EXPERIENCED Michael Moyles from Crossmolina was appointed as the new Mayo ladies football manager last weekend. Pic: Sportsfile
NEW Mayo ladies manager Michael Moyles says he will be aiming to achieve one specific short-term goal in the coming weeks — ‘To get everybody that’s available, willing, and good enough to make themselves available to play for Mayo’.
The Crossmolina native, who won an All-Ireland club medal with the Deel Rovers in 2001 and a National League medal with Mayo the same year, as well as a Connacht SFC medal with Mayo in 2004, was appointed as the new ladies boss last Saturday night.
His management team includes selectors Aiden McLoughlin (Swinford), Marita McDonald (Castlebar Mitchels) and Tom Carney (Ballinrobe), while former Mayo footballers Austin O’Malley (High Performance Coach) and Ger Cafferkey (video analysis team) are also part of Moyles’ backroom team.
The 43 year-old, who has amassed more than 13 years of coaching experience since retiring from inter-county football at the end of the 2005 season, has worked with club teams in Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim, as well as third-level squads at IT Sligo and DCU, and both the Mayo ladies’ and Junior mens' county teams in the recent past.
“The reason I went for this job is because I felt I could offer something of substance to Mayo ladies football,” he told The Mayo News last night.
“And it’s a great environment to be going into, where players just want to be better and get better. There are international basketballers and soccer players, players playing Australian Rules football, all involved in elite sport at the highest levels. So it’s very exciting to be getting a chance to work with those players and so many other talented footballers.”
However, one of his first tasks will be to try and address the fall-out from the 2018 row between former manager Peter Leahy and a number of players who haven’t lined out for Mayo for the last two seasons, including representatives from county champions Carnacon.
“The short-term goal is to get everybody that’s available, willing and good enough to make themselves available to play for Mayo,” admitted Moyles. “We know there is some work to be done to get to that point, but we’re prepared to do that. It’s a clean slate now and we’re determined that the County Board, management and the players will all be on same page.
“I know there is hurt on both sides. A group of players left the panel at the time for what they felt were appropriate reasons and another group of players were hurt by them leaving.
“So there’s no doubt that there’s work to be done in the background.
“But what we want to instil in the players we work are solid values, things like honesty, trust, courage, integrity and togetherness. We want to leave Mayo ladies football in a better place when we are finished.
“We’re going to be talking a lot, and working a lot, on learning and development.
“Our set-up will give the players every tool possible to make them better players.
“The current Covid restrictions are obviously going to make things more difficult in terms of putting together a panel,” added Moyles. “Ideally, we’d like to have open trials and invite everybody in who feel they have something to offer. That way you can see who’s interested and motivated to play for Mayo in 2021.
“But that just won’t be possible at the moment due to Covid. So the management team will be working together, and talking to clubs and players, with a view to drawing up a squad.”