James McCartan has returned to GAA management as the new head coach at Queen’s University. The former Allstar and All-Ireland winner will take the helm as senior team manager and will be the leading figure in a new coaching structure for Gaelic Football at the Belfast college.
McCartan recently stepped down after five years as manager of Down. He now returns to familiar surrounds as he previously managed Queen’s for five years, bringing them to four Sigerson Cup finals including a memorable success in Belfast in 2007.
He has also held the position of manager with Burren, St Gall’s and Ballinderry. In 2010, he led Down to the All-Ireland final in his first year as manager.
James McCartan enjoyed a distinguished career as a player. He featured for Down, Ulster and Ireland and won two All-Ireland medals and two Allstars with his county. He was also a double winning Sigerson Cup player with Queen’s in 1990 and 1993.
QUB GAA Development Officer Aidan O’Rourke welcomed the appointment of McCartan and his team. “James has an exceptional record and it certainly helps that he is familiar with the university scene. Recent coaching teams have worked tirelessly to bring the club forward and I would like to place our thanks on record for those efforts. We are now building for the future and there is a determination that we should try to maximise the potential within our teams and the GAA Academy.”
“At Queen’s, we have a very strong tradition in Gaelic Football and we want to be competing for honours again. So appointing a solid coaching team is the first step.”
Queen’s will start preparation for their season within the coming weeks. Earlier this year, the university became the first college to host the four main GAA intervarsities championships (Sigerson, Fitzgibbon, Ashbourne and O’Connor Cups) in one season. Details of McCartan’s support team will be finalised in the coming days