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5 new faces in James Horan’s plans


Mike Finnerty

Rory Byrne
Castlebar Mitchels
THE 27 year-old was called into the extended Mayo squad on the back of another impressive season with Mitchels and will be hoping to stay there for at least the National League campaign.
With Micheál Schlingermann signing for Galway United, James Horan has replaced him with Byrne who will be trying to keep David Clarke and Rob Hennelly on their toes in the weeks ahead.
The Castlebar custodian last lined out for Mayo in the 2017 FBD League against NUI, Galway and also got a run in last Sunday’s challenge match against the students.

Padraig O’Hora
Ballina Stephenites
A STRING of eye-catching and typically tenacious displays for the Stephenites in the latter stages of the Mayo senior club championship have propelled the versatile defender back into a county senior squad again.
O’Hora (26) was invited into a Mayo panel by Stephen Rochford a few years ago but a few cameo appearances didn’t materialise into a National League debut. After taking some time away from Gaelic football — during which he dabbled in Mixed Martial Arts  — he returned to the Ballina set-up last season.
His tackling ability, physicality, willingness to drive forward and competitive instinct was especially obvious against Breaffy in the Mayo SFC quarter-final.

James Stretton
THE 26 year-old defender was desperately unlucky a few seasons ago to suffer an injury shortly after accepting an invitation to join up with an extended Mayo squad ahead of the start of the FBD League.
But another good season with Claremorris — where he caught the eye of the Mayo management team – has earned Stretton a recall and a chance to try and force his way into the panel for the league.
He’s a tight-marking, pacy, full-back line player who is comfortable on the ball and could provide cover for some of the front-line defenders and former All Stars.

Liam Irwin
THERE’S been quite a bit of water under the bridge since Irwin was last part of the Mayo senior squad back in the spring of 2018. Since then ‘The Bear’ has played in the National League and the Connacht championship for London and also lined out for Ballyheane AFC in the Mayo Super League.
But an impressive season with Breaffy in 2019 has led to a call-up from the Mayo management and another opportunity for Irwin to show what he can do.
The 24 year-old is leaner and fitter than ever, and is bound to get his chance to impress in the weeks ahead.

Gary Boylan
HIS form with his club last season, especially in a couple of big senior championship matches on their way to the Mayo SFC quarter-finals, earned the 2014 Mayo minor a call-up from James Horan before Christmas.
Boylan (23) was believed to be on the brink of accepting an invite from Stephen Rochford two years ago but instead decided to sign with Cork City in the League of Ireland.
Now though the talented left-footed forward has opted to try his luck with Mayo and his dead-ball ability, pace, confidence and eye for goal means he brings a lot to the table.


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