Saturday 25 November 2017

Vaughan: 'Our workrate was nowhere near the standard we've set'

Galway loss was wake-up call Mayo needed, Donie Vaughan tells Donnchadh Boyle

Mayo's Donie Vaughan. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Mayo's Donie Vaughan. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

If you went hunting for Donie Vaughan in any of his family's shoe shops this week, you'd have been disappointed.

Weeks like this one are for removing yourself from the public eye, so he wasn't front of house much.

In previous years he'd have sought refuge on the family farm but the expansion of the business to three shops - in Ballinrobe, Claremorris and Castlebar - means there's more than enough to be getting on between the online side of the operation, marketing and book-keeping.

Keeping the head down is easier than it once was.

It's not that anything sinister lurks downstairs. The majority of people in the shops are well-wishers. Just football-mad people who want to hear a bit of something from the horse's mouth.

It's not always the case, however. Small talk can go south too, even over the period of time it takes to sell a pair of shoes.

"That's always the adage, you are like 'do I say what I want to say here or do I sell the pair of shoes?'," Vaughan smiles.

"There was a Galway fella, three years ago. He said something and then I said something back and then he said something else and then, next thing, all of a sudden it was. . . he walked out.

"But I don't think he was going to buy anything anyway. I refused to sell them to him!" he laughs.

It's the Mayo press night and Vaughan looks relaxed, and maybe that's because he's done this several times before. Preparing for big matches never loses it edge but it does become familiar. His approach hasn't changed much over the years.

"You'll probably look at it and see if you can tweak (your preparation) somewhere," he says.

"One thing you're probably doing now that you mightn't have done is mindfulness. It's a big word that is thrown around now, being able to switch off a little bit more.

"We would be encouraged to do it and we'd do a little bit of that, a small bit of meditation, so that's something that I'm doing now that maybe I wasn't doing."

Vaughan has vivid memories of both All-Ireland semi-final clashes with Dublin last year. He was forced out of the drawn game after ten minutes with a shoulder injury. He somehow recovered to start the replay but was substituted just before the break. That he played at all was surprising.

"I went to Santry on the Monday or Tuesday, came down and then I went up to Dublin on the Wednesday or the Thursday for the game and stayed up there," he recalls.

"I was in Santry two or three times a day then, so I was literally doing nothing else but rehab and getting treatment. There was actually two physios working on me at some stages, but going back to your question, do I regret it?

"I felt I was doing quite well in the game. I may have conceded two points or something like that but I actually felt I was well in the game. I had an awful lot of possessions in fairness.

"I was taken off before half-time but I felt I made a positive contribution to the game in fairness. I think we were ten all at half-time so I certainly had no regrets about that."


He's fit this time around and points out that with the exception of Ger Cafferkey, Mayo are fully loaded.

And having already slipped up against Galway, he's sure they'll at least deliver a performance worthy of their talents on Sunday.

"At the start of the year if you'd asked us, we would have liked to have taken the direct route and not lose a game," Vaughan says.

"That's not the way it transpired. The one thing that would be a positive is that normally when we learn our lesson it's August or September and you've to wait six or seven months to try to right the wrongs, whereas this time it was three weeks.

"We lost to Galway. We were facing an uphill battle, we didn't know who we were going to get and it made us look at ourselves, management, players, what were we doing, were we working hard enough?

"We focused on little things, getting to training that little bit earlier, working on our skills, simple things. Our attitude and our workrate in that game just wasn't near the standard we've set for ourselves. In the second half we got lessons.

"In every game we've played so far we're learning all the time."

Irish Independent

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