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Sunday 22 October 2017

Mayo in strife at selection process

Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly celebrate after Mayo win the 2006 All-Ireland U21 Football Final. Picture credit; Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE
Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly celebrate after Mayo win the 2006 All-Ireland U21 Football Final. Picture credit; Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE

THE appointment of Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes as joint-managers of the Mayo football team has been overshadowed by a county board row over how the selection process was handled.

The controversy won't affect the formal ratification of Connelly and Holmes, who have yet to be rubber-stamped by club delegates in Mayo, but it has caused ructions at board level.

It's understood the Mayo GAA executive met on Friday and agreed on a process for the interview of the two candidates to succeed James Horan - the Connelly/Holmes ticket and Kevin McStay, who was proposing to have Liam McHale as his coach.

However, events took a rapid twist on Saturday and culminated in Mayo GAA releasing a statement that night, which stated that the interview committee had "met with" the county board executive that day and recommended Connelly and Holmes. Whether this meeting happened is open to dispute and caused tensions to erupt, with reports that one executive member had resigned ahead of a meeting last night.

Contacted last night, McStay made it clear he has moved on. "I'm obviously massively disappointed, but I totally understand that it's their prerogative to go for a different candidate and I have wished them the best of luck - I sent both of them a text late on Saturday night," he outlined.

"As far as I'm concerned, once you are told there's a preferred candidate, you slip out as gracefully as you can and that's exactly what I have done," added The Herald columnist and The Sunday Game analyst.

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