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Mayo GAA Chairman ‘absolutely hopeful’ that Rochford will stay


THE PAIN OF DEFEAT Mayo manager Stephen Rochford is pictured following his side’s loss to Dublin in the All-Ireland SFC Final on Sunday week last. Pic: Sportsfile

Mayo manager says he’ll make a decision on his future next month

Edwin McGreal

MAYO GAA Board Chairman Mike Connelly says he’s ‘hopeful’ that Stephen Rochford will stay in charge of the Mayo senior football team next year.
Rochford has completed two years of his three-year term, but indicated after Sunday week’s All-Ireland Final defeat to Dublin that he was taking his time to consider whether to commit for the 2018 season.
Speaking to The Mayo News last night (Monday), Connelly said: “I would be absolutely [hopeful] that Stephen would remain. He has got us to the All-Ireland Final two years running, we lost by the minimum of margins, and we can all learn from every defeat.
“Hopefully Stephen will stay on and find that extra ten percent to get us over the line next year,” said the Hollymount/Carramore clubman.
Speaking to a number of national journalists at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin, the morning after Mayo’s defeat to Dublin, Rochford took many people by surprise when he said he was going to assess his managerial future in the coming weeks.
“I have to do a bit of thinking now during the month of October and see how it is,” said the 38 year-old. “I’ve gone into a new job with work, two young kids, so there’s a good bit to consider now at this stage. But we’ll do that during October and talk to the county board.”
Mike Connelly told The Mayo News that he has not spoken to Rochford since Mayo’s All-Ireland Final homecoming a week ago (on Monday night last) nor have the County Board themselves officially discussed Rochford’s future.
“Stephen needs a couple of weeks anyway to wind down,” said the Mayo GAA chairman. “We will sit down with Stephen then and take it from there.”
Sources close to the camp say that Rochford’s future may hinge on whether highly-regarded coach Donie Buckley and selectors Tony McEntee and Peter Burke remain on board.
Connelly said the Mayo GAA executive are likely to meet ‘next week, at the earliest’ and ‘go from there’.

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