John O’Mahony could be poised for a surprise return to inter-county management as part of a coaching team to take charge of Leitrim in 2017.
O’Mahony, who guided Leitrim to their first Connacht title in 67 years in 1994, has been lined up as part of a management team headed up by two members of that side - Seamus Quinn and Benny Guckian.
And another member of that historic side, goalkeeper Martin McHugh, is also keen to have the former Mayo, Leitrim and Galway manager involved on his team if he is appointed.
O’Mahony has ruled out going for the manager's job, but has indicated a willingness to get involved on an advisory basis, especially if any member of the ’94 squad take charge.
Another member of that famous squad, Aidan Rooney, is also in the running to take over from Shane Ward, with interviews of candidates having started on Monday evening.
The joint ticket of Quinn and Guckian — which also includes former Mayo footballer Michael Moyles — is the front-runner to get the job, but McHugh and Rooney have enjoyed success at a number of levels and are also well regarded.
O’Mahony led Leitrim to their greatest ever triumph when they won the ’94 Connacht title, only their second ever provincial win, by beating his native Mayo by 0-12 to 2-4.
They did it the hard way, beating Roscommon in the opening round and then defeating Galway in Tuam Stadium in a replay after a drawn match in Carrick-on-Shannon.
However, Dublin killed off notions of a first ever All-Ireland final appearance when they triumphed by 3-15 to 1-9, before losing to Down in the final.
O’Mahony, a former minor and U-21 All-Ireland winner with Mayo, led them to their first senior final appearance in 38 years in 1989 in his maiden term in charge, but they were beaten by Cork.
He enjoyed his best managerial spell with Galway, leading them to their first All-Ireland in 32 years when they defeated Mick O’Dwyer’s Kildare in 1998 and they won a second title three years later against Meath.
O’Mahony, now a Fine Gael senator after losing his Dáil seat in the general election earlier this year, had a second stint in charge of Mayo when he was appointed in 2007, but while they tasted provincial success in 2009, All-Ireland glory continued to prove elusive and he stepped down after a qualifier defeat to Longford in 2010, to be replaced by James Horan.