The Boys of Summer from a decade and a half ago

GAA

Way back then: The Mayo minor side from 2005 which reached the All Ireland final - has produced some key men for the Mayo senior team on and off the pitch in the past decade and a half. Photo: Sportsfile

Way back then: The Mayo minor side from 2005 which reached the All Ireland final - has produced some key men for the Mayo senior team on and off the pitch in the past decade and a half. Photo: Sportsfile

A decade and a half ago in 2005, it was a so-so year for the Mayo senior footballers. A year after reaching the All Ireland final, they had a league semi-final loss to Armagh in the Spring, which was followed by elimination from the championship at the quarter-final stage at the hands of Kerry, having been beaten by Galway in the provincial decider.

But the county was represented on All Ireland final day, with Eugene Ivers' minor side reaching the decider - where they were well beaten by Down on the day; but that side and management team contained a number of players who would go on to have key roles in Mayo's return to the top of the game at senior level over the past decade.

Ger Cafferkey, Chris Barrett and Tom Cunniffe all started that final and went on to win All Ireland u21 titles the following year, while Seamus O'Shea who came off the bench, having to miss starting the game due to injury, also won an u21 medal the following year and both Cafferkey and Barrett went on to win All Stars for their displays for the senior team a few years later. Tom Parsons missed the minor final that year due to injury, but went on to captain Mayo to an u21 Connacht title two years later - before becoming a major player for the senior team in later years.

Another of the starters who went on to have a run with the senior team in later years was Kiltane's Mikie Sweeney; he also played a key role in his club reaching an All Ireland Intermediate Club final in 2014. Ballaghaderren's David Kilcullen also had a run with the seniors in the years following his stint at minor - while his club mate Pearse Hanley is seen by many as the one that got away for Mayo.

Hanley broke into the senior side in 2007 - but his run at the top level in green and red was short lived as he swapped Mayo for Australia, signing for the Brisbane Lions, where he played for eight years, making 129 appearances and scoring 58 goals, before moving to the Gold Coast Suns in 2017. Swinford's Aidan Campbell was the captain of the team and, marked out as a future star, he did see senior football with Mayo in the years afterwards and was an All Ireland u21 winner the following year - but he was forced to retire early from the game due to injury.

Ardnaree native James Burke - did go on to have a bit of a run in the senior squad, but he has now transitioned into being a selector and coach with James Horan of the senior side and is running the rule over a number of his former minor team mates who are still involved in the senior side. He has played most of his adult club football with Ballymun Kickhams and played for them in the 2013 All Ireland senior club final.

This minor set-up also included a future Mayo senior manager and All Ireland Senior Club Championship winning manager in its backroom team - Stephen Rochford was part of Ivers coaching set-up before he struck out on his own and went on to manage Corofin to club glory and bring Mayo to two All Ireland senior finals, he is currently part of the Donegal coaching team.

 

Page generated in 0.1004 seconds.