Global connectivity and Galway (not forgetting London)

When will the blog be back up


The draws for the 2016 provincial championships were held last night – several months too early, as per usual with the GAA – but I haven’t had much time to think about the pairings. This is because bits of the internet, in particular the bit connecting the EU to the US, got a bad dose of constipation yesterday evening which meant that access from here to some websites based in the US (where this site is hosted, on Site Ground) was – and still is – affected over some networks. This has meant that the blog has been inaccessible to some of you and the problem is an ongoing one.

The two main networks impacted here appear to be Virgin Media (The Artist Formerly Known as UPC) and eir (The Artist Formerly Known As Eircom). The only reason I’m able to tell you all this is because Vodafone’s 4G network, which I love that little bit more today, isn’t affected and so access to the blog works fine over it.

I gather the problem is some kind of unspecified multiple country, multiple operator issue, which at this stage has nerds in several locations furiously pointing the finger of blame somewhere else. Fifteen hours or so and counting later, however, the issue is still there and there’s no sign of it being sorted.

UPDATE: the nerds can now stand down as the problem appears to be resolved (as of 3.15pm).

Anyway, thank the Good Lord and His Holy Mother for 4G and back to last night’s football draw. Assuming we avoid the kind of catastrophe that damn near befell us the last time we played over in Ruislip back in 2011, our preliminary round match against London next May should be followed by a semi-final against Galway the following month. As we got to sample the delights of Salthill this year, we’ll be facing the Tribesmen on home turf in 2016.

Indeed, after a year that saw no senior inter-county championship action at all, MacHale Park is likely to play host to two big Connacht championship clashes next year. With ourselves and Galway paired for the second year in a row on one side of the draw, the Rossies have once again been handed a soft enough gallop to the provincial final. This time, with a hard Division One league campaign behind them and perhaps a management team that has a better idea of what it’s about, it’d rank as underachievement on a heroic scale were they fail to make next year’s Connacht final.

So for the fourth year in a row, our handy uncompetitive Connacht campaign in 2016 sees us having, at least potentially, to get past both Galway and Roscommon. But at least, like the Dubs (or maybe not like them if the Leinster Council finally dispatch the Jacks to the shires for their opening provincial tie next year) we’ll get to play all our games at home. Apart from London, of course – dammit, I knew I’d forget them.

80 thoughts on “Global connectivity and Galway (not forgetting London)

  1. If i ever bought the Connacht Telegraph I think I would stop buying it now.

    What does the paper want. Does it want the players to come out and wash all their dirty linen in public. Should what was in the letter not be dealt with between the Mgt, County Board and Players. John Maughan seems to be of the same opinion. He seems to want the players to tell the whole country what was wrong in the management set up last year.

    I think Aidan Henry is only a ghost writer at the Connacht Telegraph.

  2. There will be no details given about anyone’s short comings and that’s the way it should be. Some want to know the nitty gritty but it won’t happen, these players have one goal in mind and they won’t be distracted by people on the outside. Holmes and Connelly have left because they knew it was game over and were not going to risk a player strike and another lost year for Mayo if they tried to stay and fight. We should thank them.
    As far as provincial 2016 I think Galway are the only threat and even they are a moderate rather than serious, Ross are a limited side and Sligo are similar. The way Mayo have acted since that semi defeat you would have to say they mean business next year and they could win Connaught at a canter. I would like to see Mayo get horan back ASAP and settle in and really aim to win the league, go balls out to win it and then reset for championship. Just become a total bully to all on the field and let anyone that does best them know they really earned it the hard way.

  3. Nicely put WJ….we’ll be doing our best in Sligo to again help the Rossies to “heroic underachievement”….jaysus its great to get back in the long grass where we do our best work, that finely sheered croker surface didn’t suit us at all.

  4. The Rossies have to get past Leitrim before they worry about any Sligo fellas in long grass.

    Anybody know where Leitrim v Ross would be played? Could there be a beast waiting in long grass in Pairc Sean Mac for the Rossies or will that game be in the Hyde.

    Sligo v Ross would be in the Hyde i think so i cant see the Rossies slipping up there.

    Surely a Mayo v Ross final and a lot will be made of the fact that it was 30 years since Ross last beat Mayo in Castlebar in the championship. What an awful day that was in 86. The disappointment went on for months.

  5. Al things considered – Sligo’s surprise for the Rossies this year and the presence of a new management team [who tradtionally do well in their first year] – it would be underachievement on a truly heroic scale if the Rossies do not make it to the Connacht Final in 2016. Regardless of where they meet Leitrim to lose there would be a monumental result. Leitrim are wallowing in Div 4 of the league for years now without really threatening to escape. Their turnover of players indicates that they have little hope of achieving anything worthwhile. And to lose twice in a row to Sligo would astonish even Oscar Wilde – “to lose one might be considered unfortunate, to lose two would be carelessness” or something like. I would expect it to be more competitive in Connacht next year. It will be interesting to see how the league goes – can Galway escape from Div 2 and can Roscommon hold on in Div 1.

  6. It’s very important to listen to the message. It’s equally important that the right to publish and air ones views and opinions. This is where the reader becomes important, they are the most important part of the equation, they, the reader is intelligent and they will draw their own conclusions from any writhing or opinion.

    Reading the Connacht Telegraph piece I have to say it set me thinking. Is it a colour piece, is it an opinion piece , is it the C/Ts sports department editorial view on the current Mayo situation? Or is it the writers own views. I have read it a number of times , on face value, for deeper issues or the unsaid. I have to say it has stumped me.

    It appears the writer has a very strident view of what has happened. And that’s the real issue, what HAS happened is in the past, cannot be undone or taken back. Is the writer actually correct in saying that the county board and delegates need the players to list out what, why and wherefore of the former managers removal? What will the achieve?

    From afar my belief is that there is no mystery, no hidden agendas outside or within the players, it was a simple non sticking of the glue within the county set up of not setting and staying intact . The chemistry simply wasn’t there and no amount of inquests will change that.

    The issue here is this, it’s what do we do next and that’s all that matters. The Connacht Telegraph didn’t address that. However if as the writer from the C:T suggests that nothing is going to happen until the board gets answers to the “bombshell” can I suggest the following. The county chairman who was also board liaison to the players and the county secretary both give interviews stating that all was hunky dory within the then set up after the Dublin loss. The question for me is not why the players did what they did, the question is how come both those men and the board itself didn’t see the warning signs. From the east coast I sensed all wasn’t well and thst was long before August.

    Digging irrelevant whys and why nots of the past is futile. The pertinent question is how come this crack came and was missed at executive level. The players have taken a courageous step. Subjecting them to any inquest or questioning is infantile and wasteful and will not be welcomed by that great imponderable abroad, the long suffering ordinary decent and loyal Mayo follower.

  7. Yes I too was really surprised to read the piece in the CT regarding James Horan’s behind the scenes influence on events which led to the player’s revolt.
    I guess James feels that he deserves another chance and maybe that is what is required now. A least then we can all agree once and for all that it is nothing to do with the management but rather the inability of this group of players to handle the pressure and massive expectations when it gets to the final stages.
    James did a fine job by taking an All Ireland winning under 21 team and making them competitive at senior level but unfortunately was not ruthless enough to take them over the line. He was too friendly with a clique of players and was too afraid to make the necessary changes when they were clearly required. He would feel even greater loyalty to these current players now, after they have shown him such loyalty in implementing his coup.
    Therefore I agree with the previous opinion that a clean slate is required. Players that are not performing or are shown signs that they are not able to handle the big day pressure should be dropped. There is sufficient talent coming through that none of these players should feel they are guaranteed a starting place. We could waste a year with JH or start fresh with Rochford now.

  8. You are dead right John Cuffe and there are of course agendas and layers to this.

    I am going to go for the simple answer.

    The players were simply not prepared to go to the player liaison officer and tell him that the management team which included his brother was not in their opinion fit for purpose.

    The simple fact is that the county board picked the wrong man to be liaison.
    Vincent Neary reminded me of the old Mike Murphy show ” I was stunned”

    This conflict of interest was always going to occur and the players were the ones to suffer for it. On and on it will ever be. These lads learn nothing at all

  9. Done Deal & Dave.

    Maybe you’re both right; Maybe we should all continue to keep our heads buried in the sand! Ask no questions, in case we do not like the answers. Turn a blind eye. Ridicule anyone with a different view.

  10. Quincey – if I were you, I wouldn’t be making any conclusions based on that utter pile of muck written by Aidan Henry in the Connaught Telegraph. That guy hasn’t a shred of credibility where it comes to writing about Mayo GAA and I wouldn’t take a single word of his at face value. His latest piece – the one you refer to – is just the latest disgraceful edition in a truly shameful and disingenuous series. As for the rest of what you’ve said, that’s your opinion but not one I’d share in any way.

  11. John, I for one would really like to know what is behind all this. You said that you cannot believe how ‘those men and the board itself didn’t see the warning signs.’ What warning signs are you talking about? Are you talking about people posting on this blog? Surely, this blog is not the forum for players to raise serious issues with management or with the Country Board. Other posters that have made reference to standards dropping have not been able to provide any examples even when pressed to do so other than to make reference to what is available in the public domain. Well I haven’t seen anything in the public domain that would represent a dropping of standards and so it is for this reason that I think it is vitally important that we have full transparency now and get full clarification from the players on what their issues are. How can we go forward if we don’t deal with the issues of the past? The Connaught Telegraph poses questions. The players must provide the answers..

  12. Sean O’Reilly – careful there, you’re sailing a bit too close to the wind there in terms of playing the person(s) rather than the ball. Everyone has a right to state their opinion here, providing the points they put across are set out in a fair way within the house rules.

  13. Magic mayo if we are having a show and tell then maybe you can call on the board to provide answers as well?

    Has funding been reduced and why ?
    What were the exact circumstances around the h & c appointment
    Plenty other questions as well

  14. In terms of the warning signs, Magic Mayo, I too heard rumblings of discontent going back over several months (which was nothing to do with what anyone might have been posting here on the blog – I don’t think that’s in any sense relevant in this respect) so it was no real surprise when things came to a head when they did. Indeed, from what I was hearing the only surprise to me was that it took as long as it did to happen. I don’t think either that it’s credible for anyone on the County Board to claim that the revolt came as a surprise to them – if those of us outside the tent knew something like this was brewing, those inside it must surely have known about these warning signs too.

  15. Weren’t the Connaught Telegraph the first to report the news of unrest with H&C? i think they were also first with the news that McStay,McHale wouldn’t get the Mayo senior job last year. They are now more or less saying Horan will return, no doubt they have written some utter pile of muck over the years however they seem to have some inside knowledge all the same.

  16. One piece of info that I would be taking from that piece of rubbish in the Connaught Telegraph is that according to the author it looks odds on that James Horan will be taking over again. If we can believe what he says, then it will be very interesting to see what his back room team will be. Will Buckley and Solan be staying on. Will Stephen Rochford be part of the new set-up. If it is to be John Maughan taking over the U21s (although you’d prefer someone else after his recent comments), maybe Stephen might be part of his set-up as both hail from Crossmolina and have worked together before. He could actually be a good link man between the two teams, the senior and U21 teams, if he has the time! We’ll see how it goes anyway.

  17. Well WJ, let’s hear what these rumblings were? What issues were you aware of that were so serious you were surprised it took so long to remove H &C?

  18. Sorry WJ. I certainly wasn’t trying to attack anyone’s right to have an opinion.

    Just trying to get my own point across, that the hard questions need to be asked for the sake of the future of Mayo football, and that we shouldn’t always shoot the messenger if we don’t like his opinions.

  19. Magic Mayo – I’m not going there, there’s no point and nothing whatsoever to be gained from doing so. Noel and Pat are gone (and went with good grace, to their great credit) and the only issue of relevance now is who the new manager is going to be.

  20. Sean o Reilly, my head is not buried in sand, I just don’t see the point of publicly airing grievances for the sake of it. We have to trust the judgement of the players, Sean, have you played in Croker in 6 semi finals in 4 years? Or 2 finals in 2 years? No? Well, they have and that has given them the right to kick up a stink and look for a better management if they think it’s needed.
    The words and opinion of a guy like cillian o Connor that scores high pressure penalty against Dublin carries far more weight than any county board man ever will. It’s not a case of the tail wagging the dog, in this case the Mayo players are the dog and the rest involved are the tail. Rochford will have a busy time with the club in Galway so he won’t be involved just yet, horan is the only alternative and he will be welcomed by the players and listened to.

  21. I do not read the CT, especially the writer refereed to here. If half of what you say is true John Cuffe then I despair for the future of our fine team. Following the glory days of the last 5 years if this team were to face some kind of interrogation session I believe this would be the last straw for one loyal Mayo supporter for more than the last half a century.

  22. That’s fine, Sean – I wouldn’t disagree with any of that. I’m not sure, though, that what’s being written in the Connaught Telegraph is simply the work of a messenger. And aren’t messengers just supposed to pass on messages, not engage in spinning?

  23. WJ, with all respect, you should not be making statements of that nature unless you you are prepared to back them up with facts. The sooner the County Board gets to the bottom of this, the better.

  24. I don’t get the need for everyone to know what the problem was , obviously there was a problem , doh. What the hell would the players go to the trouble for , we’ve all heard the players speak from time to time , they are smart lads, there has never been an issue with discipline or the likes . They are a tight bunch who thought long and hard and went with a decision they thought was for the better of Mayo football , that is good enough for me and it should be good enough for every other person who wants Mayo to progress.

    The manure that yer man Henry writes isn’t worth bothering about at this stage, fook him .

  25. Statements of what nature, Magic Mayo? All I said is that I too (like many others) heard the rumblings of discontent. That’s all there is to say about it. If the County Board’s priority is, as you suggest, getting to the bottom of it, then God help us all. I say the sooner they stop fannying around and appoint the new manager, the better.

  26. Dave, you make my point well for me. Now, who is the dog’s master(s)? That is the $60m question.

  27. It seems that some posters want the players to dance on Holmes & Connelly’s grave, so to speak. The players had issues with management which led them to express lack of confidence in them and the managers decided after some thought to depart the scene. The players made their move in such a way as to avoid any humiliation for the managers which is to their credit. How the CT got the story I do not know for certain but I am sure it was not from any of the players. As far as I can see the CT is being used by CB powers as their covert mouthpiece. CB is more likely in my opinion to have leaked the news that Horan is the players preferred manager and it is more than willing to blame Horan for inciting the players. If I am not mistaken it has form for attacking Horan in the past.
    I was not aware until this blew up that Mike Connolly was the Liaison Officer but I do recall last year forecasting that having the Chairman’s brother in the management front seat was likely to end in trouble. Sitting too close to the fire is never a good idea, esp. if inclined to fall asleep. It seems to me that the CB have developed into an insiders club, with everybody singing from the same hymn sheet. When have we last had a real contest for one of the top jobs between people with contrasting ideas? The summary dismissal of Liam Horan’s report without debate was a symptom of this clubbiness.
    For me the players have more right than anybody to point the direction in which they want to go. Nobody has invested more into Mayo football over the past five years than they and nobody can say they have a better idea of where they fell short than the players. Their loyalty and commitment to the cause has been outstanding. How many players have walked away in that time?

  28. Sean, I think the dogs masters are the hundreds of thousands of Mayo people that have have dreamt of seeing Mayo win Sam again since 1951. I think this dog we have today is a champion pedigree and he knows what he needs to be the champion. Thank God.

  29. Henry in the Conn Tellygraph is some shit stirrer. He has been having a go t JH during his 4 years in charge and even when he is no longer manager this heave is still Horans fault. There is little doubt but that he is being fed from some one within or close to the Co Board or previous management and maybe he will be right and that the players want JH and that he will be back. BUT its the other bullshit in his article that I take even greater issue with. Obviously we have such an easy run to the final according to Henry no pitfalls in Connacht or AIQF or SF And then the best of all. The previous management have sorted our defensive frailties. Did they really. Is that why Galway scored 2 goals against us, Sligo did the same and the Dubs hit us for 3 in 10 minutes. With the exception of the Donegal game our defence was porous all year. He talks about unearthing DOC and Tom Parsons. I agree that both were excellent this year but both were used last year as well Diarmaid is a year older better and wiser a natural progression and Tom showed how an injury free year can give great benefits. He then suggested that H and C had found Aidens proper position at FF Now while Aiden was outstanding there v Galway and Sligo, one would have to say that with the exception of his brilliant goal v Donegal his 3 games at FF in Croker were not a success mainly I would say because he was utilised poorly and isolated and the ball into him was poor. Henry fails to point out that a large number of our players did not perform as well this year as previous years. That may have been due to a dip in form or maybe the management did not get the best out of them.We have had a bloodless coup in Mayo. The players have shown strength and unity. H and C have shown dignity and grace in stepping down. It should be left at that. Only those involved know the real reasons for what happened and in truth no one else has a right to kn ow so to suggest that its for the benefit of Mayo football that all questions have to be answered is pure nonsense. What WILL benefit Mayo football is appointing a new manager, getting proper structures in place and all pulling together. The players have been brilliant for 5 years and Iam sure they will be brilliant again given the proper circumstances. Hon Mayo

  30. The interesting thing about the drivel that Mr Henry writes is that the paper he writes for rarely puts anything online.

    It is agenda driven and we can all guess the source of his recent pieces. The message is clear the County Board are going to be vindictive to the players for what was done to the last management and people associated with them. There is an imstruction to the clubs in what is said that if you vote for James who is probably the players choice then you might be going against the wishes of the leaders and that might affect your club.

    It’s one dirty pile of shit.

    Interesting to remember the same paper had exclusives on Mayo teams during the Summer too

  31. All this leaves the question of what the County Board are doing, very urgent.

    A Rochford appointment, may well be the answer, but at the moment, all he will be concerned about is beating Mohill on Sunday week, the day of the Mayo county final. And if Corofin win that, they will be out again on 8 November, the day the Mayo winners play the Rossie reps. Nor of course will he have seen much of the build up matches in Mayo.

    So Rochford certainly won’t be busy unearthing any new Mayo talent over the next couple of months, appointed or not.

  32. Great Dave, thanks for the nomination to be joint manager, along with 130,000 of my fellow county men. All decisions could be taken democratically by vote, if the players will allow it!

    But seriously, why should we have blind faith in the players. The reason I used the term ‘burying our heads in the sand’ is exactly because of comments like ‘if the players decided that they want new management, then that’s good enough for me’. Remember also, if as reported is true, we are not talking about a unanimous decision by the players here.

    You say that the players know what’s required to be a champion. Have I missed something? Did they actually win one of those championships in the past 5 years?

    As I have stated before, my preference is for a fresh start with Stephen Rochford as manager. The problem is, would he be acceptable to the players’ paymasters, whoever they may be? Therefore, I would not like to see Stephen, or any other candidate for that matter, be appointed to the job under such a cloud.

    All cards need to be on the table before any appointment is made. Otherwise, we risk getting into an even worse situation than the one we find ourselves in now.

  33. Quincey, trotting out,willy nilly, the old chestnut that JH was too close to a clique of players is an opinion that you’re entitled to, but to me iits just barroom bullshit

  34. Sean, you’re forgetting the way the last management was chosen and the cards were definitely not on the table for that one. Kevin mcstay was told to just play along and pretend he was interviewed and that he accepts the decision to go with the other management team, is that acceptable? It was said loud and clear right after they were named as managers that credibility would be an issue and it turned out that way, go back and check out the posts from the time it happened. In my view, the players have way more credibility and sense about who or what is needed than any county board people and they should be definitely involved, even if it’s done in a private meeting and the county board guys are publicly made look like the bosses. This of course is just my opinion and not necessarily how it will go. You are correct in saying Mayo did not win in the last 5 years but they’re very close and that’s why we need to keep pushing and get everything right for 2016.

  35. Dave.
    One of the problems with Kevin McStay was the players did not want Liam McHale. So how does that make them credible. And do you suggest that all of the players meet the cb, or just the ring leaders? The players are starting to sound like the Knights who say “Ni” in that famous Monty Python sketch, changing their demands to suit the situation.

    From what I can see, there is a common thread here; Anyone who writes an article against the players actions or James Horan’s possible involvement is writing complete drivel/nonsense/bs. However, anyone who praises the players actions, and by extension James Horan, should be awarded the Booker Prize or made Poet Laureate.

    Of course it’s your opinion, but if you want to keep revisiting the past, then start getting the usual excuses ready for next year – The ref, The venue, The injuries, Bad luck, The weather, The draw, etc. etc.

    We just need to sort out the present issues, in order to start again with a clean slate for the new manager. Preferably Stephen Rochford, or someone of that ilk that is not divisive, but let’s not do Groundhog Day again please.

  36. Sean

    you are right in saying that they allegedly didnt want mchale, but, thats not the point, the point is the way mcstay way played and cast aside while being told to say that he should just pretend all is well and that he accepts that a better management was installed after the interviews. Liam Mchale went on radio and told exactly what had went down, what happened was a complete joke and destroyed county board credibility, and the vincent neary goes on radio 2 weeks ago and said he was caught by complete surprise that there was unrest within the panel ! the chinese woman behind the counter in the chinese takeaway had heard there was unrest and one of our high ranking officials hadnt? incredible stuff. You couldnt make it up.

    Maybe the county board are waiting to see if corofin proceed and there must be a date in mind that if he and corofin are still involved in the club competition they will install a new manager and maybe come back to him down the road sometime. My choice would be jim mcguinness but it will hardly happen, and theres not much of a choice after him for such a high profile team so close to the breakthrough. Horan is the only other answer it seems.

  37. Just an opinion or two on management or lack of, on media reporting certain facts or opinions and John Maughans backing of the County Board (Holmes/Connelly) Firstly, I think it’s very likely that Horan will be back managing Mayo, Now did Horan stir up a coup? I don’t think so, I’d say he’s friendly with some of the Mayo players. At best and this is just an opinion he may have indicated a willingness to come back. But that doesn’t equate to starting a coup. Taken collectively this is not only the best Panel, most committed but also the best educated Panel Mayo has ever been privileged to have I think it was a collective decision. By no means unamous, but with the decision made they stuck to their guns and showed a united front to the world and indeed the county board. For good or I’ll, they made their decision. It’s a gamble but a nessary gamble. But that decision was to get H&C to step aside, not to replace them with Horan. The second point I want to make our about the the Connacht telegraph’s Aiden Henry wanting Mayo players to give reasons for dissatisfaction with H&C, well that’s just ridiculous. Different player would have different reasons, Any player that thinks he may be replaced by the new manager might have no fault with H&C but more importantly whoever replaces H&C will not be perfect either, so what’s the point it would just be seeds for discontent in the future. Of a president was made now to do this

  38. I’ll finish my point. I inadvertantly posted. If the players made the short comings of H&C public now. A precedent like that would undermine the new management and team. The media would be even more keen to know any tiny cracks or strains in the collective. These cracks could become fissures depending who in the media gets the inside info.Sometimes the old adage “the least said, the soonest mended” runs true. Finally as for John Maughans backing of H&C and the county board. Well John of currently looking for the U21 job. If he doesn’t back the county board would be get the job? You never hear a back bencher criticize the Taoiseach when he thinks he might be in line for a junior ministry. Just the reality of politics

  39. I have just been catching up on the entertaining posts. LeanTimes, the point about this panel being the most educated is pretty ridiculous when you consider the panels over the last 25 years. I am thinking of the late 90’s. There were Doctors, Barristers, Engineers, Lecturers, Bank Managers, IT professionals. I am sure the guys are all smart, but I didn’t know there were any neuro physicists in the mix.

  40. I have just been catching up on the comments posted here over the last couple of days and there seems to be a certain aversion at the moment to anything coming from the Connaught Telegraph. To provide a bit of balance, I came across this article in the Mayo News which I thought was very good. It is written by George Hook who has no axe to grind with anybody on the topic of Mayo Football. It provides food for thought.
    The article is below.

    Dear sirs,
    CONGRATULATIONS on your recent upheaval. I am not an expert on the ins and outs of Mayo football, but I must admit to feeling a bit surprised when I heard of your dissatisfaction with last season’s management team.
    Moves of this nature are certainly not unheard of in the history of the GAA, but I would struggle to name many football managers that bit the bullet after leading a county team to an All- Ireland semi-final, in their first season in charge.
    From what I can gather, the overwhelming majority of the panel felt that they could not continue to play under the guidance of Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly for reasons that have, so far, remained undisclosed.
    But I would be interested to hear the players’ views on this. Was there one major issue with the management that was unacceptable? Or was there a long list of grievances that the panel felt were insurmountable?
    A vote of no con?dence in the immediate aftermath of an unsuccessful All-Ireland semi-?nal suggests to me that perhaps passions and frustrations got the better of reason and judgement.
    After all, the season is only just ?nished. The dust has barely settled on the 2015 Championship, so it is dif?cult to believe that the players gave this matter the due consideration and fair process that it unquestionably deserved.
    And, even in the event that this move has been some time in the making, surely the better option would have been to sit tight, think it through over the next few weeks and deliver it when the disappointment of this campaign had subsided?
    As it stands, one can only presume that this was a snap judgement and reaction to yet another fruitless campaign.
    There are no winners here, only losers. And I choose my words carefully so as I am not misunderstood. Because, while the players may feel like they have won this small battle, ultimately, the process of victory – and all that it entails – is not something that any of them seem to truly understand.
    I know this because Mayo are still chasing an elusive Sam Maguire for the ?rst time since 1951. Forget about curses, or any voodoo nonsense, the reason Mayo have continually come up short is because of a failure to deliver on the ?eld of play.
    That may sound harsh, but maybe it’s time for a reality check. There is no short-cut to success and glory in elite level sport. I’m quite certain, deep down, the players are fully aware of this. The route to triumph at the highest level is built on a foundation of excruciating honesty, hard graft and a sprinkle of good fortune. The latter only comes if the ?rst two criteria are ful?lled. If, as many believe, the players had issues with Connelly and Holmes going all the way back to their original appointment last year, can any of them truly say, hand on heart, that they gave everything to the cause this season?
    If the squad leaders weren’t satis?ed with the management team last winter, and that dissatisfaction rippled throughout the squad, can the players really say that they left no stone unturned in their quest for Sam?
    Defeat often has a nasty habit of unveiling the truth. Mayo had their chances to beat Dublin in the ?rst game and didn’t take them. Second time around, they were ultimately outclassed. So who is to blame?
    The easiest option is to blame the management. It might well be that Connelly and Holmes weren’t up to the job, but to shift the emphasis entirely away from the players and onto the management after just one season in charge is a cop-out in my opinion.
    Winners constantly strive for self-improvement. I have no doubt that there are things that Jim Gavin did this season that his players weren’t particularly happy with. Same goes for Kilkenny under Brian Cody. But the difference between Dublin and Kilkenny and Mayo and Galway is that the winners took it upon themselves to get the job done.
    Is it a coincidence that the Galway hurling panel are now seeking to remove Anthony Cunningham from his position?
    Self-assessment can be a hard thing to do because it involves absolute and brutal honesty. Sometimes we don’t like to admit to ourselves that we could have pushed harder, or sacri?ced more to reach the holy-grail.
    For Mayo, this season’s disappointment is the latest in a long line of failures at Championship level. Until the players take ownership of their own roles in that process, regardless of whom the manager is, ultimately, they will never be champions. And that would be desperately sad.

  41. Great now George Hook is giving his opinion on Mayo football. Who is next? Pat Kenny, Dustin, my mot?

    What is done is done. I trust the likes of Keith and Cillian that they did not act without due consideration. It was the end of a long series of events. Events we might never know. As a manager who was in a similar position to pat and noel, when the players want you out it is the end. End of story.
    All that matters now is the future. The players are taking ownership George. This is what this is all about for Jesus sake.
    It may end well or it may end badly but i think it is another step forward up the mountain.

  42. Is that George Hook the commentator?

    That article captures the situation precisely. It is exactly the points I have been trying to make all along. Wow, very insightful.

  43. I can’t believe that what does he know about football hope will get a new manager before Christmas

  44. I have to say that I think there is a foolish mentality at play here that is doing our team no favours. I agree with what one of the earlier posters said. There is a view that anyone who questions the decision of the players is a fool or a traitor. What does George Hook have to gain by his article except express his honest views? He is a well respected commentator and sports lover. I really hope that people on this site do not start lambasting him in the same way they have done with other commentators. It is embarrassing and makes us look so defensive and somewhat pathetic.

  45. If it really is George Hook of rugby analyst fame who wrote that article referred to by Gerard Brogan it is perhaps proof that he should confine himself to rugby opinions. He takes no account of the tactic of leaving Aiden O’Shea alone up front for most of the two games, as if expecting him to perform miracles. He takes no account of the failure to have a back up midfielder available when we found ourselves with only one on the field in the last quarter. And that one a withdrawn full forward. Dublin on the other hand had a fresh regular midfielder in for the last quarter. He takes no account of the futility of having Alan Dillon, Mark Ronaldson, Mikey Sweeney and Andy Moran, who all perform pretty much the same role, in the subs list along with Alan Freeman. It might also be asked whether David Clarke, injured against Donegal, was fully fit if required. When O’Malley was dropped from the panel during the summer I questioned the decision recalling that in 2013 we had to draft an untried keeper into the panel. Players can only do so much. Managers / selectors have a role too. All of these issues might constitute grounds for n confidence or maybe there were other issues

  46. Trev,
    Hook is one of life’s greatest buffoons. He’s failed at pretty much everything he’s put his hand at. The only reason he’s still on the radio is that he’s a Denis O’Brien mouthpiece, look at his ratings and they tell the story. There are many analysts who rightly question our faults, however, George Hook knows about as much about Gaelic football as a lesser known Macau monkey.

  47. George is trying to be honest here. The first thing he admits to is that he does not understand the ends and outs of Mayo football. How true this is.. But he does not stop there. The conclusion that this does not usually end well in most cases we all agree with. I was so sorry to see N&P walk away, it hurt a lot of good people. George is giving an honest outside perspective. So here’s an internal one. This team have played in the semi final for the last 5 years in spite of a lack of proper structure in the county and not because of one. as he seems to believe. In my book that gives them the right above all else to make demands,. I say that no matter how this pans out in the end. Our structures delivered a political candidate into the hot seat not too long ago in an attempt to prolong the stroking and cronyism culture that passes for politics in this county. The footballers of Mayo have been used by the little people in decision making positions in the recent past and it could happen again. This is the ends and outs he did not mention

  48. I wonder how the Dublin players and supporters would feel if Jim Gavin resigned in the morning and Pillar Caffrey was put back in charge of the team. After getting used to the ultra professionalism of Gavin’s ways, would they settle for a lesser standard. This is what happened in Mayo, the players were expected to except lower standards. They wouldn’t stand for this and must be applauded for it.

  49. Is it georgie or the poster who uses a question mark to replace the letters f Seriously though Georgie has devoted his life to rugby and yet spouts the most incredible bullsxxt imagineable on a sport that he is supposed to be an expert on so when I see him pontificate on gaelic games I can do little but snigger. Its the equivalent to me suggesting that france were a shade unlucky against the All Blacks on Sat evening

  50. So there we have it. Critisise the players who failed to perform on biggest days and you’re lambasted. (They happened under Horan too)

  51. George Hook is a rugby pundit, Colm O Rourke and Liam Hayes have only a few allIreland medals. Pat Spillane has only eight medals, and Eugene McGee only managed Offaly to win the All-Ireland and he is old.

    My point is, who is qualified to comment on our situation? Only pundits who agree with the players point of view? I repeat my earlier point. This ongoing character assassination of pundits that we don’t like has to stop. It makes us look defensive and pathetic.

  52. Firstly, let me say I can’t stand George Hook the rugby commentator. Constantly moaning and negative. That aside I think at least he (the same he?) puts forward the argument in a far more reasonable manner than the likes McGee or Brehony, and should be answered in a similarly reasonable tone…
    I agree that the players should “look at themselves” and “leave no stone unturned” to see what they can do to improve their chances next year. However, if one of those stones turns out to be a management team that’s less professional than its predecessor, then, following the logic of the article to its conclusion that stone must be turned.

  53. Agree totally with you Cosa bana. So let’s move forward now and find out if the management team was indeed less professional than the one that went before it, or are there other forces at play?

    No stone must be left unturned in getting to the bottom of this, and remove the cloud that is hanging over Mayo football.

  54. Whatever you might think of George Hook there are hard truths there. If we are to reach the holy grail then surely the players will need to answer these questions (in the privacy of their own minds if nothing else). No stone left unturned and all that.

  55. There’s an awful lot of stone turning goin on-and there is me with a few acres of reclaimation an not a wan ever to pick the feckin things!

  56. Do not tell me G. Hook has joined the growing list of journalists/commentors offending us.

    Any chance we could get proper press controls in place and ensure only nice things are said about us?

    Then everybody would be happy and of course the players would oblige by wining Sam.

  57. On a different forum to this one, i recently saw where one poster stated that the Mayo players have been built up as ” little Gods” by many members of the Mayo Gaa public. The poster claimed that many members of this panel have been ever present during the last 5 years of ” failure” to win Sam. Yet, Mayo supporters prefer to blame this ” failure” on James Horan, Holmes and Connelly, Cormac Reilly, Limerick as a venue and the Mayo Co Board.. Blame anyone but the players.

  58. George Hook’s thoughts on this whole issue are totally irrelevant. It’s the classic iceberg effect. He sees the result, the tip, but doesn’t see the rest of what’s going on, and he jumped to a conclusion.

    The fact of the matter is that the reasons the players had for doing what they did is nobody’s business but theirs and H&C’s.

    And this nonsense that the players don’t accept any blame. On what grounds exactly can anybody make a claim like that? How does anybody know what is going on inside Lee Keegan’s, Keith Higgins’ or Colm Boyle’s heads? I am convinced that every single player on our squad will have at some stage thought that they could have done something better this year. To suggest otherwise is naive, in my humble opinion.

    Getting tired of this nonsense. The fact is that at this stage, I couldn’t care less what the reasons were. I just want to see a new manager appointed ASAP and see this whole thing straightened out so that we can look forward to January.

    And then we can all enjoy criticising the players and new manager from behind the keyboard from the comfort of our living rooms.

  59. MayoMark. Some interesting points there.

    The tip of the iceberg is all we see, and there may be a whole lot going on underneath unseen. – Yes, one reason to get to the bottom of things.

    The reasons the players had for doing what they did is nobody’s business. -Except it is the county boards business. How can the next manager be appointed if the current issues can not even be ascertained.

    We all should care what the underlying issues are, so that they can be resolved now, and not end up with a new manager that is compromised from the start.

  60. When this Mayo team finally come to the end of the road judgement will be made on whether they were good enough or not. In the meantime they need , as has been said “to leave no stone unturned” in their quest. If the team management is not, in their opinion, up to scratch it makes it virtually impossible for them to deliver the goods. It is team management’s job to convince the players that they, the management, their game plan and tactics are good enough. Obviously the recent managers failed to do that. Whether we as supporters think the players were right or wrong in that assessment is irrelevant. If the players are not convinced they cannot produce their best on the field. During the course of the year gone by these issues must have been touched on and discussed during team meetings which would have given management the opportunity to adjust their sights, tactics, etc.
    Some allude to “outside forces”, “ringleaders” etc as inspiring the vote of no confidence. I suggest that this group of players is tightly knit enough not to be unduly influenced by “outside forces” and as for “ring leaders” every team needs leaders and leaders will emerge naturally in any team which is together for a period, never mind five years. There is a tendency among those who decry “ringleaders” in this situation to also claim a lack of leadership on the field in tight situations. Gentlemen, and Ladies, you cannot have it both ways.

  61. Sean O’Reilly,

    The underlying issues are issues which can be sorted out in the end of year meeting between players reps and Co Board officers. They do not need to be discussed in public for the general entertainment of all – and that is all a public disclosure of issues would lead to. If the issues relate to resources it is something the Co Board can try to resolve. If the issues relate to tactics and game plans there is nothing the Co Board can do – it is for the incoming manager to resolve as the year goes on. And there is no advantage in discussing these type of issues in front of our future opponents. It does, though, demand that somebody with the confidence of the players be part of the appointment process. Whether that be an experienced current player or not would not bother me.

  62. I think that this will be good in the long term for Mayo Football for the following reasons
    1 When
    there are problems in the camp then this is the time of year to have them sorted not in the middle of the season
    2 The Players are not talking to the media . The story in the Connaught Telegraph did not come from the Players
    3. Too many times in the past issues have been swept under the carpet for example McStay application for the managers position
    4 The County Board have a history of clapping themselves on the back .Nothing negative ever when sometimes it would be better to admit mistakes. The is nothing wrong with admitting mistakes as once identified there can be a process put in place to ensure they do not reoccur.
    4 The County Board are armatures who give their time free but they need to move with the times and hire professionals in certain areas foe example Fund Raising.
    5 It should never have been the case that the Chairman of the Co. Board is also the Liaison Officer between the players and Management especially when one of the Management is also his own brother
    6 A more open system needs to be put in place when Officers and Management positions are appointed . I
    7.Holmes and Connelly made some very bad calls in the replay against Dublin such as starting a injured D Vaughan. Repeat of same tactics as the first day for example not pushing up on Cluxton’s Kick Outs. Really the Management showed Dublin our hand of cards the first day and it was hard to see in the replay what was learned for the first game

  63. Aidan Henry, George Hook, Eugene McGee, Liam Hayes, Martin Brehony and Colm O’Rourke. Who next Eamon Dunphy. If we ever needed evidence that the players were right then that list of people above tells us all that we need to know. Just get a new manager in place, the best one available, that’s all that we want now.

  64. Only comment re Aiden Henry. Is that either he, or people he is talking for are deluded.

  65. AndyD.

    I agree, I think it’s important that we do not berate the players too much. It is starting to become obvious that there was other forces at work behind the scenes during the past year. They are merely the puppets in the piece, whereas, the real question is who is the puppeteer/s.

    Is the Connacht Telegraph article accurate? I don’t know, but it is all starting to fit better in my mind now.

    While my personal preference is for Stephen Rochford as the next manager, I certainly would not be happy for him, or any other candidate, to get the job under this cloud of uncertainty. Saying the issues are in the past is just sweeping the problems under the carpet. They will come back to bite if not resolved now.

    We owe it to the new manager to give him a clean slate. Let’s not continue to bury our heads in the sand. The future of Mayo football is at stake. We can do it if we all work together.

  66. O’Sullivan, with regard to the points in your earlier post, I would like to make the following comments:

    1) Agreed, right now is the time to sort out any issues to give the next manager a clean slate.

    2) I am confused. If the players have not been talking to the media, then why has everyone been referencing an article by Damian Lawlor recently that purports to represent the players’ views? (The fact that most of the issues highlighted in that article had nothing to do with management was strange.)

    3) What has McStay’s application for the manager’s position last year got to do with the players’ issues with this years management? I wasn’t aware that Kevin McStay’s application was swept under the carpet. Didn’t he make his bid live on air. I thought his overall package was the problem, not to mention the players not wanting Liam MacHale in the mix.

    4) Yes, so what are the issues the players have with the County Board? Shouldn’t they make the issues known, or should the County Board start guessing?

    4a) Yes, fundraising is important. Have the players raised this as an issue also? Is the county team not one of the best funded in the country at present, allowing Mayo to compete in the top tier for the past number of years?

    5) Have the players brought issues to the attention of the liaison officer that were not addressed?

    6) An open system for appointing Officers and Management is of course paramount. Is this not the case? As far as I am aware, there are processes in place for all appointments. Is this a player issue also?

    7) That may be your opinion but you cannot deny that in both matches, the players had chances to win the games. Maybe a little listen to Madigan talking after Ireland’s defeat today will give the Mayo players a few tips on how to accept responsibility.

  67. Look it. We seen with Scotland today the inevitable happening. A lapse in concentration at the penultimate time in the match sent the bagpipe men packing to lick their wounds. The could have should haves deleted for history. History can never change. That much is assured.

    Whatever manager takes the stage must wipe the slate clean. Easier said than done. The new management must give a nod to our past failings but never make those failings define us as a County. We will rise again only because our great players are still ravenous for success. The players have spoken. They have taking on sole responsibility for next years happenings. Only a reject clown from a second rate clown school would deny that fact.

    Let’s see where they will lead us…

  68. HopeSpringsEternal – that is just some of the national broadcasters who have commented on the players actions. You are forgetting about our own county men who also denounced the players action, David Brady, Martin Carney, John Casey, Anthony Finnerty, John Maughan, among others. I am finding this blind commentary that these players deserve the best and are answerable to no one a bit naive. If they have issues, then they need to say them out. And the mud slinging needs to stop around what people are assuming is at the root of it, until these are known.

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