Pat and Noel do the honourable thing

Pat and Noel


I’m not long back in, with plenty of red wine coursing through my veins, but before I turn in I’d just like to add my voice to those expressing thanks and best wishes to Pat and Noel for doing the right thing earlier this evening.

Walking away can’t have been easy for them but in doing so they’ve shown great humility and it’s abundantly clear that they’ve also put the interests of Mayo GAA above their own personal ambitions. It takes people of special character to be big enough to recognise this bigger picture and Pat and Noel deserve great credit for having done so.

Focus will now obviously turn to what happens next but that’s not of concern tonight. What is – and what deserves to be saluted –  is the fact that two proud Mayomen have done the right thing, the honourable thing, and have walked away from their positions with their heads held high. They deserve our profound thanks for all they did since taking up the reins this time last year and our thanks too for stepping down in the dignified way they did earlier on tonight.

179 thoughts on “Pat and Noel do the honourable thing

  1. Thanks to Noel and Pat for all they have done for Mayo GAA. Can’t have been easy but they have done the right thing in stepping down. Two very proud Mayo GAA men.

  2. Said it earlier and merits resaying. Holmes and Connelly did much over the years for Mayo Gaa.
    Their manner of leaving augments their reputation, not lessen it.
    Meanwhile, as the storm swirled tonight, a high profile player was talking to kids at a Foróige meeting and answering their questions.
    Not the press.
    That’s the work of a leader whatever barometer choose you use.

  3. Right now the players are in control and reigning supreme. The only way to overcome this is to appoint a Manager who has achieved more than they have ie won an All Ireland.

  4. Jack O’Connor!
    Said it here a month ago – let the county board do something right!!!!!!!

  5. Regardless of how we performed this year it’s a bad precedent for the county when this is allowed

    The players are putting in huge effort and we all appreciate that but we have to be unified to see it through, lesser teams with worse management have won it after all (Donegal), we’ve the talent on the senior panel but you win as a team and lose as a team

    Players need to back whoever comes in for 3 years plus and work together

  6. I give a lot of credit to Pat & Noel for doing the decent thing in the best interests of Mayo football. They have been great servants of Mayo football down the years and can leave with their heads held high, they did their best. Obviously things have not gelled well over the summer but while they were winning it was right to continue on in search of glory. Now that the championship is over, the players have sought to address the issues promptly and I give them credit for that initiative. The players have taken a lot of flak from outside the county for this situation that they find themselves in but they are doing so in good faith with the interests of Mayo at heart. Like in all walks of life, particularly in our careers, there can be conflicts of interest along the way and we have to deal with them so that we are happy in what we do. This group of players have been unhappy with aspects of their management and have sought to address it.
    I would love to see Mayo win an All Ireland and then I would die very happily indeed but it’s not the B all and end all. If they continue to compete over the next year or so as they have over the past few years I will be thrilled. I have had some brilliant days out over the last few years and I have worn my colours with pride and taken some flak along the way. I am immensely proud of this group of players and they have conducted themselves in a very dignified and sporting way even when things seemed to conspire against them. I realise there are lots of great people in the background supporting this team also.
    Hopefully we can move on to better things next year. Hon Mayo

  7. Play football like Mayo do,

    How do you propose to get Jack O’Connor to manage Mayo?
    AA route planner gives the distance from Tralee to Castlebar as 265 km and travel time of 3 hrs 40 mins. From O’Connor’s home country of Caherciveen it is 320 km and travel time of 4 hrs, 40 mins. In any case he was recently appointed to a job managing Kerry U21’s. He is hardly likely to give this up to manage Mayo.
    Maybe you have been on the wine – or something stronger – too.

  8. Play football as Mayo do,

    Forgot to mention in my last posting that as U21 manager with Kerry Jack will be managing players he led to a double minor All Ireland. He would be a right knave to abandon them to manage another county.

    Besides, if you want to play football as Mayo do why do you want to get in an outside manager? To play football as some other county do?

    To others who want a proven manager [All Ireland winner?] who exactly do you want? Mickey Harte and Jim Gavin are engaged by their own counties. Jim McGuinness is employed full time by Glasgow Celtic. Pat Gilroy is, I am told, still MD of a substantial Dublin business so would not have time to be running down to Mayo. Conor Counihan in Cork is also a bit far away as is Pat O’Shea of Kerry. Joe Kernan was a complete flop with Galway. Paudie O’Shea is no longer of this world. So we’re back to Sean Boylan who burned himself out with Meath. Want to go back further?
    So cut out the bullshit and say who do ye want.

  9. Well done to noel and pat for doing the right thing, we wish them the best they have served mayo well as best they could. NOW let the county board be honest to all about the next appointment.

  10. No two ways about it the way Noel and Pat have departed in the public eye sticks and the players will be under bigger pressure than ever before to end the famine now. Will the county board chairman also reign after this fiasco?

  11. Mayomagic,

    I don’t see why the Co Board Chairman should resign as Chairman but I hope he will not be Player Liaison Officer next year.

  12. On an totally unrelated matter does anybody know if the O’Flaherty legal person who was involved in the DRA decision to lift the suspension of Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly was the Judge O’Flaherty who resigned in disgrace over the Phillip Sheedy affair c. 2000/01?

  13. andyd, that other poster may have had a drop of wine or beer and you should too, itll ease the tension.

  14. Andy d asks a good question, who do we want? I think the players know who they want, and have for a while and my guess is Horan back for the year or else mcguinness will step in for a year. Either way, a blind man can see that 2016 is a good opportunity if Mayo are set up right and add a bit more punch in defence and attack.

  15. Two great Mayomen , I feel sorry for them I’m sure they wanted to win just as much as the rest of us their dream is gone . Curious to know what exactly went on.

    Why are people suggesting O’Connor ? If he won an all Ireland with us it wouldn’t be as pure as 100% management . Outsiders never done Mayo any good .

  16. Credit to Noel & Pat doing the honourable thing. As Mayo Mick said, it cannot have been easy. Let’s hope Mayo football gets back on track asap with the focus on on the field matters to the fore. Difficult I know given season just over! Lets hope new manager appointed without fuss or issue & transparent. We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of last time.
    As for the players, i’m sure they took no pleasure at all in the action they took. Lets hope they’re back doing what they do best soon too, making every mayo person on this planet proud to be of Mayo with their exploits on the pitch

  17. Interesting tweet from John Fogarty about there almost being a revolt in one of our neighbouring counties as well. Within the rules of the forum, can anyone explain this?

    Personally, I worry about who we will get as manager now. As someone suggested, there aren’t many outstanding candidates out there.

  18. Noel and Pat did the right thing and it can’t have been easy leaving the role in this manner, but they went with dignity and class.
    The focus now turns to a replacement and to be honest the more I think about Spailpin’s proposal, the more I think it’s our best option. Stephen Rochford is a huge gamble as next manager. The step up from club, even the top club in the country, to county is huge and it’s not just to any county, but a top 3 team. There is a huge gap between Div 1 and the rest and a massive gap between the top 3/4 and everyone else. The gap between ourselves and Monaghan is as big as the gap between Monaghan and Armagh. Do we really want to find out mid February that Stephen is in over his head, what then? I think he deserves a chance at underage or even a stint at another county before asking him to take on the job.
    I don’t think we can afford to take another gamble on someone who’s not proven and it’s going to take a strong individual to walk into the Mayo dressing room at this stage. There are a lot of big egos and battle hardened veterans who have just faced down the CB and won, they will need a firm hand guiding them.
    As many posters have commented already, the big names that fit the bill are unavailable for a variety of reasons, so I think the best option maybe to bring James Horan back as a caretaker effectively to steady the ship until a longer term candidate can be found. Maybe Stephen Rochford could join him for the year and learn the setup.

  19. Fair play to Noel and Pat for doing the honourable thing.
    Dublin 2015 are the yardstick of player personel and tactics that we need to be performing better than in 2016.
    The defensive structure and the counter attack are the two most important things to change. They are solveable only by a new managers tactics and coaching. Hence why I believe Rochford who has a successful record in getting his team performing this in actual matches is the best candidate. You can coach and drill it and have as many team meetings as you want. The question is can you get your squad performing it across a season of games.

  20. Whatever the issues were between players and management over the course of the year, Noel and Pat have lead with humility and put the needs of the players ahead of their own. I feel sorry for them as their tenure had been surrounded by controversy right from the get go, much of which was not their fault, esp the appointment process. It’s over to the players now. They’ll get their replacement management team. But what are the players now going to do about their own short comings ? Dropping critical shots into goalies hands? poor decision making? selfish forward play when others in better position to shoot for goal? Only one elite full forward among them? To the Mayo players – its back over to you now…..

  21. I honestly don’t think Stephen Rochford has much to learn from James Horan. Corofin are as close to a county setup at club level as you would find both on pitch in terms of tactics and coaching and off pitch in terms of organisation.
    Stephen Rochford in terms of difficulty of the position would be taking a step down if managing at U21 level. Corofin would wipe the floor with Tyrone the U21 champions. Corofin are actually well stocked with inter county footballers and U21s
    So he has been managing a high standard of player and he has achieved the ultimate success with them. He is known to study all that goes into Gaelic Football coaching and management with a modern view.
    I’d rather take a rick on Stephen Rochford. James Horan on Newstalk this year said that he thinks playing a sweeper stops you imposing your game on the opposition. I’m sorry but that is wishy washy nonsense. Gaelic Football is a very analyzed game at this point, it much more analyzable than professional soccer due to the higher scoring nature of the game and the ability to analyze what events are important.
    Dublin have a massive team of the best analsysts that we don’t even hear about. Dublin are playing a sweeper. So, no, there is no way Horan is a good option at this point. He has no impressive track record defensively or offesively.
    His attacing wing backs ploy was scuppered all the way back in 2012 and he persisted with it in 2013 and 2014. Three years, he has his chance, he has not had a team in the meantime so he hasn’t suddenly learned to do what Rochford has successfully done in 2014. Which is make a team sounds defensively and offensively at the same time. In particular what Dublin do which is the quick kickpassing counter attack which Horans teams never displayed in even one single game.

  22. Liam, what inter county experience did James Horan have before winning 4 Connachts with Mayo and appearing in 2 all Ireland’s? He was a successful club manager and not even as successful as Stephen Rochford.
    What inter county experience did Pat O’Shea have before winning an all ireland with Kerry? He was a successful club manager with a stint at Kerry minor.
    What inter county experience did Joe Kernan have before winning an all ireland with Armagh? He was a successful club manager.
    Let him go to another county first? What’s our criteria? Let him win an all ireland with Galway first before we consider him good enough?

  23. COD, I think it was our noisy neighbours to the east. It’s ironic how a huge amount of their supporters spent all of last year telling me how joint managers never work, they turned out to be right of course, but now their joint managers are different somehow.

  24. By the way about this dropping ball into the goalkeepers hands. Lee Keegan quite clearly got unbalanced by a touch in the back which ruined his kick.
    But I agree that new players are needed. In particular we are not athletic enough or pacey enough. You can make a player a small bit quicker, but to have elite pace it is from birth, you have to select a player blessed with pace naturally.

  25. Will be interesting to see who comes on board, he sure will need to be good and strong for some of this group.

  26. I never said Stephen Rochford wasn’t good enough, I said he was a gamble at inter county level as he’s unproven. For all the managers that have been mentioned who succeeded having had no intercounty experience there are dozens more who didn’t, Tom Jordan being one despite his success with Crossmolina.
    If anyone thinks that any club, Corofin or Vincent’s or Bridget’s are within an asses roar of the professionalism of a Div 1 team you are delusional.

  27. County setup I said Corofin were near to. They would be more organised than many Division four teams on and off pitch. If Rochford had managed Waterford he would have ticked his inter county box.
    Okay I understand you are saying he is a risk but are okay if he gets it.

  28. We need a manager who can walk into our dressing room as an All Ireland winner.
    Would love McGuinness but that won’t happen.
    Rochford is the only other sensible option.
    No point going back. It didn’t work with John Maughan but I fear James will be given another go.
    Holmes and Connelly did the honourable thing with a quick exit lets hope the County Board do the same and appoint a successor just as quickly.

  29. JP, I’m not having a dig at Stephen Rochford, I think he is hugely talented and potentially a fantastic Mayo manager. However, it would be a big gamble appointing him now. It could succeed and he will go down as one of the greatest managers in GAA history, the one who finally got Mayo across the line. But the downside to the gamble is that midway through the league we start getting a few bad results, he gets overwhelmed with the pressures of managing a county with such high expectations, the players lose faith in him, the supporters turn on him and he is spoiled against football forever more. We have a track record of turning on managers remember.
    When your close to Sam Maguire to see the engraving around the base do you really want to take another gamble?

  30. I don’t perceive you as having a dig at him and yes I want to take another gamble 🙂
    I got 100% in statistics in University … a useless stat. But professional gamblers (which I am not) will always gamble when they feel the odds warrant it.
    It all comes back to how humans interpret risk. With something new even if it has the same % probability of success naturally we have more fear. Simply because it’s new.
    I just think Horan has proven he is most likely not to win it.
    – Too much faith in players out of form
    – Wont shake up the squad
    – Wont play the sweeper
    – Wont get some target man play going
    The current squad is lacking in several areas in terms of athleticism, scoring power, chunky power at the back, height at the back, sweeer at the back.
    On balance of what I seen Stephen Rochford is the more likely manager to initiate changes and to coach in tactical changes. BTW I would expect he would drop some of our high profile defenders if they didnt start kickpassing on the counter attack effectively and reverted to soloing. But he has a perfect hand to do so. The players have had a manager out vote. So the next manager has an absolutely free hand to instruct the players “This is the game plan, this is how we practice, this is how we bring that into match day, any player off plan will be dropped for a player who is sticking to the plan”.
    No two ways about it but the players must know that a well practiced game plan that is stuck to on match day is the only way they will win Sam.
    If a former All Star or top five player has to drop out because they are not sticking to the plan then it will happen without a murmur. We wont win Sam based on skill and fitness.
    Number one is game plan, number two is skill and number three is fitness.

  31. Re James Horan, I think he is a non-runner – County Board won’t have him. If I’m proved wrong on this, I’d still be happy enough.

    But here’s the question: Weren’t Ballintubber, under JH the Donegal of Mayo football? Didn’t we have dire warnings when he took over about the boredom we would endure, and the lack of scores?

    If JH, could we not have something of that ‘Donegal’ mentality back?

  32. Rochford is not the man for me…club and county is not the same.
    Think Horan should have another go but backroom team needs to be right.Would Maughan go in as selector.We need a defensive coach too and there needs to be a serious think in about where we are going.
    Thanks to the players who cared enough to make a stand.Noel and Pat worked hard but too many naive mistakes made.

  33. Horan only had club management when he took over. Also hasn’t Horan proven by this point that he is flawed with his defensive and attacking strategies. Whereas Rochfords defensive and attacking strategies closely match Dublins.

  34. Well Done Mayo players. You have risked your reputations over this. It’s Sam or bust in 2016. Great courage shown.

  35. Sure I suppose they’re all a gamble really, outside of the top guys he’s the best option clearly. Just as big a deal now is the clear drop in funding from the CB, a lot of which is down to the financial constraints placed on us by croke park. A big part of getting that restructuring deal from them was greater financial oversight, much like the Troika. The first signs of this was the trimming of the medical team. The CB have now taken over appointment of all physio’s, a move that is clearly financially motivated as opposed to player welfare driven. They will get young, inexperienced physio’s to work for a pittance just because they’ll get to put the Mayo team down on their CV.
    This was clearly a big part of the players grievance and not one that will be remedied by a new manager unless the CB commit to better funding for the team. It’s hard to see an octogenarian treasurer who’s idea of fundraising is a biscuit tin on a bar stool stepping up to the mark in this regard.

  36. St Pats Oldie wants a proven All Ireland winner as manager. Does he remember a fellow called Jack O Shea ( Ouch) enough said about All Ireland winners as managers.
    Looking at blogs has J P ticked all (his right boxes) for the job. I,d like to say who ever gets this job he will need God,s help. This present team are not capable of winning an A.I. We have to many same players who fail on big days and to many players who are not County material. Wont mention names. In maybe 10 years from now we may win AI.
    We are in a worse place now than we realise, just because we got the present duo to quit that is only the beginning. A few players would also want to quit or if not they too will needed to be pushed. Some people say the players know who they want but this person may not want the players. We are as always “Mayo! God help us” never as true as now.

  37. Of outside Managers only 2 I would consider McGuinness and Canavan. Please guys never mention Jack’s name again, 320km away managing an U21 team and maybe teaching as well. Rather travel happy Micko who must be nearly 80 now to that option.
    Players may have inside track on a manager which most likely is Horan. While his on pitch choices were not always what we’d like he has probably learned a lot from year off. I see his point about sweeper and taking away from imposing your game and those posting it I wonder is their link to the entire conversation. I do think every team including Mayo is now using some kind of sweeper or planned defensive system where players drop back a line so anything less for Mayo risky unless can win man to man against other top teams
    teams. Would be worried if Horan has anti sweeper philosophy as Kerry won last year by adapting tactics including double sweeper in final which they would have 3 weeks to perfect.
    Missing from last 2 management teams is Cody culture of ruthless player replacement but that needs an improved conveyor. Only Kirby and Ronaldson came forward in forwards and Regan unlucky with injury. Those 2 lads drifted back the pack. Next year I expect Coen, Durkan and Drake to be getting lots of league game time. Also Keith Higgins is our our obvious sweeper but need a few of them to try the role as back up for injuries so it can be interchanged. Would Dublin have beaten Kerry if Cian O Sullivan hasn’t made it to match day?

  38. Thanks to Pat and Noel for doing the honourable thing. Very impressed with Stephen Rochford and Corofin,the style of football they played,won final 1-14 to 0-7.Deployed a man marker in Liam Silke and as a result confined Dermot Connolly to one or two points from play in semi-final. had to convince the Corofin players that they could beat the All Ireland champions Vincents. After the win in the semi-final Rochford played down their chances in the final against Slaughtneil. In the final man marked out of the game Slaughtneils two main players, Paddy Bradley at midfield and their centre half forward. James Horan also moved straight from club to county management.

  39. I,ve just seen a blog saying it was the fault if the medical team and a treasurer with a biscuit tin. What a load of bullshit. Call a spade a spade we don’t have footballers and that’s the bottom line. You can keep making all the excuses you like but on the field of play you are proven how good you are, we have completed in AI and League finals over the last 10 years and failed to win any. We then go back blaming managers, medical, etc. and never mention players. Kerry had a good manager this year but some players did not perform, did they call for his head? Somebody said bring back John Maughan? That would be a bigger disaster.

  40. I think we can win an All Ireland but it would be with a change of tactics and a few changes in starting 15/match day 26 and the 34 man panel. It is do-able in the next 3 years. If it takes 3 years I think many of these guys will need fresh tactics that they feel are improving things. You can be improved and still lose two tight finals in a row. Win it on your third. This is some purgatory the county has been in 🙂

  41. Fair play to Noel & Pat, glad they left with dignity and did what was right for Mayo GAA. Says a lot abut the pair of them.

    Agree with a lot of what JP is saying above about Rochford. To be fair, I know little about him, but everything I’ve heard has been positive.
    Sure it’s a gamble, but a lot of managerial appointments are. I think it’s about time we took a gamble and stopped playing safe. Horan would be the ‘safe’ option. But much as I have a lot of time for him, he’d need to have a changed approach to his game plan.
    Maybe his year away has opened his eyes to some changes, although the quote about playing a sweeper would suggest maybe not.

  42. As for Rochford I can honestly say that 2014/5 Corofin are the best club team I’ve ever seen. Use the kick pass, move the ball quickly and defensively excellent too though the style there is huge work rate and pushing up from the half lines quite like Mayo. Not sure he used a sweeper.
    So is he a risk, yes because there always is with someone unproven at County level but the chances are he’s up to it. 2015/6 Corofin not blitzing teams quite as much is he still their Manager?
    His style depends on fast corner forwards winning early ball, would that suggest Keith or Patrick Durkan being tried up there to win those races. Lundy was really top for Corofin both as kick passing playmaker and inside line winning races at various stages for them last year.

  43. Just first, fair play to noel and pat doing the right thing and not dragging it out. I like J Horan and i think he has done great thing in term of set up for Mayo. But reading JP comments its hard not to agree with his logic. If J Horan was to come back he will have t have learned from his mistakes as good managers can (jim Gain after Donegal Game for example) if he cant change then it will be more of the same. I saw Corrifin a couple of times and the balance seemed to be perfect both offense and defense so Rochford knows what hes at, but will he be able to bring that at county level. I wont be sad if J Horan gets another shot i think he deserves it as he is agonisely close and with a few tweeks he could get us over the line, if not him than its S Rochford for me. Dont agree that this team cant win an all ireland, i think all irelands were won with lesser teams, but the right tatics and balance, but i do think it is time for some players to call it off and maybe looking at unearthing a few new players.

  44. I love this talk of the new manager procuring a new scoring inside forward, a good solid full back and an athletic ball winning half forward. Like he could pop down to a Lidl sale and get all three for a song!

    The new team will have to work largely with what they have. They will have the option of introducing one or two on the fringe such as Regan or Loftus. But this talk of wholesale change is a little delusional.

  45. There are plenty young forwards around playing their full careers so far upfront and now being the top scorers from play in Club football.

  46. JP – I agree with most of what you say there, however, we don’t have 3 years – we have 1 year – maybe 2 at most. In 3 years time the spine of this team will be retired and without a Higgins, a Boyle, a Barrett, an O’Shea we will be a pale shadow of our former selves. It’s next year or never IMO.

  47. I know it’s a strange idea, but:-)
    Why not have an interview process,
    An interview board who can judge the necessity traits, both football, vision and management.
    Real question who should be on that board????????

  48. Looking at the Mayo situation from outside. People need to calm down, no manager will consider the position for the moment. Many people are saying it is two horse race between Horan and Roachford, both would be good choices but are they available. Roachford was unknown until he entered a very stable environment in Corofin, he took over a team full of all ireland winners at Senior, U21 and Hogan cup level. Fitzgearld, The Comers, Healy, Sice, The Burkes, Silkes etc, is he available? Corofin have a County final in the next few weeks, will he walk into an uncertain future. Horan has a great gig with various media outlets at the moment for pay!! I’m sure it would be difficult to give up that profile. Mayo need to step back and reflect. The players have had their say they need to go back to the clubs and accept the next manager for three or five years. You cannot appoint a new manager for at least 4 or 6weeks until a period of reflection and new selection method has been agreed. You could appoint straight away but this will have a knock effect for years. In some ways you can take your time, you have a settled panel. You also have to move on from feeling hard done by Donegal, Kerry and Dublin, the bestt team in all of them years won the All Ireland.

  49. Liam, as much as I agree with a lot of your comments further up the page, I think you’re last one is totally out of order. In all walks of life people will have different opinions and it’s for that very reason that this blog is such a roaring success.

  50. Actually on re reasding I see you used the phrase wholesale changes. I don’t think people are advocating wholesale changes. Just add in a few new new lads as you mentioned yourself.
    As regards this year is Sam or bust. I really don’t think it’s the case. Players will retire or lose form and other lads will come in. The age profile is stiff fine and the production line of players U23 looks healthy.

  51. This self loathing that consumes some people is horrible, horrible stuff. I agree that what makes this blog great is the differences of opinion and I thoroughly enjoy it. However, just coming on saying the team is no good and will never win anything when all the evidence points to the opposite is designed purely to rile people.

  52. I think corofins victory last year needs to be put in context..they’ve had a conveyor belt coming thru in Galway are miles ahead of any other club. The standard of club teams nationally had dropped off last year (in Connacht Brigids had and have faded, crossmaglen were gone and so Corofin came up against a tired vincents team before beating a crowd from Derry in a final who with respect, we’ll probably never see again in croke Pk). In GAA parlance it can be argued that it was a “soft All Ireland”. In my opinion Corofins form so far this year has been average. While I would certainly like to see Stephen in the running for Mayo at some point Im not sure his time is now and I’m not sure he’d want it now. I’d prefer to see someone like him be successful with an underage team and bring them thru…a la Mickey Harte. Rather than throwing him into the deep end pretty much untested. Yes Horan had no intercounty experience when he first took over but Mayo were in a much different place in 2010/11.

    What managers are out there? The man most of us wanted is now gone to our local rivals- which we can blame the county board for. A lot of us predicted this scenario 12 months ago.

    As others have said there aren’t many options. It appears the players would like Horan in to give it one last push. I think that’s what will happen but equally as important is the underage set up… Kerry are doing huge work at it bringin O’Connor (who btw hasn’t a bull’s notion of coming to Mayo) in to bring thru the minors.

    Rochford was turned down for the minor job a few years ago but he would be a great acquisition in my opinion. We need top managers in these roles (minor, u21) and they need to all be linked on through to senior and singing off the same hymn sheet…. Which brings us back to the Strategic Review.

    The problems as we’ve been saying for years lie with the structures and mechanics of the GAA within the county and until the personslities at the top are changed our fortunes on the pitch are unlikely to do so.

  53. True Grit.

    I promise you there are loads of kerry folk wanting fitzmaurice to go. Cribbing and crying about tactics, starting 15, substitutions. It’s all very familiar. I gaurantee you he will be gone if no all Ireland in 2016.

  54. Yes the analogy isn’t a good choice but the negativity is too much for me at times, true grit being a very good example. Why bother following the team if yer going to be that negative. How does that negativity translate to the terraces?
    Truth is most teams would like to be in Mayo’s position. McGuinness analysed it well saying we have been going toe to toe with teams with a bit more in the forwards and a bit more Street smart could win us. He says they Donegal looked at what they had and came up with a plan.
    So we found 3 new backs Durkan Coen and Drake and 1 new forward Diarmaid with 3 or 4 potential (Kirby, Ronnie, Regan, Sweeney and Loftus) with maybe Carolan, Adam G Conroy and Gibbons returning that’s a strong panel. Needs a few lads to push on in the league. There’s a few untapped (Nally from Garrymore springs to mind) and of course Conor O Shea has huge attributes (2 footed fast and tall) if he can get experience at County level. Thrown in at deep end v Ros last year and I think 1 league game v Donegal or was it Cork.
    Is our conveyor as good as Kerry, Dublin, Galway, Ros, Tyrone maybe not but it’s better than most. Donegal didn’t have a great conveyor to win AI, they did it with a massive fitness push for 2 years and very smart tactics. Couldn’t maintain that fitness push and dropped back though it’s legacy is there in terms of long term strength and conditioning.
    We could do with an unexpected star like Conor Whelan for Galway hurlers. They are probably out there and some may come to fore in remaining club championship, more on getting game time in league.

  55. My last post might suggest the current minor management isn’t good, I didn’t mean that. They’ve done a very good job apart from the reports of the training regime which some say has affected lots of the stars of the ’13 championship winning side.

  56. Liam. You’re making some serious assumptions there, some of which are completely way of the mark in reality.

  57. Didn’t acknowledge the 2 lads resignation, relieved that they did and were so honourable in their statement. Also the players have done well in avoiding details and negativity getting out to the likes of us gossip mongers. Human curiosity would love to have the inside track but much prefer if the 2 lads can walk down the street without wondering what people think of them. We all want to see a successful team, they’re no different, didn’t work with players for whatever reason and spare the details. Human respect for the 2 lads, it’s only sport at the end of the day.
    Cob also decisive too in not letting this thing drag on.
    Now it may take week or 2 to recover and think about new manager and set criteria but important to sort out fairly soon in interest of devising winter training and recovery programme and hopefully retaining Buckley and Solan as there are very few out there at their standard.

  58. I hope the players and county board sit down and work out the type of person needed to take over as manager. The past should not be revisited too much, but if lessons need to be learnt, then these shortcomings should be highlighted. The players should then take a backseat in the process and hopefully the county board do their job in a professional manner.

  59. Firstly my compliments must go to the outgoing managers for their decision to depart with dignity and speed and not allow the wound to fester. They were largely on a hiding to nothing because of the manner of their appointment. It was doomed to end in tears and so it has and I thank them for their magnanimous decision. That brings phase one of the situation to an end.
    The next phase is the appointment of a new manager. The very thought of the return of Horan fills me with foreboding because let us be honest and admit that he failed every major test on the bigger stage; against Donegal in 2012, against Dublin 2013 and twice against Kerry in 2014. Admittedly he had two triumphs against Dublin in 2012 and Donegal in 2013 and four Connacht titles.Connacht football has been in the doldrums for some time with no other county in the top division. While his return may be what the players wish for they must be careful what they wish for. If that is their wish then I certainly do not share it. He has had his day and to my mind his extra year only took a chunk out of the time frame within which an All Ireland might be landed by this crop of players.
    There is a groundswell of support building for Stephen Rochfort and possibly it is soundly based. His CV coming into the task would be ahead of what Horan brought to the table on his appointment. Any new manager taking on the task will have to deal with a situation which has never obtained previously and that has to be considered because not everybody might want the job because of that. A new manager needs the backing of everybody and not be constantly undermined by armchair pundits and naysayers with a limited vision. Everybody with the interests of Mayo football at heart must get behind the new manager.
    Having surmounted that hurdle there is the question of putting the best team on the field. I note that most posters on this forum call for a few more effective forwards but while that may be desirable the most of our problems lie with our defence. As I see it at least three of our forwards are employed inside our own 45m. line and I have yet to see anybody notch up a match winning tally from there. If our defenders were good enough then one forward would be sufficient to cover back and leave the other five at the other end of the field where they might score regularly. I have been critical of our two central defenders since I first came to post here. Our fullback is not strong enough, tough enough or dominant enough yet whenever I have made this claim I am berated and informed that he is the best full back in the county. If that is the case then we have no full back good enough so we must try something different and convert somebody into a fullback. I proposed Seamus O’Shea for this change after the 2012 final and was laughed of the stage for my folly but the idea seemed to gain traction again last year after the two lessons taught by Kerry, but it fell off the screen once again and we got caught out again this year. Our current centre back is not really a defender and his absence from his position to gambol up into attack leaves a motorway down the centre of our defence. I would ask posters to look carefully at the team of the year chosen by all the analysts at the end of the Sunday game on the night of this years final. They had R. O’Carroll at full back and C. O’Sullivan at centre back and showed clips of Rory dominating the square and O’Sullivan remaining close in front of him to seal off the direct path to the Dublin goal.Throw in a sweeper and an effective defensive system is in place. Contrast that with what we have persisted with for the last four years. I would also criticise the fact that no cover was provided for our four big men in the panel through this years championship We had cover available in Kirby in particular and Gibbons to a lesser degree. Yet neither appeared in the 26 but we had too many small forwards.
    Finally may I offer this as the shape of the lineout I would like to see years assault on the summit:
    R. Hennelly
    C. Barret, S. O’Shea K. Keane
    L. Keegan T. Cunniffe P. Durkan
    T. Parsons A. O’Shea
    D. O’Connor D. Kirby K. Higgins
    J. Doherty A. Freeman C. O’Connor
    I don’t expect everyone to agree with it but having all the forwards in the country would not solve our defensive problems. Gooch concede 1-2 to Philly McMahon, point made.

  60. There is actually no evidence Buckley adds anything to the team.What has his legacy been.What has he done.Throwing out glowing tributes without evidence is to no ones benefit.Maybe Buckley has something…maybe not

  61. I’ve been too busy with work, so haven’t been paying any attention to this, then I take a gander over to the blog to read about the all stars and feckin hell, the whole thing has exploded in just a few days!

    It seems that Holmes and Connolly were left with no good options following the “players” vote of no confidence therefore it’s logical that they would step aside and they should be thanked for their service and commitment to Mayo football.

    It also seems that the players have for some reason decided that they wouldn’t play for this management team. It’s really a bizarre situation we find ourselves in!
    One has to ask the question, how did we get here? Without knowing the players reasons it’s obvious that the genesis of this is with the players disappointment over JH resignation last year and then the subsequent managerial replacement shambles that occurred.

    Both of these were responsibilities of the CB and it seems they were and remain incapable of running a football program at this level. This team and its supporters are proud of this county and they expect the CB to act with one collective objective, i.e, win the All Ireland. They must put the strategy in place to enable but it seems, while many of them are good men, with good intentions, the world has moved on, times have changed and many of them are simply not up to the task at hand. It’s been said here many times, we need new blood there too, ppl with fresh ideas who have one common objective. How that is achieved is anybody’s gues at this point, for the CB themselves are in the driving seat.

    Now while I’m critical of the juvenile behavior of our CB, let’s remember, the CB hasn’t ever kicked a ball and no CB has ever won an All Ireland. This role we entrust to our players who like the managers give it their all with one single objective in mind, to win the All Ireland. While many of us weren’t thrilled for with the management team, many were willing to give them at least another season to try and crack this nut while at the same time trusting that the CB would have their finger on the pulse, evaluate if the strategy was effective and make tweaks/course corrections as needed. They neglected to do this and in doing so conceded this to the players themselves! Now the players are effectively in the driver seat. This happens when you have weak or no leadership. But this is not how it should be! Everyone needs to understand their role in this common objective. If the players have rebelled and forced the resignation of Holmes and Connolly as is reported, then this just doesn’t sit well with me, despite the management teams flaws.

    It’s my opinion that they have over stepped the boundary and gone somewhere they shouldn’t have gone, elevating themselves to the power broker level, when in fact, their only role is to play football for Mayo. Now that they have forced H&C out, no doubt they will have to be agreeable to the new management team! And let’s suppose the CB appoint a new management team, and they are not agreeable to that…what then? Let’s not kid ourselves, a player revolt never ends well for the team and I fear this will set us back years. Once again, the laughing stock of the country and still no All Ireland.

    At least last year we could all agree the blame lay squarely with the CB, but now with the players revolting, they must also share some of the blame for the mess we now find ourselves in.

  62. Sorry to derail thread but willie Joe what time is that game in Parnell park this evening ?

  63. We need some positivity
    County intermediate semi finals tomorrow 2pm in McHale Park
    – Moy Davitts – The Neale
    – Hollymount – Belmullet

  64. I have to laugh at this laughing stock of the country malarkey . The country must be dying of laughter at the likes of our neighbours who haven’t beaten us in an age . Anyway I sort of understand where you’re coming from when you say the panel have backed themselves into a corner now with the revolt but on the other hand what were they supposed to do grin and bear it , they felt they couldn’t progress with them and if they didn’t come out and say it they felt the two lads would go through the motions and carry on .

  65. True Grit.
    Jack O’Shea never won an All Ireland as a manger.
    McGuinness and Rochford have.
    Who do you propose?

  66. Hello,
    I more and more hope that An Spailbin Fanacht suggestion come to pass. Just the delight on the player’s faces next Jamuary to have Jimmy back is enough to make the decision for me. Hope they have a word with Mrs Horan and children as well. Basically We would like to borrow your husband and father for 9months’. He was away alot in the Summer.
    Also he will have learned so much in his detached role and the whole ambience of the training sessions would be conducive to good decisions from their shared experiences.
    He also seems to know what the County Board is about and Rochford would have a learning curve with them too. It is nothing short of miraculous what James Horan did for Mayo football. For the players it must have been such a let-down.
    Talk about Mayo football being laughed at is not the way most people see it other than journalists or people with axes to grind see their opportunity. Horan and the players can handle all this and shut out all these distractions from those sort of people. They deserve the year together if the Horan family are willing. I see them laughing in January and Connelly and Holmes have done well. Hope their familis are not too upset. There must be a book germinating someplace? What an extraordinary year. Come back. Ciaran 2.

  67. I had to pinch myself, because I am sure, positive, that I just read that “James Horan had failed every big test” as Mayo manager, or something of that nature.

    Now, his first big test was to take the Mayo football team out of the lowest depths we had seen it in for quite some time. Sligo and Longfod in as many weeks was, in truth, a dreadful time for us. So James had to motivate a team to challenge for Connacht titles. He did that, and in the process introduced a very young and very gifted footballer in Cillian O’Connor to senior football. Connacht champions. Test 1 – complete.

    Now, a quarter final appearance against Cork, in Croke Park. We have never beaten Cork in the championship in my life up until then. A proper bogey team for Mayo. I remember the huge crowds travelling up that day. Sorry, no, wait, I don’t. I recall 22k being at HQ that day between 4 counties. You see, we hadn’t reached “best fans in the world” status at that stage. Mayo win, and win well, in a performance that can be described as hard and steely. We were finally a team who weren’t “too soft”. Oh, Cork were AI Champions by the way.

    Now comes the big test, we need to retain Connacht to really confirm that this team was back. We did that with relative comfort, despite winning the final by a couple of scores in the Hyde that day. Back to back Connacht titles for the first time since 96/97.

    Another pitiful crowd travel to Croke Park to see us hammer Down. For the first time in my life, with 20 minutes to go in Croke Park at a Mayo championship match, the game was cooked. But the AI Champions were waiting for us, the mighty Dubs, and we dealt with them. Without our captain, I might add.

    2013. A dangerous trip to Galway. “Galway are waiting in the long grass” is what we heard. Colm O’Rourke assuredly predicted “Oh, Galway” before throw in. Instead we saw the most devastating, awesome performance from a Mayo team against our old rivals. Remains as one of the best days following Mayo for me. So a 3rd Connacht title in a row after easily beating London in a final. 3 in a row for the first time since 1950.

    Onto the next, Donegal, who had beaten us in last year’s final. The unstoppable force just a few months previous. And if we thought the performance against Galway couldn’t be topped, we needed to think again. Tyrone comfortably beaten in the semi. Came up short against Dublin in the final, which still hurts in truth, because I feel we were a better team at the time.

    2014, an easy voctory against Gaway in a Connacht final after digging out of the long grass in Hyde a few weeks earlier. 4 in a row, for the first time since 1951. Quarter final v Cork and we put them aside after a bit of a struggle.

    Now, was James’s Mayo team perfect? Of course not. Was James perfect? Of course not. Were mistake made? Yes, of course. Did he fail “every big test”? No, that is total and utter waffle. Would I like to see James back? Absolutely, I would. I was devastated in on the motorway on the way back from Limerick after I heard the news. And from what I hear, so were the players.

  68. Need to change my name again!
    See Cian O’Neill is set to be the Kildare manager.
    That could have reprecussions in Mayo too – I’d imagine Eamonn Fitzmaurice will be keen to get Donie Buckley down to Kerry.
    Unless people move fast, that’s exactly what will happen I’d think. And I’d be fairly certain there are few who want to see that happen.

  69. I would have concerns about Rochford. Club is different to County. I would like to see how he would perform at Minor or Under 21 first. Maybe as assistant to James Horan if JH would take the job

  70. Liam

    Your post using the words darkroom, bottle of whiskey and revolver are a bit over the top. Also your geography is a bit off. We have had enough of inaccurate information over the last week.

  71. One thing that has not changed is that we still have a favourable draw for 2016 with home advantage against the “big two” in Connacht if we meet them and then a straight forward run to the final while kerry and Dublin batter shit out of each other in the other semi.

    Everything focused on being ready for 3.30pm on Sunday 18th September. There are 30 other counties who would love to be where we are now. These lads are serious and wont tolerate a half baked mickey mouse set up with biscuit tins and out of touch octagonarians from now on. I think they realise that 2016 is a golden opportunity and nobody is going to get in the way.

  72. Mayo management have clear objectives:

    -Defensive system
    -Defense/attach transition system
    -Scoring forwards on sight
    -Game plan with contingencies

    1. Select the right manager to execute this
    2. Oversee the execution progress
    3. If not being executed chsnge the manager again. Mid season if necessary.

    In the modern world this is basic stuff. It only takes a few games to figure if the manager is executing the required plan. It does not take a season or tw or three.
    It might take time to the the desired result. But monitoring progress is game by game.

    Up to date modern business process and execution tactics will put Mayo where it wants be, easy.

    The CB accept this now and start this change process to build on the impasse that happened.

    Mayo is at the crossroads. There is only one right road to take.

  73. Liam’s comments are over the top and Id be surprised and disappointed if WJ allows comments like that to remain on display here. Plenty of room over on hogan stand for that kind of dialogue

  74. I think this saga has a bit to run yet. What happens if the players do not get their way by bringing JH back, do we have another red letter day on our hands?

  75. Liam – I’ve deleted that comment about the dark room and the rest. Your comment yesterday about Bozo the Clown was one of the best of the year but the one I’ve just deleted was, I’m afraid, at the other end of the spectrum altogether.

  76. I must echo what too hollow and Westport man say, what is the process? CB Are effectively in a tendering process to procure a set of services, it’s not a popularity contest or an election. Do we want what happened a year ago? If we run a clean process we will get quality, if we don’t well…

  77. Terrific post, MayoMark.
    There’s a lot of interesting debate over the possibility of James returning. It’s something I would be happy with. I listened to him very carefully over the summer on Newstalk etc and thought he has excellent, particularly when the analysis concerned Mayo. A couple of people posted comments referring to his media bits since stepping down from Mayo last year, and criticising him for this, claiming it was too soon, especially as he would be discussing Mayo – as he was too close.
    I watched this carefully, and while I thought every time he spoke honestly and gave fair opinion, he was never drawn into saying anything too big. I have huge admiration for him for that. Obviously he was always going to speak well of the players, which he did, but for me he was always gently protecting them too.

    There’s no doubt they think the world of James and this is fully reciprocated. If he returns they will undoubtedly fight like dogs for him again. I truly hope James has learned a little from the year out and listens more to advice.

  78. Also, I’d wager that it would be the one appointment that other counties would least like to see.

  79. We’re back at a crossroads again, it’s all about making the right choice. I can’t see JH in a caretaker roll being a runner, first of all JH being the kind of guy he seems to be if he comes back will be all in or nothing.
    I’m sure Stephen Rochford does see himself as a future Mayo manager, but probably not this soon. We could, by the way some chips are falling see us back with another joint ticket. John Maughan looks to be a shoe in for the u21 job after he was nominated by the county board. There could be a potential Rochford/Maughan axis over both senior and u21. Both worked together in Maughan’s last stint with Crossmolina, with Rochford very active on the sideline with Maughan. Not ideal situation, but it could ease Stephen into the roll.

  80. After listening to Maughan on radio 1, he’d have a serious problem winning the confidence of the players.
    He just slated them and said he hasn’t met one person who thinks the players did the right thing.
    A cynic would say John was backing the co board to ensure he gets the u21 job….

  81. Maughan was on RTE radio just now in a Des Cahill interview with Mike Finnerty and Martin McHugh. JM appeared to have an anti player stance and said that the moves this week were rash and unfair on management and county board. He stated that all was well in the camp and that nobody had any knowledge of the upcoming heave. Finnerty called him on this and spoke of the leaks to the media which were not helpful. So JM has just removed himself from contention it would seem.

  82. I might be way off the mark but I can see this particular group of players telling the county board who they want as manager and refusing to budge from that viewpoint. They won’t be spoken down to from any county board people, and seem to be hell bent on getting it set up right so they can start preparing for 2016 straight away. Does anyone on this forum think that Cillian o Connor and the likes are just happy to play for Mayo? I don’t, in fact I would bet that those type fellas would walk away in quick fashion if they think they are wasting their time. Someone says that the players have painted themselves into a corner, no they haven’t, the county board are the ones in the corner and they will do as told or face the consequences of Mayo being unable to field a competitive team in 2016, relegation from division 1 and beaten in Connaught and qualifiers.
    And as far as financing the teams of Mayo, get rid of the biscuit tin mentality and start thinking along the lines of concerts in Machale Park during summer, and maybe hiring design and marketing company to put the Mayo brand on the shelves and online so it can generate money for the teams. We need to before professional, like Dublin and kerry or else we won’t last the distance.

  83. Well done to pat and noel they deserve huge credit for all they have done down the years, I hope they enjoy a happy few years now.i would imagine that the players have someone in mind for manager,so I hope he or she is available, why not,however to say wehad the best team this last few years would be a big statement, last year I was very pessimistic,as I did not see any new players coming through, this year seems better hopefully, the management over the last few years has got a lot of stick over team selection and changes, but to my mind we don’t have scoring fowards like Dublin or strong defenders like donegal,so I think we finished about where we should hopefully we can finally reach sam,I admire the players for their singlemind pursuit of success good luck with the selection

  84. Stephen Rochford did well with Corofin last year but the best team they beat on route to average club championship was St Vincents who probably were hung over from the previous year.

    In 2013 Stephen Rochfords Corofin were beaten at home by Castlebar whom were managed by a certain Pat Holmes.

    Donie Buckley looks the most likely candidate to replace Cian O Neill at Kerry.

  85. Yes Bohola I heard that discussion too. Very disappointed in Maughan. He really laid into the players. He said that everyone he had spoken to was completely against the players! Again Mike Finnerty called him on that and said that the vast majority supported the players. Martin McHugh spoke in favour of the players too and he made the point that he thinks joint managers don’t work

  86. We nabbed Buckley from Limerick when they nearly had it in the bag. Any chance we can nab O Neill from Kildare. He just put himself forward.

  87. O Neill and Rochford as assistant could be a good combination if Horan doesn’t work out.

  88. Ignore my last 2 comments, O’ Neill confirmed for Kildare job, very fast process.
    Not sure if Buckley would jump ship, Mayo on a par with Kerry. He may hold until new manager decision or see who goes forward and may even put himself forward.

  89. Why are people suggesting potential managerial candidates ? James Horan will be back on his terms , whatever he wants .Players wont play for anyone else . Bizarre situation .

  90. From what I’m led to believe Donie Buckley was always leaving this year, regardless of the result and this has been known since April. However, we are in extraordinary times so who knows, although I would guess Kerry will make a serious grab for him.

  91. Liam – The Mayo News reported recently that Donie Buckley was ‘set to stay’ with Mayo for 2016. This was the line reported to the County Board by H&C.

    Things have changed since of course! However, it looked like he was going to stay, and if JH returns, why would he not stay?

    If he was leaving this year, it would have been put to bed after the replay. The fact that it hasn’t suggests he is very much ‘in play’. Of course speed is of the essence and if the new appointment is a long drawn out process, this could affect his availability.

    I see some posters have taken a go at Buckley. Fair enough, he is not untouchable. But the players loved him (and that’s saying something), their tackling has been immense since his arrival, and I gather he is rather a guru. Why not Buckley for manager – he was a selector for the past 2 years also?

  92. If Rochford had any interest in the role (there’s no guarantee that he does given that the CB snubbed him in the recent past) it would not be in a role that is subservient to someone else – he is his own man with his own particular style of people management and vision of how he would set up the team to play. I would rather see a new manager like Rochford come in than have Horan back – we need to move forward – not revert to previous tactics and sideline decision making that fell short in landing Sam.

  93. I understand that catcol. However, given the source of that story was the same chairman who failed to notice the biggest player coup in the counties history fermenting under his nose despite being player liaison, I think we need to use a large dose of saxo.
    I don’t think Buckleys reasons were dissatisfaction of any course, he just felt it was time to move on. I do agree that the current situation changes things though.
    As to the point of him managing. He is loved by the players because he’s always on their side, always encouraging them, always consoling them when they’re not picked to start a game, that’s what coaches do. Things change when you have to start telling lads they’re not starting, dropping lads from the panel etc., that’s what managers do and the dynamic changes.

  94. It should not be a surprise to hear JM back his buddy PH and ridicule the players for their actions. I would suggest that PH convinced JM to put his name forward for the U-21 role so that they could work together. Now all has changed. JM can’t be in consideration for either the senior or U-21 roles due to his comments as there are a significant number of U-21’s on the senior panel

  95. Has anyone got solid information on whether James Horan would consider the job, and whether he is the players’ choice?

    It’s sad to see two decent, highly committed and hugely experienced men walk away from their job. My grateful thanks to them both for the many, many good times they helped create.

    Having watched my recording of the first Dublin game again, the Mayo resurrection between the 62nd and 75th minute was enough to gladden the heart. This was something to savour, and there was much, much more from Pat and Noel’s time in charge.

    We are well within reach of an AIF win. This year and last year have shown abundant proof that we are almost there. Let us show our belief.

  96. Shame mr maughan couldnt put a lid on it…not in the least bit surprised tho ..mayo media men have really disappointed me this for new mgmt its a weird one..sø much ground already covered by j h with this team that it would be smoothest transition ever ..and yet i love the idea of a new fresh approach…a clean slate

  97. WJ, your website is the reason why I found out the keyboard shortcut (if you can call it that) to go to the bottom of a webpage. Practically every post you make ends up with lengthy comments and I find myself coming back to the page several times a day now (as opposed to only several times a week previously) so scrolling to the bottom takes up more and more time every time I come back.

    I’m not sure I’ve said it before but thank you for running this fantastic page. It really keeps us up to date with the goings-on in Mayo GAA when we are no longer living in Ireland.

    With regards managerial appointments – as much as I believe Horan has been a tremendous servant to Mayo football, appointing him I feel would be a mistake. Mike Finnerty made the point on Second Captains about the team in 2011 saying they had no baggage and how now they can’t really say that. Horan can’t say it either. There is baggage now. He wouldn’t be the county board’s choice either.

    Does anyone really believe McGuinness would take the job? I live in Scotland currently and I have heard that McGuinness is very highly thought of at Celtic and they would not let him go without a fight. He is now involved with the first team and doing his coaching badges. I think there is more chance of him taking the Celtic job in the next few years than the Mayo job. I would love to see him take on Mayo for a few years but will he give up the money he is on in Glasgow for the Mayo job? Can’t see it happening.

    It’ll be Rochford I imagine. Has a winning pedigree. He is a passionate Mayo man. Based on comments I have read, it seems fans are split on his suitability for the job.

    Who else could realistically take the job?

    Jack O’Connor won’t. He’d have to give up the teaching post he is in and have a seven hour round trip for training/move house. That’s asking a lot of anyone.

    Donie Buckley? Already hugely involved but could be tempted back to Kerry with Cian O’Neill gone to Kildare.

    It’s hard to know sure. I don’t think the county board will be slow out of the blocks on this one though. The players have shown they mean business. The county board will want to follow suit.

  98. These are the comments of Corofin’s Kieran Fitzgerald about Stephen Rochford after last year’s Club final:

    (He’s a cool customer, said the defender of Rochford. He doesn’t get too excited. We were lucky to get him. We were as prepared as I ever saw a team prepared. I have been involved with great managers, Peter Forde, John O’Mahony and those, but no team were as prepared for the final as we were. We knew Slaughtneil inside out. There was no stone left unturned. It was basically up to us to perform. They could do no more. I’d imagine Mayo will be looking for that guy back, sooner rather than later. Whether we can hold onto him now, I have my doubts, but he has been super for us and he owes us nothing.)

    You’d hope that Stephen will be involved with us in some way. Maybe if Buckley does go and James Horan gets the manager’s job, Rochford as our new coach might be a good idea as well.

  99. Rockford is a class manager no
    doubt. Corofin played a delightful
    brand of football. He had his homework
    done on Vincent’s as well.
    James Horan is a massive servant to
    mayo football just think it is time to
    Give a new voice a chance
    I feel gutted for Pat and Noel two Gentlemen to the core.

  100. I agree with Tubberman, Maughan is playing the game to try to ensure he gets the U21 Job. Big mistake in my view if county board give it to him but since they nominated him after their own closing date for nominations it appears to be a done deal. I’d be really pissed off if I was McGarry or Solan if this turns out to be the case.

    If this is the way the CB operate why would anyone put themselves forward if they are just going to propel in somebody they want and not nominated by the clubs. In my view any potential managers should be nominated come from clubs only and CB appoint from this shortlist!

  101. Rochford has done brilliantly with a brilliant club.
    Kevin McStay is gone.
    I’m still really reeling at Martin Carney’s “who would want to manage Mayo ?” But, I see that as Martin availing of every ounce of media exposure oxygen which is left to him. A man I had great time for but, as someone has already said here, if you have nothing to say, say nothing.

    So now… Where to?
    Jimmy Horan, if only for a year.
    Ten or fifteen good reasons.

  102. Just watched replay v dubs, post match analysis all point to a lack of planning from management. But they still could have won and Mayo are the team closest to dubs in terms of pace and S&C. We need a new shrewd manager, sounds like Rochfords to me. I loved what Horan brought to Mayo but a new voice is needed.
    Only problem is what the CB will do, they may have their ideas and they may not be ideal. We await the next chapter!

  103. East Mayo Man Totally agree!!! How will M. Hall; D.O’Connor; S. Coen all U-21 players feel if Maughan get the U-21 job after what he said about them on national radio??

  104. Next Mayo Manager current betting odds with Paddy Power:

    Rochford and Horan’s odds are shortening (Horan’s by the most).
    Buckley’s odds are the same. The odds of the rest are drifting.

    Stephen Rochford
    James Horan
    Donie Buckley
    James Nallen
    Jack O’Connor
    Jim McGuinness
    John Maughan

  105. Vote of no confidence in Anthony Cunningham now. This seems to be what John Fogarty referred to. No doubt the players will be blamed for this too. At least it will move the spotlight from us

  106. it would seem the players want Horan back. So that is probably it for better or worse. I have no doubt he will take it. Who else would want a job like that. It would be a real poisoned chalice. I don’t know Stephen Rochford but I think he would be foolish to take it on in these circumstances. I reckon only Horan (or a very high profile inter county manager) could command the dressing room with the kind of authority that is required. But Horan getting back in the saddle is not the end of the story………..”there is a disgruntled co board to deal with and a press who will now no doubt ridicule Mayo at every opportunity. The players have upped the stakes big time and have put themselves under huge pressure. And Horan himself has shortcomings that are already well aired.
    I hope this works out well but my instinct tells me otherwise.

  107. Good quote there HSE from Kieran Fitzgerald on Rochford. Praise indeed from one who had worked with 2 All Ireland winning managers.

  108. Agree with Samian and East Mayo Man regarding Maughan’s comments on RTE radio today where he ridiculed the team’s actions and kept insisting that he had met not one single person in Mayo who was in favour of what the team had done. What planet is this man on? Obviously he owes the CB one for their late nomination of him for U/21 job.(Watch that space!) I think the team has behaved with great dignity and also intelligence over the last few days. Their show of unity Thursday night in Castlebar put paid to any notions of Pat and Noel digging in. Their silence has to be commended because there are lots of issues they could have spoken about which would have caused Pat and Noel some discomfort and embarrassment. While undoubtedly P and N have given great service to Mayo football over the years – – the simple fact of the matter was that they didn’t cut the mustard over the last 12 months, were amateurish in their approach and made some poor decisions. They could have gone after the Dublin game and saved us this hassle – – as they knew well they had lost the dressing-room so I wont be singing their praises as managers. I believe it has been a waste of a year but we have to get back up on the horse and move forward with the right man – – in the meantime the Galway crisis might take a little of the heat from us.

  109. Maughan is a personal friend of Pat Holmes

    Pat Holmes is God Father to one of John Maughans children

    John disclosed this on radio a while back this year

    When John Maughan reviewed this I thought back to 1997 and Maughan left Holmes on Fitzgerald for the full game
    He also persisted with D Flanagan who was in trouble from the start of the 1997 campaign and was no fit for his place in my opinion
    Having said this he did bring Mayo to a new level
    Pity in Mayo we have not had the X Factor in management
    I think Horan is the best of what is on offer

  110. Sorry lads but anyone who thinks its courageous or otherwise of the players for what they have done, is foolish. FFS, You really want the players picking the manager?

  111. Lad’s and lassies in my opinion betting mean’s very little.When James Horan took over 5 year’s ago he was 10/1 in the betting,nobody gave him a chance,just look what he did for Mayo football when given a chance.Even if Mayo never win an ALL Ireland we still have to be greatfull to JH for what he did for us.He took us off the floor to turned us into a team with a winning mentality and a never say die attitude.He made us a top 4 team in the country,year after year.When he felt he could do no more he stood down and what happened after that neither him nor us as supporters are to blame.Pat and Noel were appointed and they did their best as they always did when they donned the Green and Red themselves,given the job or put into it,it took some ball’s to take over from James.In the year James took over I bought 5 season tickets,the reasons,the first being I grew up knowing James so I was always going to support him,second from the first time I showed interest in Mayo football I was brought to the games by my two uncle’s,Jimmy and Eddie (RIP) whom I’ll always be grateful too.The third reason being I’m married to a Tipperary woman so she had to be converted and finally I have 3 children who I wanted to grow up in proper Mayo tradition and to be there with them when we do win Sam.We are soo close to closing the deal and who ever is appointed will have our full backing,we have the best panel of players in my 30 years memory,all we need is that little bit of luck that has eluded us
    Maigh Eo Abu!!

  112. Has any county exported as many mangers as Mayo in recent years.
    John O’Mahony to Leitrim & Galway.
    Peter Forde to Sligo and Galway.
    John Maughan to Clare, Fermanagh & Roscommon.
    Tom? Jordan to Sligo.
    And now Kevin McStay to Roscommon.

  113. re; Mister Mayor – – – we are not saying players should pick the manager – – – we are saying players should not be expected to tolerate indefinitely(2 to 3 years) of poor management.

  114. Absolutely agree with many here. The next manager MUST have the credentials to put all our players in their place(i mean that in the best way possible). They must respect the next manager, even fear him a little. The new manager must bring new systems and methods that our players have not seen before. Only an all ireland winning manager will be able to do that. Club level is not enough imo. We need to look at what is available outside of Mayo. I believe this group of players has the holy grail within their grasp. They only need the correct leader to show them the path. A slight adjustment to our systems and tactics could have seen this group with 3 winners medals by now!

  115. kingoffoxford, it’s all your fault anyway. If that priest ye had down there in 51 was minding his own business and ignored the Mayo team passing through, we’d have won at least five or six All Ireland’s since – so there, put that in your pipe and smoke it. 🙂

  116. We need to find a new level to win an AI, not stay the same. That’s why I’m in favour of a new manager. Horan had his blind spots and one of them was his polarised view of certain players whom had/have great potential but never gave sufficient coaching and development opportunities to help them become successful inter county players…take Kirby as an example. We need to see new players break into starting 15 next spring to inject a fresh impetus and dimension to our play. Stubbornly sticking with the same old players and gameplan will win us nothing of significance.

  117. As the saying goes “we are where we are”. How far back could we go to identify where are problems began? – probably donkey years. But as we now face the same process as we did 13 months ago, I think we should start there to learn something for the road ahead. Bach then we opened the nominations box on or about Sep 2nd, set a date for close of nominations 10 days later, and had the process all wrapped up in shiny new red and green paper shortly afterwards. This time around, and hoping that this post might drift into the bowels of the McHale Park board room table, can we begin the recruitment process from one simple starting point – LEAVE THE NOMINATION PROCESS OPEN FOR AT LEAST 6 WEEKS AND LONGER IF NECESSARY. No doubt such a suggest will result in all sorts of problems operating in a vacuum with knock on effects within the county from nursery level to the junior d’s! But my simple thinking is this – If there is say a club manager out there running a club side with all Ireland honours (which there probably is), with himself holding all Ireland medals (which he probably has) do you think he will even consider in 10 short days putting his name forward for nomination, consult with his wife and family, discuss the potential knock on effects to his life and work outside sport, talk to his current successful club team and club management colleagues and put in place a plan to join all the dots together for the next two years? Not effing possible in 10 days! Perhaps so though in 40 days, and before I start hearing the replies that such a guy is only putting his name forward and can put the rest together if he is successful, we the players, the supporters and the county are looking for a MANAGER, THE BEST MANAGER there is to be got, the one that will not even contemplate putting his name out there without covering off (i.e. manage) the smallest of details in advance. Is there more than one such man out there, perhaps a man currently managing a county team with a number of all Ireland u21 titles, perhaps a manager with that has managed to win one or a number of all Ireland county titles recently?
    Last year our county board entered the process with a different man at the head of the CB, this year despite some disappointment that Mike Connelly will carry due to the retirement of his brother, I am willing to believe that he has the very best interests of Mayo football at heart and will conduct the affairs this time in a far more professional, sensible and forward thinking manner.
    Finally I attended a senior football double header in Dublin yesterday and had a mate at Parnell Park, and while players can have bad days, some of the showing from the all conquering Dublin forwards fell far short of inter-county standard. For sure they were in 2015 an awesome defensive force, but nothing in their forwards ranks should have us quaking in our boots in 2016.

  118. Bar Alan Brogan possiby won’t they have all of their forwards ready to go in 2016?
    They will still be something around 2015 level, older lads slow down a bit and younger lads improve. The trend over the past ten years is that teams have been getting better year on year.
    Dublin will suffer a big drop when Cluxton and Bernard Brogan fall away. Until then stil tremours of quakes.

  119. The way the county board went about the appointment of the minor manager this year and the way they added John Maughan’s name into the mix for the U21 managers position, even though the nominations for this position had been closed, wouldn’t fill you with confidence that they will conduct their business any better for the senior management position. We’ll see how it goes anyway. With the club championship semi-finals coming up, there will be plenty of talent on show for any potential new manager to check out.

  120. Potential new name to add to the list of managerial runners: Anthony Cunningham.

    Outside the county, may be available soon, managed Garrycastle to within an inch of beating Crossmaglen.

  121. Samuel Maguire, it would appear from your postings here that you are one of the players since you refer to yourself as such, so can I ask you a serious question, what happens next year if you underperform again, will you be looking for a new Manager, maybe a player manager? I have listened to Mayo player’s interviews after each defeat over the past 5 years and each time they claim to have learned their lessons only to make the same mistakes time and time again. I would dearly love to see Mayo win the all-Ireland but I do not see the ruthlessness required at the business end of the season from this bunch of players. We need players with attitudes like Philly McMahon and Kevin McManamon who can perform in the heat of battle when things are not going your way and outside of the easy Connaught championship. We need to look for a few diamonds in the rough to bring a bit of a hard edge and winning mentality to this bunch.

  122. John Maughan should be ashamed of himself after his comments on the radio yesterday.

    He seems as much out of touch as the octogenarians on the county board who didn’t see this “bombshell” coming.

    Either that or he is just saying what he was told to say. Very poor and spineless from Maughan.

    Which reminds me, is there any sign of Bozo the clown turning up yet for his new role, which was mentioned on here yesterday?

  123. Pacar Great story we are all on the same page. I would like JH to take over and finish the job for what its worth

  124. Can’t see an outside manager working due to travel logistics, family and day job commitments.
    So there’s 2 options really, Horan who may well be the players choice and Rochford who I would expect they’d also be happy about. We don’t know for sure if either is interested but bloody hope so. Kieran Fitzgerald endorsement if Rochford is worth a lot.
    Yes it could well take 40 days if there’s a tender type process but would like to know at what stage is S&C programme devised by Solan and Buckley and can we get it in place before new Manager if the process is slow.
    Otherwise if it takes 40 days it does.

  125. What John Maughan says and does in relation to current events in Mayo football is not surprising. He is now part of the ‘establishment’ . You know, those boys and girls parading around like peacocks on the day of a Connaught Final and having the centre stand seats protected for them before a match by an army of stewards.(Roscommon last year for one instance). The power hungry people. JM is also a media animal now like ‘Very much so’ and doesn’t like to stray from the status quo.

  126. I hope I’m not blocked for this but I am worried that if Horan comes back it will be back to the same ol thing of not giving Evan Regan and Adam Gallagher and other potential players a chance and back to springing Enda Varley from the bench and giving Mikey Sweeney 5 minutes and expecting him to work miracles I like James Horan he has done a lot for the county as a player and manager and if he comes back it won’t be the end of the world but I just think we need a bit more from management than what he offers for example in terms of making timely substitutions and smart tactics I think James would be too loyal to the old guard that’s more down to human nature than anything else but I think we need to freshen up the team

  127. I think Horan would have lesrned from being away.I think Maughan cannot work with anyone.He did some good things but his day has passed.
    There may be other candidates of course.What is needed is professional approach.Imagine leaving team notes in hotel and not telling players of their roles until two days prior to match.
    I really dont think Buckley contributes much at all.O Neill did but have to be convinced about Buckley.
    Fully support players and if they want Horan then let it be.Yea he made big mistakes but like us all maybe he should have chance to corrrct them.No more than Cunningham in Galway doing well with a club is not enough.

  128. Some may not like this, but it’s the reality. By their actions, the players have made a big statement. They should say no more now and do their talking on the field next year and nothing short of winning Sam in 2016 would justify their actions. There are plenty of young lads who would give their left nut to put on that jersey for the county.

  129. First I would like to thank Pat and Noel for their huge contribution during the past year. I’m sure they did their best but unfortunately their best was not good enough.
    A lot of posters have a preference for either James Horam or Stephen Rochford. Why not have the 2 of them involved, one as trainer and one as manager. I also think we need a shrewd ‘outsider’ in the backroom team who has no allegiance to any of the panel members and can offer meaningful advise to the management team.
    The management and running of a county team to deliver an All Ireland is akin to running a big and profitable business and in this regard we need the best.
    If finance is the sole issue, Mayo people are spread all over the world and I’ m sure a lot of us would be only too happy to contribute in order to see the return of Sam in 2016.

  130. Yes, interesting stuff there HSE. Seems to me it’s a managerial, in the true sense, issue and a logistical one.

    If you have a squad of 32 and a back up of 24 (24!) this requires serious management and an ability to produce a smoothly running machine. One can’t say the County Board is stone age, as some argue, but it really does need to be managed professionally with those numbers.

  131. @ regina and catcol, Your welcome, yeah its a well written piece and sums up what went on this year. It does allow us some closure and to draw a line under what has happened this year and to move onto the next stage. Again we might not win the All-Ireland title in the coming years but we at least need to give ourselves the best possible chance of winning that elusive All-Ireland title. Putting the right structures and management team in place will be key to this.

  132. jeeez, thats some revealing article by Lawlor. Re enforces my belief that the players were right and the county board will this once have to do as they are asked by team representatives who it seems are not garden variety pushovers. This can only be good for the team in 2016.

  133. Yes Lawlor’s article is revealing. It’s good at last that some light is being shed in the matter and I think the players are right to break their silence. However, I still feel very uneasy as when you break each one down, you would really have to question their validity.

    Surely the picking of the back room team is a management decision. It seems input was taken in relation to some of these positions but this wasn’t enough. The root of this issue is that the players did not feel in control of the decision making process, and lacked the empowerment they had previously. The question is whether they are entitled to this decision making power around the management team setup?

    In relation to the back room team travelling with the players, I would have thought it would have been more of an issue if they did not travel. The back room team would have a job to do on the day. This suggests that the team are more focussed on the optics of disembarking from a bus, than being focussed on what job needs to be done.

    The issue of the players left without tickets going into a match is unfortunate, but hardly a firing offence. I would expect that the Managers would have more important things on their mind and that this would be a matter for the CB or logistics team. Either way, if this is the only example of poor communication, it is worrying.

    It seems to me to be a bit like looking for the weapons of mass destruction after the war in Iraq, but to the best of my recollection, they were never found.

  134. No one has mentioned JOM,could be free after election, as regards JM why pay notice to a man how left Kevin o neill at home had problems with david Brady, leave him the way god left regards J H a lot of posters criticise him for A F and R F but they have not gone on since,that is not to criticise the players who have always done their best and have always been there

  135. John Maughan, like Eugene McGee & others are from the stone age of management, especially in an amateur sport, where they believe the players should do what their told.
    In professional team sports, the players sign contracts where they commit to doing what they’re told in return for money, it’s different.

    High performing teams must have a clear purpose that units them. tick.
    High performing teams must have some authority over how they go about things. That means they require a manager who engages and consults with them, not one who lays down directions and expects them to just follow.

  136. Very impressed by the progress of The Neale Gaa club in recent years. That’s a quality Moy Davitts side they beat easily today. I remember when they were just a Micky mouse junior team. On the brink of senior football now. Anyone elaborate in if they have some stand out individuals, or just a strong collective unit?

  137. Corrick bridge , JOM should be allowed no where near Mayo football. I’ll never forget his speech in the late 90s something like “no team west of the Shannon will win all Ireland before Galway . lovely speech for a Mayo man “

  138. Mac’s left boot, The Neale are going very well in recent times.
    They have a few from the Mayo Minor team of 2013, and some strong individual performers, to name a few – Conroy, Holian, O Sullivan. McHugh is pacey.
    Seem to be a solid unit altogether, although they are a young team age wise, they are years together.
    Happy to see them doing well, alas they have suffered some tragedies since 2012.

  139. Tom Connolly doing very well for holly/carramore at the moment. Must be worth a shot for the mayo gig.

  140. Our Agenda should now move on to appointment process and who should we have interviewing and selecting.

  141. Quincey – I’ll let Samuel Maguire answer for himself but for sure you’re barking up the wrong tree if you think he’s a current player!

  142. I never thought I’d say this, but thank you Galway for taking the spotlight off mayo gaa.

  143. The players have taking the burden of wailing expectation and placed that burden squarely on their own shoulders. I have huge admiration for these men. They know exactly what they are doing and make no mistake they realise what is at stake. The players have stepped up and have spoken. They are not happy with falling short. They are not contented with being gallant losers. Our men, who we should be priviliged, that they represent our tangible hopes and dreams have said enough. Enough with the bullshit and faux bravado. We will no longer be the pawns strangled by a well intentioned and flawed leadership.

    All of us on here are just gawkers who hope and dream for the the best. The men between the lines have decided to create their own destiny and that’s good enough for me.

  144. Perfectly put Joe. I’d be more worried if we had a group of players who were happy to settle for second best and accept a situation they felt was not in the best interests of Mayo football.

    These lads have balls. They know only too well what they’ve done and the corner they’ve backed themselves into. But I back them to come out of that corner swinging with everything they’ve got.

    Lawlor’s piece was interesting, although I’d like to know how he got to know so much inside information.
    Still, he’s a journalist I have a lot of time for. I’d much rather he had that information than some shit-stirring clown from the Connaught Telegraph

  145. Once I get the Leaving Cert done Willie Joe – I’m going to give one right cut at making the panel ! (ie; if the right man is in charge) Quincey -he may be – – but definitely not Sherlock Holmes!!

  146. If a big number of us who are not living in Mayo will go in and play smart lotto Mayo players fund this will send a message to the county board that there is money out there, that we are willing to put even more of our money on the table to fund the Mayo gaa teams.

  147. I read the Lawlor piece. Full of stuff that has been in the grapevine, for a while, written as though it some sort of exclusive. A story contrived by trawling social media and printed media on this subject over the last 12 months. Remember it is written by those who do not have a stake in the solution, just a desire to sell more papers. Leave the solution to those that have a stake in this, The COBO and the squad.

  148. I’m worn out at this lol if it wasn’t bad enough or good enough Holmes and yo yo resigning now Brendan Rodgers goes and gets himself sacked and being a longtime suffering Liverpool and Mayo supporter it’s going to be some few weeks with new managers appointed they say these things happen in threes new Taioseach anyone?

  149. As far as I can recall no player has voluntarily left this Mayo squad since they set out on the road with James Horan in 2011. After so much disappointment and heartbreak that is some statistic. And it so does justify the action they have taken if they are not happy with the set up.
    Damien Lawlor’s account seems to be a very balanced factual account. It seems that the lads went out of their way to avoid any embarrassment to Pat and Noel, sitting on their decision for a week without any semblance of a leak until both Managers coulld be informed. Then as soon as they made the decision known it was leaked to the press an an attempt made to split the players. That the players did not go down that road is hugely to their credit.
    To suggest that this episode adds to the pressure on players to deliver is, in my opinion, nonsense. The pressure comes from the players will to win and is imposed by the players on the players themselves. Nothing external, public or media, can add to that in my opinion.

    By the way does anybody know the result of the Kiltane v Knockmore QF? I can find no championship results on the Mayo website. League ok, but no championship for this weekend. I understand that The Neale and Hollymount/Carramore won their semifinals today.
    Is Hollymount/Carramore manager Tom Connolly related to Mike/Noel?

  150. I think it was Knockmore 5 21 Kiltane 3 07 something like that anyway Knockmore won well

  151. @ AndyD,

    The results were as follows:

    Mayo GAA SFC Quarter Final; Knockmore 5-21 Kiltane 3-7
    Mayo GAA IFC Quarter Final; The Neale 2-16 Moy Davitts 1-8
    Mayo GAA IFC Semi Final; Hollymount Carramore 1-14 Belmullet 0-8

    There are reports on these games on the Mayo Advertiser website. I see that Darren Coen scored 8 points, 6 from play for Hollymount Carramore. Its nice to see him getting back to form.

  152. Will Noel Howley have any say in the appointment? Badly missed this year with all the logistical nightmares

  153. I see McGee has a piece in the Indo that even by his subterranean standards puts the boot into the players like never before.

  154. Eugene McGee, the man who brought us the black card should just do us all a favour and toddle off to a retirement home in his native Longford. Theres something about the midlanders that makes them a different bitter breed, I think its being so far from the sea or something.
    I wouldn’t even bother reading it, lads at this stage ye would want to understand who the serious journalists who’s opinions are worth reading and those who are literally just posting it in. Poor owl Eugene still thinks its the mid 80s

  155. Clewless,tongue in cheek tongue in cheek, I think it will James, if not Stephen, either would be good.on another note I believe one reason things may have come to a head is lack of finance, while I would not give money to the county board , I feel if there was some mechanism of directly funding training for the teams involved I would be prepared to contribute, I believe the sum involved would be in the region of one million euro per year so it is a big amount of money,even if the gates bring in five hundred thousand it still leaves a huge shortfall to be made up from other sources such as concerts or any other means of raising money,like rugby or soccer

  156. I’m the same Corick bridge – I too would be very willing to contribute generously to a players fund and/or a fund for all levels from academy to senior. I do not want to pay for that stand with it’s blue seats nor do I trust the county board with my money. God knows where it might end up.

    When PJ Monaghan was doing his utmost this time last year one part of the plan was to have such a players fund. God knows there are thousands of mayo people globally who would donate. If this support could just be harnessed we could be at the top of the table in terms of financial backing and therefore allow our players the best opportunity to maximise their potential.

    When I lived in Dublin a few years ago I went to a few Club Mayo Dublin meetings and paid into this fund but the county board weren’t happy that they didn’t have full control of all the purse strings and so the club or supports group fizzled out.

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