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The Mayo under-21s of 2006 – Where are they now?

Sport

BABY-FACED ASSASSINS Mayo’s Mark Ronaldson and Mickey Conroy savour the moment after the 2006 All-Ireland U-21 FC Final. Pic: Ray Ryan

Ten years on, we check in on Mayo’s All-Ireland winning under 21 class of 2006

Feature
Mike Finnerty

Kenneth O’Malley
Ballinrobe
THE talented goalkeeper only conceded one goal in the All-Ireland Final against Cork, and went on to play senior league and championship for Mayo.
He also came back after suffering a serious kidney injury in a Higher Education League match with the University of Limerick in 2008.
Kenneth now works as a teacher in the UAE.

Trevor Howley
Knockmore
THE teak-tough defender was a rock in the Mayo defence.
He went on to make his senior championship debut for Mayo in 2009 against New York at centre-half back.
Howley played his last game for Mayo as a sweeper against London in the 2011 Connacht championship.
He emigrated to Australia the following November and is now based in Darwin.

Ger Cafferkey
Ballina Stephenites
HAVING played minor football for Mayo in 2005, Caff’ was promoted straight into the under 21 team just a few months later.
He was a revelation, showing all the attributes that made him an All Star in 2012.
Cafferkey lives and works in Galway as a Civil Engineer.

Keith Higgins
Ballyhaunis
THE team captain, Higgins brought pace and panache to the Mayo defence and mixed man-marking with lightning-quick counter-attacks.
A three-time All Star winner since then at senior level, Higgins has become one of Mayo’s all-time great footballers.
He lives in Ballyhaunis and works in Bank of Ireland in Castlebar.

Chris Barrett
Belmullet
ANOTHER of the 2005 minors that made the step-up to the under 21 ranks, Barrett had an excellent season at wing-back.
Although he has had more than his fair share of injury problems since, the versatile defender has been an ever-present member of the senior squad since his championship debut in 2010.
A qualified Civil Engineer, he lives and works in Dublin.

Tom Cunniffe
Castlebar Mitchels
JUST eight months earlier, ‘Turbo’ played in Mayo’s All-Ireland Minor final defeat to Down at Croke Park.
His explosive pace and athleticism was a big part of the under 21s’ game-plan, and he went on to make his senior championship debut against Cavan in 2007.
A regular in the Mayo defence since, the Castlebar native recently announced that he intends to go travelling.

Colm Boyle
Davitts
CUT from the same cloth as Mayo’s joint manager, Noel Connelly, Boyle was (and still is) a tigerish, inspirational and dynamic half-back.
He went on make his senior championship debut in 2008, and has won two All Star awards since.
A Garda based in Clifden, Boyle lives in Claremorris.

Seamus O’Shea
Breaffy
Though injury curtailed his involvement for the Mayo minors in 2005, O’Shea had the physique and self-belief to hit the ground running at under 21.
He made his senior championship debut against Sligo in 2010 and became a regular starter under James Horan.  
O’Shea lives in Dublin where he works as an assistant underwriter with IronShore.

Barry Moran
Castlebar Mitchels
ONE of many Mayo players that delivered a huge second half that day in Ennis, Big Barry’s partnership with O’Shea gave the team serious ball-winning capabilities.
Moran had already made his senior championship debut for Mayo the previous August, and remains a key panel member.
He lives in Castlebar and works as an accountant with Allergan Pharmaceuticals in Westport.

Aidan Campbell
Mayo
ALTHOUGH he didn’t score in the final, Campbell’s free-taking, and ability to beat a man and pick out a pass was invaluable all through the campaign.
He made his senior championship debut the following summer under John O’Mahony and played his last game for Mayo in London five years ago.
He has recently moved to the English capital to work.

Joe Dillon
Ballaghaderreen
THE team’s centre-half forward was the perfect foil to the freestyling duo of Campbell and Kilcoyne either side of him.
Dillon worked hard, won breaks, and linked the play effectively. He was the quintessential ‘team player’.
His career was hampered by injuries, but he won Mayo SFC medals with Ballagh’ in 2008 and 2012.
He is a national school teacher in Tooreen.

Aidan Kilcoyne
Knockmore
THE star of Mayo’s sensational second half, ‘Killer’ hit 1-6 that day in Ennis, including a golden goal, four frees, and an outrageous point from a sideline ball.
Kilcoyne made his senior championship debut the previous August and played for Mayo until the end of the 2011 league.
A serious knee injury in October, 2013 looked to have ended his career, but he has returned to action with Knockmore in recent months, lining out in goal.
He lives in Dublin where he works as Media and Advertising Manager with Ryanair.

Mark Ronaldson
Shrule/Glencorrib
THE crafty corner-forward scored two precious goals during Mayo’s campaign, one against Roscommon and the other in the All-Ireland semi-final marathon against Tyrone.
Against Cork, ‘Ronnie’ ran all day and clipped a crucial point.
He made his Mayo senior championship debut in 2008, and is currently a member of Stephen Rochford’s squad.
He lives in Shrule and works as a teacher in Ballinasloe.

Marcus Hannick
Killala
THE under-rated full-forward contributed five points during Mayo’s five-game run to the All-Ireland crown, and was an important part of the team’s strong, solid spine.
He went on to win a Mayo junior club football championship medal later in 2006 with Killala.
Hannick now lives in New York where he works as a civil engineer.

Michael Conroy
Davitts
THIS was one of Mickey C’s finest hours as he terrorised the Cork defence and hit three brilliant points from play.
All during that campaign, Conroy was playing out of his skin, showing just why John Maughan had brought him into the senior panel in the summer of 2004.
He has been a regular in the county senior panel since 2012 although injuries have stalled his progress in the last twelve months.
He lives in Claremorris and is employed as a care worker.

Subs used:
Sean Ryder
Castlebar Mitchels
A POWERFUL half-back, Ryder came off the bench in Ennis to help get Mayo home in front.
He now lives in Birmingham where he works as an electrician.

Kevin Costello
Carramore
THE current Hollymount/Carramore captain works on the family farm and was one of the main reasons his club won both the Mayo and Connacht Intermediate championship titles last season.
Costello came on in all five of Mayo’s games during their run to the title, and hit a vital late point against Cork.

Enda Varley
Garrymore
THE former Mayo senior forward recently transferred to the St Vincent’s club in Dublin. He lives and works in the capital as a secondary school teacher.
He came on to replace Marcus Hannick that day against Cork and scored a crucial late point.

OTHER SQUAD MEMBERS
John Healy (Hollymount), Henry McLoughlin (Crossmolina), Alan Joyce, Alan Feeney, John Conlon, Richie Byrne (all Castlebar Mitchels), David Prendergast (Tourmakeady), Simon McGuinness (Aghamore), Trevor Lydon (Clonbur), Seán McManamon (Burrishoole) and Michael Divilly (Charlestown).

MANAGEMENT:
Noel Connelly, Pat Holmes, Micheál Collins.

 

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