Following on from a year of high drama in the ladies football world in Mayo, the Ladies Gaelic Football Association issued their report in situation this week and issued a number of conclusions and recommendations. Included in the report’s conclusions was the issue of the inability of the county to hold on to a senior team manager over a prolonged period of time. The report stated that, “A number of reasons were put forward for the failure to hold on to managers over the years but the majority by far felt that the problem lay with a few of the more senior players who constantly tried to exercise control over the team. It was said that this should have been tackled some years ago, when one manager left, but it was let carry on and managers preferred to leave rather than rock the boat.” While the report does hit out at some senior players, they also lay some of the blame at the footsteps of the county board saying, “This situation was exasperated by the poor procedures adopted by the county board in the appointment of managers.”
In the recommendations section of the report it suggests that a new manager be appointed as soon as possible and be given a two-year contract, it also recommends that the central council or another independent body should assist in appointing a manager. The full management teams also incorporate a physio, coach and selector from each region. The recommendations also lays out that all sides must agree on the philosophy that “players play, managers manage and the county board administers football affairs in the county”.
The situation came to a head earlier this year when a meeting of the county board pulled the Mayo team from the senior championship after the resignation of manager Pat Costello in April of this year. However, the decision was appealed to the ladies’ central council by a number of clubs and Mayo were reinstated to the championship. Fr Mike Murphy was appointed as the manager of the team and despite only having a few weeks to get his side ready for action and missing a number of key players who had gone abroad for the summer following the initial withdrawal of the team from the championship, they pushed Kerry all the way. On the August bank holiday Monday they made the trip to Banagher where they lost out on a scoreline of 0-12 to 1-8 against a side that went on to reach the All Ireland semi-final.