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NFL is Rochford’s priority

Sport

MEETING THE MEDIA Mayo manager Stephen Rochford is pictured speaking to members of the press after Sunday’s game. Pic: Sportsfile

Mike Finnerty

MAYO manager Stephen Rochford is fully focussed on having his team ready for the first round of the National League at the beginning of next month, and plans to build on the ‘good foundations’ put down last year.
Speaking after watching a third-string Mayo outfit lose to NUI, Galway in the FBD League last Sunday, Rochford admitted that there is work to be done ahead of the visit of Monaghan to Castlebar on Saturday, February 4.
“The plan for the next three weeks will be to get the team up to a good level of fitness and get some football under the belt, especially taking into account that the group will only return from South Africa next Friday.
“So we’ve got a short window of three weeks before the Monaghan game, and that’s followed by Kerry, Roscommon and Dublin.
“So there’s quite a challenge there in the first four games, three of those teams having been in the league semi-final last year.
“There are no league semi-finals this year, so the aim will be to accumulate as many points as possible and then build towards the championship.”
Twenty-seven members of Mayo’s 2016 panel return from their team holiday in South Africa next weekend, with Rochford and company looking to put last October’s All-Ireland disappointment behind them.
“Obviously, we were disappointed with losing the All-Ireland Final, that speaks for itself.
“But we’ve been eager to get back out on the field, we were looking forward to getting back training again on December 29, and on trying to improve on 2016.
“There were a lot of positives to take from last year, a good foundation has been set, and we look forward to the first round of the league in four weeks’ time against Monaghan.”

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