Digging in?

Noel and Pat

Photo: Advertiser.ie

As you can imagine, our dirty linen is draped in full view of the nation this morning, with plenty of coverage about the crisis that has engulfed Noel and Pat’s management of the county team.

Perhaps the most significant piece is this one by Colm Keys in the Irish Independent where – confirming what Marty Morrissey said in that RTÉ News report yesterday evening – it’s stated that Noel and Pat have no immediate plans to step down following the vote of no-confidence in them voted by the majority of the players the weekend before last. My understanding, for what it’s worth, is that one of the two lads (whom I’m not going to name) has indicated he’s prepared to go but publicly at least the duo would seem to be holding firm for now.

The resultant stand-off, if prolonged, obviously has the potential to cause enormous damage. If Noel and Pat stay put, then the players will either have to back down, which seems unlikely, or else they’ll have to up the ante and tell the lads that they won’t play for them, which sadly appears inevitable. No matter how you look at it, Noel and Pat’s goose looks cooked and the only thing they’ll achieve by hanging tough is to poison the atmosphere still further and bequeath an even more bitter legacy to the person who comes after them.

The atmosphere looks well poisoned already, indeed, what with those two dreadful pieces in the Connaught Telegraph (the one on Lee Keegan and that other blatantly pro-Holmes piece) and that downright stupid intervention yesterday by Martin Carney, which the Indo covers today. The players also get a taste in the same paper of the kind of treatment that awaits them in the national media in the months ahead as Eugene McGee puts on his hob-nailed boots and proceeds to lay into them.

Thankfully, there are more sensible voices out there. John Casey is interviewed in the Irish Examiner today and while he has no sympathy with the players’ actions and is supportive of his former team-mates, he keeps his analysis clear-headed and to the point. John reckons there’s no way Noel and Pat can hang on given what’s happened, a conclusion that Colm Keys, writing in today’s Indo, also reaches.  Conor Mortimer, meanwhile, interviewed in the Irish Examiner, traces the problem right back to the beginning, with the appointment of Noel and Pat, and it’s hard to argue with that analysis either.

So, then, that’s where we are, with the majority of the players saying they want the lads out, the managers saying they’re going nowhere and the County Board claiming the crisis has come as a total shock to them, despite the world and its spouse having known it was brewing for ages. Jesus, but we’re great crack altogether, aren’t we?

I’ve been reluctant to run any kind of poll on the crisis but given the developing stand-off, I think we now have a clear question that needs testing, i.e. should Noel and Pat resign? I’ll sign off for now by posing this straightforward question.

Should Noel and Pat resign?

  • Yes (86%, 853 Votes)
  • No (14%, 144 Votes)

Total Voters: 997

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169 thoughts on “Digging in?

  1. Yes the end is inevitable for the current management since James Horan wants back in. Looks like Malachy Clerkin has got the inside track from the players or the ear of the previous manager who he commentates with on Newstalk. James Horan has the inside track direct from the players and the players want James Horan back and Horan wants another crack at it hence this revolt so leave all the other names out of this race. Paddy Power rarely gets it wrong.

  2. At least wesunsam will be happy you put up that poll WJ. Think everyone knows the major problem was with one half of the duo. I have some sympathy for the management and don’t know if I fully agree with this putsch, however, for the good of Mayo football N&P need to step down with immediate effect.

  3. Thanks WJ for gathering all the coverage. Already we can see players are getting it hot & heavy from national media. They are a strong bunch, just hope they have thought through next steps. Hard to take CB line ‘we never saw it coming’ & ,we have a PROCESS’! Of course having Chairman as player liaison officer must help….

  4. The county board created the mess in the first place. Management should respect players decision and step down

  5. I have sympathy for Noel and Pat, as players and managers they have been great servants to Mayo GAA and it’s very regretful for them that things have fallen apart so publicly but once you have lost the dressing room there is no going back. The best way for all concerned is a quick clean break and to put in motion the ‘process’ (that word again) of getting a new management team on board.

  6. And of course in the absence of any facts the pollution will thicken and thicken until visibility comes to nought!
    Best for many to go for a long walk!

  7. N and p have no choice and will leave, sooner the better and let the process move along to its next step. I seen Martys interview of Martin carney, it’s as though Martin carney thinks the players should just go with the flow and accept whatever they’re given and be happy about it. Carney is wrong, the players are not stupid, they know a dud when they see and hear it and this setup must have been a dud from the start. Remember, it was asked on here the day the 2 boys were announced, “will they have any credibility with the
    Players ?” . The answer was no in my mind at least, and it seems to be the way it was.
    Of course for “Credibilty” reasons, the management will sit tight for a few days a before finally moving along. It’s a sad end to the management of Holmes and Connelly, but both of them know that Mayo winning Sam is much bigger than either of them.

  8. Ironically enough there’s 7 who have voted “no” to should they resign when I posted this- which is apparently the number of players who voted against the no confidence!!!

    They have to walk though, there surely can’t be any doubt about it

  9. I agree WJ. People should not assume that it is Noel AND Pat that the players have an issue with! As for the connaught? What do you expect from an ass but a kick. Shit rag is too good a word for it.
    Looking at the bigger picture, like the government an electorate gets from its vote, we get the county board our club delegates vote in. We’ve no one to blame only ourselves.
    As long as club delegates are solely concerned with their club, to the detriment of our inter county teams, there will be no change.
    I believe the club game should be overseen by the county board and all inter county games should be ran by a professionally qualified committee fully funded staffed and resourced from its own budget. But, that’s for another day. Now we have to put right what is wrong in as dignified and respectful manner as we can.

  10. Vincent Neary did state some half sentence which trailed off with “it was a pity that went on for a year”.
    With the way he said it it sounded like an issue had been raised early in the season and either took a long time to resolve it or it never got resolved.
    His hinting at “not every player can wear the jersey”.
    There is no way it is anything to do with players not getting their game. It was never an issue under Horan or under any previous manager the players worked with and there were many contentious cases. Many of those who were close to getting their game have had occasions in the past where they had spells of not getting their game.
    The players should actually put the issues out in the open after the Thursday meeting. Would not be suprised they actually wanted to keep this on the quiet until the Thursday meeting and it got leaked on them.

  11. They simply have to go now. The rights and wrongs of the vote of no confidence is now largely irrelevant. Bizarre place to be after narrowly losing in a semi-final replay.

    I’m not sure how I reconcile it all at the moment. Not where we want to be for sure. I do feel for Pat and Noel, but then I don’t know if their relationship with the players has ever been solid? I do believe there is a core of leaders in the current group of players (as you would want there to be) who know their own mind and are very clear on what is required. I’m inclined to trust their judgement and doubt they took this decision too lightly.

    Far from ideal but maybe a necessary measure. And maybe the blight over the original appointment is only now rearing its full ills. Back to the county board we go.

  12. One meetup between the draw and the replay for me says it all. If you were playing a club championship replay.
    Meetup Tuesday night, review of what went well and what can be improved. Easy training.
    Meetup Wednesday or Thursday night and some light practice of changes for the replay.
    As we know there was no need for any practice of changes. There practically were none.
    Before the match it was even known Mayo had only met on the Wednesday night. Sure Dublin must have been doubly sure at that point … same tactics again lads. Not too much you can get across to a squad in one night without getting the practice in to see how comfortable the players have it nailed.

  13. Sad situation overall nobody gains. It is obvious that Pat and Noel have to step down at this stage as they have lost the confidence of the players. hopefully this will not drag on too long. I cannot see James Horan returning in these circumstances.
    So whoever replaces the current management will need to have a clean slate with no baggage, and be a very strong leader, and have clear ideas about how to bring this team to the next level. Is there such a manager in the county at the moment? time will tell.

  14. As the week unfolds so more info seeps out. From what I read in the Connaught Telegraph (I know its not 100% reliable) the vote was taken on the following question.

    “Have you confidence in the current management set-up?”

    Now to me that is a broad sweeping question and can infer several different things.

    The current management setup is about 20 people and I understand some of these are new faces and some are from the previous management setup.
    Joint managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly,
    Coach Donie Buckley
    Selector Michael Collins,
    Strength and conditioning coach Barry Solan, Dr. Sean Moffatt,
    Chartered physiotherapists Michelle McGinty, Shane Finn and Margaret Armstrong, Masseur Peter Siedleki,
    Goalkeeping coach Peter Burke,
    Statisticians Fergal Costello, Ruaidhri Hallinan, Eileen Corrigan, Conor Finn and Mathew Golden,
    Psychologist Des Jennings,
    Dietation Caroline Brosnihan,
    Logistics officer Loretta Blewett
    Liaison officer Mike Connelly

    I guess the question is who or what exactly does this question that was put to the players refer to? I haven’t seen any answers on that yet. I guess we have to wait until this meeting tomorrow to find out.

  15. Cant believe the team only met once between draw and replay. No way could this happen. Some players, not all, would need guidance and advice on how to approach the replay. Tactics would have to be worked on. I would though ask commentators to please thing deeply before posting stuff here. These are volunteers – all of them including Mike C and Neary. Whilst they do not get everything right they have the right intentions. I have dealt with Mike C and others in his family as regards footballing matters and have found them most honourable. Kevin C is possibly the best referee in Mayo and Mike C was a good vice Chairman. Also other great men in the county board – Michael Commins for instance. As for PH and NC nobody can doubt their honour. Question their decisions and qualifications but dont question their honour.

  16. The lads will have to go, but as a person that attends every Mayo game I do think we a have some non team players on this team that need to look in the mirror.

  17. While the usual suspects write their synopsis in the press of what they think or don’t think is going on it’s all irrelevant really. The only people that know what’s going on are the players themselves and surely they and they alone have the rite to decide if they want to play under this management team.

    For a lot of these players next year may be their final shot at an All Ireland title and if they think N & P are not benefiting this effort then they are rite to take the stance they have taken. It’s like that girl you were shifting as a teenager but hadn’t much heed on, do you suck it up to keep the peace and be miserable the rest of your days or be bold and brave and speak out that your not happy. Anyway I hope for all concerned this goes away quickly and the only consolation to it is the timing, better to get this sorted now than after Xmas.

  18. Regards washing dirty linen in public, better wash it than lie in it. whether in public or not.
    It is obvious that Pat and Noel have to step down. To do so now would be the honorable thing and nobody would be questioning their honour. Trying to hang tough is pointless. Even Frank Murphy’s friends in Cork had to accept that in the end. The question is are Mayo GAA supporters prepared to let the situation run out of control. Hopefully the situation can be resolved on Thursday night but if not I would suggest that supporters at the weekend’s games make it clear that the players have our support. The majority of these players have given at least 5 of the best years of their young lives to the Mayo cause. For Barry Moran, the veteran of the team it is 11 years now. If, like the Cork supporters, we have to take to the streets of Castlebar to demonstrate our support for them then I say we will do so and I say we should do it quickly.
    It is I suppose natural that past colleagues of Pat and Noel would see their point of view but I’m afraid Martin Carney is taking the viewpoint of the teacher he was with a slightly disruptive class. But these Mayo players are not schoolboys.

  19. Mayo man in Ross, disagree with you there, I think ask the players that have represented Mayo on the last few years are TEAM player. Sure on occasions individual players have maybe taken the wrong decision when a better TEAM decision was on the cards. But over whelming the individual players play for the TEAM. The number of occasions in the last few years a selfish or wrong decision has been taken you could count on one hand. Probably just about the same about times where to go for a selfish or individual score was the right thing to do and then pass the ball to a man in a worse position. No matter what manager or players we have mistakes will be made, but I have never doubted the conviction of player to do the right thing for the TEAM.

  20. Horan coming back will be the most retrograde step ever…. more glorious failure and moral victories. He did a great job with Mayo up to a point but things need to move on.

  21. As a Galway man I think this is madness of the highest order. Mayo were as close this year as any year. Won their fifth Connacht with a record breaking score and played some great football along the way and were also very tactically astute against Donegal. Added to that the emergence of Diarmuid O’connor, and the reintroduction of Tom Parsons it was a good year.I think some of you are too close to it, to see that the players are offside here. What was wrong with approaching the county board, keeping this in house. This wont end well for players or management or yourselves the fans. A good manager at this stage will have to put their stamp on it by dropping one or 2 big names, it always happens after something like this. What will the players do then try to vote the new man out.

  22. The players played their cards the wrong way. They should have went through the process of meeting the management and expressing their views. If they are unhappy with the outcome, then go public with a no confidence motion. Now….if Management stick tight, the players will have to organise a heave through the official process and the full county board. Everybody knows the clubs can be stubborn and them we have a strike on our hands.

  23. At the first sign of trouble its “managements fault”,at the second sign of trouble its the “County Boards fault”! every manager since i was at my first mayo game circa 1984, its the managers fault! there are times players must take stock of their own performances, the harsh reality is as follows, from play in championship 2015, in brackets is the sligo game (which was a compleate turkey shoot) and ive taken that total away from the season total for effect….

    cillian 2-03 (1-04)
    aiden 1-02 (3-04)
    jason doc 0-04 (0-02)
    d o c 0-05 (0-04)
    k mac 0-04 (0-01)
    andy 0-03 (0-01)

    thats our starting forwards in majority of games this year, averaging about 7 1/2 points a game from play in 4 championship games (minus the sligo game!), thats where we have to look at improving and players cant blame management for not getting the ball over the bar!
    i voted no in your poll WJ as i feel the current management face an impossible task of winning back the dressing room. at the start of the year, and i posted this im sure, as did a lot of ppl here, my hopes for 2015 was to

    retain div 1 status, achieved!
    maintain stranglehold on connaught, achieved!
    develop new players, somewhat achieved.
    good showing in all ireland series, achieved!

    after achieving all that, current management are faced with a no confidence vote? i feel this is a mutiny, and our shambles from last year are continuing into this year and potentially into november. if next year the players are shown that they made the correct decision, brilliant. because if its for the better of mayo then im behind them 100%, but if it doesent………..keith duggan will be updating a few chapters in his book!

    onwards and upwards, i hope!

  24. I have to ask the following questions Willie Joe about the management team and their judgment, I know you might delete my comment.

    1. Why did we not pressurize Dub KOs in both games, Cluxton panicked in both the semi and All Ireland final when this was done and forced errors.

    2. Why was Aidan O Shea left so isolated against the Dubs ? when it clearly wasn’t working
    3 why we only devised a sweeper system 2 weeks before the Donegal game,
    4. What actual position was Barry Moran playing against Dublin ? It was clearly shown that he is not mobile enough to cover ground in croke park
    5 Why did we only carry 2 or 3 midfielders all year and had no midfield options against Mayo.
    We basically had 4 midfielders starting against Dublin with very little options on the bench
    6. I think it was poor Judgment by management not starting Clarke, although not as flamboyant as Hennelly with kicking, he is reliable and in my opinion 100% the better option

    This is a difficult time in Mayo football , there’s no denying it , there’s no coming back for management with the players no confidence 27 -7 Votes.

    Their position is unattainable, I think to keep their dignity and take the media attention away from Mayo they should resign.

    With the right decision making by the county board, we are not far away at all

  25. Horan made Mayo competitive, I think his modern methods are a bit overstated.
    1. Never really dropping anyone from the 26 man squad from year to year in a county with strong club football. Not logical or realistic that that was the case.
    2. The trials were a turn up and play a game type format. Is this the 1940’s?
    3. The triallists were not informed over what they had to work on. Just simply you’ll be contacted if on the panel. That’s no way to motivate fringe players.
    4. For all his recent comments about GPS units indicating when players should be substituted he regularly played players into the ground himself. Colm Boyle was played until shattered every single match. Dublin 2013 he was in a bad way. It’s Holmes and Connelly who started a wise policy of substituting Boyle around 50 minutes when he has worked himself to a standstill.
    5. His teams lacked natural athleticism and height at panel selection stage. I know a great footballing athlete with height who had a good trial. He watched on TV the Horan era while our 26 was not physical enough to compete with Dublin/Donegal/Kerry.
    6. He seems totally averse to the idea of a sweeper, making some comments about you not being able to impose your game on the opposition. He said this in interview in 2015. Yes … after all of the goals conceded in his own era in 2012, 2013, 2014 he still doesn’t believe in the concept of a sweeper.
    He displayed a fascination with forwards tackling and the level of preparation going into tackling in squad preparations. Meanwhile the squad did not have a target man. There was also no obvious strategy to how counter attacking operated other than the wing backs pressing forward to take up often 30-40% of the scoring via Vaughan and Keegan. This obviously left the full back line playing man to man exposed.
    Horan had his chances, he can make a squad competitive, but he is overly obsessed with tackling and undervalues both the sweeper and the value of athletic forwards with height. You won’t work your way to an All Ireland, you have to have talent. Horan is a mighty worker and so are his squads but you do need to have talent especially up front as part of that. Very late in the day he tried Aidan OShea up front, took until midway through the 2014 season. Some of the corner forwards were not producing in league and championship and yet never got dropped from the 26.

  26. Andy D,

    Re Martin Carney, exactly my sentiments, he talked like he was admonishing first year students for skipping a class.
    FFS these are guys who have given their life to Mayo football for the last five years. They deserve our unreserved support. How did the same MC feel after the incredible comeback V Kerry in drawn game last year, same this year V Dublin.
    Piss poor from a guy who should know better.
    Q was he part of JOM backroom team ???
    Finally, he might be better served going back listening to his less than stellar co-commentary during 2015, and I am being kind, very kind

  27. Fear an chomortois – I’ve deleted that first bit from your comment where you’re on about the utter rubbish that others are posting. There’s no need to insult others in that fashion when putting your point across.

  28. The outcome of the poll WJ was pretty inevitable…..Does not necessarily mean support for the players however….more a case as Keys and Casey has pointed out, that is the inevitable outcome now so the view they should resign would come from a disparate range of viewpoints on the overall issue.

    No doubt H+C are proud men and for me are absolutely right to stand their ground IF they have not been given a full explanation of the reasons behind the no confidence vote. What is the point in getting rid of them if you leave open the prospect of the same mistakes being made again because the failings as the players see is kept under wraps. Maybe they want to spare the management the blushes but the county board can only be expected to take action based on facts and full representation if the concerns are going to be addressed – any new manager is going to want to know the full detail of what will be expected of them.

    If wealthy business men in the dressing room is the problem as a number of posters seem to suggest – then hard to see how that is the fault of H+C….maybe it is, maybe it isn’t but surely it is a charge they should be entitled to answer in particular if they were under instruction from the county board.

    The next couple of days will be interesting. It is very hard to keep 35-40 lads on the same page in the glare of such national publicity and in particular when they were not on the front page to begin with even if the result was 27-7 and obvious some abstentions. A number of players will already have texted their support to H+C, a number more are likely to have been lukewarm about whichever way they voted and may be for turning once the media pressure months and others will be fully entrenched…they will not be able to walk the streets or go to work without everyone asking them about it – and its not like wishing them well in an All Ireland. They definitely will not be interested in this type of attention.

    This is definitely not going to end well for some individuals…but it is also quite possible, this isn’t going to end well for anybody.

  29. Don’t disagree with any of that, Cantini and you’re probably right about the inevitability of the poll result. There’s a poll running over on the Connaught Telegraph’s website on whether or not the players were right to pass the no-confidence motion and this is currently running at 33% Yes, 54% No and 13% for the option of headhunting Jim McGuinness.

    On the explanation of the reasons for the vote, this was something that County Board PRO Aiden McLoughlin covered in an interview he did on Morning Ireland this morning (which I only listened to after I’d the post done otherwise I’d have included a mention to it). I thought Aiden handled the interview well, far better than poor old Vincent Neary did last night, and he made the point that the issues of concern to the players need to be identified, if only to avoid their recurring in the future. Perhaps tellingly he said that this needs to happen regardless of whether or not Noel and Pat remain in place. The interview is here (it’s the 8.40AM Sports News, the segment in question starts at 5.35).

  30. That’s useful. Thanks WJ. Apologies for the poor spelling/grammar in my previous post i just noticed btw.

  31. fear an chomórtais
    Can you give Kerry or Tyrone forwards scores ??? You will find they are more or less the same.

  32. Agree with Aidan McGloughlin about identifying specifically the issues. Otherwise the new manager or management setup is in an unfair position. How do they know if they fix the issues or not if they are not identified.

  33. JP the issues have been identified. This is kicking the can down the street stuff from the county board. We saw what happened to the issue identified in the Strategic Review. This beings and ends with them having to deal with the mess of their own making last year. It was never going to end well and the man you referred to played a big part on it by making an appointment through the media.

    A llot of interesting comments on both sides of the arguement here. Hopefully there is the quick resolution that was predicted on the radio earlier. All sides need to move on. Players need a break. Pat and Noel deserve respect. The County Board have a club championship to run and probably a new manager to find. Roll on Christmas so that all our heads can have a biteen of peace.

  34. The issues have been touched on, I don’t believe they have been identified with enough detail to come back after one season and everyone would be onboard and could state “Well they fixed A, B, C”

  35. I’d like to compliment the players in the professional and dignified manner in which they are dealing with this enforced situation and contrast that with the conduct of the county board and the managers. The players went to the managers and gave them the 27:7 vote of no confidence. By doing it in a quiet way, they were offering Holmes and Connelly a dignified exit. The 2 boys however did not accept that offer and are prepared to try to bully their way out at any cost to Mayo football, it seems. Who went to the Connacht? Hardly the players with that slant that was put on things. Who outed poor Lee who allegedly voted for Holmes and Connelly? Hardly the players but some coward who is prepared to sacrifice and isolate Lee in order to try and save his own bacon. Mike Connelly has to call halt now. No more dirty tricks. Mike you are guilty by association. So sort it now.
    Finally the Connacht needs to look at themselves. Have they never heard of balanced reporting ref Carney and Aiden Henry.

  36. A bit like Saipan in a way .I think Roy Keane even regrets walking out now. Mayo football isn’t professional Pat and Noel are great Mayomen won national league titles and an u21been treated Terrible here . I think there’s one or two ring leaders behind this . interesting where the meeting was located . suggests something to me.
    I can only imagine the issues with the county board . but why didn’t they have a internal conversation first .this debacle as put Mayo football back year’s . nothing good will come out of it. Will James horan come back for next year I doubt it ? Jim MCG no chance … Probably bring someone in to fill the void . do bad next year . horan back for 2017 . a few players passed it . rebuild etc 2018 before we’ve a chance again. Wish it was handled better

  37. Clewless that’s a bit of an assumption that you can identify the leaders of this revolt by wherea meeting take place. It had to take place somewhere. I think Ballyhaene is pretty central Mayo!

  38. I think odds of 11/4 on James Horan as the next manager – offered by PP is outstanding value. But I don’t know the internal rumblings of Mayo….as a gambling man it just looks great value when compared to the other options.

  39. Totally agree with PK – It was in the players interests for this to be handled ‘in-house’ and it could have been. Really important that we don’t do a ‘Cork’ on this and that it’s handled sensibly now and resolved quickly.
    1. Pat and Noel have to resign and fast. Whatever the rights and wrongs there no way back for them from this.
    2. CB have to really listen to the players feedback on what went wrong and take this in to account for the appointment of the next Manager. The issues don’t need to be aired in public but they have to be properly presented/understood.
    3. Start the appointment process now and make sure it’s as transparent as possible – Despite what has happened I think there would be plenty of interest both from inside and outside the county. Players don’t have the final say on the appointment but they have to have some input.
    -Next year might be the last chance for a lot of these guys to win an AI. Brolly and Co are always saying that Mayo players are not ruthless enough to win one. Maybe this is a sign that he might be wrong. I hope he is.

  40. Now there is a great opportunity for the management to start with a fresh team to win Sam next year as the present squad are tired and lacking the necessary skills. The only players who should be kept are D, O’Connor,A Freeman and Lee Keegan.

  41. J Scanlon, Id certainly hold on to those players. All 3 of them I’m sure they would make good subs. If nothing else. Sure we could play Connelly and Holmes reach side of Leroy! The county is literally busting with talent of All Ireland Class. Note, if we can get the rest of the Panel to be Trapist Monks, that won’t say anything how can we go wrong. Mickey Harte won’t be tur only GAA person not giving interviews to RTE. As Father Dougal McGuire said years ago on Craggy Island. “Ted, I think I’m going mad” And for years I taught I se only one!

  42. Can’t agree with you J Scanlon. You are leaving out a 3 years in a row top scorer who has won an All Star and 2 Young Player of the Year Awards for a start. To say nothing of several other class players.

    This whole situation is sad. The players experienced four years of a higher level of training/coaching and general support under the previous administration, an administration that, let’s face it, also had some problems. But the current set up was seen as a step backwards in preparation by many of the players.

    I coach players myself and I see the dissatisfaction that emerges when the game preparation has not moved into line with requirements of the modern game. I can only imagine the frustration that county players feel, given that they effectively put their lives on hold just to play for their county.

    They deserve the best preparation that can be found. The players view is that the current administration cannot provide this. The players want to go all the way and win Sam. They don’t believe that H & C can deliver the platform to get them there.

  43. Lean times, If you’re interested in the advancement of mayo football you’ll support the petition being organised by the mayo supporters to persuade our excellent management team to stay on.

  44. The more I think about Aiden Henry’s piece about Lee Keegan in the Connacht, the more I realise what a nasty, underhanded piece of writing it was. What can Lee do, come out and say “no, I didn’t back the management team”. It was a spiteful piece of work deliberately designed to cause rancor among the players. If Lee Keegan voted for or against the management team he would tell them to their faces and not through a county board lackey masquerading as a journalist.

  45. J Scanlon – if you’re interested in the advancement of Mayo football you’ll refrain from posting bullshit saying that only three of the current panel should be retained. This isn’t the place for idiotic wind-ups of that kind.

  46. Horrible to name Lee Keegan in that piece ,,,,, As for Martin Carney ,,,,,, I played U21 for mayo for him and honestly he is a complete spoofer ,,not a clue how to talk to players or tactics ,, he is an embarrassment on the tv ,,

  47. who exactly told the papers ? Hardly the players they seem to have done everything by the book ! Hope they have their Ts crossed and I’s dotted or whatever that saying is for tomorrow night

  48. Joe Walsh, I was simply making the point that our forwards scores per game from play is a big reason we didn’t and haven’t won an all Ireland, there are numerous reasons including the current debated issue. But as you requested, Dublin starting forwards of rock, brogan, Flynn, Andrews, Connolly, and Kilkenny averaged similar to Mayo in 3 games (Mayo x 2, and Kerry) at 7.6 points per game, all games up to that irrelevant. But we know their subs won the games. And I’m in no doubt the subs scoring averages are nigh on doubled.
    Kerry starting forwards of P and M Geaney, Gooch, Donaghy, Bj Keane, j o donoghue (not all started all games, and Kildare game not taken into account) averaged 9 points per game, but ultimately in the last 2 games v Tyrone(3) and Dublin(5) the starting forwards only scored in the region of 8 points from play

  49. The county board can make the worse by prolonging this or bring it to anext immediate end and save all the embarrassment.
    Think they had a fair hand in this mess so the least they can do is fix it.

    My everlasting support must go to the 34 players that put their life’s on hold to give us such great summers for the last 5 years.

  50. If H&C meet the players in small groups maybe 2 or 3 at a time and find out what the problems are then I feel this can be solved and they can get backing of players.
    Maybe this has already happened and if so then they need to try much harder. Every problem has a solution.

    Also, only room for one manager either H or C if they still want the job.

    This needs to be sorted urgently as future manager needs to be at the intermediate semis next Sunday I think there will be some ‘natural forwards’ on view and they need to be groomed for senior team. It’s been a failure over the years that managers have not given a chance to enough players from Intermediate or Junior teams.

  51. We need this sorted quickly
    All the critical issues should aired. If the participants want a solution Thursday’s meeting will be watertight. No leaks, no spin!

    Hogan tactically no better than Holmes and Connelly, to say the least

    The gap in recovery between Mayo and Dublin between Semis was huge, if as bad as said here, no excuses.

    if H&C go, that is the team’s golden bullet gone, if will not have given then undue ongoing influence.

    Just sort it.

    Changing the County board culture is a totally different timescale (turning a liner)

  52. James Horan served his county with distinction as a player and a manager but he is not the man to get us over the line we need a fresh approach a new ruthless manager coming in that has no favourites and picks the best players in their best positions I know it’s not as simple as its sounds but we really do need a smart guy on the sideline

  53. Ffs what a shambles . I’m completely saddened and disappointed to put it mildly , some supporters also annoy the hell out of me , it’s as if they thrive on this type of stuff .

    Pebbles, that’s the best idea I’ve ever read on here , a separate county board for inter county. Absolutely sick of hearing the same aul shite about the county board since I was a child , but like the civil war political party hold in this country despite disaster after disaster since the states foundation , nothing ever changes . We fear change as a people for some bizzare reason we hold sentimental feeling towards the aul blaguard brigade .

  54. I fully agree with the players stance. They are not walking away from playing, they simply want to be managed in a professional manner and I feel they deserve the full backing of each and everyone of us. They know that they are good enough to win the big one and Pat and Noel should do the honourable thing and walk.
    One get together between the drawn game and replay is mind boggling, if you were in charge of a Junior B team in a divisional final you would get together at least twice if not more to discuss tactics etc ,view the video check injuries, and not be starting an injured player like Donie Vaughan. Look I could go on and on as ye well know .
    The job should be given to Stephen Rochford , Horan and Maughan got their chance, and did quite well, brought us to heretofore new territory , but couldn’t finish the deal. This is an exceptional bunch of players and deserve all the backing and assistance that their professionalism demands.

  55. A compromise could well be put to the players at Thursday evening’s meeting, where one of the Management Team would offer to step down. This could buy time, and give the Co Board and the players some wriggle room and a way out of the impasse they both find themselves in right now.

    Either way it’s vital at this stage, that the Co Board listen very carefully to the issues that forced the players to take this course of action in the first place. I would have no problem with washing dirty linen in public, so long as a satisfactory outcome can be achieved. Face saving measures will be paramount for both sides at this time.

  56. Feel that there is too much faith in the CB to do the right thing. They have no idea about what is right, just self preservation. Both H&C need to stand down but not for what happened on the field, our season no worse than last year, but because of the way our CB set the whole thing in motion.

  57. Good man Sean Burke.

    You have condensed a big part of Irish peoples unhealthy relationship with the various institutions operating within our state perfectly.

    Maybe someday order out of chaos, but ’till then, chaos

  58. Some questions spring to mind having read the above.
    1) Do we know what the specific issues were that the “27” had with H&C, and was an attempt made to discuss them. There was plenty of time between the Dublin replay and the delivery of the letter.
    2) What do the “27” want? It’s hard to believe that it’s just a change of management. If it is, who do the players want?
    3) We’re dealing with battle-hardened, intelligent and vastly experienced footballers here so there must be some follow-up plan. It’s hard to believe that getting rid of management would be seen as the cure-all. What now? The players must have considered this question.

  59. As the great Yogi Berra (who died this week) would say, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”


    Mayo had not won a Connacht Senior title on the field of play since 1937, and by 1947 Flanagan had become disillusioned with the incompetence, as he seen it, of the County Board, and he sent a letter outlining his desire to resign from selection. After much persuasion though he relented and took part in the first league game of the following season in Kerry.
    Such was the shambolic nature of the day, that even though the Mayo team had manfully eked out a draw against the Kingdom, Flanagan and some of the fellow senior players were moved to send another letter to the County Board. In the letter the players riled against the inadequacies of the preparation and took it upon themselves to save Mayo football, before as they elegantly and hauntingly put it, ‘football disappears completely in Mayo- unwept, unhonoured and unsung’.


    He will be remembered as a player who contributed hugely to the progress of the Mayo team in those years when they confronted the apathy of the County Board and went on to win two All-Ireland titles in a row.

  60. WJ thanks for following my request! I’d have put it in the words of pebblesmeller “should pat and Noel and all the County Bored officials resign!? Bored been of the fed up nature of the same old same………….

  61. Also did Trappatoni ever get a job after he got sacked! He’d be a great man! A pure county bored man!! Very little communication!!!!!

  62. I do have a great deal of sympathy for H&C, but they simply have to resign.

    Feel particularly bad for Connelly, who was always my favourite player growing up.
    The man would run through walls for Mayo football, which is why I’m convinced he’s the one who said he’d be willing to step down. I’m sure he can see it’s the only way that we can survive this whole mess.

    I’m not generally keen on ‘player power’, but I think these lads have earned it to a degree over the past few years.
    I’m firmly behind them, as there simply must be something seriously amiss if they were willing to go down this route.

    What are the alternatives to the 2 lads stepping down?
    The players can’t back down now, there just can’t be a compromise that I can see.
    So what’s the other option?? Yep, a player strike. Whatever does happen, that last option has to be avoided at all costs.

    As for some of the media coverage today and yesterday, I don’t know why any of us are surprised any more.
    McGee’s piece is just his usual crap. Completely ill-informed and failing to look at all of the facts as a whole.
    The Connaught Telegraph is just a fucking disgrace of a newspaper at this point.

    Prepare for plenty more of this crap over the next couple of weeks (at least), this is just the beginning. We still have the weekend columnists to look forward to yet….

    With the end of the inter-county season, unfortunately we are now THE GAA news for the foreseeable future

  63. Connacht telegraph at it again , naming three more players and how they voted. An absolute disgrace of a paper.

  64. I think Mayo football went into a downhill dive in the national league 2015 under the new management. A bit better in the championship but never looked as sharp as when under former manager. I think if the wonderful players we have now were managed by the likes of jim mcguinness or jack o,connor they would have won sam for our county at least twice. The players have to be treated well and managed by a professional mgr.so please get the co.board to put the names of all applicants for managerial position put to delegates and FOLLOWERS of our beloved county and lets have a say in the replacement.

  65. I feel for Holmes and Connelly. Two good Mayo men who would do anything for our county.

    It must be a bad set up for it all to come to this. If the managers don’t go now, it’s going to be a holy mess.

    It’s all very sad and unfortunately, feels like the end of an era. Seems as if it might be a last ditch attempt for some players to win Sam before the window of opportunity closes.

    I also really worry about who we will get as our manager and whether the county board will get some kind of revenge on the players by cutting expenses etc. Will there be player resentment towards those who are in the 7 or those in the 27?

    This is a time when we should all pull together and unfortunately we are all pulling in different directions. It’s all a bit depressing, to be honest. Sam seems a distant dream now

  66. All this is coming from the same hack who is a lackey of the highest order. It’s clearly an attempt to divide the players and what’s more worrying is that it’s clearly not coming from the players but the county board or management. Either way, they are not the actions of people who look set to capitulate.

  67. Sad days indeed. This group of players have been excellent. They probably fear their chances of winning Sam are slipping away and want a really decent set up to give them maximum chance.Tough on N and P who I am sure gave their best and ended with the same record as JH in 2014 ie losing AISF to eventual winners after replay. However I feel the only way forward now is for N and P to go . They have always had the best interests of Mayo football at heart and I think them leaving now would be best for Mayo. I m sure they feel they have been treated badly, scapegoated even but how can you claim to be in charge when four fifths of your panel does not have confidence in you. I think the players and management are all decent honourable people who at the moment have major differences on what should be done. In contrast its difficult to see much honourable about the Conn Telegraph people who not for the first time have shown little interest in whats best for Mayo football as some of their “journalists” pursue their own personal agendas. And then theres the Co Board who didnt see this coming when the dogs on the street were aware of the problems.

  68. I think you have summed it up for me to win just once. I have a question for those more knowledgeable than me -would the players be happy if one of managers stepped down. It’s seems to me after reading the many comments and articles that one of them is not up to scratch for whatever reason and that one of them is the problem, maybe I am totally wrong. Also I believe the leaks appear to be coming from the County board, and I would be very disappointed if this proved to be true. I am behind the players on this one, as I said before I domove think they have done this lightly.

  69. Been away all day and just catching up. I thought Aiden McLoughlin handled that interview very well and very calmly in the circumstances.

    There is only so much anyone can take and this relentless tearing each other and the team and the management apart is exhausting even on here; so imagine how those in the middle of it must be feeling.

    Interesting to note the undermining of the players going on in the media, in many cases with fairly transparent agendas. I’d prefer to hear what both the players and management have to say before making a judgement; at this point we can safely assume all grievances will be aired to the nation unfortunately. My sympathies lie with the players, but I’m absolutely stumped as to where we go from here and I hope the players can shed some light on this when they make their statement.

    Meanwhile, we are still none the wiser; we still continue to be a laughing stock throughout the country. For the second year in a row we didn’t even feature in an AIF, yet the whole country is watching us make eejits of ourselves.

    The one upside I can think of in all this is that next year, no Mayo supporter in the country will have to deal with pity from anyone if we lose, because the sympathy will finally have dried up.

    Someone wake me up in January …

  70. Pat and Noel should do the decent thing now in the best interests of the future of our county team and exit the stage. However it may well suit the County Board if they dont go quietly as that would portray the 27 boys as the villains of the piece and I have no doubt the Board are engaged currently in ” ringing and spinning” to save face and limit the damage to themselves. Their “propaganda machine” – the Connaught Telegraph is extremely busy on-line trying their utmost to paint a picture of a divided camp and putting some players in an impossible position. Martin Carney poses the question – “Who would want to manage them” – – I beg to differ – – The incoming manager will have no bother motivating them – – they have now set their own motivational levels – and that particular bar is very high.Hopefully we can effect a positive outcome to this sad episode – -Rochford looks like the man – if he is willing – – but again the burning question is (as it was last year with McStay) will he get the necessary finances/resources from our infamous County Board??!!

  71. Sickened by the tactics being employed by County Board and their cronies washing all this through the press. It truly is an embarrassment but I’m not one bit surprised.

    Disappointed in Martin Carney, thought more of him but what he said on the news late night was tripe about who would want to manage them. The Old Boys Club in Mayo is running strong, each scampering to protect each other.

    Anne-Marie, I work in Dublin and am friendly with players and fans from a number of counties and I can tell you that no one I have spoken to consider us a laughing stock or eejits. In fact the opposite, they appreciate the integrity and bravery of the players and can imagine their only agenda is to improve Mayo GAA. Indeed, many of them had heard some of stories from the camp even I hadn’t heard as a Mayo fan.
    Also, where we go from here is a strange question you pose. I think it’s clear where we go from here, the players don’t have confidence in H&C, they have to go, and a process begins to get the best possible replacement. After all it’s not even October. Also, I don’t think the players need to justify to us why they had the vote, we are not judge and jury not their masters, that is something for them and mgmt and Co Board to discuss, but given their form it will be all over the press soon afterwards as they are showing no class in this affair. And finally, sympathy is not something anyone I know from Mayo is looking for, the other counties can keep their sympathy.

  72. and by “their form” I mean the Co Board and management. I have not seen one player who has made one statement on this

  73. and so many on this forum have so much sympathy for H&C. I don’t have any sympathy.

    If I started a job and it turned out I was unable to do that job I’d get fired, simple as, and there would be no sympathy.

    And even if I tried very hard to do it if I wasn’t able to do it I’d be gone and I couldn’t argue against it. Any hard work they put in over the year they got compensated for.

  74. The Mayo job is a dream job for whoever takes it in the next few weeks, He would inherit a highly motivated skilled experienced team with ambition to go all the way next year…I would love to take that job Martin Carney is talking shite.
    This group have everything going for them all they need is a manager to manage the whole set up meaning the coaches, the county board, the media, all the players want to do is play.
    The best interviews I have heard over the season has been with players espeacially Cillian & Keith them boys know where they want to got to go and how to get there.

    I would love Stephen Roachford to get the job his Corofin team were excellent the way they defended as a team they walked the club championship last year with no world class individuals..that was a very good Vincents team they beat in the semi.

    Yes im afraid thanks to Pat and Noel for their efforts but they have stand down.
    County board wake up and do your job no more looking for sympathy from media.

  75. I thought House Rule 8 forbade trash talking of those promoting football in Mayo, which would include the County Board, routinely portrayed as a bunch of Stalinists, the current managers, and other hand targets.

    Surely Martin Carney comes under the last heading?

  76. It’s difficult to hold the line on every front at the minute, catcol, as I’m sure you can appreciate. I’m afraid Martin Carney didn’t cover himself in glory with his dim-witted “who in their right mind?” contribution to the debate yesterday and most of the comments relating to him since appear to be in response to that.

  77. Willie Joe that fella who is writing all that stuff for the Connacht Telegraph has been seen writing his newspaper columns on a high stool down Castle St. in Castlebar. Always looking for an exclusive or to stir up shit, he had no time for Horan. And his level of grammer for a journalist is shocking.

  78. I wouldn’t put grammar at the top of the list of the problems I’d have with those pieces he’s writing, Peter46, nor the place you say he’s been writing them. The despicable way he’s named some players (four at this stage) in terms of how they may have voted (while failing to provide any proof to back up what he’s claiming) is what I’d have a problem with. It’s sad to see such a long established Mayo paper printing vile trash of this kind.

  79. So..three more Mayo players named by the Connacht..Literally speechless at the carry on at the moment..except when it comes to martin Carneys interview..disgraceful comes to mind..whether he agrees with the players or not has he not been around the block enough times to deal with the media in an appropriate manner..if you have nothing good to say etc ..feels like a divide and conquer mentality is at work..

  80. Willie Joe, the Connaught (and others) are accused of stirring the shit with a built-in, anti-player agenda.

    But, isn’t that exactly what a lot of posters are doing here?

    Their agenda is anti-County Board (democratically elected, to the best of my knowledge), and anti-Management. Taking aim at these targets is harmless fun during the year, but in the current situation, it is adding to the damage, and helping to undermine the very thing we all hold dear – the cause of Mayo football.

  81. Ok. It’s all a bit of a mess right now. Civil war was never pretty. Peoples’ vision is being clouded by passion and emotion.

    People like Martin Carney (from, let’s be honest here, Donegal) as ever never camera-shy or microphone-shy are not going to fail to avail of their few minutes on national tv. Martin is reasonably elequent, but, honestly, his tuppence-halfpenny worth of contribution was unhelpful, Mayo-demeaning and badly thought out. As a proud Mayo man I found it insulting to hear him ask , “Who would want to manage Mayo?”

  82. Some sympathy for the lads but the bar is high and the players are demanding a standard they see from other top teams and previous setup. Several of them obviously saw it a a crisis issue which needed a players meeting.
    Many have suggested that issue is with one & the other might stay but with friendship and loyalty that would be very hard on the one made outsider so it’s unlikely.
    As for the minority 7 they are perfectly entitled to weigh everything up and vote as they see fit. They are young men and some just like to play sport not politics, but regardless that is their right. It would be a very uncomfortable stance for some and same for some young lads voting no confidence too; they might feel very conflicted but had a difficult choice and made that choice. 27-7 is comprehensive enough to indicate problems.
    Management or individuals within might be hurt or their ego’s bruised but both staying on is not an option and even the well favoured one must feel aggrieved at how things have gone and player power.
    Neary sounded reasonable apart from some crap at the start about players not getting picked which wouldn’t cause a revolt of that order. However on “the process” players must have felt it couldn’t wait, they waited a week after their vote until Connelly returned from abroad. Even a few weeks makes a difference as would be nice for new manager / team to see some new guns performing in Club championship. Also makes a difference for S&C coach to decide winter programme.

  83. Catcol – I think, to be fair, that a variety of opinions have been and continue to be expressed here. Regardless of where contributors stand on the issue, most of what’s been written here (at least my reading of it) is supportive of what’s best for football in Mayo. To equate the opinions being expressed here with the despicable, low-life rubbish being peddled by the Connaught Telegraph this week is, frankly, a grave insult to the community of contributors here. If that’s your opinion, then fair enough but don’t forget you’re a contributor here too so I guess you’re including yourself in that insult!

  84. Willie Joe, I didn’t ‘equate’ opinions.

    I said, wrote, that posters are pushing an agenda, that is anti-management and anti-County Board – and trash talking these targets, a specific breach of rule 8.

    In the midst of a major crisis for Mayo football, this is playing with fire.

  85. I correct myself here McGee’s piece isn’t 100% shite, makes a few valid points but most of it is way off the mark. Players are doing what the feel is best for success. Players make mistakes but I think they give 100% most of the time. Won games they were underdogs in and lost and drew some. In replay sounds like they were 4 up despite a poor week’s preparation compared to opponents. Some of it comes down to resources but not all.
    Co Board are voted democratically but need to look at what top setups do. Even McGuinness aired bit of dirty laundry on the missing holiday vouchers for those who couldn’t make team holiday in Donegal. Leaving those outside the 26 to fend for themselves on match day seems wrong given the training put in although that was the practice under Horan too. Sometimes though its the little things that grate people and they can tolerate a few things less than ideal but only so many.

  86. OMG why on earth would the Con Tel name the 4 players who supported the management ? I used to respect this paper due to its history 170 years and James Daly etc Disgraceful . Of course Parsons and Ronaldson support them they recalled them .
    How can this even be verified ?

    Its terrible the whole situation … I have to blame the county board . Put us back years this fooling around .

  87. Clewless,

    Tom Parsons was recalled last year by James Horan and featured at least in the two SFs v Kerry.

  88. Thanks AndyD. My mistake I just remembered he didn’t feature for afew years .How is this info even disclosed ? was it only 34 players involved , does this leak mean whoever counted the vote tells the journalist ? Or is it he paper contacting players individually “How did you vote, I may or may not publish it”?!

    How’s this going to play out , CB: meet with the players Tomorrow , CB: right players what’s the problem , Players :We didn’t like the training methods , previous manager was more professional . CB: but he quit . Players: yes but because of ye . CB: why didn’t ye contact us directly ? Players: because the players liason rep is chair of the board ! CB: Look it ,,mmmh well PH and NC are staying .Players: Well x amount of players won’t play for Mayo again under these regime . CB: look it come on now ,well what do ye want then , ? Players: JH back. CB: well he wont come back next year, (cant be seen to have influenced players and looks unfair on his ex teammates)
    CB: Look it we’ll advertiser the position , include a hr person . ..(Privately select someone who they think wont give any guff ) Maybe a High profile All Ireland winner from another county who works in the media , Trying to raise his profile , He comes in , doesn’t give a toss about the history , importance and significance of Mayo football . a Few players retire . But remains 90% of the same players from the last few years. (a couple of panel players who aren’t playing are thinking of another ballot in Ballyheane ) We get to the semis loss to a bad ref . Manager quits . … No All Ireland in 2016 .(100 years since Mayo’s first appearance in a final) 2017 has a nice ring to it . 2 years is a long time for a core of players in their late 20s .

  89. Maybe this will not end as badly as people think. JH had run out of ideas in his previous reign but has probably learned a lot during his year off from his punditry. He was in constant contact with some of the players throughout the year and met them regularly so he understands what worked and what did not work for the current management. It was really just a time out for James so let’s get him reinstated ASAP.

  90. Can I just say how impressed I am with your management of this blog Willie Joe. You give a fair shake to all sides and cut the rubbish, a mind bending task in my opinion. You’re clearly an intelligent, progressive and fair individual. You wouldn’t send your CV in for head of the County Board should it arise? 🙂

  91. If the CB runs its affairs in the same manner as it has handled the current crisis so far is it any wonder we’re in the mess we are. After 35 years of involvement in the GAA from player to administrator in different counties I feel like weeping at the shambolic imcompetence of the CB. Mayo is not the only county of course that suffers this plague. It’s time that real ability counted more than long service in the club or divisional board as the criteria for appointment to CB (i.e. hard working club members who run the lotto and line the pitiches at club level, while essential to the organisation, do not necessarily make the best board members). We’re all responsible, the Divisional Board delegate and County Board delegate roles are usually the last roles to be filled at the club AGM when most of the lads have long drifted off for a pint!!

  92. PJB Mayo, I’d be perfectly happy if we never got an ounce of sympathy from any other supporter ever again, frankly. It’s not the hope that kills you, it’s the pity. Id rather be hated any day!

    Yes, despite being firmly in the players’ camp I do have some sympathy for H&C – I fully agree that they should step down, but they are men with families who live and work in the area and some of the personal commentary and abuse directed towards them online and the streets (much of it from buffoons who wouldn’t know a football from a tennis ball) is not something many of us have to consider if we underperform in our day jobs. Same for the county board; last year and this year some of the abuse dished out has been uncalled for. Forgive me for being a sap, but I’ve always preferred the “play the ball, not the man” approach to these things. But should they go? Absolutely; I can’t (given our history in managing such fiascos) see a way back from this.

    I also fully agree that the players owe us no explanation whatsoever; but as you say it will be all over the press, or certain elements of the press anyway. Holding fire on that one here, but I think all that needs to be said has been done so above. Delighted to hear their stand is being regarded as a brave one elsewhere; maybe I just need to stop reading the comments online!

    I just hope they have everything covered for themselves tonight and those players who weren’t on board are present and engaged also.

  93. I also second your remark re WJ’s management of the blog, PJB Mayo – this is meant to be downtime and the man is run ragged putting out fires everywhere!

    Thanks WJ for your time and for your commitment towards maintaining the high standards here; particularly towards those involved in Mayo GAA. Much appreciated and not an easy task, given that there are opinions here on all points of the spectrum and traffic is probably through the roof. It’s hard not to see some merit across most viewpoints on this, which is obviously what makes it such a difficult situation.

  94. On reflection I think the move from players is a big problem for mayo for the next few years.

    Even if they setup was poor and not taking from the fact that it’s the best bunch if players since the 50’s.

    The players unfortuantly have came up short in last few years and regardless who comes we will need to reshuffle.

    My concern how will players feel if for example Rockford comes in as deciseds for a new goalie, full back, centre backs and approach.
    The players are a close bunch obviously but I’m not sure how they will feel if some if the key players are handing there regular Gersey to a successor.

    I just see a but of unbalance and difficulties making hard decisions in next while.
    I feel we’re really in for a lean couple of years, I hope I’m wrong and the current lads win it outright next year,

    eitherway it will be a boom or bust season..

  95. I was thinking about that this morning. Realistically from year to year and especially if a new manager comes in.
    – Out of form players move out of the first 15, match day 26, or even training panel
    – Older players who are level on form with a younger guy, the manager may go for the younger guy with the obvious and frankly fair point that the younger guy is on an upward curve and footballers don’t improve in their early 30’s
    Looking at it like that for sure several players would be demoted either from starting, 26 or fully from the panel. That is just how any athletic team sport works.
    The players would be accepting of that surely. With the form and fitness of some of the young and fringe guys there will be changes.

  96. As an outsider I am slightly perplexed about all the negativity towards the Connaught newspaper. From various posts it would appear many feel the journalist in question has an agenda.

    He has also named 4 players that didn’t support vote of no confidence. I can understand sensitivities around the issue but if the journalist in question has solid sources on this (and clearly we don’t know if thats true) then as a journalist is this not exactly the type of thing he is paid to report on? The players may prefer no one knows the breakdown but they shouldn’t control the news on this and assuming (note: ASSUMING!) the information turns out to be correct are people saying he is still wrong to publish the names? I would disagree on that point I’m afraid.

    But happy to take some enlightenment on this point?

  97. Sean Burke I agree with you fully re the state of the nation. I was very disappointed with Martin Carney. I thought a lot of him up to this point. Not for the first time II am saying. You do not have to buy, read, support or contribute to the Connaught Telegraph. I stopped years ago. I deliberately buy their competitors offerings. You have people power in a lot more ways than you appreciate, so start using it..

  98. Cantini – have you read this piece that the same journalist wrote? This shows fairly clearly what the agenda is and who is driving it. The players are pawns in all this and naming the four lads looks suspiciously like a crude attempt at a divide and conquer strategy. For a local paper to allow itself to be used in this way is more than reprehensible.

  99. @ Cantini ,

    The journalists in question broke a piece in the past with solid sources that said James Horan and Donie Buckley had a massive fallout with Horan having walked from the Mayo job in the middle of a league campaign!!! That solid source was the journalist hearing that James Horan wasn’t at a training session in Castlebar , only Donie Buckley , and that Horan was in Dublin. What mr Woodward and Bernstein of the Connacht Telegraph didn’t know was the arrangement was for Horan to train the Dublin based players that day and Buckley to train the Mayo based players and they alternated between each group every other week.Did he bother to check , no he didn’t and out came the breaking story the next day!!

    This story also came hot on the heels of a very heated meeting between Horan and the Co Board over proposed changes to the training setup and Horan did formalise the access the local Journalists had to the players during his reign which seemed to annoy the journalist in question.He also penned a complete farce of a piece of how much the county team was costing the Co Board after the 2012 All Ireland final after Horan had a very heated meeting with the Board to finalise the plans for 2013 and review what was done in 2012.

    Personally it doesn’t matter to me if Andy or Lee or Tom voted for or against the management , that’s their choice but do you really think Andy or Lee especially wouldn’t put it out themselves that the voted one way or the other if the wanted the Mayo public to know this??? Why is it only players who voted for Holmes and Connelly being outed by this Journalist???

    The timeline of this with the Connacht Telegraph is , break the Story of the heave , put Lee’s name out as voted in favour of H&C , put out a ridiculously one eyed piece praising Pat Holmes , put Andy,Tom and Mark’s name out there the day after??? No sources named in any of these pieces!!!! Christ you wouldn’t have a hope of Willie Joe letting you away with so many rumours passed as fact in a post on this Blog would you Caintini?? Hahaha!!!!!

    In my opinion this looks like spin to ramp the pressure on the players in advance of the meeting tonight so the Co Board have a head start in case the players refuse to budge on the issues they have and it all blows up tomorrow. Let’s look at the players this source has revealed , Lee was probably our best player in Croker this year and a very high profile player in the squad who hasn’t ever said anything negative about the board or H&C , Andy the spiritual leader of the group and the fans hero through his honesty , Tom&Mark are seen as H&C’s players as they were both dropped by Horan and the start of his tenure only to return. Maybe I am being too paranoid but our Board have lied about worse in the past to spin the argument to protect their positions!!

    If I am wrong I am sure Willie Joe will make sure I email a full apology to the Journalist in question and the Connacht Telegraph!!!!

  100. Cantini the Connaught always seems to have the teamsheet the last few seasons in the early easier rounds in Connaught championship. They had Andy Moran known to be starting against Galway, a suprise to everyone on here.
    They broke the story when it wouldnt in anyways suit any of the players to break the story.
    They are naming these players with no direct quote or interview from any player when that wouldn’t suit the players.
    They write an article really doing down the panel of players. They were taking swipes at James Horan over an extended period. What does it all add up to? Well it looks like they have an inside track that the Western People or the Mayo news don’t have.



  102. observer, we don’t have to go through the amount of stuff on a seasonal basis and in particular right now that the management, backroom and players have to go through.
    We spend money on tickets etc, we bring a lot of support.
    The amount put on the line isn’t in anyways comparable. Management would be under a lot of stress right now, go down the town and but a litre of milk with this kind of stuff happening? We can all go about our business unhindered.

  103. Not that I am a supporter to retain management, but I would not envy them to be going about their working week right now. Would be a pretty horrible experience.

  104. I was thinking about this whole saga last night and I suspect some of the issues here relate to Funding.
    1. James Horan has disagreements with the County board over funding.
    2. Kevin McStay fails in his bid to become Mayo manager because his ‘package’ was too large?
    3. Pat&Noel take over the running the Senior team at a reduced Funding level to that sought by Kevin McStay (this has to be a fact?)
    4. The County Board are responsible for all Football in Mayo not just the shop window team.
    a. The County board are ‘constrained’ in respect of the debt owed on MacHale Park.
    b. The County board have to fund a lot more than just the Senior Inter County team.
    c. See the super Draft Strategic action plan 2011-2016 produced by the Mayo GAA strategic action plan committee for a holistic view of how things should work.
    5. Dublin (for one) had much more resources to fund their Senior Inter County team in 2015 than Mayo.
    a. Evidence of cryogenic chambers used to aid recovery between semi-final draw and replay.
    6. Donegal in 2012 had;
    a. A number of training camps in Lough Erne and in Johnstown house
    b. Players being flown from Dublin by helicopter for training before key games (such as all Ireland final)
    7. Any monies donated/pledged/gifted by us will not exclusively go towards funding the Senior team for 2016.
    8. What if;
    a. We set up a crowd funding page for this (administered by a committee of respected individuals)
    b. Audited accounts are produced to demonstrate where the money was spent.
    c. A goal to raise 100K per annum over the next 5 years
    d. I for one (though trying to fund college going Kids) would readily pledge €100 per annum for the next 5 years. (last year I had to gift my local Golf club an additional €100 on top of my subscription to bail them out, if I can do that for the golf club I could easily do it for this)
    e. 1000 people pledging €100 = €100,000.
    f. This fund (is it enough?) would assist the senior panel next year.
    g. https://www.icrowdfund.ie/ (Irish site, amounts raised appear to be in the thousands)
    h. https://www.kickstarter.com/ (International site, amounts raised go to the millions)



  105. Catcol – you didn’t equate opinions but you did say that what people are saying when commenting here is exactly the same as what the Connaught Telegraph are doing. Nothing, in my mind, could be further than the truth.

    I don’t believe that the vast majority of people who post comments here have an “anti-management and anti-County Board” agenda. Both have come in for criticism in recent days but there’s been plenty of sympathy expressed for Noel and Pat and much of the criticism levelled at the County Board goes back to what was done (under a different Chairman, I know) when the two lads were appointed. In contrast, the Connaught are pushing a very clear agenda and losing all credibility and respect in the process.

    I don’t accept either that trash-talking has gone on unimpeded on the site over the last few days. I’ve done more deleting of comments or editing out offending bits of them in the past 48 hours than I’ve ever had to do in an equivalent period before and the vast bulk of the comments that have gone up are, I think, fair and reasonable. Sure, people are exercised by current events but I do think the concerns being expressed are genuine and are being made by people who want the best for Mayo GAA.

  106. Thanks PJB Mayo (and Anne-Marie) – anyone who knows me will confirm that County Board Chairmanship is not something I crave. I find it hard to get through the odd juvenile committee meeting at the club! I don’t envy those who put themselves forward for the County Board either and do feel that they probably get more of a kicking than they often deserve.

  107. Citywest your post is well meaning and might have substance but people have no faith that the financial affairs of the board are transparent. The accounts shown at the annual convention are broad in their analysis. No detailed information is given and accounting and money handling practices (as in most counties) are suspect to say the least – biscuit tins, leather pouches, no match tickets, etc.. Very hard for a group to handle money over where such old fashioned practices are in place.
    The county board make a rod for their own back. Delegate meetings where all the decisions are made before the meeting and those that are not are handed back to the executive. Delegate meetings in chaos as multiple club representatives attend yet no polling indicators given out. Some clubs voting twice. Club delegates worn out by years attending with no replacements being put forward by clubs. PR virtually non-existent. Grey characters with no change for years. The assistant treasurer stated on election ‘he does not know a lot about finance’ (FFS!). No personalities.
    I feel the Board has indeed got a lot right but they just shoot themselves in the foot with bad PR, bad practices (leading to a lack of public confidence) and a lack of succession planning with the same faces year after year. The board needs a messiah.

  108. Fair enough lads. Seems this sort of stuff goes on in every county to be honest. If all national journalism should be taken with a grain of salt – and it most certainly should – then local stuff probably even more so falls in that category….but there is no denying its ability to polarise people.

  109. @ Sinabhuil exactly my point.
    This fund would not go anywhere near the County board, it would be administered by a Committee set up by us (or the Supporters club) all transparent with requests for funding coming from the team management directly to the fund.

    Presumably a budget for funding the Senior team is agreed in advance with the County board. This would supplement (but be separate from) that funding.

  110. Citywest – that’s an interesting proposal – something I’ve had some recent discussions with a work colleague on too.
    I think it’s time the fans had some involvement in fundraising but the county board put an end to something similar that was being done elsewhere a few years ago if I recall correctly.

  111. There is the players training fund lotto which was setup. I believe it is for preparation of teams at a few levels.

  112. @JP yes I contribute to the Lotto fund but not sure that this is enough.

    You would think that 1000 Mayo fans x 100 euro each would not be too difficult to manage, (of course there is the excellent Strategic plan that covered all of this and more but is effectively gathering dust).

    As most people say they would not trust the County board to have oversight on this they would see that their money is going into ‘the black hole’ instead of this specific purpose.

  113. Does anyone know was there players representatives involved in selecting H&C last year and if not why not? i believe there is a croke park directive to have players reps in selection of management.

  114. The Strategic plan gathering dust is a real frustration.
    In effect, James Horan coming in saved the CB as success on the pitch drew attention away from deficits highlighted by the plan.

    Also, a fan run players fund, if successful and significant, would result in CB slowly reducing funding to the senior team. “The supporters fund should pay for that”

  115. Hello, very impressed with the standard of the input to the crisis. I think it is higher than the actual football. I supported H&C over McStay to provide continuity and because they would have trust of the players.
    Now i will go with Spailpin on this one and hope Jamed Horan can come back for a year. Rochford looks good for the future
    Nothing against John Maughan either and really know nothing about the County Board, funding etc.
    I’d be very hopeful aboug tonight, the options are clear and Cillian and Keith will be able tp state their preference. Hope Aidan gets his say and Lee etc.
    More hopeful for next year than i was. Looking good. Ciaran 2.

  116. People need to remember that the Gaa in Mayo is far bigger than just the Mayo Senior team. The idea that fans should crowd fund solely for the senior team sounds like a good idea in theory but when examined, it is a shortsighted and a retrograde step. While it shows that the following and interest in the senior team is huge, the focus on other aspects of gaelic games is lacking (how many of the 30k in Croke Park in August were in Mchale Park last week….10 percent? ). The county boards mandate is the promotion of gaelic games and preperation of all intercounty teams in the county….this incudes senior hurling, minor hurling and football, u21 hurling and football,underage development squads etc. Why should this fund not include these teams? Are they not worthy of financial backing?. It will inevitably lead to conflicts down the road between the board and this fund. The idea of transparency and oversight through audited accounts mean damn all in reality. While people might argue that the current county board is not transparent, this idea will have the same problems. When you get outside benefactors and philanthropy in other institutions such as universities, these go in to capital projects. Crowd funding for more full time coaches? Great idea

  117. Surely Rochford is a superior option than Horan?
    – Horan still doesn’t believe in sweepers, listened to him on radio when that was being discussed
    – Reverting to the attacking wingbacks. Wing backs bombing up the pitch is not going to be effective in 2016.
    – Overly obsessed with tackling rather than implementing a practiced style of attacking play. Dublin are the target in 2016 and they don’t carry the ball into the tackle so much. They kick long to the corners and wings.
    – Very slow to drop certain players no matter what their form. Only Alan Freeman had to be at his best on the pitch or was dropped.

  118. I agree J P. What ever happens tonight or later on ,the last thing we need is James Horan coming back in and doing the same as he did for the last 4 years . WE need to change our backs to learn how to play the sweeper system correctly ,and to coach the forwards not in the running down blind alleys game ,but kicking long and diagonal ball into full forward line . IF we are going to change Managers ,lets get someone who can coach in the above fields ,and work with the county board and the finances that is available to them .

  119. Will there be live updates of tonight’s meeting tweeted on the Mayo GAA Twitter account?

  120. Was jesting WJ! But yes more than enough dirty linen on display already. The less hashtags that are created because of this mess the better


  121. In Mayo when Plan A doesn’t work we revert to ‘digging in’.
    We are always shocked to discover that we might need Plan B or God forbid Plan C.
    Last year we had the opportunity to give Holmes/Connelly the gig for one year & then McStay/McHale the gig for the following year thereby keeping both options for ourselves.
    Instead we gave one option to our opposition & the other option a FULL 3 YEARS when it was patently obvious from the start that this option would be hard pressed to survive YEAR 1 if it failed to deliver Sam. This is the reality with a mature team in waiting.
    There are no 3 year plans … it’s year to year.
    We don’t do succession planning in Mayo … we are too busy congratulating ourselves on retaining our own positions with our wonderful Plan As.
    Three years with everything hunky dory.
    Same scenario on the playing field …. if a midfielder is blackcarded or injured well what a shock that is … nobody could have anticipated that !
    We had a Plan A for funding as well but alas that is now heavily compromised with repayments on a stand in a pitch that couldn’t attract one championship match in 2015.
    We reap what we sow I’m afraid.
    Hope something can be salvaged out of this … perhaps we could start with a 1 year plan.

  122. We were not good enough to win this year. Has anybody even mentioned that?
    Mayo were not the best team this year, Dublin were. They are better forwards and a better bench. Tactics come into it sure but there is no one reason for loosing a match but a combination of mistakes and also the ability of players.

  123. James Horan is a great guy and did a lot for Mayo, in my opinion he is not the anwser we need to look forward not back, sure James will probaly get us to a quarter final and maybe a semi but when the pressure comes on hes not the best tactician in the world, theers no shame in that either not everyone is a great tactician but this team deserves the best but they need to do their stuff on the field too

  124. It is hard to see our chairman going to too much trouble to get the right management giving his close family connection to the present management I think he should do the right thing for the future of Mayo football and resign.Start over with a new board no baggage or no personal agendas and all back the new manager and work together with finance and logistics to help us achieve our ultimate goal.Last year the Monday morning after the drawn match with kerry the team had a recovery pool session this year they didn’t meet up until Wednesday evening Horan had a much more professional approach.

  125. Steve, Dublin had the better footballers overall if thinking purely in terms of footballing ability. However we were well able to overmatch them in terms of height, size and power upfront if we had played our hand smart.
    More especially when Dublin lost one of their physically strongest defenders in Rory OCarroll. You dont need the most skillful footballers to win a football match. Size and power go a long way. We had the tallest, physically strongest panel of the top 4 teams and we completely underused that advantage.

  126. On the size advantage many commented on here it was insane carrying so many short players on the bench. If you were a novice to Gaelic football you’d think “Isn’t there an advantage in having lots of tall guys?”

  127. Its views like Reekview that has this County shagged. What did this chairman do wrong?
    He was not the chairman when H & C were appointed. Your opinion is that we get rid of anyone that has anything to do with H & C. We all wanted to get rid of Horan and Paddy Mc. This was done and now we want to get rid of H&C and M C. and start all over. Start all over what? Would it not be fair to say get rid of some players who have never performed on the big day and start all over. Think about it? You say last year the team had a pool session after drawn game and fuck all it done for the replay, same result. So your dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t . Lets wait and see when the fat lady sings.

  128. TrueGrit. Sorry but that attitude isnt much better. Of course the pool sessions helped. To say that, because we didnt win, therefore it made no difference, is ridiculous. You have to prepare properly. The Dublin squad were in oxygen tanks the morning after the first game. That is the level of preperation we are talking about here. Poor preperation, or even worse, a lack of it, is simply not acceptable. If they, or any other manager for that matter, isnt prepared to do it, then they dont belong in the job. If they didnt know it was involved, then they were i’ll prepared for the job. Either way, it’s not acceptable.

    On the topic of the chairman. He hasnt done anything wrong that we know of, but the arrangement is definately up for questioning. He was supposed ot be the players liason officer, isnt it strange that they fect they couldnt liase with him instead of going down the route they did? Im not trying to cast aspersions, but it is something to consider in depth.

  129. Well I was and still am a big supporter of james horan and if he ca e back I would be happy,also I was happy with pat and noel but they have lost the players, so they have to go,I think they tried their best but the players know what is best so we have to respect them I feel very sorry for pat and noel and want to thank them for their efforts and hope that they go gracefully. Who will we get either Steven or james seems most likely so I hope the county board do the right thing for once and act quickly

  130. ‘The best team won it’ is a phrase often used and is one of those sentiments that people find it hard to disagree with. We were the best team in ’96 and probably ’13 also, yet we won nothing. We had the beating of Dublin twice. I’m really beginning to think, in light of what’s going on now, that the players almost beat the eventual All Ireland champions despite the restrictions the management/county board put on them, not because of their guidance. A decent man he may be but my face was red with embarrassment listening to Vincent Neary on Newstalk. I can’t help but see the parallel between politicians who don’t get it that they work for the people and the county board who don’t get it that its the players that count, not their jobs. The players, more than any of us know how close they came and what’s wrong on the inside. Cillian and Keith, play with such integrity and honesty on the field and I don’t doubt their sincerity for a second. I met Noel Connelly in Gaelic park over 10 years ago after Mayo had beaten New York and he was couldn’t have been nicer. But that’s the thing, it’s nothing to do with niceness, good intentions etc. We all want to win the All Ireland and we have to give the players the best chance to do it.

  131. Can anyone answer me the question, who’s the mole leaking the info to the Connaught Telegraph? I’d love to know. Or is the author in question making it up as he goes along?

  132. A huge thank you, Willie Joe for all your good work. We all want to see a fast resolution to the present problem. I have no doubt that Noel and Pat will do the right thing and step back. They gave of their best and can walk with their heads held high.

  133. News

    Between 20&25 players left the meeting 15mins ago. They came in small groups.

  134. I wonder did they just hand in their list of grievances to the county board and that was it.

  135. Jesus the way the CB were going on about it you’d swear that it was going to be all on the table. Were Pat and Noel there? Was the Connaught Telegraph there so they can put up something online I wonder… >:(

  136. Just on the the Mayo News website:

    Large delegation of Mayo squad attend crisis meeting

    Edwin McGreal

    APPROXIMATELY 30 players from the Mayo Senior Football team attended a scheduled review meeting with Mayo GAA Board officials at MacHale Park, Castlebar tonight (Wednesday). The Mayo News understands that they spoke with Board officials for approximately ten minutes before leaving, and they had no comment to make when exiting. It was expected that the players would be represented by just their two player reps, 2015 captain Keith Higgins and vice-captain Cillian O’Connor. However, the large turn out appears to be a show of strength from the players, a large majority of whom passed a motion of no confidence in current joint-managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly 12 days ago. This was relayed to the management by Keith Higgins and Cillian O’Connor at a meeting on Sunday night last. The story broke in two publications on Tuesday morning, including The Mayo News. The Mayo GAA County Board held an emergency Executive meeting last night (Wednesday) to discuss the impasse.It is understood that their representatives at tonight’s talks included Chairman Mike Connelly and Secretary Vincent Neary. There has been no official statement as of yet from the players, the County Board or the management since the story broke on Tuesday morning. The Mayo News understands that among the players who did not attend were some of the Dublin-based players along with Ballina duo Ger Cafferkey and Evan Regan, both of whom are out of the country.The issue is expected to be discussed again at an Executive meeting of the Mayo GAA Board this coming weekend.

  137. Outside the Pale – sadly, I don’t think I can let that comment from you go on the site. As it’s currently worded it would, in effect, identify the individuals in question, both in terms of their role in the crisis and in the leak to the press, something that cannot be independently verified. For what it’s worth, I don’t think your version of the story may be a million miles from the truth – it chimes closely with the most believable theory I’ve heard – but none of this can be proven. If you want to have another go at putting the point across in a more nuanced way, please do.

  138. If the number of players that turned up at the meeting is correct at 30, then it appears that more players have joined the heave and the insidious attempts to divide the players has backfired. The overwhelming response I get from talking to people both inside and outside the county is that things must have been very poor in the camp when this bunch of players felt the need to resort to this action.
    I think the county board has hugely underestimated the levels of admiration and esteem in which this current generation of players are held by the people of Mayo. Then again they seem to have a knack of missing the obvious signs of dissatisfaction.
    Looks like we’ll have to wait till they publish their press release through Aiden and the Conn Telegraph.

  139. Put my name down for that 100 euro x 1000 idea.

    It’s a great idea, we as supporters could bring something positive to this negative period . It would help lessen the burden of senior team funding for 2016. Organise a meeting for say before the county final and put it into action.

  140. Sinabhuill,

    I’m afraid that the independent supporters club you suggest would be totally illegal under GAA rules. The County Board must be in sole control of all matters within the county, financial and otherwise. This was one of the conditions of Croke Park getting involved in the MacHale Park baleout in the first place and is a condition of Croke Park’s involvement and supervision of all Co Boards. This does not prevent finance raised by a supporters club being used solely for county teams. What is needed is a financial plan set out clearly in advance. We know – or should know – what the repayments on MacHale Park is. We know – or should know – what the cost of maintaining county teams in training is. OK, it depends on how long they remain in the championship but one budgets to meet one’s expectations, i.e. the All Ireland final for the current Mayo seniors, the All Ireland final for either U21 or minor but unlikely for both. We should know what the fundraising capacity of the Board and supporters club is and if on the face of it the fundraising and expenditure expectations do not meet than heads have to get together to make them meet. That is financial planning.
    Regards succession planning, that is what we had when Mike Connolly became Chairman, The Vice Chairman succeeds the outgoing Chairman. The Asst. Secretary succeeds the Secretary etc. It has it’s advantages but the trouble is it leads to a clique developing within the Board and if you are not a member of the clique you do not succeed to anything. And if you ask awkward questions at Board meetings you will not be asked to succeed – or be successful.

  141. Sean Burke,

    Are you a member of Cairde Maigh Eo? That is effectively a €100 per member scheme, €200 per member less the cost of the Season Club ticket to Croke Park. Cairde Maigh Eo is the only Supporters Club permitted under GAA rules and should be organising all fundraising activities in the County, e.g supporters get togethers before big matches etc. However I never heard of any such efforts from Cairde Maigh Eo.

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