Saturday 16 December 2017

Mayo football in crisis as players revolt against management team

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

Colm Keys

Mayo football is on the verge of a crisis 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.

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.

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.

Noel Connelly's brother Mike is the current County Board chairman and is also the team liaison officer.

It is not clear how many players expressed no confidence in the management.

Mayo has had its brush with player revolt against a management team in the past. Brian McDonald was ousted in 1992 after the county had won a Connacht title that year.

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