Tuesday 26 September 2017

Mayo are not dwelling on the past, insists Durcan

Mayo's Patrick Durcan Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Mayo's Patrick Durcan Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Given that he was in club action just a week after Mayo's All-Ireland final replay loss to Dublin, Patrick Durcan hasn't had a chance to analyse the game's finer points but it's high up on his to-do list.

Despite finishing on the losing side in two All-Ireland deciders this year, the Castlebar Mitchels defender announced his arrival on the biggest stage, kicking two points in the second game to earn the GAA/GPA Opel Player of the Month Award for September.

Any further progress that can be made is welcome as Mayo look to finally get their hands on Sam Maguire, but the 22-year-old doesn't envisage another final defeat having any effect on Mayo's psyche.

"That analysis hasn't been done yet but there were loads of factors. There were mistakes all over the field and you've got to try and knuckle down or ultimately you are not making the improvements you should be then," said Durcan.

"As a group we definitely have to look through that in the new year and try and make the necessary adjustments but 2016 is not going to have an influence; 2017 is a new year. There's going to be new fellas coming in; it's going to be a new panel. I don't think you can look back that much."

With an expected influx of this year's All-Ireland U-21 winners into Stephen Rochford's squad, Durcan sees nothing only an upward trajectory for Mayo with that "driven group" set to raise even higher standards.

"That is what you need," he said. "There are lads there who won All-Ireland medals who will definitely be looking to push on and get a jersey. I am fully aware of that and I know that I'll need to improve next year if I want to hold onto mine.

"They have achieved success and are not going to be waiting around, they will want a jersey. That's the way it should be. The more competitive the environment with more people pushing for the jersey, can only lead to better things."

No All-Ireland medal for Durcan but with an All-Star likely to come his way, he'll be expected to lead from the front again next year.

Irish Independent

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