Noel and Pat’s interview a questionable County Board initiative


Photo: @MayoGAA via Twitter

It’s taken four days – and a series of increasingly giddy tweets from @MayoGAA since it was recorded, heralding its imminent approach – to get the interview conducted last Saturday at MacHale Park by County Board PRO Aiden McLoughlin with new managers Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes up on YouTube but tonight it finally happened. Here it is:

UPDATE: Actually, here it isn’t – for some reason the video has now been made ‘private’ and so is no longer accessible.

FURTHER UPDATE: It’s back up again. Thanks to @EndaMcGearty for pointing this out.

Video: Mayo GAA via YouTube

There’s not really a whole load to be said about the interview itself, to be honest, as it’s just some not very well recorded chat with the new co-managers about what they intend to do over the coming year. That’s all fine, I suppose, but it adds very little to the sum total of human knowledge except, perhaps, to give a clear enough steer as to where the bulk of the intellectual horsepower appears to reside on this particular joint ticket.

What would concern me about this initiative, though, is why anyone ever thought that it was a good idea in the first place. I couldn’t ever envisage, for example, James Horan agreeing to take part in something like this. Looking back on the 2010 posts here on the site, it looks as if James only gave one audio interview after his appointment (to Newstalk) and nothing further was then heard from him until the action got going in 2011. You’d have to wonder why on earth Noel and Pat were willing to go along with this idea and what practical purpose it could possibly serve from their point of view.

It’s seems clear that this interview and the earlier solicitation of views on the new jersey design are both part of a County Board charm offensive in the wake of the managerial appointment fiasco. Wheeling out the two lads as part of this touchy-feely exercise inevitably raises the impression – which may not be the case but I doubt that I’ll the only one to voice the suspicion – that they’re willing to act as creatures of what is now a fairly discredited County Board. If I were them, I think I’d have wanted to keep my sweet distance at this point in time and furthermore I don’t think that the first interview I’d have given would have been an amateur effort with the County Board PRO.

None of this criticism is in any sense an argument against better communication by the County Board with supporters. I reckon, though, that the Board could have started a bit closer to home if they wanted the hard-core fraternity to start feeling the love. I checked earlier on today and from what I can see the only direct contact that I received this year as a Cairde Mhaigh Eo member was an email back in August to say that there would be a shindig the night before the Kerry match in Bad Bob’s and that it’d be a tenner at the door. That’s not exactly what you’d call best in class CRM.

Even if the County Board only embraced the basics of how to communicate properly with supporters they could do so many things so much better than they do at present, which wouldn’t in truth be hard as they do little or nothing in that department as things stand. Tweeting about jersey designs and doing YouTube uploads is all fine and dandy but if the Board is serious about reaching out properly to supporters it needs to do a whole load better than this on a number of different fronts. And while they’re at it they should give the new lads a bit of space to do what they’ve been brought in to do and in future leave them out of half-baked, poorly executed initiatives such as this.

60 thoughts on “Noel and Pat’s interview a questionable County Board initiative

  1. I have to say that I was disappointed with the interview. I thought it was cringeworthy. The whole way it was done is just typical of the county board. There was nothing new in it, it looked and I thought Connelly looked nervous & uncomfortable. I was watching the driving rain in the background more than I was paying attention to the interview. I sincerely wish them all the best but please don’t do it again.

    PS I don’t think the mayo players who played in the all Ireland semi final need to redeem themselves in the first league game against Kerry. The guys who played couldn’t give anymore.

  2. Pathetic attempt at a charm offensive from.the county board. For me this video only increases the reasons why the PRO along with more need to go.

    Would love to hear the players opinions on this interview as well. Id agree with patriot, players have nothing to prove after KY game

    And it will only add to the laughing stock mayo is becoming outside the county.

  3. I have to say I cringed when I saw that trailer tweet last night from @MayoGAA saying that Noel Connelly saw the Kerry game as a chance for the players to redeem themselves and the remark looked as bad when he uttered it on the video. Aidan O’Shea having to redeem himself having been fouled 13 times in Limerick without a free being awarded to him? Or Aidan and Cillian having to redeem themselves for clashing heads? Or maybe it could be Cormac Reilly being given the chance to redeem himself by reffing a Mayo/Kerry game in a competent, unbiased manner?

  4. Looks like the days of hearing our manager say “we’re better than Galway & we’ll show them” are gone to be replaced with “Galway always tough etc etc”….. Best of luck lads but Chest out and Head held high. Jesus!

  5. Lads re Kerry game ye’re getting hung up on a few words there. Just acknowledging the competitive disposition of players finding ways of motivating themselves. Off season interview reflecting the lack of pizazz, pissing rain in the background didn’t help. Wouldn’t worry about it, Fbd and league and more interviews will tell us a bit more but the microscope might be switched on a bit soon methinks.

  6. Shuffly….

    I get where your coming from but why have the interview at all at this stage if your not gonna put the chest out etc…

    I agree thay come FBD and league the tune will probably change and some.of the questions were a bit closed in the sense that there was only really one answer could be given so id blame a lot of it on that.

    I get the impression watching the video and from a conversation with one of the management team that this was not something they would have chosen to do

  7. Another propaganda exercise from the Co. Board. Just like the 8k check from New York. Just like the gombeen club reps who applauded McNicholas. It gets worse. I wonder how much longer can the co board take advantage of the Mayo supporters. They didn’t take a stand in 96 against McEnany they didn’t take a stand against fat boy O’Neill, they didn’t take a stand against incompetent Cormac Reilly, they didn’t take a stand against the decision to move the replay to Limerick. But they did build a ridiculous stand in McHale park that has a small chance of being filled once every 2 or 3 years. Yes that is correct – a small chance every 2 or 3 years. I can’t think of any other situation where inability and incompetence is rewarded as it is in Mayo. I’m glad I didn’t renew the season ticket.

  8. The two lads should not have agreed to such an interview. I can’t see what purpose it served except as a pathetic attempt by the CB at ‘moving on’ from the appointment debacle. But here’s the thing, rather than moving on it actually accentuates the problem by graphically illustrating just how amateurish the whole business is. Cringeworthy if ever I saw it.
    It doesn’t inspire confidence in the two lads either but like most people I hope things go well for them. They will be judged on results not on amateurish interviews like this.
    And as for redemption………..enough said already!

  9. My biggest question is will the core players listen 100% to them or will their selecting under such strange circumstances may them not really credible to these players? And who’s going to be dropped to accomodate 6 new lads? I suppose that having won that league title and the u 21 does give them a degree of X factor, and lord knows they’ll need it because jh left big boots to fill.
    I’d love to know who the 20 lads who are given conditioning programs are.

  10. I know i know it looked a biteen amateur and i can understand the aul conclusion of the charm offensive by the CB.
    Then on the other hand it was just an aul interview and sure what about it. Is it not encouraging to hear them say they’ll be looking to add 5/6 players? Honestly i don’t want to start getting argumentative but it is hard to please all, nearly everyone agreed we need a few new faces to freshen it up for 2015 and now its said people are finding fault with the new management for saying it. Ive said it for a couple of years now, there is an element out there who have developed a connection with this squad like its the woman they love , no romance in football, changes will happen like they always do when it needs be. Saying that i dont think it will be major changes especially to the matchday squad in the end.

    My guess, theyll give Darren Coen a right go along with Adam Gallagher and Evan Regan in the forward department. Maybe that Knockmore buck Ruthlidge too. Forward additions are necessary , we keep ignoring that obvious flaw. By friday night we will have probably won 10/11 all stars over the last three years with only one forward amongst them.

    Midfield , we have a fair few options there already that are up there with the best in the land.

    Defence , Full Back, full back, full back, full back, full back , it is really vital we unearth someone or a solution .

    Id be looking to Clarke as my no.1 if he were fit , its just my preferred choice not that Hennelly is not quality , id have a fully fit Clarke just ahead of him though.

  11. Maybe my hearing is getting poor but I could not make much sense out of that recording and so did not listen to the full interview..
    However, if they spoke about the team needing to “redeem themselves” against Kerry I would not be too hopeful. I also have doubts about the point of it and the fact that the sound is not so good indicates a lot of amateurism about the whole exercise, as much as about the entire Co Board operation.
    Regards bringing in up to 6 new players, I have no problem with that. Every team needs an injection of new blood on a regular basis but I am not sure that there are six new players with the ability to displace six of the current panel. I am quite sure, without checking back on the records, that James Horan introduced as many as six newcomers in each FBD campaign but not many of them survived into the summer

  12. Name the last co coaches to win a championship in anything! It doesn’t work, especially with lads coming from all over. Another 3 years wasted. Nothing on the two selected, but seriously what serious coach would agree to such terms. I can see it know Pat wanted to bring him on, but Noel didn’t.

  13. The interview is no longer available. The video has been made ‘private’. Curiouser and curiouser.

  14. sean,
    i am one who thinks the team needs a few new faces, my point was who gets the chop and who gets called into the panel. who would you like at fullback? i think caff is very good but was exposed by a physical bigger and stronger kerry yoke, that wasnt caffs mistake by the way, caff can do the job 9 times out of 10 but theres always that forward that needs extra physical attention top bring him to heel. already we have coc at ff, aos, at chf and doc and k mc in hf line, its lads that can kick 3-4 scores in a game that we need up front to compliment the scoring already being done. and counting on keegan to bust his ass running to take a point when he should be defending is fine until we get to the better teams where we are burned when hes caught out of position. we need scoring power in the ff line. and let the defenders defend.

  15. How is it a poor interview? And what did Noel and Pat say that is any different to what any new management team would say? Time to move on from from all the negativity. I watched it expecting to hear some negative comments, there are none. Ask any manager or player at the top end of their sport what is best practice when giving a first interview, they will tell you don’t say anything silly and don’t give any guarantees. Noel and Pat know that the only thing they want is to win the All Ireland, and the players are the same. Our best chance may have passed in the last couple of years, who knows? But can we all move on from the obsession with the county board. The best candidates got the job, let’s support them

  16. Congratulations to Keith Cillian and Colm. Fantastic achievement by all 3 players. Delighted Mayo got 3 all star awards. Tomas o se won’t be happy that Kerry only got 5 though!

  17. Thats great news to hear, well done to Keith, Colm and Cillian! Keith becomes the first Mayo player to win three awards, thats a great achievement for him. Its interesting to see that all of the players chosen played for the top 4 teams. 5 for Kerry, 4 for Donegal and 3 each for Mayo and Dublin.

  18. Didn’t see the video because access has been removed, so I can’t join in the criticisms.

    But from descriptions here and elsewhere it sounds a bit amateur, and given that amateur is also a perfect description of the current set-up, it’s therefore appropriate and nothing more than you’d expect.

    More of the same, nothing to see here … literally.

  19. I think ye are getting a bit carried away with this interview. It will be forgotten within days. It ye think our players will be upset by the “redeem themselves” quote then I agree with McStay on the comment he made “poor fellas” The Mayo players are professional enough and I think Noel and Pat will be professional.

    “Name the last co coaches to win a championship in anything!” – well since you say anything the latest u-21 all Ireland win for Clare was joint-managers. They won 3 in a row.

    I think from looking over the past few weeks the majority on this site are against the new setup and wanted McStay and have written off this new setup. I hope the players have not the same view.

    The Board issues are a different matter that need addressed but we know that wont happen.

  20. I’ve nothing against the boys here, as they said they came with their package to the table and regardless of the mishandling of the whole thing by the Bounty Board they are now in position for three years and we can only wish them well.

    What most here are cribbing about I think, is the way the interview was conducted in the first place. Its location and setup left a lot to be desired and regardless of what other qualities Aiden McLoughlin may have, interviewing is not one of them – I still have ringing in my ear – I suppose, I suppose, I suppose. The fact that the interview has been withdrawn is I’ve no doubt, in response to the negative reaction it has received from all quarters. How it was allowed to go out in the first place is amazing and only goes to show how amateurish the set up must be at Co Board level. Noel and Pat will have their work cut out to rise above this incompetent lot – good luck to them.

  21. That’s the point in a nutshell, Mayo McHale. The whole way the thing was put together was ludicrously amateurish and should never have been allowed to go out. Four days of Twitter teasers made it out to be some kind of movie blockbuster but it had the production values that you’d expect of a four year-old playing with an iPhone. And as for that stupid #AskNoelandPat hashtag – does Aiden McLoughlin not know about the existence of the piss-take @noelandpat Twitter account? Talk about life imitating art!

    Steve – be careful there about over-generalising about other people’s views. There’s absolutely no basis for your claim that “the majority on this site are against the new setup” or that anyone has “written off this new setup” so please don’t try to invent one. House rule 7 refers.

  22. Sorry WJ and that’s not how I meant it to sound but more the general feeling I was getting. I know everyone here has the best interests of Mayo GAA in their hearts.

    But sometimes you see a comment that they should not have done the interview and then another saying they would love to hear the opinions of the players on all this….does that not open another can of worms? We have had enough dirty laundry aired in the national media to ask for more.

  23. I agree with mayo mchale. It’s nothing to do with the appointment of Noel & Pat, sure I wanted Noel to get the job!!

    Its just the whole way the interview was conducted. It was just so bad. The location, the sound, the questions were even dire. Mike Finnerty or Michael Gallagher from the local media would have been more adequate than Aiden Mcloughlin. WJ as you say too, the way it was advertised on twitter was just like a movie blockbuster being released. Not the county boards finest moment but in reality have they ever had one?

  24. Well, it introduced the managers and let them have a few things to say. Fairly bland, but from what I know of Connelly, bland he ain’t.

    One thing I did pick up, was the remark that about 20 players (new I presume) are going through a strength and conditioning programme; so obviously they have been busy and are taking a look at new talent. Another good thing was that I didn’t see much deference or kow towing to JH, and that seemed good as well. I get the impression that they see a blank 15 starters at present and it’s a case of prove you are good enough to all comers. In that they will have an advantage, but I expect the core team to be there. They are so competitive it will be hard for anyone to dislodge them – look at Dillon last Sunday.

  25. I couldn’t care less if the interview is shite, all that matters is what happens between the white lines. Very negitive comments on here lads, you would think this is a anti mayo gaa site at times.

  26. That’s fair enough, Steve, thanks for the clarification. Point accepted too re the players’ opinions on all this, which I’d agree isn’t helpful. The bottom line is that this whole thing was badly judged and should never have happened but the new management of course deserve support and should be given the time and space to prove themselves.

  27. Andyd
    However, if they spoke about the team needing to “redeem themselves” against Kerry I would not be too hopeful.
    Patriot says:
    Not the county boards finest moment but in reality have they ever had one?
    Ann Marie
    it sounds a bit amateur, and given that amateur is also a perfect description of the current set-up,
    My biggest question is will the core players listen 100% to them or will their selecting under such strange circumstances may them not really credible to these players?
    It doesn’t inspire confidence in the two lads

  28. Hopefuly the guys will learn the soft media skills as they go along. Hard to see a seasoned pro like McStay making the same mistake but at the end
    of the day to be fair to them it should be the results on the field thet are judged on.

  29. What happens between the white lines is imperative but what happens in our county board is equally as important. My comment aren’t anti Noel/Pat or any player that wears the Green & Red. I support our guys to the full. Always will.

    The issue here however is that this interview was an idea put together by the county board and as I agree with others who described it as a “charm offensive”. Any supporters issue with county board is justified because they make a total mess of virtually everything. If it’s not chairde Maigh Eo, it’s the management selection process or the lack of fight to stop the all Ireland semi final being moved to limerick or it’s the financial state of the county GAA finances or it’s this example of an interview with our new management that’s shown the CB for what it is,
    a total joke.

  30. Ceideboy, the dog in the street knows that the management decision process was amateurism of the highest degree. Likewise our fundraising efforts to date this year. Two very quick examples off the top of my head, but I have all day to come up with a few more if you need more proof. I fail to see why anyone would have an issue with pointing that out in the absence of any signal from said county board that things are going to change, that this team is going to receive the support we need to win an All-Ireland and that our underage systems and players are going to be nurtured to plan for the future.

    So you can retract your little “anti-Mayo GAA” accusation there whenever you’re ready. I’m simply anti-amateurism.

  31. puppets on a string cringeworthy,amerturist at best,themayotaem havenothing to redeem themselves for,[deleted] county board,and [deleted] ref,thats who need the redeeming,souds like they were blaming the playersfor losing tokerry

  32. Ceideboy – none of those comments you’ve quoted from in any way substantiates your claim that this site could be described at times as “anti Mayo GAA”. I’m going to have to ask you to withdraw that offensive remark or else I’ll be forced to deal with you under the house rules on comments.

  33. Ceide Boy,
    I fail to see why criticising anybody who thinks that the Mayo team who played Kerry in Limerick need to “redeem themselves” can be described as “anti Mayo GAA”. While we were defeated I was immensely proud of the team and anybody I have met since totally agrees that they did not get fair play from Cormac Reilly that day. I can accept a referee making a mistake but to make such a succession of blunders as were made that day is incredible. The GAA poe=were that be stood by Martin Sludden when he made his monumental blunder in the Leinster final a few years ago. However he did not get many games [any games?] since. It will be interesting to see how Cormac Reilly fares next year.

  34. I withdraw the remark and appologise to anyone I have offended. I totally respect your site Willie Joe and you are the best champion Mayo GAA have. This site is a credit to you. Also most of the regular posters are very good and give rational well thought out arguments. What I ment to say was that i’d like to see Noel and Pat given a fair chance, and they shouldn’t be tared with the same brush as the county board. No matter how much of a mess their appointment was.

  35. i apologise willejoe,meblood still boils when its brought up,no ofence intended willejoe

  36. Thanks for that, Ceideboy, apology accepted. I don’t think too many would disagree with your point as regards Noel and Pat and they should, of course, be given a fair chance.

    Thanks too, Peter – I think the blood is still close to boiling for a lot of us at the minute!

  37. I fail to see what people expected. Leaving aside the amateur nature of the production values, you got from the interview probably the exact same you would have got from any official press event that any manager/player attends.
    You see a lot of journalists on twitter giving out about access to players and management these days, where they are only available at sponsored product launches or official press events, where from reading the quotes from them, nothing is ever said of much interest either.
    The only time anything of note is said by a player or manager is when they have an axe to grind with somebody or some organisation and that’s normally given to a friendly journalist who has gotten the message they wanted put out before.
    Sure it may be a PR exercise on the county boards behalf, but nobody is going to forget the shambles that happened in the appointment process, who even has a passing interest in GAA in Mayo.
    It’s nothing different that Man United or Liverpool having their own tv stations, if they keep it up and put content up on it regularly on it, then fair play to them. The independent print, radio, TV and online media, such as here is still there for everything else.

  38. ceide,
    the question is will players fully respect and listen to the new management after such a fiasco? its not anti noel connelly, its a question of basic human nature, the 2 lads were elected under very murky circumstances.Perhaps we wont know the answer until next summer when the chips are down but we know the panel were definitely behind Horan, look at the way they came back against kerry with a man short and 5 points down, they believed in him and his ways. If you ever played youll know there were guys on your team or management that you would die for and others that just werent credible for one reason or another.

  39. good question Peter, the management will have to show the players that they are the best available. James Horan definitely had. But James is gone and they are now calling the shots.

  40. Rehearsed questions from a yes man and rehearsed answers from 2 yes men doing what they are told by the County Board. No charisma or inspiration. More proof if it were needed that the best man for the job did not even get a proper interview and this 15 minutes of codology highlights what a tragedy for Mayo football that is.

    Reminds we of when Brian Clough was overlooked for the England job in the late 1970s because he was not a yes man and wanted to change things at the FA. What followed was a string of yes men managers and 40 years of failure.

  41. I wanted McStay as manager. But he is not going to be manager so theres no point talking about it now. All I really want is for Mayo to be successful and if these two men can manage that I will be delighted It does not excuse the shambles of the way the were appointed but I wish these two guys the very best of luck.

  42. no heart init ,just empty words,was like three ameturs learningtheir lines foralocalplay,

  43. All this talk of amateurism….The most amateurish thing the county board have done in years is appoint joint managers, regardless of who they are. This isn’t an u10 team ffs

  44. Noel Connelly was one of Mayo’s finest captains, involved in football all his life at all levels, heart not in it ?? maybe not in the interview who cares about that, never lacked heart on the field, hon mayo 2015

  45. Ed McGreal has just tweeed from CB meeting to say that Paddy McNicholas has announced that he will step down at this year’s county convention

  46. I just watched the interview now and from reading the comments I was expecting the interview to be much worse than it was to be honest. Yes the setting and sound quality was rubbish but what I took from it was as follows:

    1. We need 5 or 6 new players.
    2. 20 players have been put on a strength and conditioning programme.
    3. You are judged on your championship performances.
    4. We want to have a fully fit and our best 15 ready and rearing to go for next June.
    5. The FBD league will be used as trial games.
    6. The lads put on the strength and conditioning programmes should be better prepared for these trial games having worked on these programmes.
    7. The league will be used to decide on our final championship panel.
    8. They were disappointed at the way the process of choosing them was completed.
    9. They felt they did all that was asked of them in relation to how they were chosen.
    10. They want to start well in the league to take the pressure off in the latter games.
    11. Redeem probably was the wrong word to use, revenge would probably have been what Noel was thinking of saying but we just want to beat them really.
    12. Galway will be a tough game in Salthill, if it is to be them.
    13. 2014 could easily have been our year, we know we are as good as the other top teams.
    14. We did well in 2006 to win the U21 All-Ireland title but could have done better in the semi-finals from 2007 to 2009.
    15. Keep the faith!

    Well thats what I took from it anyway, mostly common sense, no rocket science but I thought the interview was okay.

  47. I can’t believe this happened,FFS as Eamon Sweeney wrote a couple of weeks ago”Mayo the present that keeps on giving”

  48. Whatever about the way they were selected as managers I am supporting them100% and think its a proper way to start, select 20 new lads and get them training to be ready for games in the new year where they’ll be judged. And hopefully the fbd will see those 20 given a full run, leaving the 2014 panel to rest as long as possible.
    Mcnicholas stepping down? No harm, nobody is bigger than Mayo football, no matter how well intentioned.
    Onwards and upwards.

  49. I did not hear the interview. I sense from the comments here that many contributors are moving their negativity around the CO BO to the new management setup. I fully supported their appointment and I still do. Yea they made a hash of it
    appointment but we got our man in the end. I would urge you to give them a chance. They have a great record. They did not get the job for their interviewing skills. You made some good points about how the county board and their CRM of us Cairde folk -WJ. I fully agree about that email and nothing since approach. The Rossies are having a ball and soon will have the funds to sweep the carpet from under our feet.

  50. Hopefully you are right PJMcManus 😉 Club Rossie might not have the dosh it requires for another year or so but its definately heading in the right direction

  51. ”The Rossies are having a ball and soon will have the funds to sweep the carpet from under our feet.”

    Having a ball ? What exactly are they having a ball for, to celebrate Cakes book launch ?

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