Nominations sought for U-21 job
MAYO GAA Board will seek nominations for the Mayo under-21 manager’s job once they’ve spoken to the incumbent, Tony Duffy. That’s what Board Chairman Paddy McNicholas said at the end of a discussion on the county under-21 team, who lost to Galway in the first round of the championship last March.
McNicholas said it was ‘important to pick a manager as soon as possible’ to give him the opportunity to look at players in the under-21, minor and club championships, ‘especially in August and September’.
The Mayo News understands that Tony Duffy is due to speak to members of his management team this week before making a decision on whether he allows his name to go forward for a second term.
The Mayo GAA Board have set a deadline of Sunday, July 14 at 6pm for nominations.
Kevin McDonnell (Kilmaine) stressed the importance of a ‘real link’ between the under-21 manager and the Mayo Senior Football Development Academy launched last year. He asked if the under-21 manager ‘got to work’ with elite players who have already graduated to the senior panel.
“He got them for some training sessions, not all,” replied McNicholas. “Players brought into the senior panel seem to be kept by the senior manager,” which he admitted was ‘a problem’.
Danny Kelly (Kilmovee Shamrocks) said he was ‘very disappointed’ with the under-21s against Galway, who he felt ‘looked like a team who’d never met before’.
McNicholas said the team had ‘ten or 11 weeks together’ and played challenge matches, but conceded that under-21s were ‘a difficult group of players to get together’. He didn’t think the defeat to Galway was down to ‘lack of preparation’.
Board Vice-Chairman Mike Connelly said it was important that the manager was ‘not elected at the 11th hour’ and left ‘fire-fighting’. He called for the manager to be ‘in place by the August bank holiday weekend’.
After the top table clarified that Tony Duffy had got a one-year term, Pádraig Prendergast (Ballina Stephenites) said it was ‘only fair’ that the issue should be put out to clubs.
Connacht Council delegate Pádraig Staunton agreed that nominations should be sought.
Michael Horkan (Charlestown) said that ‘out of respect and courtesy’ for Tony Duffy, the incumbent should be spoken to first.
“We’ll speak to him, but then we’ll put it out to clubs and seek nominations,” said McNicholas.