EYES DOWN Mayo’s Ross Egan is pictured in action against Roscommon’s Luke Mollahan last Sunday. Pic: Sportsfile
MAYO Under-20 selector Michael Conroy believes that ‘seven or eight’ of the team that lined out in last Sunday’s Connacht are good enough to play senior football with the county in the near-future.
“They’re great lads, they’re only 17, 18, 19 years of age” the former Mayo forward told The Mayo News Football Podcast after Mayo’s sixteen-points win over Roscommon.
“All they want to do is play football for Mayo and enjoy it. And that’s what we wanted them to do, to just go out and enjoy it.
“There’s seven or eight lads there who are ready to step up and play senior in the next year or two.”
Conroy also described the decision to play the Connacht Under-20 Championship in the middle of the Leaving Cert exams as ‘a disgrace’.
“It’s absolutely a disgrace, and I have no problem going on the record and saying that.
“How you can start it the week before [the Leaving Cert] and finish it the week after?
“You couldn’t time it worse.
“I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t play it next week when the Leaving Cert is finished.
“We waited six months, so we didn’t mind waiting another few weeks.
“We waited six months to play a game, and then we had to play two in a week.
“Look, if you want to get a conveyor belt of lads into a senior team you’ve got to nurture them in competitions like this” continued the Davitts clubman.
“Get them used to playing in front of big crowds, the build-up, the prehab, the pre-match meal, the whole occasion.
“And that’s what we’ve tried to do, to get them into the mindset of a senior group so they’ll be ready for the bigger days with the bigger players on the bigger stages.”
Conroy also revealed that Mayo’s backroom team had started planning for their All-Ireland semi-final against the Ulster champions already.
“We’re going back to work again on Wednesday and we can’t wait for it.
“We’ve an All-Ireland semi-final against Armagh or Derry coming up, we’ll go and see them in the flesh next Sunday, and we’ll be ready.”