ALL-IRELAND success is the solitary aim of the Mayo ladies senior football team, new manager Frank Browne told The Mayo News last night.
The Wexford native – who was removed from his former position as Mayo hurling manager late last year – insists that anything less than a Mayo player lifting the Brendan Martin Cup next October would be a failure.
“That is the one and only aim,” Browne said. “People in this county won’t settle for anything less and rightly so. The All-Ireland is there for the winning.
“I absolutely can’t wait to get started. I hope the enthusiasm that I think I brought to the hurling and the inner belief that I instilled can be carried on. I would hope that the innate belief that we can win the All-Ireland will be established.”
Browne also confirmed that he has approached two well-known ladies football figures inside the county to fill his two selector positions. He feels that his own inexperience in the ladies game, far from being a hindrance, will actually be to his advantage.
“The way I look at this is that management is management. All the players playing at county level are good enough, my job is to draw the last 2% or 3% out of them to win the All-Ireland. It’s really about applying the same principles to slightly different problems. From hurling I would have an ability to make decisions on the line, to read a game, those should still apply. I’m fairly confident that I’ll be able to do what’s required.
”I think something that is important too is that I’m coming in with a blank sheet,” added Browne. “I’ll be saying, ‘let’s start filling this in in the way we can win the All-Ireland’. I’ll be coming in fresh, there’ll be no names on the sheet.”
The new manager was approached by the Mayo Ladies GAA Board Executive of Chairperson Bernard Commiskey, Secretary Mary Malone and Treasurer Enda Carberry with a view to taking up the role vacated by Charlie Lambert shortly after Browne had been relieved of his position as manager of the Mayo senior hurlers.
Browne admitted he thought “long and hard about it”, waiting two weeks before he confirmed his willingness to allow his name go forward. It is a swift return to inter-county management for Browne whose term in charge of the hurlers was not extended by the Mayo GAA Board in somewhat controversial circumstances in early December.
A number of issues, including costs, were central to the problem according to County Board Secretary Seán Feeney. Frank Browne has no regrets however.
“Leaving the hurling was tough. One month on and having had time to think about it I still think everything I did was ok. If I was in the job again and faced with the same problems I would do exactly the same as what I did this year. I certainly have no regrets. At the end of it I suppose I was just a casualty of war.
”I was surprised by the nature of the departure. I had started plans in my own head for next year, I had organised clubs in Galway and in Dublin for lads to be training with and I was knocked on my backside by the decision. I think we (the hurlers) were ready to move onto the next level. Players had got used to playing in Division 2 and could now start to think about going beyond that. We made huge psychological progress. Football is the next challenge though and I’m delighted to be moving onto another challenge.”
Browne will have his first gathering of the year with the Mayo ladies this Saturday. A trial-cumtraining session will be held at 2pm in Castlebar and an open invitation has been issued to all lady footballers in the county.