Home GAA Vote: Who Are The Top Contenders To Succeed Stephen Rochford?

Vote: Who Are The Top Contenders To Succeed Stephen Rochford?

Stephen Rochford stepped down from his post as Mayo manager yesterday evening, citing a lack of support from the county board as the reason for his decision. 

Rochford took over in 2015, leading his side to the All Ireland final in 2016 and 2017 before exiting the competition at the hands of Kildare this summer.

The search will now begin for his replacement with a number of names already being whispered as top contenders.

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Jim McGuinness

Mayo fans will be hoping that McGuinness will make his long awaited return to inter-county management to take over there side following his 2012 success with Donegal. Under his tenure, the team also won three Ulster championship titles and were promoted to Division 1 football in his first year in charge.

GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 21/9/2014 Donegal vs Kerry Donegal's manager Jim McGuinness Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Since stepping down in 2014, McGuinness has coaching roles with Celtic FC and Beijing Guoan, obtaining his UEFA A Licence in the process, while he is also a highly-regarded GAA pundit with various media outlets.

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James Horan

James Horan is a well respected figure within Mayo GAA having brought the team to two All Ireland finals in 2012 and 2013. During his four year reign, Mayo were crowned Connacht champions on three occasions.

He has kept busy since stepping down in 2014, playing a role with the Turloughmore hurlers while he is currently the man in charge of Westport who booked their place in the Mayo senior football quarter final at the weekend while, like McGuinness, Horan also has a busy schedule as a pundit. The Ballintubber man has never ruled out a return to the Mayo top job and is currently the frontrunner to succeed Rochford.

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Kevin McStay 

Kevin McStay is currently the man in charge in Roscommon and enjoyed great success with the team last season, guiding them to a Connacht title. However a poor showing in this year’s Super 8s saw them exit the competition with barely a whimper.

However the 56-year-old is a Mayo native having played with the county at minor, U21 and senior grade before managing the U21 side to a Connacht title in 2001. Could he make a return to his native county?

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Michael Solan
Michael Solan is an in-house option for the county board to consider. The Ballaghaderreen man is the current manager of the Mayo U20’s who were defeated in the All Ireland final by Kildare earlier this year. He was also the man in charge of the U21’s when they enjoyed All Ireland glory in 2016.

He is well used to the set up in Mayo and will definitely be in the mix for the top job.


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Who do you think will succeed Stephen Rochford? Vote below.

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About Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. She is a former reporter with Sporting Limerick and is a huge fan of the GAA. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter