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Leahy: ‘panel is closed now’

Sport

Mayo ladies to move on without 12 who left fold

Ger Flanagan

MAYO Ladies football manager Peter Leahy has revealed that there has been no contact between him and the 12 players who left the county senior squad last summer regarding their possible return to the Mayo fold — and says the panel is now ‘closed’ ahead of the start of the National League next month.
A dozen players and two members of the management team left the Mayo panel last July, citing ‘player welfare issues’ as the main reason behind their departures. Eight players were from county champions Carnacon, including experienced duo Cora Staunton and Fiona McHale, as well as the likes of then-captain, Sarah Tierney.
Speaking to The Mayo News last weekend, Peter Leahy said that the county panel was open to ‘anyone who wants to play for Mayo’. However, he was keen to stress that the onus was on the players who had left, and not him, to make contact about a possible return.
“The panel is closed now,” the Westmeath native told The Mayo News last week. “If one of the clubs came back and said, ‘will you take our players back?’… none of the clubs even contacted me. It didn’t have to be any of the players, nobody contacted me to come back to the set-up.
“If someone rejects you, you don’t go back looking for them. They walked away from their county so they’re the ones who have to wish to come back, and none of them have wished to come back. “And it’s very unfortunate because there’s a lot of young girls there who should be playing county football,” he added. “If I’m a parent of some of these 18 and 19 year-olds, I personally would be asking the question: ‘You’re sitting on the fence here and other people are finished or at the retirement age, and you’ve your whole career ahead of you’.”
Mayo begin their season in the National League at home to Tipperary on Sunday, February 3.