Barry Moran: Castlebar can have bigger impact in Mayo team
Barry Moran believes more of his Castlebar colleagues can prosper under Stephen Rochford's new Mayo regime next year.
Rochford is expected to tie up the loose ends around backroom team and budgets early this week after Corofin's exit at the hands of Moran's Castlebar Mitchels in Sunday's Connacht final.
A county board meeting to formally appoint Rochford was slated for tomorrow night, but that has yet to be confirmed.
Rochford is expected to unveil All-Ireland winning former Armagh star Tony McEntee - also an All-Ireland-winning club manager with Crossmaglen Rangers - as part of his backroom team with responsibility for overseeing the preparation of the Dublin-based players.
Donie Buckley also looks set to be on board in a coaching capacity for the fourth year, but under a third different manager.
Moran is looking forward to an even stronger Castlebar influence in the Mayo team after the Mitchels captured a second provincial title in three years against the reigning All-Ireland champions.
He was the club's only regular Mayo starter in 2016 and even then it wasn't always guaranteed.
"Neil Douglas was in the county squad this year and he did not see much game-time but I thought he had a massive second half, Paddy Durcan is getting better and better. Richie Feeney is like a fine wine, he is getting better with age," said Moran.
"There are a couple of other lads there as well. Most of our lads have represented Mayo at minor and U-21 and I am sure they will at senior."
Moran feels the team is stronger than it was two years ago and that the lessons of losing an All-Ireland club final to St Vincent's have been absorbed.
"It was a learning curve. We had only won the county title for the first time in 20 years. We have a couple of years more under our belt and I think that experience showed against Corofin.
"To win two Connacht titles in three years is amazing," he reflected on Sunday's win. "We were relegated 10 to 15 years ago and were an intermediate club. We have come a long way."
Meanwhile, GAA president Aogan O Fearghail will launch 'Our Proud Heritage', a history of Kilmallock GAA at the Limerick City and Council Library in Kilmallock on Saturday at 8.0pm.
A group headed by Michael Fitzgerald have painstakingly retraced the club's steps to becoming one of the most prominent in the county and province with 11 Limerick and three Munster titles.