THE challenge of ‘being the very best they can be’ is what is driving Castlebar Mitchels this season as they attempt to win their fourth successive Mayo SFC title.
That’s according to the Mitchels’ joint manager, Declan Shaw, who saw his team begin their defence of the Moclair Cup with a fifteen-points win over Ballina Stephenites last weekend.
“When you have a big win like that, sometimes it can paper over the cracks” he told The Mayo News. “There were only three points in it at half-time but we got the first two scores after half-time and that was a big psychological boost.
“But obviously we were happy with the result.
“We want to win a four-in-a-row, but it’s not about that” he added. “We’re looking to be at our very best, to be the best we can be. The county championship is so competitive that we can’t think too far ahead in Mayo. You can’t take anything for granted.
“We have Aghamore next [in the second round]. Okay, we won’t be talking about that game for a few months but we won’t be thinking about anything else either. That’s our focus.”
Shaw and ‘Benji’ Smith introduced Donie Vaughan for the last fifteen minutes of last Saturday’s game against Ballina, as the Mayo defender made his first appearance for Castlebar since transferring from Ballinrobe.
“Donie is everything you’d want in a guy coming into a set-up” explained Shaw. “He’s got so much experience, he speaks so well in the dressing-room, and he fits into the ethos of what we’re all about as a group. He trained well last week and did well on Saturday.”