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Trevor Mortimer takes Mayo armband

Mortimer takes armband again

Trevor Mortimer was named Mayo’s captain last weekend

Mike Finnerty

LAST Sunday’s FBD Connacht League fixtures may have been postponed due to the inclement weather, but Mayo manager John O’Mahony still managed to get some important work done as he announced that Trevor Mortimer would retain the senior team captaincy for 2010.
Mortimer (who will celebrate his 30th birthday next July) led Mayo to the Connacht championship title last Summer.
“I was very surprised, but delighted, when I was told on Sunday morning” Trevor Mortimer told The Mayo News. “I thought being captain last year probably helped my game, gave me more confidence. It certainly didn’t do me any harm.
“I’m not sure to be honest why John decided to retain me as captain,” he added. “I suppose I get on well with all the lads and maybe some of the younger lads would look up to me. As a captain, if something has to be said, I’ll say it. But I don’t agree with talking for the sake of talking.”
Mortimer is beginning his tenth campaign with the Mayo senior squad this season, after making his debut against Clare ten years ago next month. His experience and leadership qualities will be needed more than ever this Spring, especially with so many key players unavailable and injured for the start of the NFL in three weeks’ time.
“It’s a strange dressing-room alright at the moment,” he admitted. “A lot of lads are not there for one reason or another but all the new guys are mad keen to impress and they’re not long making a fool out of you if you’re not up for it. They’re driving everybody on.
“I’m looking forward to getting back on the pitch again and playing some football,” continued the Belclare-based Quarry Manager.
“Once I finished with the club [Shrule/Glencorrib], I did a small bit of work with weights but, to be honest, I was very busy with work. I’ve stepped up my weights work again in the last two months and I’ve been in the gym a lot.
“If I keep doing what I’m supposed to be doing, hopefully I’ll stay fit and injury-free. I’ll be going to the gym in the morning and the evening fairly soon and that extra work should stand to me in terms of injuries.”
Mayo trained indoors twice last week at Breaffy House Hotel but Trevor Mortimer and his house-mate Peadar Gardiner (who is the team’s vice-captain again this season) were unable to travel from Tuam due to the hazardous driving conditions.
As a consequence, the team have been unable to do much practical work together and familiarise themselves with the experimental playing rules that will be used for both the FBD and National Leagues.
“It’s hard to know how they’re going to work until we get out and get a couple of games played,” offered Mortimer. “But we’re doing a lot of work on our hand-passing and fist-passing in training, and a lot of drills with the new rules in mind.”
Weather permitting, next Sunday’s match against NUI, Galway will be Mayo’s first outing since their All-Ireland quarter-final exit against Meath last August. The captain is looking forward to moving on at last.
“It’s very hard to get that game, that performance, out of your head but once we get a few games under our belt again, I think we’ll be all the better for it,” he explained.
“At the moment, our objective is to get out and get some points on the board in the National League. Our total focus at the moment is on the first league match against Galway.”

FBD Connacht League

Sunday, January 17, Garrymore at 2pm
Referee: D Hunt (Roscommon)