Sunday 22 September 2019

'I don't agree with player power ousting managers': Tomás Ó Sé on 'damaging' fallout to Holmes/Connelly's explosive interview

Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly, (inset top) Mayo line up before 2015 semi-final clash with Dublin and (inset below) Aidan O'Shea after defeat to Dublin this year
Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly, (inset top) Mayo line up before 2015 semi-final clash with Dublin and (inset below) Aidan O'Shea after defeat to Dublin this year
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Tomás Ó Sé thinks that the interview given by former Mayo joint-managers Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes to the Irish Independent last weekend could leave a lasting impact on the team as they attempt to end their All-Ireland famine.

14 months after being ousted in a player heave, Connelly and Holmes gave their side of the story to GAA correspondent Martin Breheny, stating that unless 'egos are checked' and distractions set aside, Mayo won't get over the winning line.

Read more: Holmes/Connelly on Mayo revolt: Aidan O'Shea's selection email, Seamus lobbying for Hennelly and clashes over mass times

There has yet to be a formal response issued by the players, but Kerry legend and Irish Independent columnist Ó Sé thinks that the revelations from Connelly and Holmes are 'damaging' to the Mayo squad as they prepare to enter a new season.

"It's not good," Ó Sé told Independent.ie at the Irish Independent Sport Star of the Year Awards ceremony in Croke Park last night.

"Mayo is a strong county and they shouldn't be washing their linen in public.

"I don't agree with player power in terms of ousting managers. That is where a county board has to look at themselves and make sure they get the right people in. You've seen it in Mayo and you've seen it in Cork where they haven't got the right people in. I'm sure the lads had their reasons for coming out and speaking but this is damaging.

"I think it can [have a lasting impact]. I think it will be used as a stick to beat them if things go pear-shaped again. We had plenty of times in Kerry when things went on behind closed doors but it never got out."

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Ó Sé experienced a somewhat similar situation to the current Mayo players during his own career, after Kerry manager Jack O'Connor released a book charting his three-season first term in charge of the Kingdom.

O'Connor revealed the content of private conversations with players and text messages that were exchanged, and although he ultimately returned to win another All-Ireland title, it did cause some friction in Kerry.

"I didn't agree with it at the time," Ó Sé said.

"I thought when Jack came back the second time that he would address it with the players and he never did. I don't think there was anything too bad in the book, it was very honest but I don't think it did any fella any major damage either."

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