James McCartan has stepped down as manager of the Down senior football team.
McCartan was appointed in 2009 and led Down to the All-Ireland final in 2010 as they narrowly lost to Cork in Croke Park.
The Mourne men drew with Tyrone in the opening round of the Ulster Championship but lost the replay in disappointing fashion.
A comprehensive win over Leitrim in the first round of the qualifiers led to hopes of an extended run in the back door but Kildare claimed a 10-point win in the next stage in Pairc Esler.
McCartan said: "It was my intention to do my very best in trying to bring Down back to the top and while we did not achieve the titles and silverware that we craved, it was not for the want of trying. We came very close to claiming the greatest prize in 2010 and there were plenty of good days.
"It was important for me to have a Down team playing regularly in Croke Park and 2014 was the only year of the five in which this didn’t happen.
"I have enjoyed the challenge. But it is time for a new voice and I wish the next manager well. He and the players who wear the red and black will always have my support.
"I wish to thank all those who featured in the Down jersey during the past five seasons and those great people who were part of the management and backroom team. They made my job much easier and all the more worthwhile."
Personally gutted that James has stepped down as Down manager.Knew it was coming but still gutted.Cant speak highly enough of him— Benny Coulter (@Coulter12Benny) July 26, 2014
County chairman Seamus Walsh paid tribute to McCartan's work with the county: "James McCartan gave as much in management as he did as a player. His dedication over the past five years was outstanding.
"He led from the front and in doing so, brought his team and the county back to an All-Ireland final when few expected it.
"He had an excellent working relationship with the team and the county officers and I want to extend my gratitude for what he has done and how he has performed as a manager and as an ambassador of the county."