Wednesday 28 September 2016

Mayo rebels need big name to justify heave - Mortimer

Jackie Cahill

Published 06/10/2015 | 02:30

Former Mayo star Kenneth Mortimer: 'My initial thinking would be that it may well prove to be counter-productive without the basis of a reasonable alternative being identified'
Former Mayo star Kenneth Mortimer: 'My initial thinking would be that it may well prove to be counter-productive without the basis of a reasonable alternative being identified'

Former Mayo star Kenneth Mortimer has warned the county's current stars that they may be "cutting off their nose to spite their face" following the heave that removed joint-managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly.

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Mayo chiefs are seeking a successor to the pair, who stepped down on Friday night following a dramatic few days. It emerged that Mayo players had proposed a vote of no-confidence in the duo, who served just one year at the helm after succeeding James Horan.

But Mortimer believes that the controversial stance adopted by the players could prove "counter-productive" if an alternative has not been identified. The 1996 and 1997 All-star corner-back admitted, however, that Holmes' and Connelly's positions were untenable in the face of the revolt.

Mortimer said: "My initial thinking would be that it may well prove to be counter-productive without the basis of a reasonable alternative being identified.

"However, in balance in respect of that, when you have a situation where allegedly a sizeable proportion of the panel have suggested that look, we're not happy, is there any reasonable reason why they would have not have considered their positions?

"Unfortunately, would anybody want to be in their position having to face a panel, given the circumstances? I don't think so."

Calibre

Mortimer is concerned that the calibre of manager that the Mayo players obviously desire may not be available at the present time, although Stephen Rochford, the current favourite for the role, boasts an impressive pedigree.

Former Mayo minor Rochford is the manager of All-Ireland club champions Corofin and on Sunday, the Galway kingpins will aim for a third successive county crown.

Mortimer added: "The problem with all of this, and curiously as this settles down and the focus is diverted to that issue, it's fairly clear that if you take, for argument's sake, the more recent All-Ireland-winning managers, are any of them likely to be available? Probably not.

"Domestically in the county, what's available? And while I'm sure that there will be plenty of interest in the county for the job, is there anyone that would necessarily be as interested in the role given the circumstances.

"I'm not so sure - and this has always been my primary fear.

"I can only assume their (players) intentions are whole in this regard but are they cutting off their nose to spite their face? That will only be determined by virtue of who actually takes the job."

Of extra pressure being created by the players' stance, he added: "They're still in the top three or four teams and while this is obviously going to bring a little bit more unnecessary focus on them, the pressure (to win All-Ireland) stays the same."

Irish Independent

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