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Rowland has no regrets over Mayo

Sport

IN THE RUNNING Declan Shaw was one of the candidates for the Mayo senior manager's job earlier this year. Pic: Sportsfile


Michael Gallagher

WHEN James Horan stepped away from his role as manager of the Mayo senior team in July a flurry of interest was generated about his successor. Eventually four management teams entered the race to succeed him and Cormac Rowland’s name was included in the group put forward by Declan Shaw.
The former Castlebar Mitchels boss assembled a formidable team with former Dublin star Paddy Christie, ex Mayo and Castlebar Mitchels player Richie Feeney and Sligo’s Dessie Sloyan joining Rowland in the proposed backroom.
Ultimately, the cards didn’t fall their way, but Rowland holds no grudges and says the experience was a very positive one.
“I was honoured to be asked to be involved,” he told The Mayo News. “Declan put a really good team together and we put our best foot forward. There was a very strong coterie of candidates running for the job and that was a good thing. I was very excited by the thought of being involved but it wasn’t to be.
“Kevin (McStay) and the boys got the job and I wish them nothing but success. They’re looking for the extra three or four percent which will get us to where we all want to be and with a little luck they’ll find it,” he said before we asked if there was a moment when he thought they would be successful.
“In the infancy there was a huge excitement about being in the running and in the middle period of it we felt we had a real chance of success. We kept our heads down and focused on getting everything right in the background and it was a very interesting few weeks.
“The competition was top-drawer and when Kevin got the job I remember reading an article stating how many inter-county championship games he and his team had been involved in.
“It illustrated how experienced they were. We gave it our best shot and that’s all we could have done.”
Rowland is no stranger to the green and red himself, starting off in the School of Excellence under Fr Tommy Towey in 1997.
The following year a Ted Webb medal at Under-16 level was captured under the tutelage of Eugene Ivers and Billy McNicholas before featuring in two runs to All-Ireland minor finals with JP Kean in 1999 and 2000.
Despite those setbacks on the biggest days of all, Rowland is adamant that it won’t be long before a Mayo man climbs into the Hogan Stand and hoists Sam Maguire towards the heavens.
“We must not forget how successful Mayo football is right now and has been for more than a decade. My first Mayo match was the 1989 All-Ireland final when I was six. It was also my father’s first time seeing Mayo in a final. The period from 1951 to ’89 was a barren one compared to the great times we’re having now.
“To win a final, one has to get to it and the more finals we get to the more chance we’re going to win one.”

 

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