Managerial appointment update

With the inter-county season now behind us, the focus is shifting to the vacant position of Mayo manager, nominations for are due to be submitted no later than this coming Friday evening. There’s plenty about this in the local press this week, though, understandably, most of this is still speculative.

Emphasising this fact is the lack of agreement on to whether or not any applications have been submitted yet. Michael Gallagher in the Mayo News (paper and digital variants) quotes Mayo GAA Secretary Dermot Butler as saying that applications have already been received and that more are expected before the weekend. Anthony Hennigan in the Western People (paper and digital variants) says, by contrast, that they understand no formal applications have yet been submitted.

In terms of possible names in the frame for the post, we’re still very much in the land of conjecture, with most of the expected names getting a mention, though none of the reports name-check possible candidates from outside the county.

The names mentioned by the local papers this week are Mike Solan, Stephen Rochford (possibly with Mike Solan, Maurice Horan and Ciaran MacDonald), Ray Dempsey, Maurice Sheridan and Declan Shaw.

Two names who appear unlikely to be in the running are current Corofin manager Kevin Johnson, whom the Mayo News has confirmed will not be an applicant, while the Western People says that former Roscommon manager Kevin McStay “is unlikely to contest the position”.

Once the deadline for applications has passed this Friday evening, we could get details of the confirmed applicants for the post, though it’s not clear as yet if there’ll be any announcement to this effect then.

142 thoughts on “Managerial appointment update

  1. Declan Shaw a good call. Several senior county titles to his name. More club glory than Dempsey as he won a Connaught on the way to an All Ireland club final. More success than Horan as well come to think of it!
    Good knowledge of the club game in the county and some big wins under his belt, eg beating Corofin away from home and going up to Crossmaglen and winning their also in an All Ireland club semi final.
    Probably an outside shot, but a good one

  2. I think that club semi was in Breffni Park, Pebbles. Cross were brilliant for the first 25 minutes or so, but Mitchell’s reeled them in and took control in the second half. Barry M was outstanding.

  3. Interesting that Solan might go in as number 2 with Rochy. That could be an excellent appointment.

  4. I expect to see Rochford in the frame in some shape or form and would not be surprised if Solan is in it too. Just don’t think the county board would go for Dempsey.

    Just finished listening to the Irish examiner podcast and was baffled to hear Bryan Sheehan say Mayo are off the pace when you take into account where we were with injuries. I think we went in with half a team against Kerry this year and still were not that far off it, playing a much more open game as well than Galway did.

    Any of the men going for the job are rubbing their hands to get hold of that team because I really do feel they are not that far off it, but there’s a window of three years max in it.

  5. It will be interesting to see who eventually gets the top job and what supporting team they put together and it is very important that the board get the decision right, as with Galway’s progress this year, we are in danger of being left behind in Connacht and facing a barren patch. I wish to record my thanks to James Horan for his service and efforts. He brought a great professionalism to Mayo and has left a solid foundation to build on. He was unfortunate to come up against Dublin in their prime, probably the finest team of all, bad luck with injuries etc and downright woeful refereeing decisions. Now it is time to move on and the new manager faces a huge challenge. While I do not like the obsessive emphasis on the defensive side of the game, which Mayo did’nt buy into, unfortunately this is the way the game has evolved and, also unfortunately, it will remain like this, until the GAA powers that be take off the blinkers and make the necessary rule changes to open up the game. For me one very noticeable feature of Mayo in recent times, is that we are too easy to score against, goals and points-most of our top level opponents seem to get their scores much easier than we do-we do not put opposing attackers under the same close intense pressure and are much too open and this applies to our seniors, U20’s, Minors and even our ladies and, if we are to have any hope of the Holy Grail, it must be addressed. Therefore, our next management group must have a defensive specialist on board and immediately set about developing a proper defensive structure. Hopefully, we will see this being done during the coming League campaign, along with embedding our new style, game plan etc. I would also expect to see the introduction of fresh new blood and a strong effort to upgrade in our weaker positions, Full-Back, Centre-Back and, hopefully, a few more scoring forwards. Horan is a tough act to follow, but I look forward to the New Mayo and, with Galway taking the pressure off us, we can wait in the long grass, as underdogs.

  6. Hi, Greenandred. Some good points. If the names Willie Joe mentions above are indeed the leading candidates and we go for a more defensive approach then it would seem to point to Maurice Sheridan with his “structure over chaos” mantra but if his style of play is anything like he had with the U20s it would be a bloody hard watch. I was leaning towards Solan originally but I feel he might stick with Andy for now and perhaps aim for the Mayo gig in the future along with Andy. Of the others, maybe Rocford due to his relative success in his first stint and the experience he picked up along the way with Donegal’s failed defensive setup. Would he like to keep C.McDonald involved or maybe they don’t see eye to eye. Surely no matter who gets the job the back room team he gets around him is absolutely vital. If McBrien could regain full fitness he would tie down the fullback position and the likes of Sam Callinan, McHugh, Heneghan, O’Flaherty etc would bring new blood and perhaps looking again at others who have been tried sparingly like the 2 Morans, Treacy, and Eoin O’Donoghue. There really is quite a depth of talent in the county for the next boss.

  7. The u20s were coached at training with “If it’s not an 80% pass don’t take it”.
    Kerry won the All Ireland taking on many 50/60% passes into their forwards all season. So Maurice Sheridan a no because that’s too factually a statistical misread of how we might ever endeavour to get goals, points and marks.

  8. It will be hard to keep everyone happy no matter who is appointed. Solan or Dempsey for me (based on the list above) but both would need a very strong backroom team.

  9. My preference is Ray Dempsey because he has the most experience organising a management ticket around a modern style.
    I near enough guarantee if we appoint Ray we become harder to score goals against whilst playing an effective teamwork style when we have the ball.
    Knockmore’s tactics and teamwork with county level players would potentially be very effective.

  10. I’m not sure about Declan Shaw. I was of the opinion that Declan O’Reilly was the force behind that Mitchell’s team and did he not get appointed as the Mayo County coaching officer on the back of it.
    Can someone tell me if either Declan Shaw or Mike Solan for that matter have ever managed a senior team on their own? I was told that they haven’t, but that could be totally wrong. Hard to believe that they’d be considered if they have no record of managing a senior team on their own. I’m very disappointed to see that no outsiders are looking for the role. I thought some would have shown an interest.

  11. Maurice Sheridans style reminded me a little bit of how Dublin played. Percentage game, not giving ball away etc etc. While Dublin mastered it very well and had super players to execute it, we were not so successful. Having said that, but for two woeful and freak goals conceded v Sligo we would have won Connacht and who knows after that. That type of game also saw NUIG beat a Clifford inspired UL in Sigerson Final. It is not the type of football Mayo supporters like or are used to. Even throughout our recent relative success our managers have not been too keen on defensive set ups. JH trusted one on one at the back and especially in the 2011 to 2014 era when we vere really gung ho and played really entertaining football. Rochford was a little more subtle in defensive systems but we were still a very entertaining watch. Looking at Sunday and indeed a lot of this years championship it appears that a defensive system is key.. Defensive work horses are picked in at least 3 forward positions with a reliance on top class forwards such as Clifford and Walsh to do the scoring business. This looks to be the way going forward. I am not so sure I like this style but maybe we need to adapt to it. Our new management may need to employ this system. Maybe we have the beginnings of it already with our score shy half forward line this year.

  12. The main worry for me is that the best available coaching team won’t be possible as they are all running themselves or on different tickets !
    The one mentioned above with Rochford leading it would be excellent but I can’t see it happening as Solan is surely going for the main gig himself .

  13. Mayo were woefull going forward the last few years they looked clueless in front of the posts so why have Ciaran McDonald there as a forwards coach again? Surely a fresh approach is needed and somone that will come up with a plan of attack for the forwards?

  14. Interesting article on Journal / 42 this morning (apologies can’t figure out how to link) where Bernard Flynn expresses some unhappiness with comms around Meath appointment. He apparently thanked the Kilmacud Crokes manager and Stephen Rochford for their support but wasn’t clear if they were lined up as part of a back room team. Of course, might mean absolutely nothing in terms of intentions. Personally I hope SR is interested.

  15. This endless cycle of going back to previous managers has to end. The Rochford ticket above has some great mayo men on it but hes been there before, so has mcdonald. We need something completely new.

    Interesting tweet from Bernard flynn earlier though like much of his tweets need to be taken with a large pinch of salt

  16. There is a list of four candidates and potential.backroom.teams doing rounds this morning..Almost all mentioned in piece above feature with some interesting combinations..Respect to anyone who.puts themselves forward as the pressure will be full on..

  17. Apologies for interrupting the very important managerial conversation, but JOEt, and Pebbles,I looked up the report of the Crossmaglen match (archive search), and Willie Joe noted that Castlebar were cynicism itself when closing out the match! I had a post and noted the cynicism, approvingly. Funny, I named checked Paddy, but not Barry. You had a good post Joet, but didn’t mention Paddy!

  18. Have people got short memories. Can anyone remember Ray Dempseys 3 year stint with the U-21’s back in 2012 and how it ended? We don’t want another Noel and Pat fallout so let’s be very careful here on who we choose…

  19. @KMac that’s unfairly selective. Ray didn’t achieve much in club management then either.
    Is he a better more well rounded and modern manager now?
    Getting a club team with five u19s and a limited amount of depth to win back to back county titles can only have been done with modern management and coaching.
    Knockmore play exactly the style that is necessary now.

  20. We seem to be obsessed with how the game is played in other counties.

    Kerry had no problem booming in route 1 ball on Sunday to engineer a few scores. For all the talk of them been the football God’s, they do whatever it takes to get in to a scoring position, concentrate on their own game and don’t spent too much time fretting about how the game is been played in other counties.

    They seem to be far more advanced in regards of preparedness.

    They knew they needed a managerial change and had their man in place before the old management team knew what hit them.

    It’s been pretty obvious for the past year or more that James Horan wouldn’t be in charge after this year’s campaign.

    Have we a manager in place ?

    We don’t even seem to know who is available nevermind who might be the best choice.

    You can say what you like about how Kerry conducted their business, but the fact is.
    They got who they needed and who they wanted and are now All Ireland champions.

    We are scratching our arses and don’t seem to even have a clue who the right person is for the job.

    How or why would any other county take us as a serious threat next year. We cannot even decide who our next manager should be.

  21. Apologies, Unstoppable, but I have to delete that comment of yours. You’re asking others to post rumours here, which is something that specifically isn’t allowed here. The closing date for nominations is this Friday so we should, hopefully, be beyond the realm of rumours and gossip about the appointment soon after that.

  22. Catcol, you’re correct of course, it was Breffni Park and you’d think I’d remember as I was there.
    There was a humdinger of a melee at the end of the game too and I remember an elderly member of the Mitchels backroom team got a slap from a Crossmaglen sub and then all hell broke lose! McEntee and McConville went nuts, proper slaps thrown too.
    Having seen McConvilles antics on the line that night I remember taking a very different view of him. He was completely out of control when the game started drifting away from them.
    I still think Shaws credentials stand up there with anyones but personally, I’d love to see Rochford back in there. A risk taker, brilliant at getting the match ups correct and a great innovative thinker of the game. Barry Moran as a sweeper, Dillion at no.3 but in a free roaming playmaker role, O’Shea man marking Donaghy etc.

  23. @Supermac

    I disagree with you

    I think it’s important that we identify the strengths of the managers we have and use them at the appropriate times in the lifecycle of the squad.

    For example, Horan has proven himself to be excellent at bringing young players through. When our squad is approaching the end and new players need to be blooded, then we should 100% be looking to JH again.

    Conversely, given the position our current squad is in in it’s lifecycle, were JH an option, he would not be the correct one ATM

    Similarly, Rochford has proven himself adept with a group that is, what I would describe as entering maturity. Not where we are ATM either imo but when we are there, probably the next appointment, I’d be fully behind Stephen.

    Ultimately it’s this attention to detail in our management appointments that will mean we can make consistent year on year gains, and have consistent success in the future

  24. Yep have to agree the idea of Rochford back still gets the adrenaline pumping , my only concern would be his stint at Donegal was flat . If Ciaran mac is to be part of a set up he really needs to put his stamp on the attacking style of play . Wouldn’t be too harsh on Mac either though, heading into 22 we looked like we were heading for a good place up top and then he had lost his two most skilful forwards by the business end add in the fact cillian wasn’t firing properly and it was a monumental ask to have a cohesive and potent forward plan this year .

  25. See Bernard Flynn had named Rochford as part of his backroom team for Meath job before he heard on Social Media the job was given to Colm O’Rourke. Sounds familiar as regards operation of a County Board

  26. @catcol, my recollection of the Castlebar v Crossmaglen game in Cavan was an incredible performance from Barry Moran. That is what stuck in my mind. Castlebar’s best ever performance as a team as well.

  27. Revellino is right – we should learn from Kerry.
    They went close a few times over last few years but didnt land SAM. They identified their weaknesses and addressed them – no messing.
    Peter Keane wasnt good enough – out – new man in.
    Defence leaking soft goals- new defensive coach with proven track record comes in – problem solved.
    Ky players mentally weak in close games – new performance coach/psychology person brought in from Clare – they finish strongly in final and semi final this year to win close games.
    Galway full back line weak – test them out with early high ball to put them under pressure.
    All very simple when you have the right people steering the ship and making the hard calls.

  28. I hear what people are saying about Ray Dempsey and I respect the arguments being made and the people making them.

    I have one question: can Dempsey win an All Ireland; has he the wherewithal to get a team playing to the max on All Ireland final day? By wherewithal, I mean mental strength, tactical flexibility, wIllingness to listen, judgement especially on the line.

    I believe Rochy has these qualities BTW.

  29. @Catcol
    Mental strength – think no issue
    Tactical flexibility – mgmt ticket related more as long as the manager listens
    Willingness to listen – brought in Terry Kennedy
    Judgement – has had a lot of practice at this now.

  30. I wouldn’t be letting Dempsey within an asses roar of the job. His conflict resolution skills would leave a lot to be desired.

  31. Dempsey managed in three All Ireland finals (incl a replay) if I’m correct

    Should have won both minors in 08, but probably more down to player’s themselves taking wrong decisions at crucial times. Great squad, probably more or less had right team out in final

    09 minors were far from a vintage crop, probably overachieved making final. Dour match, but lost to a very talented Armagh side that had a huge amount go on to make it as seniors. Again couldn’t really fault his selection

    Was a bit all over the shop then at under 21s, picked funny teams, but under 21 was a nuisance around that time, directly clashing with Sigerson, FBD/National league etc. Didn’t help him that his best players were on the Mayo senior league panel at the time. But underachieved hugely with the 1989 crop twice (at minor and under 21) and with the 1990s at under 21 level, the former age group contained Ruaidhri O’Connor, Donie Newcombe, Neil Douglas, Lee Keegan, Alan Freeman, Jason Doherty, Jason Gibbons, Cathal Carolan on the age itself

    Would like to think he’s learned a lot 11 years on, managed Knockmore to two titles in a row, with no real marquee players, and probably 4th or 5th best team in Mayo on paper

  32. You’re going to have to substantiate that claim, Dreamysleepy, you can just fling out an accusation like that without providing something to support the claim.

  33. Can I just clarify with ye as I honestly don’t know is Donie Buckley a free agent now as in he is not part of any set up ?

  34. KM79, I with your previous post. In an effort to look transparent, Mayo are adopting a process which is deeply flawed and can’t possibly get the best possible management team. Not going to name names because nothing is official but I have seen the supposed managerial tickets doing the rounds this morning and each option has some great individuals involved, there is a dream management team available and want to be involved but some talent will be lost because they are on opposing tickets. Mayo would be better served if the County Board head hunted the best available manager they could get and asked him to put a team together.

  35. Mayomad, I hear what you are saying about a dream management team being willing and available but currently on opposing tickets.

    Remember there are two more days left before close of applications. In addition to the existing tickets, could this team be assembled on paper and an application made before Friday’s deadline?

    I know it sounds weird but I’m interested that Stephen Rochford’s name was mentioned as part of a Meath ticket and is also mentioned in relation to a Mayo application. One didn’t stop the other.

  36. Rochford has been the main coach with Donegal now for a few years, their play now consists of 50 yds forward and 100 yds back in each phase of football. not what Mayo supporters want .after watching Clifford last Sunday a high fielding Full forward that stays around the square is whats needed going forward.

  37. Culmore – I was thinking the same and Jack Carney look`s like he has all the attributes to play that role if he can polish up on his scoring from play. Another few FF`s to play that type of role i would like to see come in is Kuba Callaghan and Conor Diskin.

  38. Hope Mayo County Board are picking up smart advice as the days roll on,Bernard Flynn only discovered by Social media that he hadnt got the Meath job.This mangerial position is the biggest thing that Seamus Tuohy needs to get right in his 5 year term.So everything must be done right and they must land the best managerial team to compete with and have a gameplan to beat this current Kerry Senior team.

  39. Swallow swoops, I wouldn’t think so, coaches would have given their word to a prospective manager that they would be part of their bid, it wouldn’t be proper to also be part of a rival bid, makes things very messy.
    The more I think of it the more I believe this process is the wrong way to find a manager. Out of the 4 options that are being circulated, none of which are official yet, but you could pick a name out of each option and those names combined would be a stronger management team than either of the 4 options being put forward.

  40. While I’m not buying in to Clifford as the greatest ever, I was right behind him on Sunday, and his fetching for those two marks/points was a joy to behold. The way he approached the ball, the leap, the catch were all wonderful and he probably would have scored anyway. Kerry got three of these and three points; Geaney made a mess of the first ball in, so there were four points on. The three they got really kept them in the game, so it’s an important factor. You would think Aidan O’Shea could get at the end of this kind of ball, particularly late in a game.

  41. Good points, Mayomad. I get what you are saying.

    Please God we get this one right. These are also exciting times for us.

  42. Any reason why the county secretary is leaking this information to the press? It seems extremely unprofessional to put this information out BEFORE the closing date for applications. When there is a need for information around player injuries, etc we had silence from the county. Now we have commentary on an open process from the people charged with appointing someone?

  43. Carney the most likely to develop into the super player we so badly need. Intelligent and suberb athlete. Midfield is his preferred position.
    Im not convinced any of the management teams bandied about at the moment are capable of getting Mayo over the line.
    One thing very noticable on Sunday last, the amont of consultations between the members of respective Management teams…

  44. @Catcol..AOS has got a much better pass with an open Goal in front of him in last year’s All Ireland final and didn’t manage to score, at all in last year’s All Ireland final.. What does that tell you!

  45. Agreed Leantimes…and in the previous game vs dublin where ball was being pumped into him he missed a mark from the 13 yard line. Time to give up on the idea of AOS at ff after years of evidence it doesn’t work, you can’t carry someone in there who never scores.

    Carney could be an option for the high ball though with a wee bit more coaching, thought he had a very decent rookie year and has room to improve

  46. Leantimes and Supermac – all I’m talking about is Aidan catching and making a mark. I think he’s an impact sub at this stage. All he has to do is catch it, and mark it. Kerry balls and Clifford’s jumps were midfield ball stuff.

  47. Catcol. It’s no use catching and calling a mark if it isn’t scored. The player calling it must kick it and we saw what happened with Aidan as someone above pointed out.

  48. If our 14 does not have to track back like Clifford then we get more selection options as the stamina, pace and tackling requirement is reduced majorly.

  49. When we have a David Clifford we will send ball in to him and leave him forward at all times

  50. The fact that we don’t have a Clifford is more reason for our forwards to stay put in their positions. Cillian o’connor tracked outfield far too much. You might say it’s an admirable work-hungry trait but when he’s needed he’s everywhere bar where he should be. And then we’re wondering why we can’t score?

    We’ve enough defensive, tracker-type players in Mayo. More than any team in Ireland we need our forwards to maintain their positions.

  51. An injury free James Carr is probably the closest we have at present to that kind of a ff. 2 footed and good hands,more pace than Darren Coen.
    I’d prefer to see Jack around the middle/

  52. People saying Carney has great potential at FF and AOS definitely shouldn’t be played there. Carney on the evidence so far is athletic with great hands but a poor shooter. Look at his miss versus Kerry. Looks an out and out midfielder. People would do well to remember the damage AOS has done to other team’s from FF. I’ll eat my hat if any of the current Mayo panel end their careers with All Stars at 11 and 14.

  53. We dont have a Clifford no where close, neither does any any other county, just because Kerry have Clifford doesn’t mean we have to try and manufacture a Clifford Lite. What we need to do is properly exploit what we do have, all going well we will have two of the countries top corner forwards available, we should be looking to develop a strategy of getting them in space with early ball. Not year 7 of let’s try Aido at 14 and hope it might work this time. Tommy and Ryan with the right ball and an attacking plan built around them (not around halfbacks) will do way more damage than high balls into any full forward we have available.

  54. Its all about variation and unpredictability in our play. Keep opposition guessing. I wouldnt rule out any ‘play’ that results in creating a scoring chance.
    But we need a top class management team for starters…

  55. Jack Carney is a fantastic prospect and if he can tidy up on his shooting he will be a handful for any full back line. Jack is still 21/22 so has lots to learn. A good forwards coach could teach him a lot.

    I still think there is a massive season or two in cillian it is easy to forget the form he was in before his injury and at his age profile ( just turned 30) he can get back to offering us plenty if he can stay injury free. After-all he is only a year older than Shane Walsh.

    Diarmuid has the potential to be a fantastic out and out 11, he showed that in the earlier parts of the league this year but for some reason we abandon it once he got injured.

    Tommy and Ryan are the two of the most exciting young prospects in football at the moment outside of Clifford and Sean O’Shea.

    There is an overreaction to say we have no forwards but in reality we played the 2022 season without a fit Cillian, Diarmuid struggled with injury’s for most the season, Jack Carney is in his first season as a starting player and only joined up with the squad towards end of the league, James Carr was injured most the league and played towards the end of the league, Darren McHale was out injured most the year, Tommy and Ryan missed most the year also with injury.

    We are not as bad off as we think but it is very important we get the right managment in place and get the rub of the green with injury’s over the next few seasons.

  56. The mark should be done away with, would it not be a better spectacle to see Clifford go high, field the ball, come down, turn onto his left or right and score.

  57. In an ideal world the Mayo CB would have the best management team lined up ready to go. Kerry returned to a tried and tested winning manager plus he sourced what was needed a Defensive coach (p tally). I think what’s needed in mayo’s new management team is a proven winner and someone that has previously reset a county. (Dublin). Pat Gilroy with whomever he thinks is required. Probably not achievable as in he wouldn’t take the job. so we will get someone who has had some success at minor/u21/U20/ Club county titles and then we will back here in 2/3 years time debating why we have come up short again. If you look back on winning all Ireland teams in last 30 they all had at least 1 top class forward — Clifford/Kerry. Kilkenny/Dublin gooch/Kerry Murphy/Donegal cork maybe not. At the moment we don’t but hopefully soon

  58. I wouldn’t take seriously what Bernard flynn is saying, Stephen Rochford was not on his backroom team but was advising him who to get, also Meath county board did inform all candidates before O Rourke was appointed

  59. While i agree Rochford is a great man to have on the sideline on a big day, one thing that i didn’t like about his term was he didn’t integrate many new players into the panel. I don`t want to sound negative but we were not in a great place when James Horan took over in 2019. We now essentially have a new panel and whoever takes over it is important they still develop new players. I think of all the candidates named what Ray Dempsey has done in Knockmore with player development and how he used a young squad is the most impressive, however, intercounty football is a different kettle of fish and the backroom team is going to be more important than who is the Manager.

  60. JKEL88, I have seen it a lot as a criticism of Rochford that he didn’t integrate new players into the panel.
    This always bothers me as a criticism because I wonder if it is using hindsight to criticise in a way that was unreasonable to expect in the circumstances of the time.
    Firstly, as I understand it, everyone’s full attention in 2016-17 was to win Sam. We had arguably the best team and chance since 1951, and previous years showed we weren’t too far away. We had a formidable opponent (with a crazy bench) that we might just pip at full stretch.
    That was a full plate right there.
    Is it fair to criticise Rochford that he wasn’t planning for the future beyond that?
    Secondly, it’s not fully correct to say he neglected introducing new players into the panel. Mattie, James Carr, Conor Loftus, Fergal Boland were all there under Rochford. The later under-20s hadn’t yet come through.
    That’s just my view on it.
    I think Rochford did enough in the circumstances of the time.
    We were lucky Horan was so brilliant at team development after (to move us on so quickly).

  61. No doubt about it we had our best final appearance in 17 and indeed 16 x2 were decent aif performances also but our championship run was steeped in luck after losing to Galway both years , some of the qualifier games we really did get out of a tight ones we maybe shouldn’t have either by right . My point is 16/17 weren’t the great years they’re cracked up to me albeit the win v Kerry in 17 sf was top drawer and like I said the aif performances in both years were excellent.

  62. I keep seeing it that 2016 and 2017 were our best chances to win the All Ireland but for me it was 2013. If people recall, we absolutely blitzed teams that summer. We made an All Ireland final and the closest a team got to us along the way was 6 points. For me, it was the one time in my life where I think we were well within our rights to say we had the best team in the country.

    For some reason that day, we just didn’t perform and had the old Mayo failing of going 1-on-1 on the form forward in the country who duly put pay to us.

    I have a lot of time for Rochford though and really respect the way he had Mayo teams firing in big games and had the authority to make some huge calls.

    I think if we had Rochford on the sideline for the 2013 final, we win that game by a few points.

    Yes, Horan didn’t inherit a great Mayo team in 2019 but I think that just points to Rochford getting absolutely every last bit of juice out of that team. If we are being completely honest, that team peaked in 2013, not 2017.

  63. 2013 was seven years into the under21 team of 2006 , I think there were 7/8 players involved in 2013 panel from that team . I’d tend to agree that was the peak for the era .

  64. Swallow Swoops – In Rochford`s last game v Kildare in 2018 of the players listed above only Loftus came on with 67 minutes gone. None of Boland, Carr or Ruane made the matchday panel. I am pretty such neither Carr or Ruane played a competitive game under Rochford but i am open for correction.

    I think outside of squad development and not winning a Connacht title he was a great manager but we cant be going around in circles appointing the same managers who havent got us over the line unless they are bringing something new to the table.

  65. JKEL88, do you think Rochford would neglect panel development now?
    I do like Rochford as a manager, I will admit, but I’d really like to see a new look and feel to his management team if he were to win through this time. I’m wary of going back to the same in the sense that I mistrust a feeling of staleness. We need newness, excitement, momentum. I think he could achieve that vibe but it would need to be consciously done. We all need some freshness (with competence too). I’d also like to see some outside influences in the backroom team.
    P.S. I was pleased to see Maurice Horan’s name mentioned in the mix above. I loved how he spoke with such blind belief of Mayo before the Kerry game on the podcast. It reminded me of how Tony McEntee always stood fiercely behind and defended Mayo when he spoke about the team after his stint ended with them.

  66. Swallow Swoops – In regards to Rochford I have no idea what his objective or plan might be for this term if he goes for the job, i am sure the end goal will be to win an all ireland. Just from past experience we cant afford 2-3 years of not bringing through new players who are pushing for a starting place. Player development is one area i would like to see some continuity inn with the new management. I agree for me a fresh approach is needed but i am aware we also need to consider the best person for the job and if that is a case of reverting to a previous manager with a strong backroom team then so be it.

  67. Unstoppable – had Horan been on the line in 2015, we might have done it that year either. He left too early and I think he knew it himself.

    Also, Aidan O’Shea would tell you the team peaked in 2014. That’s when he said he felt physically at his best.

    Listen, if Rochford proposes a strong team, I’d be interested in what he could do.

  68. Whoever comes in this as manager will end being accused of not developing new young players, simply because JH will already have had them involved. I believe Sam Callinan for example would have just done his leaving cert.

    I really think Rochford gets unfair criticism in this regard, and I am one of the people who thinks that Stephen’s approach might not be as empowering for young players, and that it might take them longer to grow into the first team under him.

  69. Stephen Rochford is not the answers, maybe under Sloan he will be assets but not the top job or joint manager.
    I have a bad feeling the census 100 year question of Mayo not having won an all Ireland will come to pass if we keep the way were going.
    We need someone who knows how to win, new canadites only please

  70. 2014 we beat Roscommon by a late point, were pushed all the way by a finished Cork team who were thumped by Kerry, and were a Shane Walsh missed penalty from the Connacht final becoming a dogfight aswell. Lost to a mediocre (by their standards) Kerry after being home and hosed in the first game and being caught in the last few minutes

    In 2017 we lost to an average Galway, nearly lost to Derry (awful back then), Cork and Roscommon. Outplayed by Clare for a half also. The Kerry replay and final performances were legendary though

    2013 we obliterated Galway by 17 points, Donegal by similar, Roscommon by about 14 and after a shaky first half blew Tyrone away in the 2nd

    No doubt in my mind 2013 was our real peak… I think people tend to forget how good we actually were. This may sound controversial but I truly dont believe any team reached the level we showed that summer in the subsequent years, bar Dublin at times in 2017 and 18 maybe, but its hard to put into words how massive those wins v Galway and Donegal were.. they genuinely sent out shock waves. We completely flopped in the final sadly, the way we were playing that summer we should have beat that Dublin side (who were cut open by kerry in the semi at times, and hadn’t yet reached their true peak) with a bit to spare

  71. One of the things I could not fathom about Stephen Rochford is why he left it so late to bringing on subs. Bringing on a guy with 3 minutes to go is a waste of time and an insult to the player coming on. Maybe its time for a fresh approach and give Kevin McStay a chance

  72. Agree 100% with that post Ciaran. Realistically the easiest All Ireland would have been 2014 but we were definitely mentally hungover from losing two finals in a row.

    I watched a few of those games back recently. The job we did on Donegal was genuinely incredible. I wonder did we peak that day. Even against Tyrone, we didn’t play great but were so good that summer that we still had plenty to spare.

    We were motoring in the final, it was 0-06 to 0-01 when they scored a goal out of nothing. An utterly preventable goal it should be added.

  73. Ciaran – 2013 was a great year but Donegal were a shadow of themselves that year. Still on the piss from the year before and absolutely waiting to be beaten by the time we met them.

  74. Would have to agree with the ’13 final, even if some of the players (Andy) thought ’12. I remember at half time being amazed with how strong the performance was, but crippled with wides. Just read a match report now and apparently Dubs were worse – 10 wides from them, 9 from us.

    Ah well

  75. Rochford used to get slated for taking players off too early, basing his substitutions on GPS data. Now peopke are saying he was taking them off too late.

    I haven’t seen a whole heap of players that would be of the age profile that James Horan brought in that Stephen might have missed.

    It’s not true to say Rochford didn’t try any new players. He did.
    Newly introduced players should actually be better than what they are replacing.

    When James Horan had settled on his team circa 2014 he didn’t continue to bring in young lads.

    If you do have your best team with the best players out, why would you keep replacing them.

    If people keeping casting up how brilliant a job James was doing at developing players, why were there so many posts over the past four years about several players not been up to the standard, and why were there so many questions about our lack of bench depth ?

    Plenty of posts over the year about players who never left the bench and were still named again and again. That doesn’t sound like endless player development.

    Good players usually come through, regardless of who the manager is.

    Great players don’t always come along but alot of great players came along coinciding with James first tenure. These players were coming along regardless who was the manager.

  76. Donegal actually beat Tyrone in 2013 and made the Ulster final, dreamy

    They were there to be beaten but I think we were about 20 points up at one stage. It has to be the biggest hammering reigning all ireland champions ever received… I’d have it on a par with Meath/Kerry in 01 as the biggest WTF type result I’ve ever seen, in terms of the margin of victory

  77. Hope McStay gets his chance just like Ó Rourke, he may not be the answer but let’s put it to bed one way or another

  78. The mooted ticket seems a bit far fetched and unrealistic give the amount of cash needed to pay for them. Mayo drowning in debt. Also, what’s new there? Change has won all Ireland’s for Tyrone and Kerry (Jack changing the style with Tally). We can’t keep flip flopping with the same names. Give it to someone with a fresh approach and let’s have a rattle at it. Dempsey or Shaw. Both men have been in the fire of Mayo club football. Let’s see the backroom teams and back them to bring the best out of the talent within the county. We need to find players and them two men are close to the club’s.

  79. The reason we have not won all Ireland’s over the last 10 years is although we had great defenders we had very poor defence
    Our forwards scored enough in each final to win.

  80. Saying Rochford didn’t bring in new players is unfair. You have to look at the team he inherited in 2016, a team still near their prime and more importantly the circumstances he inherited them under. After the player revolt forcing Pat and Noel out, Stephen had to go with the same panel, making changes to the panel then would have been madness and would have created more tension. Getting to a final first time out probably forced his hand to go again for 2017 (when he got a best ever performance out of Mayo in a final). To a certain extent Stephens hands were tied regarding panel selection in the first couple of years in his reign.

  81. Where you all getting this mcstay stuff from? It had been reported in conn telegraph and a few other places that he was not contesting it

  82. Cash needed ? Is that really true , have my doubts .Pretty sure that is sourced elsewhere .

  83. Sean Burke, no matter where it’s sourced it’s a heft sum for that ticket.

  84. I wouldnt be against the Mcstay ticket doing the rounds but i find it hard to believe all those would go in together. We should hopefully know more in the next 24 hours.

  85. There’s some gossip doing the rounds on that, Supermac, but it’s as well to wait and see what the story is for real on that in due course.

  86. Did Buckley not part ways with Kerry in 2020 before Jack O’Connor came in and then did 2 seasons with Monaghan ?

  87. In fairness to Buckley. When he was coaching in Horans first term. Mayo were as good as they ever were. Their tackling was awesome. I don’t think he should be discounted by any means.

  88. How can Rochford be given the job after being linked with Meath just up to a few days ago? It certainly doesn’t appear like he has any loyalty after that coming out in the media. It seems more to me like someone seeing a financial opportunity and going for it.

  89. I believe you are correct there Seanie CH. Donegal have been a complete shambles under Rochford’s coaching. They have got progressively worse every year under his tuition. I don’t see how he will do any better with Mayo. Their style of play was brutal too. I certainly hope we look for someone new and that doesn’t mean McStay. His comments about Mayo in the media and his failure to call out the hit on Eoghan McLaughlin still annoys me.

  90. Personally I’d be on for a fresh approach and new faces as well, I’d like to see that Castlebar man Shaw along with someone else e.g. Mike Solan. I really think its a big appointment and a two man managerial team would work better given the candidates being bandied about from what I’ve seen of them. Ray Dempsey would be my second choice as well – but a v close second in fairness and if he brought a stronger backroom team then I’d give him a go as well.

  91. The West is best, not necessarily saying I’m looking for Rochford to return but doesn’t Declan Bonnor deserve alot of the criticism for Donegals form? He was the manager after all, don’t forget the other coaches involved with Donegal either. By your reckoning Ciaran Mcdonald is fully to blame for Mayos poor form this year, he was the coach.

  92. Seanie,Keane got rid of never knows the dynamics and jealousies within a county.
    Talks in Meath that Buckley is joining o’Rourke
    Management team must gell and work together especially on match days

  93. Mayomad, of course the manager has to take the majority of the blame, but surely Rochford had some sort of input into the style of play as head coach over the years. McDonald wasn’t the Mayo coach and even if he was, Horanball was never going to be changed. That said, we reached 2 All-Ireland finals very recently. In comparison Donegal got absolutely nowhere under Rochford’s coaching and have got gradually worse if anything.

  94. The proposed management line up that is doing the rounds is a seriously strong one though in fairness. It would work well on so many levels but there is so much rumour and conjecture surrounding Mayo football all the time you could probably take it with a pinch of salt.
    Sam Allardyce could end up getting the role for all we know.

  95. As I mentioned earlier, McStay wouldn’t be my cup of tea after some of his media comments. Has anyone ever seen him at a club game in Mayo for that matter?

  96. Mulligan would know what to do with R O’donoghue. It would give Ryan huge confidence and so much you would imagine would be built around him in the forwards.

  97. Kevin is the strong figurehead we need. Rochford is the coach we need. Make it happen.

  98. I wish to say respectfully to those who question McStay’s comments or non comments while co-commentating Mayo matches – Kevin McStay is conscious that he is doing co-commentary for an audience of general GAA viewers from across all counties in Ireland.
    He is supposed to provide a service as a knowledgeable GAA voice, not as a Mayoman first and foremost. I imagine he tries hard to adopt some sort of neutrality in that position and not to speak with a Mayo hat on. What would any of you feel your remit would be in that job? For example, Pat Spillane gets slated for his partisan stance, understandably.

    I haven’t heard Mike Finnerty’s commentary on Sky too often but I imagine he feels a similar need to appear even-handed, to give commentary for everyone.

    That’s just my view.

  99. I would hope if Stephen is involved, he might get Niamh Fitzpatrick back again. Andy really thought highly of her. No McStays biggest fan but I would be happy with that group.

  100. McStay is worth given a chance if he has that backroom team. Just remember Jack O Connor could do nothing with Kildare even took them back the way. Then just back with Kerry wins All Ireland, its not the Manager but the players who win All Irelands. Have Mayo the players, yes I think so.

  101. If Kevin gets the job you’ll soon see where his loyalties lie….

  102. McStay, Buckley, Rochford, McHale, Mulligan in a proposed management team. It’s reported on RTÉ. There is a serious blend of football brains, coaching ability, and man management in that ticket. Up to now I was hoping Dempsey would get it.
    But in the name of God, that is the strongest management ticket I have ever heard of … in any county. If it is true and the CB pull it off, I, for one, will be looking forward to next year.

  103. I am excited to see what else shows up tomorrow night, i have a feeling there could be a few surprises yet.

  104. Fairplay to the other candidates, of which there are a few I believe for keeping their teams out of the press. This media based approach to try and gain favour isn’t a great start.

  105. That McStay team is very strong. I really can’t see the others bringing a back room team as strong as that together. McStay has the added bonus of experience of inter county level as well as winning an All Ireland club title.

    I always remember reading Cillian O’Connor in one of those quick question interviews saying something like what he hates most is Donie Buckley tackling session at training.

    Anyway, we wait and see what the others bring and who they have. Still hope the MCB actually follow through on their promises and the process is transparent and we know the best team for the job get the job.

  106. Just nip it in the bud ring Eamonn Fitzmaurice give him the job,whatever it takes to get him here.
    Wouldn’t it be great to see a winner on the touch line for once.

  107. The West is best. In fairness, that information was leaked by ……..on twitter this evening. Said it came from a CB source. So can’t blame any candidate for that.

  108. So we have the favourite management team predominantly from two clubs who let’s face it have been down the order of mayo clubs last 15 years at least and no other clubs/regions of county represented on ticket. How familiar are most if not all that group with club football in mayo? 3 of 5 spent most of their time outside county last few years. We also have an assistant manager who failed to land a connacht title, and hasn’t set things on fire in donegal and another in group who has been there already with him and failed! Doesn’t really fill me with confidence. Also for a so called top tier County the list of candidates doesn’t really excite the reader.

  109. It is strange how McStays team is the only one out in the media. I remember the county board saying that the process would not be decided my media or social media. Well here is the asset test now. The mcstay ticket on paper looks appealing but there is a lot of repeated stuff there. Buckley and Rochford. And it’s even more strange that excluding Buckley all the selectors and management are from Crossmolina or Ballina. Should there be a bit more of diversification?

  110. McStay has played a very strong hand there. Time will tell if it is strong enough

  111. Interesting backroom team put forward by McStay, would like to see other candidates / back room teams but this is a strong selection. I would like to see someone who has won Sam involved, not sure if Buckley managed that in his previous experience but I think not.

  112. Green & Red – I’ve deleted that comment of yours. If you’re going to slag someone off, you could at least make an effort to get your facts right. As Seanie correctly pointed out, Donie Buckley had parted company with Kerry well before Jack O’Connor came back.

  113. Lads Kevin Mcstay is a staunch Mayo man through and through , doesn’t matter a jot what he said or didn’t say in an environment where he has to come across as neutral . It comes with a salary ya know that malarkey on the tv , you do whatever ya have to do .

  114. Donie Buckley was involved in the Kerry management team in 2011 under Jack O’Connor and then again under Peter Keane later in 2020

  115. Strange that team was leaked and published by the media heavily and timed. Obviously McStays plan is to win with trial by media. Very disrespectful to other candidates for whom nothing has “leaked”.

    The ticket is names. If we’re being awed and swayed by names we don’t deserve success. Anyone remember the Kerry dream team on paper that was turned down last winter? How did that go?

    If the county board play the game that the media want them to play it’s going back to the old. The lack of respect to other candidates following the process is annoying and I’d fear the race is run already by a well timed “leak”.

  116. @Culmore its a combination of both. The management getting the best of its players and the playing buying into that what Jack O’Connor got with Kerry

  117. In fairness Two Yellows, I would think it was done ensure a repeat of 2014 doesn’t occur where despite there being a “process”, the preferred candidates were already selected in advance.

    You might also recall more recently in 2018 (as stated by Edwin in the Mayo News) about county board officials calling to a house in Ballaghaderreen prior to any interviews taking place.

    And possibly the most positive media campaign in 2010, when the county board had selected Tommy Lyons but for a furious backlash amongst the public and the media which resulted in James Horan taking the job. How different would our last decade have been if this hadn’t happened.

    I don’t blame McStay one bit for leaking his ticket. He’s been screwed a few times by a lack of due process and he’s not going to let it happen again.

  118. I like that McStay ticket, I have to say? Warming to it big time. McHale though…some doubts. Does it look as if Rochy had earmarked Buckley and Mulligan? Did he meet McStay somewhere and they got talking?

  119. WJ the blog prides itself on not allowing unsubstantiated rumours or turning into the sort of cesspit that other social media platforms are.
    [Details deleted].
    It was probably meant as a joke but that’s hardly the point – it reeks of double standards in the moderation of the site.
    There are plenty of places on the net for that kind of tabloid stuff – now including the Mayo Blog apparently. Or was this an oversight?

  120. I’ve reviewed the comment in question, Longball, and while I do think the part of it that you’ve referred to was indeed made in jest, I’ve deleted it, along with your characterisation of what was posted, which put a different spin on it than the original comment did. Needless to say, I reject what you’ve said about my moderation of the blog, which I stand over. I think the general standard of debate here speaks for itself.

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