Wanted: manager with vision

According to this report by Daniel Carey in the Mayo News, nominations are now being accepted for the vacant position of Mayo senior football bainisteoir.  Nominations from clubs have to be in by August 20th and must, so the report says, be accompanied by a letter (you remember letters, don’t you?  We used to send them to each other before emailing was invented) from the prospective appointee, spelling out their vision for football within the county.  That should make for interesting reading.

Regardless of where the County Board’s review is heading (and Daniel Carey’s piece would suggest that it’s not moving in any particular direction), I think it makes sense to push ahead now with the appointment of the man whose job it’ll be to engineer a revival in our inter-county fortunes.  Last weekend’s epoch-altering results provide some proof that having a good manager can reap significant dividends and we have to hope that the same could be true of ourselves as well. Getting the new manager in place is the obvious first step in this process.

It’s pointless at this stage speculating on who the new man might be.  We know from bitter experience that the appointment itself isn’t what counts (regardless of who gets the job, there’ll be no talk of his being a Messiah this time round), instead it’s what the incoming incumbent does with the talent at his disposal.  This is true irrespective of what (if anything) transpires from the review so the sooner we have a new manager in place, the quicker he can start to do his thing, leaving the rest of us to begin turning our thoughts to 2011 and all it may hold for us.

20 thoughts on “Wanted: manager with vision

  1. Hi WJ, i agree at this stage it’s better to be setting the wheels in motion. I’m a lot happier now knowing SOMETHING is being done! I am not going to go into who i think the next manager should be, just that all ends well for Maigh Eo football. maigheogodeo. Trevor.

  2. Hey WJ – long time no speak! I suppose the managerial selection process had to get going at some stage – agree that the changes in structures and attitudes (& some playing personnel!) etc… are the real tasks at hand. Sounds like the county board meeting was dour but very necessary, with many of the delegates calling a spade a spade and being realistic about where we are now at. The clubs are entitled to a greater say but with this comes a responsibility to ensure that coaching and underage structures meet with the highest standards. I have one red-line myself – Mick O’ is a legend with no rival to his success and energy, but I would prefer not to see him get the job. I think an internal candidate, young and energetic is now needed. A parachuted manager will not have the time or local-knowledge to do the job required; all of this in view of the possible ousting of big Joe in Galway. One thing for sure, the appointment will tell us how serious the county borad are about the radical shake-up that is needed.

  3. by all accounts that county board meeting had a lot of comments critical of the executive committee. This report from the Western http://www.westernpeople.ie/news/story/?trs=eyqlaukfau&cat=sport appears to paint a picture that relations between the county board exec and the clubs is not good and some are prepared to stand up and be counted. You can almost sense the frustration coming off the page. The new manager is needed asap but that is just the obvious focal point. On it’s own the chances are high that it won’t solve the problem as there is a lot more broken in Mayo football that needs to be fixed.

  4. Hi DB – it’ll certainly be interesting to see who puts pen to paper setting out their vision for the future ahead of the 20th. Big Joe’s demise next door shows, once again, how high-profile appointments can backfire and I think it’d be madness for us to even consider going down the Micko/Paudi etc. route. I’d agree that an internal candidate would be best, the question is who is best placed to do it and who wants to take on the challenge. We’ll find out soon enough, I suppose.

  5. What a joke, they bat every criticism away with the answer that that’ll be covered in the review, yet anyone with half a brain knows that the review will never happen. If cant if there only action to date has been to ask the clubs to come up with their terms of reference, anyone who has any experience in organisations knows that something like this where they have put absolutley no structure around it will never get off the ground.
    Think back, we werent going to appoint a manager until a review was kicked off. now based on the words from their own mouths we’ll have a manger before a cousin of a review has even started.
    Its becoming quiet clear, there is one common denominator which has overseen our lack of ultimate success over the past 20 years – this country board. We dont need a review to tell us that.

  6. I would love to see Micko taking over. He is the only one who could instill some self belief in the players. As a retired man he would have plenty of time for sussing out the players and he would have better players to work with than in any of his previous counties, apart fom Kerry, of course. Any internal manager would be tarred with the brush of so many failures on the big day in Croke Park. For example, if Noel Kennelly took over, how could he convince the players that an All Ireland can be won, after his own heart breaking experiences?

  7. I totally disagree Gráinne Uaile.

    Micko having plenty of time? That could be correct, but does he have the energy at his age? We need a younger manager, one who has plenty of energy and experience-Noel Connelly(with a ‘C’) fits the bill.

    Sure he has had bad experiences, but he also has had plenty of good ones too. He managed Mayo to All-Ireland success in 2006, he knows every single player in the County-I know that for a fact, and he can instil confidence and self-belief into a team.

    He is a leader, and that’s someone we need right now, somebody who will take this team and direct them to their full potential. He is the #1 man for the job, and I would be very, very surprised if he wasn’t given the job.

  8. Willie joe

    What about a poll on the managers job – who people would like.

    No way to Micko.

    No way to Paidi.

    A Mayo man is the only man for the job.

  9. No guarantees he’ll take it esther so best we dont put all our eggs in the one basket. We need to think of alternatives just incase.

  10. Sorry Esther for the misprint in Noel’s name. I don’t know where the K came from. I have great admiration for him and his achievements. He (and Pat Holmes) did win an A.I. in 2006, but it was with under 21s and it was not played in Croke Park. As for Micko’s energy, he has as much energy as a man less than half his age. I don’t why you are all insisting on a Mayo manager. John Maughan, John O’Mahony and Pat Holmes are all Mayo men (and great managers), but didn’t bring home Sam. I have never seen Mayo playing with such conviction and self belief as they did against Dublin in 2006 – the greatest match ever seen in Croke Park according to many commentators. This was under Micky Moran, a non-Mayo man. O.K. he didn’t bring home Sam that year either, but, if he hadn’t been shafted, he would have in a later year

  11. I don’t see what the obsession with a mayoman is myself to be honest , its not like we have a long tradition of successful managers 🙁

  12. Jaysus lads, thought the Micko thing was a temporary bug that had passed through the system. If Mayo are going down the farcical route, then they would be better pleading with The Moran & Morrisson show to make a return. Micko is finished, he might get some small county to take him this year but, whether he knows it or not he’ll be answering the questions at interview, not asking them. Any county that throws wads of cash these days is asking for trouble. I have heard that Galway senior team preparation cost almost 500k this year. Money well spent. Mind you, they did look to be in terrific condition….

  13. Sorry lads. Micko will not work. Im based in Wicklow and involved in local club scene. Micko did well with Wicklow initally winning Tommy Murphy cup and had a good run in back door but thats it. They are still in Div 4 and are no better off. His training is still based in running 50 laps and i dont think thats what we need at the minute. Give Noel a chance. All the successful counties this year have young energetic managers. We have to start somewhere.

  14. I’d love to see if there is a job spec for the new manager. I suspect that it doesn’t exist and if that is so, I wonder how the successful candidate will be chosen – that is if there is more than one applicant. What criteria will be used – other than gut feeling – and will it get the right man for the job? I’m not convinced.

    So what is it that the selection board should be looking for? Maybe we should give then a few pointers. Here’s my cut at it and these are not necessarily in the right order.

    Firstly, there is technical knowledge. We need someone who knows the game well – not necessarily from playing at the highest level – but someone who can analyse the game on the hoof and make the key changes at the right times. This is the planner-type person who understands the difference between tactics and strategy. A typical role model would be Sean Boylan.

    Next we need someone who can bring leadership. Someone who inspires, who unites all of the team behind a common cause – not through fear but through a respect that is so deep that the team to a man trusts the manager’s judgement. The role model here is Brian Cody.

    Thirdly we need someone who will able to get the best out of each individual through man management. Each team member must have a reason for being there and a specific set of personal objectives for the season and for the game. An example here is Jason Ryan who gets each player to set out 3 objectives at the start of the year improving his game. And before each match he talks to each player and gets them to write down 3 specific things that they will do to contribute to a team victory and to give him their list. At half time they are told to ask themselves how well these are being achieved. After the match, he gives each person time to go through their list. And we wonder why they beat Galway? Jason Ryan gets the role model here.

    Fourthly, we need someone who can find the best and most committed footballers in the county. I can’t name a role model here, but I suspect that all successful counties have a person with a network that will sort this.

    Fifthly we need someone who can give about 30 hours a week to the job. Micky Moran is the role model here – but then so are the managers of the successful counties.

    So the person we are looking has the technical knowledge of Sean Boylan, the leadership of Brian Cody, the attention to detail of Jason Ryan, an extensive network of people who knows all of the county’s footballers and is retired from his first career but committed to the cause. Suddenly this looks like a tall order and I hope that the selection board looks at all of the aspects of this job rather than appointing a person that can do just one aspect of it. And I suspect that the only way they will do this is to appoint a management team to take on the task. They will still need a leader, but one who realises that there are footballing people within the county who can each do the relevant parts of this job and that with these people on board, it can be done.

    And though I have named several people from other counties, we are not in need of an external Messiah. We need to look within the county and bring the heart, passion and football knowledge to the fore. We don’t need people to try to turn us into a Northern clone or a clone of any other county for that matter. We need people who can bring the steel and purpose into the beautiful Mayo game. And then let the other counties follow us for a change.

    Keep the Faith!

  15. Good post, fourgoal, you’ve hit the nail on the head, while we’re picking one man he’ll have to be able to bring in the right people around him and have all the traits around him. One thing I know for sure is that there is no obvious answer, Noel C is one choice that sticks out but I say that only on the basis that he managed to win a national title recently. I know very little else about the man but wouldnt be overly concerned if those that do gave him the job hopefully knowing that he ticked the other boxes mentioned. The only other suggestion I would have is Mickey Harte, is he staying with Tyrone for another season? Even if he isnt I would imagine he’d be working on the background somewhere in their system, couldnt see him being available. however I believe that if the circumstances were to pass where he was available and the Mayo job was I’d wager its probably the only other county job he’d take outside of his own county. Please God the right decision will be made, all we want is progress.

  16. Well said fourgoal, you should print that out and send it into the county board, although i don’t think they would even read it.

  17. A new manager won’t make a difference until Mayo club football is reorganised. There is too much reliance on selecting players from their club teams without these players experiencing high level competitive football matches week in week out. The system is antiquated and so obviously does not work.
    Club teams should filter their best players into regional teams which will then play against other regions in the county. So for instance Belmullet, Kiltaine, Cill Chomain and Killala could supply NW Mayo. To be considered for the Mayo team you should be in your regional team. This would only be an exercise in selecting the best players for the Championship and wouldn’t undermine club team ambitions.
    I would go so far as to say the winning regional manager should have the honour of leading Mayo in the Championship. At least his selection process was made easier?

  18. Rumours doing the rounds all morning, peter canavan has put his name forward for the mayo job.

  19. Only spotted your comment now Belmullet Des and it’s a good one. Are you involved in a club that could put it in as part of this review that is supposed to be underway. Whatever happens in the review and however skeptical we are of it, good ideas like this must be captured. Only when an idea is on the table can it be debated.

    Keep the Faith!

  20. i am sure ballycroy would like to supply a few to NW mayo as well Des.. this would be similar to what is done in kerry , a very good idea i think

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