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3 big game talking points against Kildare

Sport

Mike Finnerty

1 Stephen Rochford’s plans for the future
IT goes with the territory of a championship exit that speculation will begin about the manager’s future.
Rochford, whose initial three-year term expired after Saturday’s defeat to Kildare, was given a two-year extension last October by Mayo GAA chiefs that would take him up to the end of the 2020 season.
But will the 39 year-old decide to stay on?
He has brought the team to two All-Ireland Finals, only losing by a point on each occasion with the 2016 decider going to a replay.
Rochford refused to be drawn on his plans for the future after last Saturday’s game.
That in itself may be telling.

2 Who will stay on for another shot at the title?
NOBODY should be surprised to see some of these Mayo players call it a day during the off-season with so much mileage on so many of their clocks.
David Clarke and Andy Moran will both be 35 in November while defenders Keith Higgins, Ger Cafferkey and Chris Barrett have also given long and distinguished service.
Then there are the injuries to the likes of Tom Parsons and Seamie O’Shea that will have them pondering their futures too.
It is sadly inevitable that all the Mayo players who togged out together last Saturday won’t be back together again in a dressing-room in 2019.

3 Mayo’s remarkable run comes to an end
SATURDAY’S defeat means that Mayo exit the championship in June for the first time since 2010 when Longford beat them in the Qualifiers.
After qualifying for seven successive All-Ireland semi-finals and four finals in the meantime, it’s going to be a very strange summer for the Mayo players and their supporters.
Kildare have become only the fifth team to beat Mayo in the championship in seven years — joining Dublin, Galway, Kerry and Donegal.
This was also Mayo’s first defeat in an All-Ireland Qualifier in nine matches along the backdoor route.
It was also Stephen Rochford’s sixth defeat in championship football since taking over.

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