DEPARTURE Mayo Ladies footballers Cora Staunton and Yvonne Byrne pictured after last September's All-Ireland Final defeat to Dublin. Staunton is one of ten players to depart the squad in recent days. Byrne has retired. Pic: Sportsfile
Edwin McGreal and Mike Finnerty
The Mayo Ladies senior football squad has been rocked by the departure of approximately ten players from the panel ahead of their All-Ireland SFC Qualifier clash with Cavan next Saturday.
Among the players who have withdrawn from the squad are team captain Sarah Tierney, vice-captain Fiona McHale and all-time leading scorer Cora Staunton.
Team selector Michael McHale from Carnacon (Fiona’s father) has also opted out.
The Mayo News understands that the players who have left the squad are citing player welfare issues as the reason behind their decision.
None of the players in question, nor Mayo manager Peter Leahy, were available to comment on the situation when contacted by The Mayo News last night (Monday).
However, Mayo Ladies GAA Board PRO, Susan Rodgers, did confirm that players had left the squad in the last week.
“Mayo Ladies County Board can confirm that a number of players have departed the county panel. Preparations are ongoing for Saturday’s All-Ireland Qualifier against Cavan and we will not be making any further comment until that game is over,” she told The Mayo News.
The Mayo News understands that Ladies County Board officials met with the group of approximately ten players on Sunday last, and also held a separate meeting with the senior team management.
Westmeath native Peter Leahy is the Mayo manager and his selectors are former Mayo All-Ireland winner, Denise McDonagh, and Mick Reynolds.
The Mayo News has learned that a number of players met with Peter Leahy at training on Tuesday last to inform him of their decision to leave the panel.
Mayo trained last Thursday without this group. They did not train at the weekend due to club championship games in the county.
Mayo are due to train again tonight (Tuesday) before playing Cavan in Clones on Saturday in the first round of the All-Ireland Qualifier group stage, from which teams will qualify for the All-Ireland quarter-finals.