McStay throws his hat in the ring


Photo: Irish Examiner/Sportsfile

Monday morning, all the kids now back at school and with the Dubs out as well as us it’s going to be a quiet enough September football-wise up here. Until Donegal and Kerry show up later in the month, I guess.

I’m not going to do the usual post-match trawl of the papers for match reports and quotes. I can’t face it and I know you can’t either. I will, of course, gather them all up and stick them in the results archive (when I’ve the 2014 set completed and tidied up this makes 113 years of results that are but a click away) but that’s not a job for today.

I did have a peek at the papers, of course, but only a quick one and I’m not going to dwell on them, but for one piece that is maybe worth a read. Steve in the comments says keep clear of Eugene McGee’s baffling take on the game in the Irish Independent – I agree, I don’t know what match he was at but it wasn’t the one in Limerick. Likewise, Kerryman John O’Keeffe in the Irish Times who manages to avoid any mention of the ref in his ‘analysis’. The article that is worthy of mention, though is John Bannon’s assessment of the ref in the Irish Examiner.

I was never a fan of Bannon when he was on the field but his Monday pieces on how the weekend’s big matches were reffed always makes for interesting reading. He often highlights mistakes made by officials but I’ve never seen him tear a ref’s performance to shreds in the way he does in his damning assessment of Reilly’s handling of Saturday evening’s match. The catalogue of blunders he lists is even worse than I’d imagined it to be on the night and it’s confirmation that we were, pardon the pun, royally screwed by the Meath official. I know it’s of little use to us now but the least the County Board should do is to lodge an official complaint and demand that this incompetent clown be taken off the inter-county roster with immediate effect.

Reilly’s riding of us has one further use. It’s now abundantly clear that this was the decisive factor in Saturday night’s extra-time defeat. Sure, losing centrefield and our inability to keep a lid on Donaghy didn’t help but many matches are won by teams ceding advantage in the middle and our ability to score heavily largely negated the damage being done at our end. With this in mind – and bearing in mind too Donegal’s spectacular upsetting of Dublin’s applecart yesterday – we need to bottle all this hurt and unleash it with venom next year. With a fair ref, I’d fancy our chances against anyone then.

Who’ll be leading us into battle in 2015 is now the issue and Kevin McStay was quickly out of the traps last night to stake his claim. He could have chosen to deflect the mumbly question directed to him on The Sunday Game but instead dealt with it head-on by admitting his interest in the job.  He won’t be the only candidate for it – Cliona Foley in today’s Indo gives a list of the names being mentioned and the bookies have provided a shortlist this morning too – but he is a credible one and if we stay within the county for this appointment, which I think we should, he’ll definitely be one of the leading contenders.

I guess we’ll get some clarity over the coming days about how long this process will take. James Horan was appointed at the end of September back in 2010 and you’d have to think that whomever we pick this time would need to be in the saddle by around the same time this year. So, even though our championship hopes for 2014 are now sadly over, an interesting month in Mayo GAA circles nonetheless lies ahead.

135 thoughts on “McStay throws his hat in the ring

  1. Twasnt me who said it WJ but I agree anyway.
    Pat Holmes is the man for me, I think with his record at U-21, club and even his first coming at senior he deserves a shot. This whole celebrity thing with K Mc, the fact that he is based in Kildare and that he will bring the b’baller with him, I dont think he is the right man for us.

  2. I think it has to be a Mayo man in charge. It has to be about more then “expenses”, it has to be passion and pride. A former county player with our neighbours told me a story about one manager standing in the dressing room and loudly proclaiming on the phone that “there’ll be no fucking training till I get paid”. Can you imagine how that made the players feel. The players have wanted for nothing in the past four years and are used to and will rightly demand a professional setup, they will not tolerate anything but the best and deservedly so.
    Am I correct in thinking McStay has retired from the Army? That would be a massive plus as the job is now a full time one. Finally, surely James Horan made his intentions to give it just one more year clear to the county board. They would have had a year to plan for his replacement.

  3. Need to wait until after the county championship is finished. Alan Mulholland may have a list up but I haven’t heard any official list of names yet.

  4. Forgot to add, one stipulation with McStays appointment should be that the long fella isn’t in the package. The last thing we need is another buck on the sideline with short shorts and tanned legs preening about. @east cork exile, is McStay not living in Athlone? I thought that is why he retired because of the barracks downgrade in Athlone he would have had to transfer to the Curragh. I also think the reason he turned down the Kildare job was because he knew this role was coming up.

  5. Kevin mcstay is the man for the job, remember st Bridget’s ,he came in first season after Cunningham had taken them to final, and won club final, history could be repeated. Pat Holmes was there got his chance, as for Lyons, no thanks.

  6. This hurts more than any defeat before would love to see Buckley take over hope team take a long break and come back even stronger … A lot to ask though … my flags still flying proudly the supporters were fantastic for the last 2 matches another memory to cherish … and we will all be there again in January only a few weeks away Maigheo Abu!!!

  7. Another great and well written post WJ, and the results archive you linked there is testament to the massive service you’re providing us all. I took today off work in anticipation of either massive celebrations or massive disappointment, too bad it’s the latter!!
    I would disagree with the statement that the referee was the decisive factor on Saturday, horrendous game though he had. Our inability to cope with Donaghy, and our loss of midfield, played just as great, if not greater, a part in our defeat. I hope we see the Aidan and Seamus back in centre field again next year, as that is the best pairing in the country when they play well.

  8. The Mayo county board definitely need to make an official complaint about the refereeing at the game, watched it again, did get cafferkey not have a 100% right to go for the ball? I think he had every right and got there first anyway, donaghue of course was acrobatic enough to kid a flaky referee and it worked.
    That was one of lots of wrong decisions, some were shocking, others seemed to be aimed at getting Kerry over the line. Kerry kicked the ball over the sideline, Kerry ball!!!! You couldn’t make it up.
    When you think what Keegan was red carded for and see what Kerry got away with, there’s definite grounds for Mayo players to be totally pissed off. Suffice it to say Reilly will never ref another mayo match.

    I hope they appoint a new manager very soon and continue with this panel, maybe add afew new faces and ideas to bring them back to quarterfinal stage next year. Mcstay may be the man, as d’unbelievables used to say ” the army training, shtood to me”

  9. Kevin could be our man , but its about who surrounds him , nothing worse than a bunch of yes men
    He probably deserves a shot at this stage. Nothing against Holmes but he didn’t have a great run
    Kevin’s heart is in the right place and although we’re all great “Monday morning quarter backs” I think he is tactically astute and would be a bit more animated on the side line.we need a bit of that too and that goes for our captain’s as well. Encouragement Encouragement Encouragement and lot of it.

  10. The disparaging remarks directed towards Liam McHale by many posters on this blog the last two days is disgraceful stuff

  11. I would agree with WJ and those who want a Mayo man in charge. That is not to say we should ignore anyone from outside. McStay is certainly interesting but to suggest that he be told he can not bring McHale with him (who I would also have strong reservations about) is like a throw back to the time a certain manager told the county board to go f*ck themselves for not allowing him to pick his own selectors.

    The hurt from Sat evening is still raw for everyone and facing back to work etc…..a friend sent me this quote via an email a short while ago (Depsite a certain commentator suggesting that we should):

    Winners never quit and quitters never win.
    Vince Lombardi

    This Mayo team will not quit and neither will we,

  12. PA, has a point,lets no slate people to no end,I think Liam would sell his soul to see Mayo win an all Ireland .

  13. Pat Holmes getting a couple of unfair comments above I think. His first stint in charge was too early, but he still won a national title with us. He then lead our U21s to AI success, many of that team, inf act the main spine, still remains. His Mitchels team were exceptionally fit and were similar to Mayo in many ways: refusal to lie down, attacking football with attacking half backs, emphasis on speed. Pat would b well due another crack and I’d be delighted to see him in charge

  14. Never questioned McHales love for his county or passion to win an All Ireland, but if that was all that was required we would have 50 All Ireland’s.
    Think Holmes/ Connelly deserve serious consideration as well.

  15. All – As others have suggested, I think some of the disparaging stuff being written here about possible candidates for the manager’s job is a bit over the top and unfair to the individuals in question (some or all of whom may not even be interested in taking on the role). I’ve no problem with anyone justifying why they think individuals may or may not be suitable candidates but simply slagging off people isn’t on. Everyone needs to lay off a bit on this or else I’ll have to take action on it.

  16. Guys, the county board won’t say a thing or even complain about the ref on Saturday. Remember what THE PRESIDENT OF THE GAA said a week ago, “if we know whats good for us we should get on with it” (from memory, apologies if incorrect) I firmly believe Croke park have a gun to our heads, and Mayo CB will not rock the boat.

  17. Well at the risk of a rebuke I’ll state it again only louder this time, the county board is not good enough in comparison to the county team.

    They should have been aware before the drawn match that a replay was slated for Limerick . Lip service after makes a laugh of us as a county.

    Referees and being shafted goes hand in hand with Mayo. The All Ireland semi final of ’39 with Kerry was a draw. A last minute foul led to a 14 yard free to Msyo. As the Mayo player was attended to, the Kerry co chair and sec spoke to the ref. The ball was thrown up, the final whistle blown and we lost the replay. So angry were Mayo that they withdrew from the following league campaign with them on the cusp of a six in a row.

    The 1948 final saw 4 minutes shaved off and a 14 yard free charged down from eight yards . Eamon Mongey lambasted the board in the 1980s. You can throw in your own shafting. McAneney in 96, McQuillan in 09. Various Meath refs , AIF and League final 12. On and on it goes.

    Meath refs in particular shaft Mayo . The county board should now tell Croke park they want Reilly removed and not to ref a Msyo match again. If they get him removed at least justice will be done.

    Also to text of speech given by O Neills
    GAA president should be given
    Clarity. He issued a number of veiled innuendo in there that the MAYO county board need explain .

    Finally and I probably will put the kibosh on him but McStay us the only candidate worthy. By the way I wasn’t aware he lived in Kildare , elsewhere in my opinion but a county board that recently described Derry as a small but beyond Sligo when
    Referring to a concern about Micky Morans dwelling abode would have no problem with Kildare, a bitteen beyond Ballagh in their flat world

  18. Saturday’s defeat was disappointing and the refereeing display was disgraceful. However this is an external factor – one that the team could not influence. The best teams set themselves up to beat 16 men.

    I’d be in favour of choosing McStay for the manager’s job. He is retired and living an hour from Castlebar and most importantly he can devote his full energies to finishing the job. I also think that he will respect the fantastic foundation that Horan has built and will only make a few tweaks. That’s all that’s needed. We have the playing personnel, the talent is there. The formation and in what position the players are selected is the issue for me. Sure he alluded to that last night with the selection of Vaughan at full back comment. If he is the man then he is entitled to choose his no.2. If that’s Liam McHale then respect his judgement on it.

  19. I was very heartened by McStay on the Sunday Game last night. It certainly appears that he now has the energy to try and take us one step further and obviously believes that it is very much possible. He was also not afraid to call the ref out on his performance, while sitting next to a Kerry man. I feel he dealt with that very well.
    I believe that if we are to back MsStay (if he is chosen) we should trust fully in his judgement to select who he sees fit. Otherwise we will questioning the very first decision he makes before a ball is even kicked.

  20. It needs to be a mayo manager, O Mahony is the only one to have all ireland sucess with Galway. I like Mc Stay his honest type of guy and i know somone who know him and he thinks he is genuine sort and he hates Mayo as hes from Rosscommon

  21. There’ll be no getting screwed by ref’s if McStay gets the job.

    That’s for sure. He is the standout candidate for me although I always rated Connelly highly. He and holmes were a good combo at u21. I wouldnt like holmes on his own.

    Agree with Pa re: macHale – he is a good ‘right hand man’ in the dressing room – excellent for morale. McStay is cute, shrewd and would be likely to make the right calls on the line. Just hope he aint a year too late.

  22. My two pense worth….. I think McHale and McStay would be an excellent combination. Don’t forget McHale was with Maughan in 2004 when we reached a final ( maybe 06 as well.. can’t be sure) I know we got humped each time but I firmly believe they would have the best interest of Mayo at heart, and do everything in his power to reach the holy grail.

  23. Its hard to take this defeat when you read bannon’s assessment. Worse still when one considers we should have beaten them in Croker.
    I applaud James for the level he has brought mayo to, and the players will rightly expect the same level of professional approach from the new man. But what we also need is someone with the tactical awareness to match the professional approach. That tactical awareness will be seen by all as McGuiness tackles the donaghy issue in the final. I for one wrongly assumed when i heard Barry Moran was starting that he there to mark donaghy with Vaughan moving to midfield. Donaghy is a true one trick pony, he has no speed, just the catch. Hard one to fathom, and adds to the sense of frustration….

  24. AGree that if we choose someone from mayo that McStay is the obvious choice. If Liam is with him then so be it, after all it was the two of them that masterminded the all ireland win for Brigids some it seems that they worlk well together.

    However the mention of Tony McEntee in Mulholland bookmakers odds excited me greatly. I have listened to his analysis on TV and radio and he is very tactically aware. One only has to listen back to the preview of the two semi finals that were on newstalk last friday. He predicted almost exactly how donegal would set up under mcguinness v the dubs. While all around him predicted 15 men behind the ball, he forseen how the game would pan out. If he wasnt manager then i feel he would be a serious addition to our backroom team if we could get him on board

  25. Agree with you John Cuffe. When you look at the effort and level of meticulous planning that goes into the preparation of the team and you see those eejits on the County Board asleep at the wheel when a potential replay is arranged for Limerick. Games like this are won by inches and we handed Kerry a huge advantage before the ball was even thrown in.

    We also got labelled in the media as an overly physical team by the Kerry hacks and commentators who subtly and not so subtly planted this idea. Result Kerry get away with murder while we have to be practically assaulted to get a free.The ref rightly rode us to finish off the job and again it’s so unfair on the lads and the work they’ve put in to be treated in such a shambolic way.

    But we need to be careful not to whinge on about it too long. We need to make our complaints, store that hurt and use it to drive us forward. And tell Croker in no uncertain terms that we’ll never agree to a decision like that again and we never want to see that ref again.

    I also believe that Mc Stay is the man for the job. I thought he did very well on the Sunday game pointing out the atrocious performance of the ref and is use of the word appalling was spot on.

    As we leave the Horan era and what a great era it’s been, the best way to honour James’s and the team’s efforts is to make sure we continue on our journey and it’s vital that we get the right man to ensure that continuity. We can’t drop the ball now, we need to ensure that we continue to be consistently competitive ( as James has stated many times ) and I believe Mc Stay can do this for us.

    He’s a passionate Mayo man with time to do the job and the presence and vision to drive the team forward.

  26. There will be all sorts of rumours about who will get the job. I believe a mayo man would be best but would be open to anyone who thinks they can bring us that final step . Anyone who goes forward deserves respect and we will have to live with his decisions regards back room and players selected. It seems the normal thing to do now to appoint young men to these positions. Maybe I am off the rails but would a certain man with experience of winning Sam be the type of person we need. He would be polite and gentle in the media. He would think outside the box with regards types of player we need to include in the squad. He would be totally ruthless and add to our already steely determination. No Meath ref would stand in his way of Sam . An older gentleman is Sean Boylan but maybe he could push us on .

  27. Disagree Mayo4Sam. Baby and bathwater? Bar our fullback and goalkeeper from that starting 15 I wouldn’t be making wholesale changes. There are a few of the subs that I think might be unlucky under a new management structure. The younger talent is there to replace them however.

  28. @mayoforsam I think your a wind up merchant, I genuinely do. You might fool some genuine posters on here but not me, im sure your going to tell me im wrong, but iv spotted what your tryi.g to do last few wks…rossie/sligo/galway man perhaps? Who are these 8 or 9 players from the team you think should go??…come on now an explain your ridiculous comment?

  29. Thank you WJ for proving my suspicions. You really do an outstanding job with your site.

    For what its worth I think McStay should be given an opportunity he has earned it in the sense he has won an AI with bridgets. I felt buoyed by his comments on sunday game last nite…even though he said its not a rallying cry, I felt pumped after his “we are a resilient race” comment. The gloom started to lift ever so slightly after that. On a side note, im enjoying this transfer deadline day craic on sky sports…a welcome distraction from saturdays result. But, I cant help but think what value keith higgins or leeroy would be if our game was proffesional….surely a 100 million wouldn’t buy the two a them!!!.

  30. I firmly believe Kevin Mc Stay should get the job. He was asked a fair question last evening on the Sunday Game and said said he would be interested . He didnt hum or haw . Thats the confidence we need, he has a track record, he is intelligent and articulate and respectful of James Horan’s acheivements.

  31. IMO we have one more shot at the all-ireland with this squad. We don’t need wholesale changes in the backroom or on the field, just someone who can inspire the squad for one more climb up the mountain, and provide that matchday tactical nous, which was James’s one weakness.
    I think McStay has the second skill, but does he have the first one? Particularly to persuade Andy Moran & Alan Dillon that the role of second half sub will be worth the effort required.

  32. I am delighted to see Kevin McStay so positive about wanting the job. His analysis of games leads me to think that he may be just the man we need to follow James. The idea of appointing an outside manager to my mind is ridiculous. And some of the names proposed even more ridiculous. Jack O’Connor, for heaven’s sake, he teaches in Caherciveen or thereabouts. And who has Peter Canavan managed? Fermanagh, and he did not do a great job of that either. Kevin Walsh has been mentioned but his record with Sligo was only mediocre and with the Galway job up for grabs would that not be his first choice? And if he does not get it surely we would not be choosing Galway’s reject. We once went for the big name with Jack O’Shea and that did not work out too well. And while he was making a joke of Mayo football the man we had rejected was leading Leitrim to their first Connacht title in 67 years. In 2005 the “powers that were” were delighted to see John Maughan step down in the belief that John O’Mahony was ready to make a comeback but when he wanted a years rest we opted for Mickey Moran who repeated all of the mistakes made in 2004.
    Above all else let us stay within the county. There may be others apart from McStay who are interested. If so they deserve to be considered but I for one do not want to see an outsider being brought in.

  33. I was equally pissed off on Saturday and all day Sunday but at some stage you have to apply logic to your thinking. There is nothing to be gained by going on about it and a lot to lose. Not too bad the comments on this site as it is an internal fans forum but some of the stuff on general social media sites is sad. We need to bottle this pain and make something good out of it. Suffice to say that I am very proud to be a Mayo man. Will be to the day I die. Lets go back to our clubs, support them and re-convene next January for the FBD and the national league.

  34. Ahhh no please say no, people ye are really starting to scare me now.

    We cant just keep going with the same aging squad, for christ sake this is Mayo senior football team, we have to look after the product too ya know, there are future years to think of.

    We need to bring in at least six new players to the squad , its a 30 man squad , 26 on matchday so there is probably at least two out of that four surplus that just dont cut it add in a couple of lads that couldnt possibly give another year with all the years they have given and then take the Salthill player who made several headlines and you have 4/5 there already that could slip away for the good of the cause.

    If its mcstay and mchale, one good thing could come of it for a start they could take a townie of their sit him down and maybe he’ll commit .

    That kerry poster that was on earlier his comment was deleted i think but the one valid point he had was about Cian Hanley, now i know he’d have to bulk up but its the context of his point rather than the specific player , we need to build our forward line around forwards , untill we grasp this we are kidding ourselves. Regan, Gallagher, Hanley, Irwin, Conroy, Sweeney, Cillian, etc you can only have 2/3 max workhorses in your forward line , you need forwards too.

  35. Wrote a letter to our friend Mr McGee.

    Dear Eugene,

    In your article today you said ‘remember all those experts who told us that the black card would take the physicality out of football?’ Well as far as I can remember the black card was not introduced to take the physicality out of football but the cynicism. A skillfull team would be rewarded by the removal from the field of players who traded in the dark arts said the committee members who introduced it.

    With that in mind I cast my mind back to St Patricks day and the beginning of the new black card era. Richie Feeney commits a third man tackle and Eddie Kinsella produces the black card. Fair enough I thought. He did the crime and paid the price. This is the new era and the way things are going to work from now on. St Vincents are a very good club team and good luck to them. A few weeks later Aiden O’Shea feels the winds of change in Newbridge when Rory Hickey shows him what a black card looks like. We get to the Connaught Final and Barry Moran takes down a Galway player who had designs on goal a la the Sean Cavanagh incident v Monaghan and he gets a black. Again no complaints.

    But then we get to last Saturday evening and Shane Enright puts his 2 arms round Cillian O’Connor and drags him to the ground in the penalty area and Cormac Reilly keeps his cards in his pocket. All round me people are looking at each other in disbelief. This time we are supposed to benefit from the cynical actions of the opposition and yet we are betrayed. I have seen both the RTE and SKY offerings of this match and all the pundits tell us it was a clear black card offence. Paul Earley, Tommy Carr, Joe Brolly, Colm O’Rourke and Alan Mullholland – all well respected Gaa men.

    OK I thought – this is not the way our team works anymore. Get up and get on with it they need our support.

    3 minutes later Aiden O’Shea is going through the centre and Enright third man tackles him with a shoulder straight into his face – with a lot more violence than Feeney got his card for . Again there is no black card.

    Its very hard not to feel utterly betrayed in this ‘new era’ because cynicism had won these exchanges.

    Continuing on my reviewing of the game I watched in horror as the decisions I suspected to be in error in Limerick proved to be so as Tommy Carr related to me at least 4 times that ‘that is no free’ just after Cormac Reilly awarded Kerry close in frees. 2 of those were the 2 frees that brought Kerry level in extra time and therefore wiped out our hard fought advantage.

    You go on to say that Kerry won because ‘some of Mayo’s negative traits were there again and we relaxed when in the lead’. I would contend when your 2 points up in injury time and you see your lead flittered away by 2 unbelievable decisions by an officialdom who in other cases was quite happy to let 2 frontal charges go on Aiden O’Shea in the interest of letting the game flow, its quite hard to swallow. All that on top of the energy sapping performance of having played a half with 14 men six days previous.

    I used the word betrayed a few times in this correspondence and that is what I still feel 2 days later. But I am just a supporter. God knows how our players and managers feel who have not just toiled since the beginning of this year but since 2011 feel. I very much doubt they feel this is a ‘new black card era’ for them.

  36. I’d be in favour of McStay getting the job. Wouldn’t mind seeing someone in the mould of Tony McEntee(seems to be doing well thus far with Brigid’s in Dublin)or Oisin McConville getting the gig too. McEntee with Buckley staying on as coach would turn mayo into an incredibly defensively astute team.

    Bit off topic but going forward this is the sort of team I’d like to see our prospective manager going with..
    Higgins Cunniffe/McHale Barrett/Hall
    Keegan Boyle Vaughan

    SO’S Gibbons

    Doherty AO’S Adam Gall
    CO’C Barry Moran/Freeman Irwin.

    Would like to see the next manager toy with the idea of playin AO’S centre half back. We need a physically imposing presence at the back and as amazing as Aidan is, his reluctance to shoot an d his scoring record for Mayo maybe suggests his talents are better suited to 6 where he can still be an outlet for Hennelly’s kickouts.

  37. Ruanejos ,
    Totally agree. Our best player taken out which led to his collision with his own man.

    Frankly while I admire James Horan for getting us where he did ,shocking mistakes were made all year. Allowing Kieran Donehy to dictate for the whole match was naïve and I am sorry but James deserves criticism for that.
    The inclusion of Richie Feeney now after steadfastly refusing to play him all year was poor and what in Gods name was he doing starting Barry Moran when he favoured Parsons the last day.
    James is a good guy who brought us a long way but we do need new blood.
    Kevin McStay lives in Roscommon ,is retired from the army and would be totally committed to Mayo as would McHale. He called it right last night- something had to be done over 70 mins and it wasn’t.
    I know Willie Joe you are devoted to Horan – I like and admire him too- but recognize the mistakes. He brought us so far but was found wanting. He deserves credit for his work but I wish he listened more. Playing two young lads in first round I rightly criticized but was told James knows best. Well they didn’t even make panel after that.
    I regret he wasn’t more animated with ref- in fairness Andy Moran argued the case- but James was too stoical for my liking.
    I think frankly James ran out of ideas.
    He deserves credit for making us competitive and though it is hard to hear he came up very short tactically. Mc Stay called the ref correctly and called the lack of action correctly. He is organized and passionate and Mayo football is bigger than any manager. Don’t keep harping back to Longford- O Mahony’s second coming was poor but there were good days before that. Beaten again by a ref in 96 and lost tactically in 97 04 and 06 though perhaps we were simply not good enough anyway in 04 and 06.
    I look forward to a new glorious era. I hope its McStay- he deserves his chance. The players- many of them -are still good enough and many young lads coming through,
    We are not in All Ireland for two reasons- bad referee and poor tactics.
    Its not nice to be critical but its fair to be honest.

  38. I agree Sean, although as a firm believer of strength and conditioning I was shocked when Ryan McHugh was presented his MotD award, he’s as light as a feather. I suppose if you’ve got the talent you can make it either way.
    We might have to suffer a few defeats next year in the league while we blood new players and rest some of the current panel. Talk of root and branch clear outs are the stuff of trolls and fantasists, we only need a few new lads, forwards preferably.

    @ruanejos fantastic letter, I was seething reading that fools article.

  39. almost every side to win an all ireland in the past 10 years did so with a manager from within their own county..gavin mcguinness..harte..etc.we need someone who has time to search for new talent and have them ready for the stay is prob the obvious choice for job..he has credentials needed and i dont think it matters one bit whether new manager hasnt an all ireland under their belt..they will have the hunger for we all do!!ps…still sickened after saturday and in some ways worse than losing all irelands

  40. and as for john maughan. no disrespect to the man but been there done that..time for a fresh face at the helm..

  41. I agree with all re Kev McStay being the man for the job now………Absolutely keep it in the county………He certainly impressed me last night on the Sunday Game with his summary clips of ‘ appalling’ decisions on Sat by the ref…….with the two boys beside him smirking knowingly………He threw away the clean cut image at that moment, and for me, just looked the part for our next boss.

    I have the utmost respect for Liam Mac as a player, but that comment on the “…up for the match….” around 2006 I think did it for me………His “…….anybody but Kerry…” remark the day before the AIF……….

  42. Agree with Mayo14.
    McStay deserves a go and Horan had run his course.
    Anew manager will give us a bounce to get going again. Mayo have the players-they are going nowhere.
    I too felt Jh tactically unaware all season but hey thats all over now.
    New man-new ideas.New hope.
    Donegal can be over the top arrogant and Kerry disgusting Sat so I dont care who wins now.

  43. I firmly believe in selecting a Mayo man as manager and feel more than happy with K. McS. Do not have any real problem with McHale as a number two if manager feels he has something to offer. Actually a little surprised at some of the antipathy to McHale in earlier postings.

    As regards Saturday, I suggest we suck it up and move on, bottle it up and use it later as somebody else wrote in an earlier blog. No amount of complaint will change Saturday’s result. Remember the Kerry team and mangement will not be looking in the rear mirror today or paying one iota of attention to any gripes we may have. They will be concentrating as they should be on writing another piece of history in three weeks time. We should be doing the same and looking firmly ahead. Our chance to write our piece of history is now a little bit further away in the future and that is all that matters to us.

  44. The post here are of a herd mentality, now its over the top with McStay as the man for the Job. Main reason given here is his comments on the Sunday Game last evening, I’m sorry but it takes more than that.
    You all can go on about JH shortcoming (and there were some) but he addressed the biggest deficiency Mayo had; they were whipping boy due to the lack of physicality in the past. This can’t be said now and this is the reason we are so proud of them. McStay; McHale; Holmes; Maughan etc has the chance to address this and did’nt. My fear Mayo will regress under McStay/McHale and the excuse will be the players were burn’t out!!

    Comments made, interested in doing the job, out of work etc etc are not reasons to give the job to an individual. If it were JH would not got the job in the first place!

  45. James was a great player and a great manager. Brought a new dimension with the discipline and the intensity of our game. A bit of aggression too where necessary! Remember we used to be accused of being too nice?
    He had a few blind spots of course. Don`t we all?
    But we have had four amazing years. I just hope the new manager can hold on to the good traits and add a few new ones. The talent is there — always has been.
    We must stop grouching now and put Saturday evening behind us.
    These players deserve that- not our sympathy.
    “The cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream will never die! “

  46. Feels like a break up losing Horan and hurting too much to even think about a new love yet ????

  47. The one thing that comes to mind with James Horan is that he was the face of the Mayo team, he alone made the decisions, he moulded the team into the way he wanted them to play, he was so single minded and stubborn to the point of frustration (and I didn’t always agree with his decisions).. but you need that.. you have to have ultimate control, you have to have complete faith in your abilities and more importantly you have to get the team to have complete faith in your abilities and plan or else your lost.

    I don’t buy into past pedigree as a player automatically makes you a good tactician. I’m also not sure about the impact of the backroom team, its all about the manager, what his philosophy is and the backroom team help him implement that (They do what there told). Now the likes of James Nallen on your backroom team would be good to discuss your defensive strategies but ultimately the manager has the final say.

    Therefore the manager I would choose is McStay simply because I believe he has the attributes above and that the current team will listen to what he has to say, he will listen to what they have to say before they all move on with new and better plan. All we can all hope is it is to bigger and better things.

  48. This piece in today’s Irish Examiner by Terry Reilly is relevant to the discussion on James Horan and his achievements as Mayo manager.

    The key thing is how well the new manager and the players he chooses are able to do and how this will compare with the Horan era. Mayo 14 a bit earlier on said to stop harping on about the Longford defeat in 2010 and I’d agree that this won’t be relevant when the new manager takes over. What will be of relevance to him will be how his teams do compared to the 2011-4 years and the fear I’d have is that equalling, never mind surpassing, this record of achievement could be a tall order, regardless of who gets the job. Not ending up with the same record as under James might mean a better one, and the All-Ireland success we all crave, but it could equally result in a worse one.

  49. What is McStays managerial experience? I know he managed the mayo under 21s around 2000 with limited success. He won a roscommon county title in early 2000s and managed Brigids to all Ireland. What else has he done?

  50. Still hurting but very positive about the future. We have big players in key positions which Horan set out to achieve on appointment. He has brought this team to be categorised at a top tier team — a massive achievement , so it’s time to build on that . Not much change is required but a fresh approach will get us there. The more I hear and read about Mc Stay the more I feel he will have a lot to offer. 1) He’s sets high standards and he’s a winner (Brigids success) 2) He’s hurting too from past playing experiences and as a mayo man , can channel that into the team 3) His Army background means that tactics and strategy are engrained in his DNA.
    Really feel he will make the difference

  51. JH really impressed the county board at the interview stage, one thing he said that sticks with me is that he believed that there are always 15 players in the county every year capable of winning an all ireland but that the structures are not always in place. JH has brought profesionalism and made us competetive we have to maintain that no matter who gets the job. I like to see Mc Stay get a shot

  52. Before we get carried away about our old team and the young Kerry bucks, and start encouraging talent into the pundits chair.
    A few facts
    Both starting teams had nearly the same average age, Kerry 26.2, Mayo 26.3
    Kerry had the oldest (and second oldest) Mayo the youngest.
    Kerry had 8 players 25 or younger,Mayo 7
    Let those who need a rest have one
    Every one of the last few years were our last chance, we have made a lie of that.
    We also have talent coming through.
    Never underestimate the thickness of a Mayoman. And we are thick now. We will go on till we get it and hang on as long
    Any manager would give his right arm to manage us, we have good homegrown talent but should listen to all. The last appointment was brilliant, no less this time.
    Ar aghaidh linn

  53. Dont understand antipathy to McHale.The Brigids lads thought highly of him as did Clare lads.McStay has made tough calls with Brigids in past.
    Willie Joe…its always a risk when you get a new manager that it wont work out.One has to have hope surely.Frankly has not worked with James this year.Felt the lads were strong and sideline was weak.Still admire James for what he did but lets not think Mayo football begins and ends with him.

  54. James done great things no doubt. The reality now is that we need additional players in the panel who are good enough to push for a place in the team. one in the full back line , one in the half forward line and 2 in the full forward line .

  55. I think it was all down to j horan , remember longford, I am quite pessimistic about the future, we have some very good minors, but they dont always come through, some of our panel have put a lot in they may need a break , I don’t rate k mcstay, maybe nallen, don’t rule out a good candidate from outside, it will be interesting

  56. James Nallen after Last years AI left JH’s management team as he couldn’t spare the time to give it his full commitment,I think we missed his defense nous since. I wonder would he return now in some role.
    Because James has left does this mean that Donie Buckley,Ed Coughlan and the other members of JH’s team will also leave their positions ?
    I hope not, as we need to be looking to build on Horan’s legacy and not do a Moyes at man utd.
    I know ‘a new broom sweeps clean’ but would we need such a radical approach ?
    I am in favour of McStay and also one of those that wasn’t in favour of L McH being part of that package but after much thought I have changed my mind on that one as they do make a good team.
    Whoever it is or whatever the make up, they will have a great base to start with and one improvement to make, that being the taking of the ultimate prize. No doubt it will be tough but regress we can’t and to prevent that there will no doubt be tough decisions ahead, mistakes made and patience required.
    MaighEo Abú

  57. Have to agree about McStay. But credit where credit is due. Alot of da hardwork has being down by horan. I no we weren’t happy with many a decision along da way. But what a fantastic 4years he has given us and the team. As for the team can’t even think of how they could b feeling today one thing for sure they Will b black and blue. What a game they played outstanding performance. Kerry were very dirty just hope donegal can push on and win sam. I think all da players should give it another year and defo bring n new guts aswell. Something has to b done about the ref should never b let ref a senior game again.
    Finally thanks to james and da lads for a brillant year since last January we have traveled far and wide to see them. Cant wait for 2015

  58. Bring in Peter forde, at least if we come upon Donaghy again , he could tog out and jump with him.

  59. Ah lads it’s very hard to fathom the previous 6 days, we spend 4 years perfecting our run for croke park trying to demystify the place and we end up with a shite team of officials playing Kerry in Limerick . The ball is back in our court. We need to do what’s necessary in every sense of that word to win Sam, focus all our energy on finishing that chapter in the journey and not only Win one but expect to win 2 or 3 every decade from now on.

  60. Ruanejos…well done. Please let us know if you get a response. McGee over the past fm few yrs has really gone down a lot in my expectation.

    I wouldn’t mind sending something to Reilly!!! Maybe we all should.

    Ps: I nearly choked on my dinner when someone earlier said Seán boylan. He’s a meath bollix. If rather get relegated to division 3 than have him or anyone from there near our team.

  61. I really think we need to do serious posts on the achievements of the Horan era.

    Headline items are physicality, pace, aggression in the best sense of the word, an emphasis on the collective, development of new skills or improvement of existing ones (tackling, turning over, kick passing and so on), development and improvement of a hell of a lot of players – think Aiden O’Shea, Jason Doc and so on, and as JH himself said consistent competitiveness.

    That’s a lot of heading to flesh out and I’m sure I haven’t listed them all by any means.

    The question is how do you you tweak these to land the big one?

    I really don’t know the answer, because I’m not close enough. While the County Board get it in the neck a lot of the time and a lot of that time deservedly so, they knew a thing or two when they appointed James. I thought it was a daft appointment – shows how much I know – but on the basis of achievement there wasn’t a lot to go on compared to others, but obviously people spotted the potential. So there are probably more people around that have the same potential. Eamonn Fitzmaurice in Kerry, wasn’t an obvious choice either, and neither was Pat O’Shea when he came in; he landed an All Ireland.

    It’s not all about the manager either; this was the great thing about the current era. Indeed even though I thougth JH was the wrong appointment initially, when I saw the background team and the proposed structures, I was more impressed. The additions of Cian O’Neill, Ed Coughlan, and Donie Buckley strengthened things further.

    The game has changed, Mayo have been a top 4 team for the last 4 years, top 2 really and there was only the toss of a coin in Saturday’s game.

    We need to get to top one!

    Who could do that? As I said, I don’t know, but the potential should be there within the county, or even the current panel. If I was to look outside, I would think of Ulster, the Jordanstown connection and so on. I feel they bring another dimension from that direction in terms of tactics, new approaches, adaptations and so on.

  62. That brings it into focus surely, Willie Joe. It’s easy to take James’ achievements for granted and essentially forget certain spot-on calls that he has consistently made – ones that most of us didn’t see coming. I have done it myself, however, reflecting on his tenure on the whole, he has more often than not proven to be correct. I think this is evident first and foremost in the tribute the lads are paying to him.
    Who knows, another manager may easily have ditched Boyler as being “too small”, McLoughlin as “too light”. Can you imagine the horror??!!
    Take Doherty – written off by many as not up to the standard, however, he had a great season and kicked a few fine points again the last day. Horan had absolute faith in these guys. These are crucial things that we can easily forget.
    Sure, he will be criticised by us all for tactical decisions on a couple of big days, but every manager cannot get everything right all of the time, and they can only play it as they see it with the panel they have. I don’t know what’s going to happen from here. Certainly whoever takes over will have massive boots to fill. We will undoubtedly get behind them with gusto. Due to the nature of Saturday’s game, ‘O’Neillgate’, and so on this year, there is more hurt now that ever, and it will help the team and the county to channel this and keep fighting, starting with 2015.

  63. slightly off topic-saw Cillian in Galway street today and the whole right side of his face is swollen,completely black and his eye is not visible at all.The pain he must have gone thru for the 2nd half and extra time must have been unreal…….A hero among heros!

  64. Id be very surprised if Mcstay doesn’t get job .I’d personally rather Nallen than Liam to be his right hand man.I think Mcstay is a very good analyser of the game and he is quiet shrewd.The one thing I would ask is that he doesn’t show loyalty to lads not performing.People were saying Mayo was too soft and Gave too much respect id like our new manager to do a job so I never have fuckers come up and say that to me.Mcstay has proven success with club level and I think he really believes he can take us over the line and so do I.

  65. Dont understand this clamour for mcstay. He had success with Brigids, great success and all credit but he has been involved at varying levels in the past in the mayo setup most recently the u21’s and didnt cover himself in glory. He’s in the forefront of peoples minds due to his public profile on the sunday game, as gale alluded to above that doesnt make him suitable or not. I assume theyll identify and approach a few and an interview process will ensue as per JHs appointment. Its a vital appointment and for my tuppence worth id like to think the county board might come up with a more progressive appointment than names like holmes (tried), maughan (tried twice), or a mcstay/mchale ticket. Just a personal view/impression but some of the supposed contenders would be fairly high profile media savvy guys with what would appear sizeable egos to match. A lot has been said about mcstays performance on the sunday game last night but where was he defending his/our corner on some of the previous negativity of the past four or more years?! Please God he may be the man to do it I just think its a backward step myself. Id give it to Connelly, with hopefully a lot of current background staff kept on.

  66. I see that Ciaran McDonald @16/1 is on the list of candidates. Has he any management experience? I’d love to see him involved in some way. I’m sure our forwards would love to work with him. He would be someone that everyone in Ireland would have great respect for too!

  67. Joe

    Are you saying mcstay is a hyena? Or was he one of the 2 lads that spat on you?

    James was a top class act, but he has decided to move along for now, he will be replaced. Like it or not

  68. We all seem to agree we dont need wholesale changes.

    Realistically we need a manager who is going to unearth a competent full back who can deal with the high ball.

    We need a more potent forward line , personally i think its only a matter of getting Adam Gallagher ready and bringing Evan Regan on board. Liam Irwin to be blooded too in the league and see how he stands up.

    Believe it or not i think kevin keane has the makings of a top class corner back, his confidence took a whack in 12 ,still believe he has the stuff to make it.

    The level of fitness, s&c and mental toughness has to be sustained , so no change needed there , just more of the same, so copy winter progs of last two years etc.

  69. I don’t know joe , I’d keep people guessing on that last post.
    Your hair colour might be a bit inaccurate.

  70. I don’t know the ins and outs like so many of you, but no mention of Buckley. That would suggest good reason, as you would think that someone the squad has worked with and respects should be a serious candidate.

  71. I would love to see Ciarin McDonald unveiled as the new Mayo manager. Horan has created the platform, the lads just need a true and honest leader, who has real character.

    Ciarin McDonald, Mayo manager, WOW!

  72. Whoever we get, he needs to add inductor to backroom. We suffered from the over physicality spin, starting with Gavin after last year’s final.
    AR aghaidh linn

  73. cieran mac. ah I don’t think it would be his cup of tea at all. then again you’d never know. he’d be inspirational . maybe a selector !!!

  74. Excellent article by Reilly in Examiner. JH brilliant for Mayo. Made some errors but who hasn’t. Some questioning McStays pedigree here questioning what did he win As far as my memory is correct he took Mayo to AI U21 final where they were beaten by a Tyrone team which provided the basis for their 3 AI senior titles in 6 years and he also managed a club team to AI success.Not bad on ones CV I think.

  75. Kevin McStay seems like a really good choice in my mind. He’s seems bright and enthusiastic for the job too.

    For me though, whoever is appointed needs to be completely dedicated to the job, for it is so demanding that trying to hold down any other type of job at the same time seems almost unrealistic. Just think for a moment the pressure Horan was under! personally with a young family and professionally with a serious full time job at a large multinational who probably wasn’t as sympathetic to our cause as before! Think about that, not many of us in the same circumstances could or would do it.

    So any new manger in my mind should ideally be retired or semi retired with a good deal of free time on his hands. Plus he must be willing and able to build a back room team that can create and provide statistics on every player, every game and then be prepared to pour over those numbers.
    As I’ve said many times before , the facts don’t lie! It’s obvious to me we didn’t look at the facts/statistics from the Cork match or the first tussle with Kerry. If was predictable folks.

    Anyway, time to move on with a new man and perhaps a few good men around him too. The sooner the better.

  76. Did Kevin Mcstay manage rossies at under 21 level for a time ?

    No but managed their minors in the mid 90s without any success.

  77. Lots of positive support for McS and a bit less for MCH as No2 but there has not been a better name put forward. I recall being dubious at the time about Horans appointment and look at where he brought us. The key to Horans success was the expert team he got around him and I believe if MCS gets the nod he needs to do everything to try and keep Buckley and some of the other key back room staff in the team.
    Still fuming at that Meath ref!!!

  78. Really we are so nice.We should thank Jh for what he did but if any other manager made the mistakes he did he would be rightly criticised.
    He made shocking decisions.This defeatest attitude ,afraid to move on,is ridicoulous.We have to have hope and faith in a new man…anything else is defeatest nonsense.We lost the game because of our line and the referee not our footballers.How does that not inspire hope.We wont I hope get as bad a ref again and we may get a manager that with the basics the high ball in.
    Thanks James for your contribution but lets move on now.
    Joe Ruane….we obviously speak a different language…none of that made sense to me.

  79. The new manager should get 1 year initially, that’s all it takes to get this team over the line. If he can’t do it in year one he can’t do it! its that simple! I would be disappointed to see a manager get 3 years or more. Why would anyone want 3 or more years – because he is not confident of doing the job in the first place. Don’t agree to give it to a older retired man – that’s a crap argument
    This is not a beauty contest, it would focus on the real requirements of the job. If a person wants it badly enough he will make time for it and put his life on hold – that shows real commitment, not because it suits someone as he has nothing better to do with his time!!!!

  80. The suggestion of Ciaran MacDonald as manager, I am sorry but is that a joke? The man has never managed at any level as far as I am aware. Great players don’t automatically make great managers.

  81. No way would I go for Holmes over McStay. No way. Maybe the county board are looking for a ‘yes’ man.

    I wouldn’t trust that shower.

  82. Have y’all read this? If not, I suggest you have some tissues on hand.

    Reading his comments on Enda Varley certainly made me stop and think. There are good points made in it, and indeed, there have been similar made on this very site this week about the development of players who might have been written off or perceived as a bit average in the past, who have turned into serious forces to be reckoned with once they had the correct training, development, conditioning etc.

    Lots to be hopeful for. Realistically, I can’t see us challenging in 2015 – I think there will be a period of transition and I think some of those players will just need a break. But 2016 could be a superb year for us. Of course, I could be completely wrong on that front.

    Who knows? I’m not totally convinced by any of the names being trotted out so far, but then, I was far from convinced by Horan when the news broke four years ago, so whoever gets it, I’m looking forward to getting behind them and embarking on the next phase of the journey.

  83. I have to follow up on the previous comment, because I forgot to say that I think that article by Kieran Shannon is one of the most fascinating, insightful, invocative and inspiring articles I have ever read about GAA.

    We saw the benefits of Shannon’s input manifested in the sheer defiance of the Mayo effort this year. No-one could ever accuse those lads of lacking fight, determination, courage or desire. And it should give us as a county a lot of hope for the future.

  84. Following on Ann Marie…I’m not convinced every potential manager wants the job. It’s high profile, high pressure. You’re inheriting one if the best squads in the land but one that’s jaded. I think people are forgetting that.

    I tend to disagree with the point put forward that it should be a one year job. That’s a bit narrow. We must start bringing thru younger players to freshen it up. Kerry have done, Donegal have done, we haven’t but yet we’ve had more underage success that either in the past few yrs. However, we’ve been outdone by Galway and Roscommon over the past 3/4 years at u21, especially this year when we were humiliated in Castlebar. I repeat, humiliated. Fortunately we’ve had two decent minor teams in the last year so that gives us hope. We could really do by winning an u21 in next two years. Win or be highly compatible again in the next season with minor and build. We must start developing the conveyor belt cos it seriously broke down at u21 for past 3 years. Dramatically so. Fortunately the profile of many key senior players is young enough to still have them involved (at their peak) when last years minors start getting to 21/22. I think that’s what we need to be focusing on. If we can compete next year, well and good, but I agree with Ann Marie in that I think this current squad are knackered and need fresh impetus.

  85. I agreed with everything you said until the last line Mayonaze. Just to clarify, I never said they were knackered! I just feel that a bit of a break from this level of intensity for a year might benefit them and the panel as a whole, and give us time to mould in whatever new talent we unearth – and that is of the utmost importance if we are to progress, make no mistake about it.

    But hey, that’s just me, from the outside looking in.

  86. Would it be possible to start a thread where people can post who they would like to see as manager rather than posting all comments under Kevin McStay?

  87. Believe Me – I’m going to open a poll on that before too long but I want to leave it for a few days. This isn’t a discussion board (in the proper sense) so the notion of ‘threads’ isn’t relevant here and it doesn’t really matter where people are leaving their comments.

  88. Good cop there Anne-Marie on the Shannon article. Great read and some revealing insights, illustrating how little we know really from the outside.

    Interesting that he echoed my point (if I may say so) about an Ulster dimension, and funnily althought I didn’t say so in my post, I was thinking Crossmaglen a little.

    Also, on the basis of what Shannon wrote, we should try to nail Coughlan down.

    Finally, on my broken record again, one person we should be chasing – don’t know how, don’t care how, don’t want to hear about difficulties – Pearse Hanley. And fast track the brother.

  89. I think we need to have a little balance when reviewing James Horans tenure in charge of Mayo.

    There is no doubting that he has left Mayo in a very healthy state. His mission from the start was to make Mayo a consistently competitive team and to that end he has achieved this over the four years. He has brought a professionalism to Mayo football that has never been seen before. There is no reason that we cannot remain a consistently competitive force in the years to come if the structures remain in place.

    I dont see myself as a ‘Horan Basher’ and please dont see my next point in that way. However no man is without his failings. His positives far outweigh his negatives but some people are losing sight of the fact that there were negatives. I felt that James lacked the conviction on the sideline to make the correct calls both as regards team selection and match ups. I do not want to go into specific instances as i do not wish to single out players but I feel there were many mistakes made during the finals of 12′ and 13′ along with last Saturday. At this level every inch counts and ,for me, James failed to learn from his mistakes and that was very disappointing.

    All we can hope for is that the next man to take over the mantle can continue James’ good work and improve on his faults. A tough task but if they do then I have no doubt that this team will win an All ireland sooner rather than later.

  90. I think the point about James now is that what counts are his achievements – four Connacht titles in four years, 100% success rate in Connacht in that time (if you count the extra-time win in London as a win!), 100% success rate in All-Ireland quarter-finals so four All-Ireland semi-final appearances in four years and two of those years making the final. Also in three of the four years, his teams dethroned the defending All-Ireland champions. His virtues or his failings are pretty much beside the point at this stage, he’s had his stint and this is his record. It’s a record that no previous Mayo manager can claim and, regardless of his perceived failings and our not winning an All-Ireland under his watch, it makes him a very tough act to follow. Put it this way, he could be succeeded by someone who is far more tactically astute but who may not get anything like the results that James did on a consistent basis in his four years in charge.

  91. After glancing at the Mayo News & see that Pat Holmes has ruled himself out & McStay is lessening his case so I don’t know where that leaves the search.

    I heard Peter Forde to be a fair disciplinarian not that that’s an issue but has served his time on Sligo & Galway sidelines (for his sins) & has a fair spell done now in Mayo Club football…he’s an ex full back & a ex boxer which neither is a bad thing the way we’re deficient at the moment.Him & Noel Connelly / Colm Mc as deputies?

    For what it’s worth McStay & McHale are fine candidates too & speak an awful lot of sense on paper / TV

  92. Lovely piece by Kieran Shannon, would be great to see him keeping involved, I think we need to try and have some continuity from the Horan era in the backroom/sideline team.

  93. Mayonaze says: I could not disagree with you more, one year initially is more than enough. This does not preclude the manager from developing young talent, not at all. The new manager knows if successful in year one he will be retained – fact. Also if I were a player (and i was once – so I know what I’m talking about) the last thing I would want to hear is; a) take a year to rebuild b) a 2/3 year plan etc etc etc. What message does that send out for 2015 – not a positive one. These player are serious, determined, ambitious, dedicated, should not be sold short, they want success now not in 2/3 years. Moreover the current team has only short 1 or 2 positions, in 2/3 years time there might be 5/6 positions to be filled. Strike while the iron is hot.

  94. Don’t know what is situation is at present but would like to see Rory Gallagher being considered. As selectors I would like the likes of Colm McManamon, David Brady or Michael Moyles.

    Also wonder would Cian O’Neill like to step up and take over a management role.

    I think to much is made of having a manager from inside the county. James Horan was from Mayo but he inherited nearly all his team from JOM and threw in a few U21 winners from 06 and a few of the minor team in 08 who were unlucky not to win final. You cannot say as such that he unearthed many players from his knowledge of the local club scene.

    I think with Mcstay/McHale are so similar in their views that it would be a waste of money paying two men expenses when one of them would do.

  95. Horan’s record is excellent and reads very well. However I do feel certain decisions made throughout his tenure backfired and ultimately cost us and i dont think we can just brush this under the carpet when analysing his reign as manager.

    I made reference to the fact that he is a tough act to follow and if the structures already in place continue with the new man along with a small bit more tactical nous then I feel we will have struck upon a winning formula.

    Here’s hoping!

  96. The kind of professionalism that JH instilled in his players will be a huge boon to Mayo’s next manager. In the same way that Jim Gavin’s initial success was founded on the defensive platform that Pat Gilroy had built, the foundations for a championship winning team are already there.

    Horan is a remarkable character. I genuinely believed he would win an All-Ireland with Mayo. Along with McGunness and the game’s new breed of managers he was revolutionary in his focus on the psychology of the sport.

    Maybe a change is necessary. Horan’s fascination with rugby and the running game he built his team around left us looking very predictable at times (but then that didn’t stop Donegal steamrolling through Dublin on Sunday…).

    Whoever comes in will be inheriting a young team with remarkable footballing and mental conditioning. We have James to thank for that.

  97. haven’t posted since Saturday night, my head is still swimming with the possibilities lost for another year.

    What this must not become is a possibility lost for 10 years or more. The players (and supporters) deserve incredible praise for their efforts so far but we need to get this thing finished.

    In some ways the juncture we are at reminds me of Tyrone 2003, great teams failing to get it done, new manager comes in and year 1 they are all ireland champions, recall too that they had their own all ireland heartbreak, 1995 Charlie redmond gets sent off (but doesn’t go off for 10 minutes) lose by a point but a good ‘point’ disallowed, 1996 they are ‘bullied’ by Meath (we know how that feels).

    The only thing that concerns me is the ‘funding’ position, we need to be doubling down here (rather than cutting back) whatever expertise and spend is required to put in place the systems/people/training/coaching/performance should be done. If every (earning) Mayo fan in the World gave €10 (specifically for this team) we would surely raise a million (the diaspora is enormous).

    Remember too that the ‘shop window’ team would drag everyone else with them (look at Club Tyrone).

    Anyway immensely proud of this Mayo team (and we all need to sure that their efforts have not been in vain)

  98. Gale – you are a hundred per cent correct. hoping
    the fellows at the top take notice-two players only required
    one year contract only max..dont get this one wrong..
    it will be a grave error if you do. a blanket setup is not required what happens when two teams playing use the same
    system -end of football i should imagine. What is said above should
    be relayed somehow to whoever is choosing the next Manager
    this team is good. case rested

  99. Gale – I think you slightly misread me. I just said that I tended to disagree with a one year plan. I never said I was fully against it. Also I’ve clearly said in previous posts that we need to freshen things up a bit, like Donegal and Kerry have done. I think we need a balanced approach with both short term and long term plans. The more success we have at underage makes it easier for the senior manager. Horan found it hard to bring fresh faces thru, due to a number of factors…one of which was that we’ve failed miserably at u21 level for the past 3 years and nothing much has come thru. Gallagher looked the best prospect, but I don’t know what happened there!

    Hey, if we can compete for an All Irelsnd next year and the lads feel up for and refreshed next May…super!

    CATCOL…. Agree fully re: Hanley. We needed him back 2yrs ago. I’m convinced that if we had had him wed have won an All Iteland. I think he will come back a lá Kenneally(Kerry)…but it’s more likely to happen in 2/3 years when his younger brother is playing senior.

  100. I am so bloody proud of our men and how we played our hearts out from every man on the panel, the management and our supporters. It was painful watching a ref who was so inept and seemed to not give a shit what happened to us.
    I also think that McHale and McStay will be a team to be reckoned with. McHale has the hurt that inspires and McStay will not be slow to make moves when needed…neither will the ref get away with such terrible work as yer man on Saturday. I always think of Kernan and his throwing the runners up plaque onto the dressing room floor in the rmagh game…to show the lads how utterly worthless it is to come second…McHale has this and he will make sure the lads never forget…bring him/them on…and am so proud of being a mayo man…always will be.

    Up mayo.

  101. I think our lads have enough hurt of their own at this stage to drive them on in the future.

    I see Pat Holmes has ruled himself out of the running according to the Mayo News. He feels he could not give 100% commitment to the job.

    I would also be worried of news the County Board needs to cut our funding. This could have serious repercussions on our county team.

  102. It was always well known in Kerry that Donie Buckley would be coming into the U21 set up along with Seamus Moynihan next year. Would Mayo consider an outside manager? I know Jacko was a disaster but, maybe a proven manager. If McGeeney was available I think he would be a great option. The problem is when you look around in any country there is never a massive crop to pick from.

    Even when Fitzmaurice was appointed a few years ago there was no one else that wanted the gig. Who Managed the Mayo minors that won the All Ireland last year?

  103. Can people please DROP the Hanley thing, its kinda pathetic. He plays a different, professional sport and has committed to that and good luck to him, he appears to be doing very well. Plus I have never heard of him indicating a desire to return and play for Mayo – actually he said in an interview this year that he felt ‘Mayo’s ship had sailed’ – hardly the talk of a man that wants to return for the ’cause’!! The only event that he would return and be in for consideration is if his contract was not renewed. And anyway there is no sure thing that he would have even been a success at GAA, we have had a lot of underage prospects that eventually never made it. Look, the other top counties loose players to other sports all the time, Hanley and Duffy are the only ones we have ever lost

  104. Having read most of the posts above, I genuinely think most posters are missing the boat! In my eyes the senior team is the be all inside the county, but we need to develop our underage teams, without any such disrespect to the u21 management this year we were mountains away from Roscommon, so I’d like to see enda gilavary and co promoted to the 21s as he has the benefit of 2 successful minor teams and we should make a big concerted effort to win this grade! That’s first off, secondary to that is any incoming management team must work in tandem with said 21s for the benefit of the senior team, age isn’t an issue if lads are good enough! So therefore any person outside the county wouldn’t have long term ideas of our underage teams so manager should firmly stay inside our boundaries! I’d love to see McStay, along with anyone of the following, John Casey, Noel Connelly, Ray Dempsey, Michael Moyles!

  105. Some great comments above; this shows that the passion and resilience is still there. As for the managers job, there is a lot if support for Kevin McStay and Pat Holmes. So what about a combination of both of them?

  106. Fear an chomórtas…I agree. Also agree that if a guy is good enough age doesn’t matter. On that I think 2014 was too soon for Diarmuid O’Connor, tho he has potential.

    Maybe leave Gilvarry for one more year at minor perhaps then if he went to u21 it’ll be a case that he’ll be working with a bunch all of whom have already worked with him.

    Look at what Kerry are up to. They are seriously getting their house in order. O’Connor @ minor and Buckley heading south to assist with u21’s.

    Mayo must get it right when appointing underage management teams, last years u21 was pathetic. We were miles off Roscommon. It cannot be allowed happen again.

    KL- to say discussing Hanley is ‘pathetic’ is very harsh. You cannot compare Hanley to others who’ve left other counties apart from Kenneally. Even the lad from down isn’t as good as Hanley. The kid was a one in a generation class act. Quotes in papers mean shit. If he returned at 29/30, he’d be a very very significant addition to the Mayo team and I can see him doing it. That’s all I’ll say on that subject.

    Finally…late reaction to a poster earlier re:Kevin Keane, who said he has potential to really improve. Kevin was a superb no.3 at minor. Really standout. His morale got shattered after the final in ’12. He may lack a bit of pace but that can be worked on too. He may come good. Another full back who looks decent is young Seamus Cunniffe, but you just don’t know. What ever happened to Shane Nally??? Wasn’t he wing back and minor captain in ’08?

  107. Citywest – I like your point re: everyone donating. The Club Mayo Dublin Association that was set up in 2007/8 with a view to providing funding for the Mayo football teams where you joined and a direct debit came out once a month if I remember correctly. But something happened, not sure exactly what, where the County Board wanted one supporters body…and the cairde maigh Eo I think was set.

    WJ – you have a huge audience. The Mayo diaspora is massive. Look at the whole Mayo4Sam thing…I don’t think any county compares to us in the sense that Mayo people outside the county and internationally are immensely proud if and openly devoted to the green & red….

  108. My point re Hanley is that it is pathetic talking about him coming back now, he is proving very successful in a professional career in another sport, he is hardly going to answer a ‘call’ to come back and risk his new career, indeed livelihood. He is gone, forget it. Yes maybe he will come back at the end of his career like Kennelly did, but as we have just seen with Duffy, not straight forward after being so long away from the game.

    BTW Niall Heffernan remains the U21 manager for next season

  109. Hanley return not lightly but anything is possible. Mayo business people along with the mayo diaspora could put a job offering/education plan on the table which could be tempting to the man. Need to understand what’s important to P.Hanley and what would get him home. But as I say I would not be pinning my hopes on his return any time soon. On the other hand he would be an immediate answer to one of out key positions to be filled.

  110. I mentioned it in the first post and having read Kieren Shannon’s article it confirmed my belief that the players are going to have a strong input in who the new manager is. In fact it’s quiet clear that the new manager is going to have a very tough job impressing this group of lads. JH has brought this group to a new level and set the bar very high. People are talking about dropping players and such, I think the problem might be holding onto players, if they see that the set up is regressing they’ll walk.

    Allegedley, Ballaghadreen got a new manager last year, he turned up at the first training session and told the assembled players “sure go out and do a bit of a warm up”. A few senior players who had been accustomed to coned out pitches with drills ready etc made a few calls and the new manager was politely told his services were no longer required.

    The point I’m trying to make is that with talk of funding cuts along with the departure of key back room staff it’s going to take a huge effort to reinvigorate and progress with this team. A lot of these lads have devoted the prime years of their lives to our county and they deserve the best. If we have to move mountains to bring in the top coaches and back room personnel then so be it.

    The appointment of the next manager is the single biggest decision the county board have ever made. If they get it right then we will win the All Ireland within 3 years. If we get it wrong and fall out of the top 4-6 teams then it’ll take 10 years or more to get back.

    I think we’ll know if we made the right decision not by who comes into the team but by who leaves the team..

  111. Can’t believe nobody reacted to the comedy gold from What About above – Rory Gallagher gave me a chuckle.

  112. The focus of any new manager is to win AI in 2015 , not 2016 or 2017. We have some of the best players in the country right now and I am sure under a new management and few more will be added we can win it. We were unlucky last Saturday and could/ should have won the AI this year.

  113. This team lost one game 2012 – final
    lost one game 2013 – final
    lost no game 2014 on the scoreboard yes
    but not on the field of why would you
    want to change a winning team , two positions
    to be filled .it was easy for Brian Clough he could
    buy a player . it will be criminal if this team gets
    mixed up ,every team has to strengthen every few
    years or whenever this is normal .this is the reason
    why players are bought and sold and sometimes pinched
    in soccer .re Peter Shilton. The championship i am talking
    about not the league. i think there is another gear in this team
    my opinion ,i hope this team continues as it is . if not all the
    good work done by James Horan and team will be lost and back
    to square one we go ,where we land nobody knows.

  114. Liam,
    It’s probably done and dusted long before now.Sure everyone knew James was finished for certain at the end of this championship . The board and team knew this for nearly a year now and surely a replacement was mentioned or if not it was seriously bad planning.
    The way Kevin mc Stay answered the question on Sunday night makes me think so.
    He would look a right fool if he didn’t get a call and I don’t think for one second that he is.

  115. Liam makes very valid points r.e the players. The players won’t stand for any drop in standards. If that is the legacy of Horan alone then it’s a dam good one. The funding issue I would worry about.

  116. Mc stay is the man to take over.he knows and most of all respects the efforts of jh over the last 4 years.a manager from within the county has been the most successful option in the gaa.just look at all Ireland wins down through the wont find many from outside the county.j o mahoney was the last with Galway,Kevin mc gets my vote ad he had a good football brain,his influence on st bridgids a few years back proved this.muigheo abu,we will be back with the right man,its what we do.

  117. Well i heard what i hope is true today that Stephen Smyth has been approached by MStay to discuss a possible backroom role in Mayo job.Those not familiar with Stephen ,he is a Mayo native who was defensive coach for the Australia Rugby Team at the last World cup before moving to London Irish for last few years.He was also heavily involved in London,s run to the Connaght final last year,he recently moved back to Ireland.Hope to see this happen.

  118. I’ve seen a few comments regarding funding and linking the Mayo diaspora but this website has linked the Mayo diaspora better than any event ever did.
    WJ, I don’t ask this to make things difficult for you or add to your work load but would it be possible to create a crowd funding account for your blog page to be used as donation to Mayo senior men and ladies teams? All your followers on Twitter and from this webpage could retweet the link and we could all spread the word to everyone with a bit of Mayo blood. €10, £10, or $10 even from 1,000 would help although I suspect more would donate.

    Maybe I’m naive but just a thought.

  119. PM_90 – while I think (and hope) that crowdfunding will have a place, and sooner rather than later, in how funds are raised for Mayo teams, it’s not an option to do so independently of the County Board’s official fundraising arm, i.e. Cairde Mhaigheo. GAA HQ made it clear the time the rescue package was put in place a few years ago that this was the only vehicle to be used for fundraising by Mayo GAA so anything that’s done in this area would have to be done via Cairde Mhaigheo. If there was buy in from the County Board, though, there’s no reason why an appeal for funds (that could be ringfenced as a training fund) couldn’t be made via the crowdfunding route and I’d be more than happy to publicise and push this to the maximum extent possible were such a thing to happen.

  120. WJ , you say if there was buy in from the co board. I can’t see what they have to loose. Maybe they need a little push. Could you do this through your contacts. If it’s a matter of money, I can’t see Mayo fans being found wanting. I certainly wouldn’t mind coughing up a few quid, rather than go back to 2010. Sure they have cost us a fortune this last 4 yrs and I didn’t hear anyone complain . When we have something worth backing , we ll back it.

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