Friday 9 December 2016

'What manager in his right mind would want to manage Mayo now?'

Colm Keys and Declan Whooley

Published 29/09/2015 | 19:12

Joint Mayo managers Pat Holmes, left, and Noel Connelly
Joint Mayo managers Pat Holmes, left, and Noel Connelly

A former Mayo player has described the position of the current Mayo football management team as “untenable” and lamented the way the current crisis has unfolded in the public domain.

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A revolt among the senior footballers has been reported after the joint senior managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly were told that the players have lost confidence in them.

Connelly and Holmes were informed over the weekend, in a meeting with team captain Keith Higgins and vice-captain Cillian O'Connor, of the outcome of a vote by the players which had been taken over the previous weekend.

The joint-managers have only been in place for a year and in that time Mayo added a fifth successive Connacht title and forced All-Ireland champions Dublin to a replay, leading the replay by four points at one stage.

Former player John Casey says the episode does not reflect well on the proud footballing county.

“I feel their position is untenable,” he told RTE’s Six One News.

Joint Mayo managers Pat Holmes, left, and Noel Connelly
Joint Mayo managers Pat Holmes, left, and Noel Connelly

 “Would you like to walk into a dressing room where you look guys in the eye and they don’t want you there? It’s very difficult circumstances. I feel sorry for them but I just wish we could have conducted ourselves better as a county.

The Mayo job has become a bit of a poisoned chalice.”

Read more: Mayo football in crisis as players revolt against management team

Ironically Holmes and Connelly, who had guided Mayo to the 2006 All-Ireland under 21 title involving some of the current squad, were chosen last year in preference to Kevin McStay who is to be appointed manager of Roscommon.

RTE’s Gaelic Games analysis Martin Carney believes there is a lessening attraction to the Mayo job in light of events over the course of the last 12 months surrounding the players.

“Who do they want in in their place,” he questioned.

 “This time last year we were told they didn’t want Kevin McStay.  Not so much Kevin McStay, but one of his coaches in the set-up.

“Now they don’t want this particular management.

“What manager in his right mind would want to go in and manage Mayo now?”

Mayo County Board secretary Vincent Neary has described the events as a “bombshell” and says next week’s scheduled meeting with two of the player representatives has become more urgent.

“I first heard about it travelling to work this morning,” he told Newstalk’s Off The Ball programme tonight.

“This is a complete bombshell to the board, the management and their families. The management haven’t been told why there is a vote of no-confidence in them and that is disappointing

“There would have always been  a great relationship with our players and management.”

Read more: Was cryptic Aidan O'Shea tweet the catalyst for Mayo players to rebel?

Neary refuted the suggestion that the Board were aware of possible grievances by the players and has placed greater importance on next week’s planned meeting with two members of the senior panel.

“We were due to meet the two players reps after the championship concluded, and that meeting will still go ahead, which is next Thursday. We are awaiting confirmation

“That has become more urgent than ever and we must tease this bombshell out.”

There has been an undercurrent of some dissatisfaction among the Mayo players over preparations throughout the season and this has intensified, especially since the All-Ireland semi-final replay defeat to Dublin.

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