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Keegan backs Rochford to return


Mike Finnerty

FOOTBALLER of the Year Lee Keegan has become the latest Mayo player to suggest that Stephen Rochford will return to manage the county’s senior footballers next season.
Keegan says he’s ‘very confident’ that Rochford will be in charge of Mayo’s fortunes in 2018, echoing comments made recently by his team-mate Andy Moran.
However, Rochford, who has served two years of his three-year term, is yet to meet Mayo GAA chiefs to confirm his intentions for next season.
Speaking less than 24 hours after Mayo’s defeat to Dublin in the All-Ireland Final last month, he told reporters: “I have to do a bit of thinking now during the month of October and see how it is. 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.”
Senior Mayo GAA officials are understood to be keen to clarify Stephen Rochford’s position for next season as soon as possible, especially with the plans of team coach Donie Buckley, and selectors Peter Burke and Tony McEntee also up-in-the-air at the moment.
“I’d be very confident that Stephen will stay on,” Keegan told the Second Captains’ podcast last week. “I think he’s done a great job over the last couple of years so I’d be confident enough that he’ll continue his reign for another year.”
“Talking to a lot of the lads, I think the consensus is that a lot of lads will wait on. We’re that close, so get a few months off now to reassess ourselves, get the bodies right, and then come back in January and give it a right crack.
“Because we’re so close, why should we be stopping now? We’ve got a good group of lads there, our age profile is pretty good, there’s plenty left in the legs.
“So the thing now is to get over the club scene over the next few weeks, rest up, recharge, and get the freshness and enthusiasm back again.”


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