NEW Mayo manager John O’Mahony met with the 2006 senior squad on Saturday last in Castlebar and also unveiled the team’s new fitness trainer.
Twenty-six of last year’s squad were in attendance at the first meeting with Kevin O’Neill and Pat Harte among the players who were absent as they were both out of the country.
However, James Nallen, David Heaney, Ciaran McDonald and David Brady all attended.
Speaking on Monday at the launch of the new GAA mascot for children, RUA – which is decked out in county specific colours and priced at €20 – O’Mahony said: “I met the 2006 panel at the weekend and I got a very enthusiastic response.
“What we’ll be doing from now on is adjusting the panel and bringing in new guys and so on. That starts from next weekend. Basically what we’ve done is invite the 2006 panel back. As of now I’ve got no indication from any of them that they’re not willing to be on board in the coming year.
“Kevin O’Neill was out of the country and wasn’t available at the weekend but from indications we’ve got from speaking to him he’s interested in continuing,” he added.
Mayo’s new trainer, Jim Kilty (pictured), a Meath man living in Dublin, worked with Mayo five years ago during Pat Holmes’ managerial reign and has also enjoyed notable coaching success in the field of athletics.
It is understood that Kilty will oversee the squad’s training regime for the next three years and joins Kieran Gallagher, Tommy Lyons and Martin Carney (video and statistical analysis) in Mayo’s backroom team.
“I remember when I started in management over 20 years ago,” said O’Mahony. “You basically had the manager and his selectors and you didn’t really look for advice outside of that. Now you need a whole lot of backroom guys and expertise in each area so in that sense it is becoming a very important factor,” he told the Irish Daily Mail.
Kilty is the Director of SAQ Ireland (a company which offers coach education packages which specialise in the development of fundamental movement skills to County Boards and clubs as well as individual coaches).
“It’s all about running sharp,” he explained about his training methods. “There are no long runs, no warm-up around the field. This keeps players fresher, faster and nippier. This is the type of training that the English rugby team does, the Munster rugby team and the Irish team.’’
A renowned PE author, Kilty began his career as a primary school teacher and in 1990 was seconded to become the National Director for Coaching in Athletics Ireland. He served in that position until 1999. He was a tutor on the Summer School of Athletics from 1974 and in 1988 became the Director of the programme.
Since 1988, Kilty has coached 14 athletes to the Olympic Games and was coach at the Seoul and Atlanta Olympics. In 2001, he trained Tipperary to win the All-Ireland Hurling Final and trained Wexford with the Leinster Hurling Championship in 2004. Recently, he has worked with hurdles champion Derval O’Rourke.
Dr Frank Davey will also return to the Mayo fold under the new management regime. The well-known Charlestown GP was team doctor during O’Mahony’s previous spell in charge and will return to that role with the senior squad in the New Year.
MEANWHILE, the Mayo minor manager for 2007 will be announced tonight (Wednesday) at a meeting of the County Board. All four candidates were interviewed last week – Eugene Ivers, Ray Dempsey, Michael Moyles and Barry Murphy. The interviewing panel will be forwarding one of their names to the delegates for ratification.