Monday 20 January 2020

Rob will be the first man on the training pitch next year - Regan

Mayo's Evan Regan
Mayo's Evan Regan

Evan Regan has no doubt that Mayo team-mate Rob Hennelly will bounce back from his All-Ireland final blunder and return to the county panel better than ever in 2017.

Hennelly suffered a nightmare moment when a routine catch was spilled leading to a Dublin penalty, converted by Diarmuid Connolly, and resulting in his subsequent black card.

But Mayo forward Regan is confident that Hennelly will continue with Stephen Rochford's squad next year and seek redemption.

"Obviously Rob had a tough day but I think it's very unfair that a lot of the blame is being put onto him. We had a lot of time as a team after that incident to rectify it. There were mistakes made all over the field. It's just not fair to put the focus on one man," said Regan.

"And I know he'll be the first man on the pitch at training every night. That's a fact, he'll be there so he'll bounce back and he'll have the support of the whole team and county so I'm not too worried about him."

As a free-taker himself, Regan (22) has great sympathy for Cillian O'Connor after his late miss cost Mayo a shot at extra-time but he still considers him "the best free-taker in the country".

Mayo's chance to finally end their 65-year Sam Maguire famine was badly scuppered by Lee Keegan's black-card dismissal on the stroke of half-time but despite its detractors, Regan sees the benefits if implemented consistently across the board by referees and believes a video referee and more consultation with umpires would improve the situation.

"When it's done properly I think it is effective. As a forward, it stops the back pulling and dragging out of you as much, I think clarity is the big thing that needs to be sorted out. Different referees have different interpretations of it and seem to implement it differently," he said

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"It's very difficult for the referees as well, they don't really have much help and it's split-second decisions whether it's a black, yellow or red. Maybe something like video could be useful and use of the umpires as well could be a lot better at times."

Irish Independent

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