team as deadline for applications closed today (Friday).

The highly-respected O’Rourke has had stints with Down, Armagh and Kildare as a coach and also had a spell in charge of the Louth footballers. O'Rourke, who is named as team coach, also works as Performance Sport manager at Queens University.

O’Hara has garnered significant managerial experience, winning multiple Sligo titles with his native Tourlestrane as well as taking roles with a number of different clubs in Connacht. Murphy had a spell in charge of Galway United and is the club’s record scorer and is in charge of Galway club side Oughterard. Ronaldson, who featured regularly in Mayo squads over the past decade or so, will also have a role.

It’s also thought that Mike Solan’s brother Barry, the first team strength and conditioning coach at Premier league outfit Arsenal, will offer his expertise to the new set up.

The news comes after it emerged that a Kevin McStay-led ticket of Stephen Rochford, Donie Buckley, Liam McHale and Damien Mulligan expressed an interest in the role on Thursday. Ray Dempsey has also been linked to the role

Solan has worked with several of the central figures of the current senior team. In 2016 he led Mayo to an U21 All-Ireland title with Diarmuid O’Connor, Stephen Coen, Matthew Ruane and Conor Loftus starring for that side. Two years later they reached the final with a team powered by Tommy Conroy, Oisin Mullin and Jordan Flynn.

Mayo are expected to start the interview process in the coming weeks.

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