Friday 23 February 2018

Staunton to delay call over Mayo future until winter

Cora Staunton: final heartbreak
Cora Staunton: final heartbreak

Jackie Cahill

Cora Staunton will make a decision on her inter-county future with the Mayo ladies footballers over the winter.

The prolific forward has just completed her 22nd season with the team but suffered a heart-breaking TG4 All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Dublin on Saturday.

The 34-year-old's team-mates Martha Carter and Yvonne Byrne are also considering their futures; the trio are close friends and it's understood that if one decides to retire, all three will.

Last winter, Staunton, Carter and Byrne decided to commit to another season in the green and red and they contested a Lidl Division 1 final against Cork, before claiming a first Connacht title since 2011.

But Mayo were desperate to end an All-Ireland famine dating back to 2003. And Staunton, hailed as arguably the greatest player in the history of the game, wishes that the set-up now in place, spearheaded by manager Frank Browne, had been there longer.

Browne, who led Mayo to their last All-Ireland final appearance in 2007, has been back at the helm for the last two seasons.

Staunton reflected: "If this set-up was in place a few years ago, we could have done very well.

"It's just very raw now - you don't know where you're going or what you're doing.

"I've been there 22 years and maybe when I'm not there, it will help the younger players step up and become leaders. Maybe they're not performing to their best when I'm there.

"We have club championship at the weekend, we'll go back and play club.

"Going into October and November, that's when the body takes a rest and I'll see where my mind is at. I can't keep going forever but if I was to go back, I'm not going to go back in May, to get to where I need to be."

Irish Independent

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