James Horan was given a huge vote of confidence by Mayo GAA officials last night as he was ratified as the county’s new senior football manager on a four-year term.

Club delegates had no hesitation in ratifying Horan’s appointment at a full County Board meeting at MacHale Park in Castlebar. 

In a statement released afterwards, Horan said he "cannot wait to get started" and he confirmed plans to hold trials for club footballers across Mayo in the coming weeks.

"I am delighted to be involved with Mayo and am really looking forward to getting on the field with the players," said the 47-year-old. 

"All clubs (senior/intermediate/junior) within Mayo will be contacted immediately seeking suggestions of players that may have the potential technical/tactical/physical/mental attributes required for the inter-county game. 

"There has been a coaching movement in Mayo over the last number of years that has been staggering in its progression," he added.

"In conjunction with clubs and divisional boards, we have seen huge advances with clubs across the county driving very high standards. That is something I want to be involved with, and help ensure that progress continues.

"It is busy but very exciting times in Mayo GAA and I cannot wait to get started."

Last night’s County Board meeting was told that Mayo natives Daniel Forde (trainer) and Martin Barrett (selector) would both be part of his backroom.

So too is Ballymun Kickhams defender James Burke, who played football with Mayo at all levels. 

Burke is to supervise training sessions for Mayo’s Dublin-based players during the season.

It’s understood that Horan plans to announce two other members of his management team in the near future.

There has been some speculation that former Mayo All Star attacker Ciaran McDonald may yet come on board. 

County Board chairman Mike Connelly was keen to highlight the fact that Horan’s management team were Mayo natives. 

"I’d like to wish James and his team the very best in the next four years," Connelly told club delegates.

"It’s not an easy task, it’s a big, big job. I’m delighted to see that all his backroom team are from Mayo, that’s something that should always happen.

"At a coaching level, and in terms of development squads, it’s one thing developing players, but we’ve never given the opportunity to past players to get involved, become coaches and get experience at this level.

"Hopefully in the future we’ll have an abundance of Mayo people involved in coaching, whether it’s with a minor, under-20 or senior team."

Horan returns to the Mayo hotseat just over four years after stepping down after the 2014 All-Ireland SFC semi-final replay to Kerry.

He led Mayo to four successive Connacht SFC titles during his previous stint in charge as well as two All-Ireland Final defeats to Donegal and Dublin in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

The father-of-five succeeds Stephen Rochford who resigned from the position at the end of August, saying that he felt he didn’t have ‘the desired level of support’ from the Mayo GAA Executive Committee.