James McCartan stands down as Down manager

Down's Manager James McCartan
Down's Manager James McCartan

James McCartan has quit as Down boss a fortnight after the All-Ireland qualifier defeat by Kildare.

McCartan took the Mourne side to the All-Ireland final in 2010 in his first season in charge.

It proved to be the highlight of his reign although progress was hindered by emigration and injuries.

Down were beaten in a replay by Tyrone in this year’s Ulster Senior Football Championship preliminary round and made their All-Ireland exit in the second round of qualifiers.

McCartan, who won two All-Ireland titles and two All Stars as a player, managed Ballinderry and Queen’s University before replacing Ross Carr in the Mourne hotseat in September 2009.

An amazing first campaign culminated in a surprise appearance in the All-Ireland decider with Cork prevailing 2-17 to 1-12.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to hold this position since my appointment in 2009, just as it was to represent my county on the field of play,” added McCartan.

“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. I have enjoyed the challenge.”