Saturday 18 November 2017

Players seek a say in the interviews to fill Mayo vacancy

James Horan
James Horan

THE Mayo footballers who voted ‘no confidence’ in Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly want a say in the appointment of their next manager.

A ticking time bomb for Mayo GAA was defused on Friday night following the resignation of their joint-managers, but the onus is now on the county board to attract a top replacement.

And it’s understood that the players are seeking the same representation as the board on any interview committee formed to unearth the new boss.

These would not be current members of the Mayo squad, but rather retired footballers who could articulate issues from a player’s perspective.

The likely identity of the next manager remains shrouded in mystery, although most speculation has focussed on two men - former Mayo supremo James Horan and Crossmolina native Stephen Rochford, who led Corofin of Galway to an All-Ireland club title last March.


Paddy Power has shut the betting on Mayo’s next manager following “relentless backing” of Rochford, who had started as its 11/8 favourite but was backed into 1/4 before the plug was pulled.

The squad’s 27-7 vote of no confidence was revealed early last week. As tensions rose, they delivered a show of strength on Thursday by turning up en masse for an end-of-season review with county officers, where just skipper Keith Higgins and vice-captain Cillian O’Connor had been expected.

Their primary focus - achieving a change of management - duly materialised the following night.

However, the controversy over last year’s appointment process - specifically how the county board handled Kevin McStay’s application - has doubtless fuelled concern over how this latest vacancy is filled.

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