WATCHING AND WAITING Mayo manager Mickey Moran was due to speak with the County Chairman, James Waldron yesterday (Tuesday) about his future.
Size matters to delegates
THE issue of the physical size of the Mayo panel was something that was put under major scrutiny at Monday night’s Mayo GAA Board delegates meeting in the Welcome Inn Hotel in Castlebar.
Delegates were gathered for the monthly meeting where the issue of the Mayo senior team management was the most talked about item on the agenda. Many delegates were critical of Mickey Moran’s management team but the issue of the lack of physical power in the Mayo side was also a dominant theme.
“We have to change our style,” said Claremorris delegate Willie Feeley. “In the final we looked like a minor team standing at the Hogan Stand before the game compared to Kerry. They looked like ‘ladeens’ beside them.”
His comments found favour with many in the room. “We’ve a problem with the underage teams we are sending out in that they are too small and light. We are too inclined to go with a classy, small player,” said Ballina’s Tommy Knight.
“One of the things was physical strength. Tyrone and Armagh have upper body strength and that is where we should start,” said Kiltane’s Richard Cosgrove.
On this matter, County Board Coaching Officer Padraig Walsh stepped in to state that steps had been made to try to bring in a more physical level of player but it would be at least five years before such progress would be seen at senior level.
“We have certainly been taking steps to look at the type of player we are coaching. We took the decision three years ago to look for bigger, bulkier players, stronger players. In all the (underage) development squads we’ve gone for bulkier players. Obviously these players aren’t going to come on stream straightaway, it will take six or seven years before we can see lads come to fruition at adult level.
”Weights have to be done at a young age too. Lads have to be taught properly when they are 15 or 16. It’s too late really to be starting them when they are 24 or 25,” continued Walsh.
WHILE the issue of Mayo senior team management took up most of the time of Monday night’s meeting, County Board Chairman James Waldron informed delegates early on that the Executive of the County Board had met prior to the delegates meeting and decided to invite nominations from clubs for the positions of Mayo minor manager and Mayo hurling manager.
All this means that current Minor manager Eugene Ivers and hurling boss Frank Browne, will have to reapply for the positions if they are to wait on for a third and second year respectively.
On the issue of U-21 management it was decided to offer the job to the successful All-Ireland winning management team of Pat Holmes, Noel Connelly and Micheál Collins, if they wished to return.
Eamonn Clarke, County Board Development Officer and a member of the fixtures committee formed to address proposals for revamping the championship and league structures in Mayo, addressed the meeting on the committee’s findings.
“We intend to have a full report on our findings at next month’s delegates meeting but for now in broad terms I can say that every club player should be getting a minimum of 20 games per year and the situation this year where many players went six to seven weeks without a game just won’t be the case next year.”
IN other briefs from the meeting County Board Secretary Sean Feeney confirmed that the Mayo county champions would be due to play in the Connacht Club Championship semi-final on November 5, one week after the County Final between Crossmolina and Ballaghaderreen.
County Convention was fixed for Tuesday, December 12 in Julian’s of Midfield while County Chairman James Waldron announced details of the development due to take place at McHale Park, also confirming the sponsorship by Elverys Sports of a state-of-the-art gym for County teams in Castlebar. The gym will initially be located at the squash courts in An Sportlann but on completion of a new spectator stand at McHale Park, the gym will be located there with a full-time physical trainer on site.