On Sunday at 2pm the Mayo ladies’ senior team will take on a familiar enemy in familiar setting, but it will be at a level that Mayo ladies’ football has not been used to for quite a long time.
The downturn in fortunes of the Mayo ladies’ inter-county side, reached its nadir over the past couple of years, and last year’s national league campaign saw Mayo drop out of the top level of league football into division two.
Gone for this year at least in the league are the games against marquee sides like Cork, Monaghan, Laois, and Dublin. This years cast of actors in division two is made up of Cavan, Fermanagh and Clare. Promotion out of division two back up to the top division will be the objective for the Mayo squad and their new management.
The job of Mayo manager has been a revolving door over the past number of years, last year Jason Taniane was the man charged with task, however this year it is another new man in the hot seat with Fr Mike Murphy.
The Roundfort based priest had previously taken charge of the side in 2010 when Mayo were reinstated into the All Ireland championship on short notice after being initially withdrawn from the competition by the County Board. Murphy has had a long involvement with the ladies’ game in the county and in recent years has guided both Mount St Michael, Claremorris, and St Joseph’s, Castlebar, to success at schools All Ireland level. Alongside Fr Murphy on the sidelines will be Carnacon’s Jimmy Corbett who is fresh from guiding Carnacon to yet another All Ireland senior club title success last year.
On Sunday both men will take their first steps together alongside their new team when they open their National Football League campaign away to old enemies Galway in a game that has been fixed for Tuam according to the Ladies Gaelic Football Association website, throwing in at 2pm. Mayo will be looking to the likes of Cora Staunton, Clare Egan, Fiona McHale, along with others from the successful Carnacon team to lead the drive toward promotion and the championship come summer.