Mayo’s winter of discontent
Published 11/12/2008 | 00:00
A WINTER of discontent for Mayo GAA, but Conor Mortimer will continue to call it as he sees it.
Long-serving secretary Sean Feeney says he "cringed" when he read some of the interviews granted by players and in his report to convention urged the county's players to "do the talking on the field, not in the newsprint."
Feeney didn't direct his comments at anyone in particular, but Mayo corner-forward Mortimer granted one of the season's more explosive interviews to local paper, the 'Mayo News'.
When it was put to him that there was a train of thought in the county that Mayo wouldn't be successful with him in the team, his response was simple, and probably accurate: "They'll win nothing without me either."
The Shrule-Glencorrib clubman has always been forthright, maybe even blunt, in his views and he was typically unfazed by Feeney's comments. It seems unlikely he will change his ways.
"Who it was aimed at, I have no idea," the DCU student said. "You do, I don't. Everyone has their opinion.
"I have given out about things before. Players do that. County board, management, everyone gives out about everything at some stage, it is not directed at any individual. It doesn't bother me one way or another, to be honest with you.
"That is the nature of the game. If they don't want you to talk, then maybe the county board wouldn't have a pop at people who talk in the paper.
"It's only opinion. Whether that is right or wrong, I can't say because I don't deal with them. I am just a player, that's all I'll be and that's all I do.
"They don't ring me asking me questions, nor do I ring anyone else asking them questions. They look after us well with all the gear. They are a good county board if the truth be told. Whoever they are giving out about, fair play to them, it's not me anyway."
Mortimer, who emerged as top scorer from the 2006 All-Ireland championship, also backed the decision of John O'Mahony to stay at the helm after months of speculation.
"It's good to have him back and I don't see why he would have walked away because there are 30 players there who are eager to play for Mayo and that's what a manager needs. And we are all aware of the quality that is there in Mayo. A lot of people on the outside would not be aware of that, but we, the players, know that there is."
Looking back at that comment to the local paper, did he get much reaction in Mayo?
"I got enough, plenty!" he admitted. "But sure you have to be giving people something to be thinking about. It would be boring otherwise.
"If someone asks me a personal question I'll give a personal answer and it's as simple as that.
"That's me. I am not going to tell lies. Nobody can say this, that or the other about me. That's just the way it is, the way I am and the way I want to be."