Sunday 18 August 2019

Competition within squad is pushing Mayo to next level - Durcan

Mayo's Paddy Durcan. Photo: Sportsfile
Mayo's Paddy Durcan. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

Mayo captain Paddy Durcan says that their training camp in the United States this week will help sharpen them up for a Connacht semi-final with Roscommon or Leitrim later this month.

James Horan's charges made light work of the New York challenge at Gaelic Park on Sunday when they scored a 1-22 to 0-4 win, having built up a 0-14 to 0-0 lead before the Exiles finally got off the mark before the break.

Mayo have remained in the US, moving up to Rockland County for a three-day training camp before returning to Ireland on Thursday.

Durcan said they have plenty to work on despite the facile win, but they are glad to have their championship campaign up and running.

"Yeah, happy enough to get a win. We know we have a lot to work on but to come here and get a victory is good and we're looking forward to the next day.

"Conditions were difficult enough. The rain was pouring down for a lot of the game. It was challenging in parts but we are just happy to get a win and move on to the next one.

"We know we are a work in progress and there definitely is a lot of aspects we need to improve on.

Challenging

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"It was nice to see a couple of debutants there as well. There are lads challenging all the time and it's a competitive squad and hopefully that bodes well for the championship ahead," said the Castlebar Mitchels clubman.

He was one of a dozen scorers for Mayo on a day when five players made their championship debuts.

Matthew Ruane, who posted another big display after his showing in the league, James McCormack and James Carr started the game, while Michael Plunkett and Conor Diskin came on.

"That's been a positive of the year so far, the competition in the squad and lots of new lads coming in," added Durcan.

"It's going to be a good couple of days now. Lads are going to be training hard knowing that jerseys are available for the next game."

Durcan also paid tribute to the thousands of Mayo supporters who made the trip, their enthusiasm not dampened by the rain as a crowd of over 6,000 made it the best-attended clash at Gaelic Park since New York entered the Connacht championship 21 years ago.

"I have said it so many times, along with the rest of the players, it's something we don't take for granted, but the support is just unbelievable," added Durcan.

"To come out here, the weather not what we would have liked, but they're out in their droves again. it's unbelievable to be part of the scene and have that support behind you."

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