Moyles learning all the time as he goes

LGFA: Ladies Senior Football Championship Semi-Final

Learning as they go: Michael Moyles and his team are learning with each game this year. Photo: Sportsfile

Learning as they go: Michael Moyles and his team are learning with each game this year. Photo: Sportsfile

The Mayo Ladies senior footballers are back in the final four of the All Ireland Senior Football Championship and it is where they belong - even with the team and current management team only coming together earlier this year, says manager Michael Moyles.

"When you look at the players that we have and you look at the the likes of Clodagh McManamon, Kathryn Sullivan, Sarah Rowe, Rachel Kearns and others, these are all established players that are very good at what they do.

"I suppose we have some younger players in there - the problem there would have been the management team and players getting used to each other, and I think we have a serious group of players and I don’t think they get the credit that they deserve nationally, but that is what we are trying to do here.

"Are we trying to defy expectations? No. Are we above where we should be? No. We feel that we should be eating at the top table all the time.

"To be fair, if you are going to win an All Ireland, you have to beat Dublin and you have to beat a team like Dublin, and this is where it is going to show us where we are at; and look, we are very pleased to be in a position to test ourselves in this place and if we can show and perform like we can on a stage like Croke Park, that would be great."

Mayo booked their place in the final four following a strong performance against Galway in the quarter-finals a fortnight ago after an iffy route through the group stages, where they beat Cavan, then were taken to free kicks by Monaghan, before getting a beating by Armagh in the final group game.

But that learning curve has been good for both the management and the team, according to the Crossmolina man.

"The big difference - and I was always told when I was younger was the difference between a man and a boy - is a man learns from his mistakes; it is the same between a girl and a lady - is you learn from your mistakes.

"We made mistakes that day (Armagh ) and the majority of mistakes that were made that day were on the line and I have no problem holding my hand ups. The players go out the way you play and set them up and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

"Maybe we over-complicated things, we focused more on Armagh than on ourselves, and against Galway, I feel we went out and had some very good players that can play off the cuff and play the Mayo style of football - and that is what we are trying to do all year.

"There is a transitional period there that will take a bit of time - they play different ways with clubs - and with the county over the last two or three years and what we would like them to play.

"When the pressure comes on, players and management go back to type and that is what we are trying to get away from. We want to get ourselves to play the way we play our best and I think the first 40 minutes against Galway showed that in spades - yes we went back into our box at times, but I thought the girls played very well and that is where it came down to the players we have."

While Mayo will be going all out to win on Saturday afternoon in Croke Park against Dublin - it's all about taking another step in the right direction with this team, Moyles believes.

"Yah, looking forward to the game, it’s a big game and for this group it is a step forward in the right direction in what we are trying to do and our development.

"For us, it is a blank canvas; our performances have been a bit like a roller coaster, they have been up and down, but we have been working very hard to put what we did in the first half against Galway into a first half and second half.

"It hasn’t always worked but we are definitely going in the right direction, and you know, I think it is the best place to show you where you are at. You’re in Croke Park, you’re playing the All Ireland champions and we are really looking forward to it."


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