RUGBY BACKGROUND Owen Tarrant
NEW Mayo manager Kevin McStay met with most of the players who have been invited into his first pre-season training squad last Saturday evening in Castlebar.
McStay and his management team are understood to have selected an initial panel based on their scouting reports from the Mayo club championships, with collective training sessions set to begin next month.
The Mayo News understands that no members of last year’s Mayo championship squad have made themselves unavailable for selection for next season so far.
However, a number of players are believed to be still focussed on club commitments ahead of next weekend’s County Finals and the upcoming Connacht club championships.
Some members of last season’s Mayo championship panel are understood to have not been included in McStay’s pre-season training panel, while the likes of Ethan Gibbons (Castlebar Mitchels), Mikey Murray (Ballina Stephenites), Oisin McLaughlin (Westport) and Jack Coyne (Ballyhaunis) are among those called up.
Meanwhile, McStay has also made a number of key appointments to his backroom team.
Among them is Clare native, Owen Tarrant, a renowned strength and conditioning coach, who has worked with the likes of New Zealand Super Rugby franchise, The Chiefs, and the Munster rugby academy.
He is currently the Head of Performance with the Kobelco Steelers in Japan.
Castlebar native David Joyce will also be part of Mayo’s athletic performance team.
The former Birmingham City player worked with Kevin McStay during his time in Roscommon and has developed an impressive reputation as a strength and conditioning and performance coach.
Joyce was credited as playing a key role in Roscommon’s Connacht championship success in 2017, and was also part of the Castlebar Mitchels’ senior squad’s backroom team this year.
Mayo’s goalkeeping coach for next season will be Dublin native Gary Matthews.
A former League of Ireland ‘keeper, Matthews worked with the Dublin senior footballers for six years and was Stephen Cluxton’s coach for All-Ireland wins in 2011 and 2012.
He also played in the League of Ireland for many years, and lined out with St Francis in the 1990 FAI Cup Final which they lost to Bray Wanderers.
Matthews was also capped at Youths level by the Republic of Ireland.