It has been changing times in Mayo over the past few years and one person who has seen more change than most has been Brendan Kenny. The Ballina Town manager only took over the post on a part time basis until a new boss was to be appointed a couple of years ago, but he has hung on in there. His first few months in charge saw Town go on a long journey to the latter stages of FAI Junior Cup. This season his north Mayo charges have the Super League in their grasp thanks to a comfortable win over Manulla last weekend. Win their last league game of the season and the deal is done, nothing the chasing Westport United men can do about it.
But this Sunday it is all a little different, as Kenny takes charge of the Mayo league side in the Oscar Traynor Cup for the first time in Milebush against the Inishowen League. Kenny took over the Mayo job from Declan Kilkelly, who brought the side on a great run in the competition last year up to the semi-final stage, and he knows it will not be easy this year.
“ It’s not going to be in any way easy at all on Sunday, the nature of the competition, it’s more or less knock out. A three team group with only one team coming out leaves no room for error. Inishowen are coming down knowing that they have to win after losing to Galway and will come at us right from the start on Sunday.”
Getting the best side out
Last year both sides met in the competition with the game ending all square in a 1-1 draw, but this year Mayo will be shorn of the services of a number of players who are ineligible after playing with Castlebar Celtic in the League of Ireland A league, and a number of others have decided to not make themselves available for the team, but Kenny is confident his side can get the right result on Sunday. “We’ve had a few good sessions and the commitment from the lads who have turned out has been excellent, so you can’t ask for more than that from them. We have a problem with Danny Scahill looking like he’ll probably miss the game and he’ll be a loss to the side. But I have a starting 11 in mind and we’ll see how everyone performs and comes through tonight’s training session before we let the lads know the side for Sunday.”
It has been a hectic couple of years for Kenny since he took over Ballina and the elevation to manager of the county side is something in which he takes great honour. “It’s been going great with Ballina this year, we have the league in our own hands and it was a great win against Manulla last weekend. We were nervous enough at the start of the game, but once we got the goal we settled down well. But it’s now all minds on Mayo and Sunday, I was honoured to be asked to do the job this year, to take over your county is a serious task, and I just hope I can do what’s needed and help the lads get the result on Sunday then go on and get a win against Galway in the second game.”
Mayo League v Inishowen League,
Milebush Park, Sunday November 8,
Kick off: 2pm.