James McCartan, Junior is a former Gaelic footballer and current manager. He played for Down between 1990 and 2000. McCartan was part of the Down team that won the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in 1991 and 1994. McCartan also won two Ulster Senior Football Championships with the county. At underage level McCartan won Ulster Minor and All-Ireland Minor Football Championship medals. He also won two All Star awards during his career. He is the Down minor manager.
McCartan usually played as a corner forward. He was renowned for his speed, swerving runs at the defence and scoring ability.
McCartan is regarded as one of the Down's best ever footballers. In 2009 to mark the 125th anniversary of the Gaelic Athletic Association he was named by The Irish News as one of the all-time best 125 footballers from Ulster.
In 2009, he took charge of the Down senior team, leading them to the 2010 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final in his first season in charge. He stepped down in 2014.
McCartan is from Tullylish, County Down. His father, also called James is regarded as one of the game's all-time greats and won three All-Ireland medals with Down in the 1960s. James' brothers Daniel and Eoin are current members of the Down team, while Charlie Pat also played for Down and Brian was the caption of the 1987 Down minor team that won the All-Ireland Minor Championship. He is Greg Blaney's cousin.
In 1987 McCartan helped the Down Minor team win both the Ulster Minor and All-Ireland Minor Football Championships. He was aged just 16.
McCartan made his Down Senior debut in 19xx. For his performances in the 1990 Championship he received an All Star award. He was the star player during the NFL in which Down was defeated by Meath in the final.
In 1991 he won his first Ulster Championship medal, with Down beating Donegal in the decider. Down defeated Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final, before beating Meath in the All-Ireland final. McCartan was named man of the match for his display in the final. The success was Down's first All-Ireland Senior Football Championship title since 1968.
McCartan won a second Ulster Championship medal with Down in 1994 - overcoming Tyrone comfortably in the decider. Victories over Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final and Dublin in the final gave McCartan another All-Ireland Senior medal. For his performances that year he received another All Star.
McCartan reached further Ulster finals with Down in 1996, 1999 and 2003, but the county were beaten on each occasion. He retired from inter-county football in 2003.
McCartan also represented Ulster on many occasions, and won the Railway Cup four times with the province.
McCartan played 2 games for the Ireland international rules football team in the victorious 1990 International Rules series. In 2001, he helped the Ireland national Australian rules football team claim the Atlantic Alliance Cup.
McCartan won Sigerson Cup medals with Queens University Belfast in 1990 and 1993.
Since retiring McCartan has managed a number of teams. The first team he took charge of was Queen's University who he led to Sigerson Cup glory in 2007.
On 11 September 2009, he was named manager of the Down senior football team. He led his team to the 2010 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final in his first season in charge but they lost to Cork. Down had a poor 2011 season only winning 3 Championship games. in 2012 James lead down to their first League Semi-final in 22 years where they played Cork it was a close game but cork won 2-17 to 1-12. McCartan lead Down to their first Ulster final since 2003 coming back from 0-11 to 0-02 to win by 1-14 to 1-13. In July 2014 McCartan stepped down as boss after 5 years in charge.All-Ireland Senior Football Championship (2) 1991 1994
Ulster Senior Football Championship (2) 1991 1994
National Football League Division 3 (1) 1997
All-Ireland Minor Football Championship (1) 1987
Ulster Minor Football Championship (1) 1986 1987
4 Railway Cup 1991 1993 1994 1995
2 Sigerson Cup 1990 1993
2 MacRory Cup 1986 1988
2 Hogan Cup 1986 1988
1 London Senior Football Championship 1990
2 All Star 1990 1994
1 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final Man Of The Match 1991
1 Inter-County All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Runner-Up 2010
1 Inter-County Ulster Senior Football Championship Runner-Up 2012
2 Ryan Cup 2006 2007
1 Sigerson Cup 2007
1 Down Senior Football League 2006