Horan’s future as Limerick boss in doubt

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

Limerick football manager Maurice Horan speaks to the media after his side's All-Ireland qualifier defeat to Longford on Saturday
MAURICE Horan could be set to end his tenure as Limerick senior football manager.

MAURICE Horan could be set to end his tenure as Limerick senior football manager.

Horan was reappointed for a second two year term last September but indications this week suggest that he could be set to step down in the wake of Limerick’s exit from the championship.

The Munster SFC defeat to Cork had been put down as a ‘bad day at the office’ and all had expected a response of redemption in the All-Ireland Qualifiers. It was not to be and Limerick were hit for a heavy defeat by a Longford side that had gone through the O’Byrne Cup and National League without a win.

Horan spoke to media pitch-side in Longford but wasn’t drawn on his future.

He wasn’t available for comment this week but Limerick GAA officials were bracing themselves for a decision from the popular Mayo native, who is now in Limerick over a decade..

“Very disappointing,” he said of the display in Pearse Park.

“We just didn’t play at all. We just didn’t play with any bite and never got going. We had a couple of chances in the first-half and we could have possibly gone in level at half-time,” sighed Horan.

To be fair, Limerick haven’t set the world alight in 2013. Therefore Horan and some of the more experienced players are now questioning their future, especially given the age profile of many of the inter-county players and the fact that they have soldiered for much of the last decade.

Horan is in his third year as Limerick senior manager and just has one year remaining on his term.

He was appointed Limerick’s new senior football manager in October 2010, replacing Mickey Ned O’Sullivan. That season the Mayo native was Limerick U-21 manager and a senior selector.

Under John Maughan’s stewardship Horan made his Mayo senior debut in 2003 as a 27 year old, but that winter work commitments saw him move to Limerick and he transferred to Monaleen and joined up with Liam Kearns’ inter-county panel, but Horan was plagued by injury and had to take a break from the game. For the last number of years he has played with the Na Piarsaigh intermediate footballers .

Behind the scenes this week, Limerick GAA officials and players were urging Horan to remain at the helm for a fourth year.

However the manager was remaining coy about his future. With almost four months to go before any thoughts of pre-season, time is on the side of Horan as he sits down to make his decision.

According to Limerick Football sources, no pressure will be placed on Horan to remain in the role and is it understood that GAA officials have made it know to Horan that it is there wish that he remains on board.

Were Horan to depart, where would Limerick turn?

U-21 and junior manager Tom McGlinchey could be on option. He was previously nominated for the role and has now experience as Limerick minor, U-21 and junior football manager. Of course he also previously managed the Tipperary footballers.

Another option would be Abbeyfeale man John Colbert, who has made his name by guiding Fingue to the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland intermediate club title.

Limerick could also look to promote from within as they did with Horan’s appointment. This could see coach Mickey McGeehin as an option to step into the Bainesteoir bib.

All depends on the decision of Horan.