Friday 19 January 2018

Player power prevails as Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly step down as Mayo joint-managers

Former joint Mayo managers Pat Holmes, left, and Noel Connelly
Former joint Mayo managers Pat Holmes, left, and Noel Connelly
Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

Mayo are beginning the search for a new inter-county management team after Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly bowed to player pressure and resigned tonight after just a year in charge.

The joint-managers stood down after giving a review of the season to the Mayo County Board executive tonight.

Their statement read: “It is with heavy hearts that we wish to announce that we (Noel Connelly & Pat Holmes) are stepping down from our role as joint managers of the Mayo Senior Football Team with immediate effect.

"We took on the job on a three-year basis and had been looking forward to building on what had been achieved this year. We are passionate about Mayo Football and it is deeply disappointing not to complete our project.

"By resigning we wish to remove any obstacle that the players might perceive as preventing them from winning the All-Ireland. We would like to thank the back-room team for their superb effort and commitment.

"We wish to thank the Mayo County Board for their support and for all the funding and resources they provided for the team. We would like to thank the players for all their efforts during 2015.

"We would also like to thank the people of Mayo for the huge support and messages of goodwill throughout the year and in the last week. Mhaigh Éo Abú.”

The members of the executive were also briefed on the meeting which took place last night between the Mayo Senior Footballers and officers of the County Board and lasted 10 minutes.

It was originally anticipated that just two player representatives, captain Keith Higgins and vice-captain Cillian O'Connor, would attend the scheduled review.

But in a show of strength and solidarity more than 25 players attended the meeting where the message of no confidence in the management was re-affirmed.

Mayo retained their Division One status in the National League this year, won a fifth Connacht title in a row and were beaten by eventual champions Dublin in their All-Ireland semi-final replay.

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