James McCartan has stepped down as manager of the Down footballers.

The county board confirmed in a statement that McCartan's second stint in charge of the Mourne men had ended following 'considerable thought during the past few weeks'.

This reign had lasted only one season as Down failed to win a game in 2022. They were relegated from Division 2 in the Allianz League, before losing their Ulster opener to Monaghan. They followed that up with a first round Tailteann Cup loss to Cavan.

An alleged breach of squad rules during a training camp in Dublin nearly saw McCartan depart before the start of the championship, but he stayed on, with the county boarding commenting at the time that, "The matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of everybody."

McCartan's previous spell in charge had been much more successful as he brought them to the 2010 All-Ireland and 2012 Ulster finals, as well as securing promotion to Division 1 of the Allianz League.

The Down GAA statement in full:

James McCartan has informed Down GAA of his decision to step down as manager of the county senior football team.

James was first appointed to the position in September 2009, leading Down to an All-Ireland Football Final appearance in his first season. The county team also secured promotion to Division 1 in 2010 and an Ulster Final appearance in 2012 during his tenure. In November 2021, he was once again appointed to the position, but after considerable thought during the past few weeks, he has decided to now step aside from the role.

Down GAA wish to place on record our gratitude to James, Aidan O'Rourke, Ronan McMahon and the entire coaching and backroom team for their work during the 2022 season.

James McCartan will always be regarded as an iconic figure of Down football. He has given outstanding service to his county as a player and manager, and we wish him well.

Cumann Lúthchleas Gael an Dúin will now commence the process to appoint a new manager.

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