THE Mayo senior hurling team returned to training on Monday night under new manager Martin Brennan (pictured), who was officially appointed at last Wednesday’s County Board meeting. The Westport clubman has named Jimmy Martin as his sole selector with Raymond McNamara as trainer.
Brennan was a Mayo selector in 2006, working alongside Mark Deely and manager Frank Browne, who was controversially sacked two weeks ago. Well known in Westport sporting circles, he has been associated with boxing and rugby as well as the GAA.
“I’ve spoken to every one of the players, bar two who are away, and I got a great positive response from everyone,” said Brennan, who said he had “lots of confidence” that Mayo would “hold our own” in Division 2 in the forthcoming league campaign. He also revealed that he had spoken to his predecessor Frank Browne after being offered the job.
“In the last couple of years, I had been involved at club level,” said Brennan. “I hurled for club and county down through the years and I always had a great passion for hurling. I was brought in last year as a selector and played a fairly big part in last year’s team. Then I was involved with the U-21s, and I presumed Frank [Browne] was going to be there this year again. But when he didn’t get returned as manager, the position became vacant, and I was glad to put my name forward after speaking to Frank.”
Jimmy Martin, who hurled against Brennan while playing for North Mayo, will work alongside him. Achill native Raymond McNamara, who will act as trainer, is a former Mayo minor and U-21 footballer. Currently working in the Westport Leisure Park, he trained Islandeady footballers this year.
The hurlers will spend two nights a week doing indoor fitness work for the next month. Brennan also disclosed that with restructuring on the horizon, the National League will be his priority.
“There’s a lot of competitions coming up, the Connacht League and the Kehoe Cup, but I’m gearing everything up for February 18, when we’ve the first league fixture against Kildare,” he said. “I don’t want to hear about championship. The league is my preference. The league is what it’s all about. I don’t want to hear the words ‘Christy Ring’ for six months!”
MEANWHILE, the search continues for a successor to Charlie Lambert as manager of the Mayo ladies senior football team. Mayo Ladies GAA Board Chairman Bernard Comiskey said his organisation had “a few people in mind” for the position, but that “no appointment will be made this week”. Comiskey refused to divulge the names of those approached by the board, but former manager Finbar Egan is believed to be among those interested.