It’s McStay or Connelly/Holmes


Photo: The Score (Donall Farmer/Inpho)

The deadline for nominations for the vacant Mayo manager’s post passed at 11pm last night and this morning the County Board has revealed that just two applications have been received – one from Kevin McStay and a joint one from Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes. The County Board Executive is set to meet later on today to decide on the next stage in the appointment process.

Now that we know who the candidates are, I reckon it’s time for another poll on the issue. So then, which of the two applicants would you prefer to see get the job?

Who should get the Mayo manager's job?

  • Kevin McStay (66%, 237 Votes)
  • Noel Connelly/Pat Holmes (34%, 124 Votes)

Total Voters: 361

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101 thoughts on “It’s McStay or Connelly/Holmes

  1. I must say I am most surpised that there is only 2 nominations from all the clubs. I think Connelly Homes is the way to go based on their outstanding record when they last took charge. They are best placed to continue the good work JH started. I was expecting a couple of nominations for guys outside the county, and I am happy that there are none.

  2. Just feel mcstay will have da edge. Not dat I know alot about connelly. But time Will tell roll on 2015. Cant wait

  3. I’ve voted McStay.

    Time to try something new.

    I don’t believe a joint management would work. Pat Holmes has had his go. He took over a team that were in two All Irelands and unsuccessful, and failed to win a Connacht championship and we were beaten by Roscommon and Westmeath, and nearly by Limerick and Tipperary. Yes, we won a league, and he was involved in an under 21 win, but the following years 07 – 09 were full of disappointing non-performances.

    McStay has had recent success in Roscommon and knows football inside and out. I would give him a go. He seems to have a big desire to do the job. Stated his interest publicly. Pat Holmes already said he did not have the time, so it is a case of two people giving half their time.

  4. I’m happy for either, my only hang up over McStay is if he brings Liam Mc with him, he’s still hung up on 96 and has stated that on a few occasions recently, can’t train players and preach to them about moving on if you are a contradiction! Connelly brings a knowledge from within the county about the club players, and was half the duo which landed the AI u 21 title with the bones of this team. And he could bring the other half in as a selector. Whichever way it goes I’ll back the new man 100%

  5. Rather than saying who I want ( because I am 50/50 between the two at the moment) I feel it could be a case of who is more likely to end up in the job. It is obvious that McStay is not that popular among the county board and Liam McHale is definitely not wanted by the current Mayo Co Board so will they approve of this coaching ticket in the end?

    Connelly and Holmes are on much better terms with the Co Board but to offset this they both have huge work pressures that McStay/McHale don’t have so will they be able to give the time they would deem necessary to get us over the line. I have been told that Pat and Noel are very worried that they won’t be able to commit enough time and energy to the post suffering the same problems James had with the unforgiving nature of private sector work in terms of modern GAA management.Neither want to do this half hearted!!!

    Interesting times ahead but I am getting the feeling that regardless of the result we will get a management capable of taking this team up a level ( whether they actually do or not is another days work) but they will have a huge task managing the Co Board and clubs if they want success as well as introducing 4 or 5 new players!!

  6. I would favour kevin McStay, I think he has learned a lot about modern day County football and the behind the scenes things that go on, from his time on ,THE SUNDAY GAME. He has his previous county playing experience as well as his All Ireland, with St. Bridgets.
    He would have great media experience, would have the respect of the dressingroom,
    I would have great respect for Noel Connelly, as well, he would be my choice , after Kevin McStay, has had his chance.
    Noel , could be given the U21’s, again, building for the future.
    Who ever gets the job, good luck to them.

  7. I’m surprised only two people have put their names forward. At this stage it will be down to who the county board consider to have put the best back room team in place . I think their was at least one other candidate within the county but possibly he could be part of Connellys back room team . Both applicants bring their strengths and have to be saluted for putting themselves forward for what is a massive time consuming role. I hope we as supporters can be patient with the new management team. Let them try out new players, systems etc and hopefully by the end of the league they will have added to our talent pool. It sometimes only takes one new player to add that extra something . Relegation from division one would not be a disaster once we learn from each game.

  8. Pat Murtagh says:
    September 19, 2014 at 9:40 am
    I wonder is Noel Connelly’s brother actively involved in the process

    I believe it will now be just a straight interview process between the applications. If the process is the same as the last one where JH was successful then the chairman, secretary, treasurer and one possibly nominated person will comprise of this panel, so in short i don’t think Noel’s brother will be DIRECTLY involved.
    Actually, i think it;s an awkward situation for both of them to be in presently. More a loose/loose than win/win.

    My preference would be Mcstay with Liam as selector , Frankie Dolan as strength and conditioning and Shane Curran as Sport psychologists……..that would be something to behold

  9. I think Connelly/Holmes is the way to go. Of the players who featured in the Kerry replay down in Limerick, 17 of them passed through Connelly/Holmes U21 setup, all winning at least 1 Connaught and many winning an All-Ireland.
    A big part of the job will be to bring in some new players in the next couple of years. Connelly has been involved in the U19/U20 development squad so he has to know the upcoming talent extremely well. Both have been involved in the club scene the last couple years also.
    Both know the squad very well and would have great respect within it which leads me to believe they can get the best out of the current group.

  10. All – I think a bit of caution is required when making comments at this stage on the respective candidates and the appointment process. Things I’m a bit concerned about are what’s being said about Liam McHale’s popularity (or lack of it) with the County Board and the situation regarding Noel and Mike Connelly. By all means discuss away the relative merits of the two nominations but please avoid drawing the names of others into the process, as has happened already in some of the comments.

  11. if Shane Curran is next or near the new Mayo set-up, I will promise here, I will refuse to attend a Mayo match while this was the case. #Mayohater

  12. Just on Midwest radio,We have spoken to paddy Mcnicolas,he told us “there are two people very interested,Noel Connelly backed by pat Holmes and Kevin mcstay backed by Liam McHale,we have spoken to both,one in person and one by phone,we cannot say any more at that minute as there may still be interest from other parties”.Surely if nominations are closed it has to be between these two or have the CB a yes man lined up

  13. I agree what difference should it make regarding relatives on boards etc…Davy Fitz aul lad is the Clare county chairman and practically gave him the job and it didn’t work out to bad for them now did it.

    First off I am very surprised there were not more nominations. I would have gone for Connelly but now I am not so sure…I don;t like the idea of joint managers. The buck needs to stop with one person especially in the cut and thrust of Senior intercounty life.

    McStay having more time to focus on the job?

  14. Choose wisely now ,look back exactly forty years to the Liverool handover this is the blueprint for success .Shankly to Paisley this is the way forward for continued success
    we have the fight and fire now ,We cannot lose this edge again. i say to all bury the
    hatchet deep in the ground and forget it ,No more play this man play that man b-s.
    We are second to none i have seen them all .Best of luck to the new manager ms.

  15. Id have to go for mcstay personally. As regards the thing with McHale, has he even been confirmed as part of the ticket? Are people making assumptions here? I don’t see why he would be so bad. Yes he has talked in the press in the past, but Id be confident that mcstay wouldn’t allow that to happen under his tenure, as he comes across a careful and meticulous man. One good thing about McHale is he doesn’t apologise for who he is, he is confident – not unlike the Kerry mentality. That could actually have a positive effect on the team. Indeed so could the fact that he is still hurting from 1996, which could drive him on (Joe Kernan half time talk to Armagh for example), as well as offer as an reminder to the players to keep their heads when they get targeted in games or end up regretting it like he has.

    As for Connelly. The performance of his club under his tenure is something that has to be considered. They have underperformed every year in the IC and for my money he has struggled to bind them together as the force they should be. I think we should be expecting more from our potential county manager. McStay took brigids and made them from the eternal bridesmaid into a steely outfit who held their nerve in very impressive fashion. He had them primed just right. It must be said, their records at club level are miles apart. McStay is the man for the job.

  16. Santanico pandemonium OK we all know you are taking the p… with your last comment and so your argument looses all creditability. Can someone who feels McStay is a better bet please put forward the case for him. We all know about Bridgets AI but Tommy Lyons and Jordan done the same with Ballina and Cross a few years ago. In relation to say his tenure with the Mayo U21’S and anything else there is. I enjoy his writing in the media, and I do not watch RTE except when the game is on. So please enlighten or entertain me on this one please

  17. PJ

    You got me there alright, trying to raise the spirits for the weekend.

    I still would lean towards McStay. As TheMaestro pointed out, Connelly’s club form has been nothing special when you consider Holly/Carra would have a lot of players available since they joined together with limited enough success. These is a thought that his in game management need some work also.

    McStay has pushed a team over the line, he was more disposable time available to concentrate on the task. He seems fairly clued in judging by his media work and as some one who doesn’t reside within the county there are no divided loyalties.

    I also think it may help that he has a media string to his bow as he should be cute enough in what he says publically and have the ability to maybe set a particular agenda with a little help from his acquantances in TV/ the press.

    More than anything, i just thing it is naturally his time. If he doesn’t get the reigns now then he possibly his time will have passed.

  18. TheMaestro says:
    As for Connelly. The performance of his club under his tenure is something that has to be considered. They have underperformed every year in the IC and for my money he has struggled to bind them together as the force they should be. I think we should be expecting more from our potential county manager. McStay took brigids and made them from the eternal bridesmaid into a steely outfit

    You can hardly compare taking over Bridgets who were there or there abouts for a ferw years at the highest level in club football with Hollymount/Carramore who have had to deal with (and still are) alot of off field disruption since the joint up of the two clubs. They have under-achieved but this year looks like they could do it.

    I am still uncertain who I want in charge. I assume both will be brought forward for interviews in the next 2/3 weeks?

  19. I reckon McStay is a cert for the job and Connelly/Holmes names are in but they have no notion of taking it just to have opposition to McStay.Holmes distanced himself straight away and Connelly cited work,family commitments so why now the change of heart?McStay the only one who,s declared his interest from the start maybe the Holmes/Connelly duo are being used as a bargaining tool with McStay….

  20. Mcstay has all the time in the world to manage and run this team, and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t get the job, really surprised. Holmes said he had no time to commit, it’s a huge job with lots of pressure and time involved so I can see neither himself or Connelly having that amount of time. God bless James Horan, I’d love to talk with him for 10 minutes and learn how to put all he did into 24 hours, even taking a leak must have been timed!

  21. The comparisons between the two, but first I’m disappointed that there aren’t more candidates and maybe a ‘done deal rumor’ has dismayed a number of potential candidates. A joint venture does suggest that there is a confidence issues and/or a time issue to me. Both Noel/Pat have already stated that time was a major factor. On the other hand I would not agree of the comparisons made between Noel’s & Kevin’s club success as Kevin only got them to where they were the previous year, just happened he got they over the line. In relation to media experience this is not a factor at all, in fact I would like to see a team come under the radar rather than have a high media attention i.e. Kerry V Dublin this year.
    More important is the backroom team, I would love to see Donie, Ed and medical team remain in situ and the only difference is a few new player, strength in depth, Team selection, tactics to expose the opposition weakness and attack their strengths. I think the focus should be on the backroom team ‘DON’T FIX WHAT’s NOT BROKEN’!

  22. Only one option and that’s McStay. Proven player and proven manager. In addition his national profile and ability as a respected analyst is a plus.

    His knowledge of the rules, referees and the current status of our national rivals is unsurpassed by the named candidates. Methodical and calm , McStay will sort out the lacuna preventing the county winning in matches that matter. Having said all of that, I have probably put the kiss of death on the lad.

  23. If your making the assumption that McStay is a proven manager, that he won the biggest club prize, he finished a job that the previous manager started. With new players and increased funding, he literally had current and former roscommon county players from 1 to 15 including a blow in transfer from castlerea in Curran! I’m not against him taking the reigns at all, just worry about how McHale will gel with the players after he’s been very critical and vocal about them and their mentality in the press under horans tenure! When he’s still bitter and angry crying foul at every opportunity that he was wronged! That was 18 yrs ago, time we move on!

  24. I’m not remotely surprised that there are only two parties interested. Not even slightly. Think about it logically folks – firstly, it’s huge time commitment, secondly, there’s a huge sense of expectation, and thirdly, even the slightest hint that the new manager may not have the full backing of the county board (whether or not that is true) – well, why on earth would you bother?

    I desperately hope I’m wrong on this one but I can’t help feeling pessimistic about the future, regardless of who takes on the role. A lot will depend on the backroom team and I hope we can bring some fresh thinking and innovation in there, along with retaining the strengths we have.

    KL I will stand up for Shane Curran on this one – I can categorically tell you that he is no Mayo hater. He might have criticised us in the past but he’s not alone there, and there is fair merit in plenty of what he said.

  25. Was that a joke about Curran and frankie the b,,,,,,x ? It would be one of the only things that would make me not follow Mayo.

  26. No problem with McStay but unfortunately McHales inability to move on from ’96 and his boneheaded comments to the media before crucial games makes him a non runner in my view.

    Castlebar used to be the “Mayo” of club football. Fancy dan footballers with no backbone or steel. That changed during Holmes reign (Peter Fordes influence undoubtedly helped) and as an “outsider” he did a phenomenal job creating cohesion and unity in a very dysfunctional club.

    I think he and Connelly would be a tremendous combination

  27. Why are we wasting time and energy talking about former roscommon footballers who have nothing of benefit to offer their own county no mind ours!??

  28. These were the comments that Kevin McStay made before St Brigid’s All-Ireland club semi-final against Crossmaglen Rangers:

    “We’ve huge respect for them – how could you not with the records they’ve set? – but we’ve also been competitive against them in the past and now we have to move it a bit further. We’ve had to wait two and a half months to get at them. It’s very hard to read form now but I’ve stressed to them: find good form for the next four weeks and we can win an All-Ireland.”

    I’d love to hear him say these kind of things to the Mayo players, James Horan made us consistently competitive, can McStay get us to win major titles?

  29. Phew!!
    We have lost, Nallen, O neill, Buckley and Horan the last few years and this year . They are fair men to replaced. Its a bit of a nightmare for new management in the sense that the only way is down unless they win the thing.

  30. McStay for me, he seems to be the man to come in and finish a job….we are exactly in the same position as brigids (we even both wear green and red!!) It would be ludicrous if connelly/holmes got the job over McStay. No dis respect to them but Kevin has showed he can get a “nearly there” team over the line and the biggest line of all an all ireland. Yes Pat Holmes did well with Castlebar but he didnt get them over the line, hes had his chance, McStay has the arrogance and tactical nous required to get us over the line.

  31. What would McStays backroom team be? Has Ed Coughlan and predergast left as part of the Horan backroom team?

  32. Was a bit concerned there for a while until I saw Santanico’s surname was Pandemonium !
    I would agree with the approximate 2:1 split in favour of McStay in the poll.
    I believe his time has come,that he deserves to be given a shot at this & has the tactical & media nous required. He also has the time to give to the job possibly unlike the other two.
    Give him a shot for 2 years with Connelly/Holmes the next ticket.

  33. Sean I assume those plans will be outlines in the interviews and while I would love to know the in’s and out’s I think we can all appreciate that this should be kept in house until the new manager is announced and only then will be hear the real plans.

  34. Interesting article by McStay in Mayo News 2008. Read it and think.

    “Wrong choices cost U-21 squad dearly”

    OVER the years this column has touched on a failing Mayo sides have exhibited when they play major matches and it is this: the inability of those in charge to get their best team out on the pitch. It is not always the fault of those picking the team; many players rule themselves out due to lack of interest, lifestyle choices or lack of self-discipline.
    Connacht finals and games in the All-Ireland series are crucial encounters where your team will be found out unless you have the best team possible lining out for the county. And even then, it may not be enough.
    Selection committees have only one mission statement when it comes to picking a team: put the best team out on the field. But for many reasons (see above), we nearly always leave home without somebody on board.
    In my time it was Ger Geraghty’s non-availability throughout most of the 80s, Martin Carney’s non-selection for the 1989 final when inexperienced young players made the cut and Padraig Brogan’s personal problems that meant he was not part of the scene.
    Into the 90s we had the Ciaran McDonald saga ‘Part 1’ and you could throw Kevin O’Neill in there too. In recent years, at senior level at least, we have improved in that area and with John O’Mahony leading the selection process, I expect that will continue.
    Last weekend our under-21s set sail for Nenagh and the acid test of facing a Kerry challenge at the penultimate stage. The favourites for the title, Down, were on the other side of the draw so word was this game would be competitive.
    But just before throw-in we got a different type of word – one of our leading forwards had failed a fitness test and would not start. Aidan Campbell had played a stormer in the provincial final and so much of our hopes rested with the Swinford man. In an attacking division not noted for big scoring tallies, a player who might contribute from play and from frees is vital.
    As half-time approached, and with Mayo in dire trouble, Campbell made his appearance and so that ruled out a lack of fitness. By the end of the half-time break the gossip in the stands was of a serious breach in the disciplinary code and thus the real reason for his exclusion from the start was out.
    That this young player put his manager and selectors in such a dilemma in the hours before their biggest game of the year was indeed most unfortunate. I understand the breach of the squad code had its roots in the aftermath of a midweek Sigerson match where Campbell’s team, GMIT, lost their semi-final to Garda College. Join the dots thereafter.
    Pat Holmes and his management team made their decision to drop him and, of course, they were correct. Aidan Campbell made a poor lifestyle choice in the build-up to the All-Ireland semi-final and lost his place as a result.
    However, those tasked with implementing discipline made a poor choice themselves after 25 minutes of the match when they decided to lift the sanction and allow him come on as a sub’. What message did that send out to the rest of the squad?
    It’s too late now for any corrective action. Mayo are out of the championship, a competition they could well have won now that the favourites were dumped out of the race by Kildare in the other semi. But the regrettable conclusion, from a Mayo perspective, is of a game that got away, the critical absence (his own fault) of a key player and a poor decision by an otherwise excellent management group.

  35. John Cuffe – funny I actually remember reading that article at the time. Anybody know what Aidan is at now? Was a talent, pity really.

  36. Any idea when the new manager will be named,great its giving us something else to talk about this weekend

  37. Admire the speed of the County Board moving this along.

    Good piece John.

    Willie Joe, who do you think is best for us?

  38. Don’t really know, I have to say. Maybe Connelly is there to make up the numbers if he is very busy at work, but so was James Horan, very busy, demanding job, young family. Am impressed with those who are impressed by McStay.

    Backroom team will be critical. When Pat Gilroy took over Dublin, he got Mickey Whelan on board and despite serious opposition from Val Andrews (John O’Mahony was also mentioned strongly in despatches!), he got the gig because Whelan and himself were regarded as the dream team, which they proved to be, eventually.

    The current backroom team were a serious outfit, and it would be good to see them retained, but there may well be better out there. I felt Donegal were not helped by their backroom changes last year – what do I know?

  39. John
    I read that mcStay article at the time and again just now and I still don’t know what he’s trying to say. Is he saying that if they left Campbell off altogether we would have won? Or is he saying that they should have accepted defeat after 25 mins and not tried to pull the game out of the fire by putting Campbell in? In my opinion they did the best they could with a lousy hand of cards. Am I missing something?……..which wouldn’t be altogether unusual for me.
    By the way as regards the backroom team ………..I’m not sure about keeping all of those guys. Were some of them not involved in ‘the plan’ to deal with Donaghy?

  40. Diehard I thought JH was supposed to be a dictator who wouldn’t consult with anyone so no fault on the back room team there for letting donaghy beat us on his own. I believe Coughlan and Buckley were excellent components of Mayo set up so if they were available and if new manager wished to keep them that would be great but then a new manager may wish to bring in his own men and that’s fine too. Re the John Cuffe article on McStay I understand the dilemma. Whatever decision they made, once Mayo lost, meant they were damned. I think the point McStay was making is that for a county to have success all partners must play their part. Ironically Jim McGuinness took a huge gamble in dropping Kevin Cassidy after 2011 but because Donegal won the AI it was the right decision. If they lost to Mayo no doubt Jim would have been pilloried for his decision.

  41. I don’t know, to be honest, Pat and so I don’t think it’s worth my while saying which I’d prefer. I recall back in 2010 being 100% behind James Horan’s candidacy (partly but not totally because of the alternatives at the time) but I haven’t got any strong reason to row in behind either of the alternatives on this occasion so I think it’s best to see how the process pans out and to wish the new manager well.

  42. – The big question for me is why so few candidates interested in the job, where are all the experienced and aspiring inter county managers ?

    – We have been a top 4 team for the past 3 years and we have only three people interested in managing the team ?

    – Maybe aspiring candidates believe the selection is a done deal or the expectation level is too high in Mayo or that the pressure to achieve in the first year is unrealistic or they are looking at the extended panel in the cold light of day and do not see an All-Ireland winning team in the making……

    – For what it’s worth I would go for Connolly/Holmes for the reason outlined by plenty of previous posters. While I admire McStay for potentially giving up well paid media gigs the fact that McHale will more than likely be part of the package is a real concern for the simple reason that I believe McHale is too negative and the chip on his shoulder since 1996 has become a virtual forest….

    – While I am no great admirer of Jimmy’s ‘Ruining matches’ McGuinness he is sure one shrewd operator in the media, all the focus is on him and none really on his team which means the likes of Ryan McHugh has a nice low key build up to the big day. A few cards on the day could decide the result, Kerry for me as I think Dublin semi-collapsed in the second half and made Donegal look better than they are. Maybe a more realistic view of Donegal was their performance against Armagh but then who knows.

    – Best of luck to whoever gets the Mayo job, it’s a onerous task that could bring great awards.

  43. I read that 2008 McStay article and was confused like Diehard.
    He seemed to be having a go at Campbell for going on the beer (fair enough), but how did he want management to handle it? There’s no clear answer – I think he was saying he should have been left off the panel completely, but that doesn’t tally with his ethos of having your best team on the pitch. Anyway, that’s water under the bridge and of little relevance now probably.
    But thinking back to those U21 days, 2006 in Ennis was one of the great days to be a Mayo supporter. We won a game, an All-Ireland final, against the run of play!
    But 2007-2009 were disappointments, despite winning Connacht we should definitely added more to that solitary win.
    I don’t think Connelly/Holmes built on what they had achieved in that first year which makes me doubt them for the senior job.
    McStay had his own spell as U-21 manager and didn’t achieve as much as Holmes/Connelly, but he has the club all-ireland. So I suppose it depends how you rank the two….
    Right now, I’d go for McStay – I think he wants it more and is better prepared for it.
    But I’d have serious reservations about McHale on the ticket. Too fond of giving his opinion to the media on anything and everything.

  44. Reading that piece by John cuffe that mc stay wrote in 2008 has impressed me. He’s absolutely correct that the management should have left Campbell on the sideline that day. Would him mc Guinness have brought a guy on after 25 mins who was on the beer a few days earlier? He wouldn’t even have brought him to the game.

    Thankfully this panel of players have moved beyond that pre game drinking era to new levels of professionalism, so hopefully issues like that will be a thing of the past in mayo football.

  45. There is a suspicion that Connelly and Holmes are not a real choice but more a bargaining tool for CB to batter McStay with. Why did Holmes rule himself out only last week , saying he would not have the time etc , then next thing we know hes an option. Even worse again would be if the reason for the joint manager thing is because they have told C B that they might manage it for time if they could split it in two, that would be disjointed imo, of course this is just idle speculation .

  46. Strong rumours around the county this morning that Connelly is the new manager. Holmes is number 2, effectively taking over Prendergasts role. Majority of backroom team, including Buckley remaining.
    That has to be viewed as a serious package, with proven winners at the helm.

  47. Just wondering what is (was) the selection process. Of course it would have to be seen to be fair and honest. Therefore some form of interview / presentation process would be likely to take place. However the real selection decision is likely to involve confidential conversations with trusted mates from round the county, soundings among some players past and present etc. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this but it could explain the source of the rumours that an appointment has already been decided upon ( if not officially made yet).
    Whoever gets it the best of luck to them and to everyone who gives their time and energy to advance the cause of Mayo football. They deserve our full support in any way we can give it.

  48. Irish Examiner reporting today:

    * that McStay has received strong backing from clubs in the county (unspecified).

    *Also, that he is the players preferred choice (no details, or off the record comments).

    *Also, “McStay’s proposed backroom team, meanwhile, will consist of former selector and player Liam McHale”.

  49. I always like him but I think McStay was the man. Hope we don’t look back on this as a mistake. God knows in Mayo we have enough of these.

    Anyway it’s done now. Best of luck to Noel and his team.

    Up Mayo!

  50. All – in advance of an official announcement (which hasn’t yet been made) can everyone please stop issuing their own press releases trumpeting who has been appointed to the job?

  51. Newstalk seem confident it’s Connelly and Holmes ….tbh, if true, I’m cautious about this.

  52. I have it from as good as horses mouth. It’s Connelly n Holmes.

    Apparently co board felt mcstays approach was going to be too radical whereas they feel there’ll b more continuity of style n approach with Connelly/Holmes.

    I must say I’m v disappointed. I know a few rossies who are delighted. As I said I hope I’m wrong but I think the county board got it wrong.

  53. From not having time a week ago to being manager today is some turnaround. Good luck to the pair of them if it’s true. As an optimist all I can say is 2 heads are better than one but I thought mcstay was the natural choice.
    Tweaking and better decisions during the games are all this team need to be back roaring next year.

  54. It’s okay, Mayonaze – it’s not just you, the rumour mill is obviously in full flow! I’d still like to see an official announcement before concluding that this is the decision that’s been made.

  55. I was hoping to feel re-invigorated with this news…honestly, my heart sank when I was told an hour ago. I feel let down by the co board. I dont think they have a clue.

    McStay, as I’ve said for a long time should have been a shoe in. Wait and see, he’ll b Roscommon manager in a year and we’ll see the damage then.

    Anyway, what’s done is done.

    Sorry if I’m coming across pessimistic but I just feel it’s a terrible mistake missing out on him now.

  56. Right, The Score are now saying it’s Connelly – here. This isn’t an official announcement but they obviously have some basis for putting the story out … unless they just read it here!

  57. I would have preferred to see Kevin McStay get the job but Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes did win four Connacht U21 titles in a row from 2006/09 as well as an All-Ireland title in 2006. Add to this Pat Holmes winning a national league title with Mayo in 2001 and getting Castlebar Mitchels to this year’s All-Ireland club final. Thats a pretty good record. If Kevin McStay had not been in the race they probably would have been the natural choice. They probably did have a better record with the Mayo U21s than McStay had during his time. We’ll see how it goes anyway, best of luck to them if they are to be the chosen men. Roll on the FBD games!

  58. Sounds like mcstay has pulled out of the race so it’s over for him. best of luck to the new men, Donie Buckley being kept on would be good, I bet the players had a say in that piece of the deal. Hopefully they can keep this panel intact but add a few options up front and at the back or rejig what’s already there.
    Nice to have it wrapped up and name the new management the day before the final, just to make a little statement that we are preparing for 2015

  59. A very big mistake by mayo football, Hope Mc Stay & Mc Hale take the Galway job and show us up for what we are.

  60. Connelly can do the job , i’m excited by the news. I’ll be honest though , i think this should of happened last year. We will have to be patient , something im only coming round to now but it might take him two years to get his team to the competitive standard of the last 3 years.

  61. I’ll try this again. @westportman am i reading your post correct in that because the person YOU think is right for the job didn’t get it, you now hope Mayo get beaten by Galway. Great to have supporters like you backing the county.

  62. We’ll all row behind whoever gets it, that’s for sure. It’s totally unknown what will happen over the next year or two, but there’s no doubt Connelly is worth a shot. I understand the worry regarding Holmes in a co-managing capacity, but who knows, it might work for us, and sure anything different is work trying at this stage.
    The rumour of a strong backroom team joining them is promising, and all the better if Buckley stays on. That continuity is important for the lads as well as the sense of unity this should bring.
    Regarding tomorrow, all the focus on McGuinness and Murphy must suit Donegal nicely. Murphy has the broad shoulders to carry this comfortably enough and it will allow others to come in somewhat under the radar. It could be a big day for McBrearty. Jimmy might pull him back as as sub yet. It’s such a difficult match to call.

  63. thought mc stay was a dead cert tbh..feeling a little underwhelmed but that mite just be because of tomorrow..its that kind of wend..

  64. It is not a joint management team. Noel Connelly is the manager, Pat Holmes is selector, Donie Buckley is coach. We have a team that is a hares breath from crossing the line, we would be in a final tomorrow had we a fair ref, we lost last year by a single point and the year before by 4 points. What we don’t need is sweeping changes like it seems McStay was proposing at this stage. There is 100% an All Ireland in this team and what’s needed now is a few tweaks like Kieran Shannon alluded to in his article, one or two new players, Clarke back in goals and learning to park the bus when we’re ahead.
    I’ve nothing against Kevin McStay and have the height of respect for him, but now is not the time for a radical overhaul of the senior team, it would completely undo all James Horans great work.

  65. If it’s Connelly, I feel it will be good. And Donie Buckley staying would be a big bonus. Maybe Connelly nailed him down before hand, and if the Examiner piece was anywhere near on McStay, if McHale was his only backroom guy, have to say I wouldn’t have been terribly impressed if I was on County Board.

    Impressed, as others have said, that it’s been done efficiently.

  66. The one question I have about all this is that yesterday, the county board were supposedly putting together their selection panel and now Connelly is rumoured to have the job? Doesn’t add up…I’d be very happy if Buckley was kept on board, would be a big boost.

  67. Liam
    There’s a lot of sense in your post, though I’m surprised that mcstay would want big changes. This team as it stands needs very little change, maybe a big guy for the edge of the square when it’s needed and a bit more muscle in defense when needed. We could easily have beaten Kerry if we used out heads on the sideline.
    Any chance in the likes of conor mort coming back to add a bit to attack? Not as the big guy but maybe as a scoring forward.
    Just a thought

  68. Sorry bout that WJ, people who make statements like that, hoping their county gets beaten are below contempt in my opinion. Just bit, instead of counting to 10.

  69. Great to be getting all this information from the media & the blogs.
    Are the County Board leading or following ?

  70. Hogan Stand now reporting that it’s Connelly and that Buckley will be part of. They are not equivocal – say it’s a done deal.

  71. And here’s something from Midwest’s site:

    “Rumours are rife today that Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes are to be announced as the new joint managers of the Mayo Senior Football team later today.
    The reports began on social media earlier today and soon the word seemed to have spread.

    Midwest Sport contacted a Mayo County Board spokesperson this afternoon who said no decision had been made on the appointment of a new manager. He said that an interview panel had been set up following the close of nominations on Thursday night and the panel would meet later this evening to discuss the matter further. However he denied any decision had been made”.

  72. Some pathetic comments here. People making statements like they feel let down Mcstay didnt get the job..for fuck sake throwing in the towel. How do any of ye really know what is going on behind the scenes?

  73. Best of luck to them if they have it,i thought McStay was a cert to be honest,but the powers that are know more than me.The only worry i would have is did they get it so fast because McStay pulled out and there were no more candidates or if there was say 5 more names put forward would they still have been first choice.Hopefully Noel and Pat and whoever else can be the men to push us over the line,no reason why they can,t the players are there as we know.

  74. I seen a tweet earlier on from a reliable source that ”McStay had def not pulled out” , if rumours turn out to be truth which is looking very likely at this stage , it must of been by cb choice and not a withdrawal.

  75. Can we all take a chill pill n wait for the OFFICIAL line.It doesn’t matter who is the first with the news-ye’re like wimen at the bingo wit yeer gossipin

  76. Radical change was the reason why McStay was not given the job. FACT. if you continue to follow a plan that has failed repeatedly you will continue to …. no more of this 4 Connaught titles CRAP.. the championship was uncompetitive. I had the pleasure to be in croke park when Brigits won and I was very impressed, to say the least. 7 points down at half time and to win comfortably was remarkable. I think Connelly will do a good job, not as good as McStay and I don’t think we will win Sam which will be very unfortunate for this group of players.

  77. I’m not sure brigids won comfortably as it was last minute point by Dolan that won it but point taken Bob. I think I’m leaning towards McStay although I would like Buckley to be involved.

  78. Lads, there is nothing official yet and CB, who I generally have no faith in or time for, have seemingly not made their official choice.

    However we do all know that Connelly/Holmes are getting the job, think thats been the most open secret in mayo for years.

    I say back whoever gets it to the hilt cause we all want the same thing at the end of the day!

  79. It seems so cut and dry with some. I beg to differ, how do we know McStay would be better than Connelly. What were the major changes McStay was going to bring that some of ye are alluding to that put the cb off him as a manger? Major player changes or tactical changes?

  80. Sean burke. If you seen brigits play, you would know. A kick passing game in offense and a zonal man to man marking system in defence, totally different to mayo’s current style.
    Brigits are a very impressive club team, mainly due to the changes McStay implemented. I am in full support of Connelly and wish him the best but I feel the CB have made a decision based on parameters other than football

    Cod, why Donal Buckley?? Has he not had enough opportunities in his time?? Why are we afraid of change??

  81. If it’s McStay or Connelly/Holmes, there’s more than a little tweaking to this team. Fullback line, midfield and an overreliance on Cillian for scores needs to be addressed. Personnally, I think whoever comes in will need to bring some new players in from 1 – 15.
    I think Horan did a massive job while in charge, he wasn’t perfect but who is; whoever gets the new job will make mistakes too, but if they get as much right as Horan got right then Mayo will be in good hands.

  82. This has a little feel like an experiment about it, nothing against Connelly but he does not have the same credentials. I just feel really frustrated for the players.

  83. Would any other county in the country even consider joint managers?? It’s absolutely farcical. And that’s before we start on one of them being pat Holmes who had his shot and was as poor a manager as we have had in 30 years

  84. Jim McGuinness had proved nothing before getting Donegal job and look at them now.

    Pat Holmes is only Mayo manager in 40+ years to win a national title at senior level

    The two of them are dyed in the wool Mayo men and owe the county nothing.

    Same goes for McStay, so whoever gets the job should be suppprted 100%. We all want the same thing so lets give the new manager a chance

  85. Bob I agree fully with u.


    Connelly is fine, but co board have appointed the wrong man.

  86. The worst thing about this, is McStay was not even interviewed. Asked whether he would keep Buckley via the telephone, a coach who has failed the past 2 Yeats and said NO. He wanted to start fresh.

  87. maumtrasna.. I work with a few Kerry fellas and they can’t understand us at all. We glorified Horan on his retirement, don’t get me wrong, he did a decent job but he wasn’t successful in the end?? In Kerry he would be regarded as an unsuccessful manager, why do we not have the same ambitions? In my opinion, we had one man to stop against Kerry in the reply, DONAGHY and there was obviously no plan in place to do that? Are we forgetting 2012? No decisions made though out the game? Winning is a process and that is the very minimum fans of sports teams need to expect for their team.

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