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Mayo LGFA squads to increase to 40 players


THROWBACK Mayo Under-16 captain Tara Needham lifts the cup after the 2018 All-Ireland Ladies Football 'B' Championship Final. Pic: Sportsfile

Oisín McGovern

MAYO LGFA’s Annual General Meeting has passed a motion that will allow 40 players to be named on all underage county panels.
The motion, which was proposed by the Hollymount, Tourmakeady and Westport clubs, was passed by 36 of the 54 delegates after a debate which ran for over 40 minutes at last Friday evening’s AGM in Castlebar.
From 2023, Mayo Under-14, Under-16 and Minor panels may retain ten players as part of a Development Panel in addition to the finalised 30-player squad.
Addressing the AGM, Mayo Under-14 manager, Sinéad Stagg, argued that increasing the maximum size of Mayo’s underage panels would help the development of younger players.
The former Mayo forward said that there had been ‘zero development’ of underage squads in the county for the past six years.
The Hollymount clubwoman said the management would be willing to fundraise to make up the extra costs.
She added that her U-14s had regularly played other county squads with 38-player panels.
“If we’re going back talking about costs, we’re in the wrong room. This is Mayo LGFA, we should be trying to develop, enhance and bring our girls forward,” Stagg said.
Mayo Under-14 coach, Liam Reape, said he would be willing to cook for players himself if the county board was unable to pay for food.
“I’ve been involved with the U-14s in the last five years. We’re unbeaten in Connacht in five years at Under-16 and at Minors we’re not kicking on. What is the reason? The reason is development,” he said.
Mayo LGFA Treasurer Breda Waldron proposed that the motion be rejected on the grounds that it would require an additional €200 on all 34 clubs in the county.
Waldron told the meeting that the cost of gear and meals for players would cost at least €6,000, adding that the county board ‘couldn’t do any more fundraising’.
Total expenditure on underage Mayo teams in 2022 amounted to over €51,379.
“Last year we made a loss of €6,189 and that was only 30 players on each of the underage squads and 27 on the senior squad. If we’ve an additional ten on each squad it would impact on us,” said the Davitts club woman.
Outgoing Mayo LGFA Secretary Cathy Fleming said that the County Board has made ‘exhaustive’ efforts to fundraise throughout the year.
“But in reality, it’s the real money that’s coming in that has to pay for it. The money isn’t there,” she said.
The motion was approved by 67 percent of the delegates, one percent above the required two-thirds majority.


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