It is Enda Gilvarry's fourth year in charge of the Mayo minors and on Wednesday night he guided a third batch of minors to the provincial decider in those four years with a big win over Leitrim in Carrick-on-Shannon, but there is still plenty work to do he said afterwards. "There was some good and some bad, it's fantastic and great for the players, a great opportunity now over the next number of weeks to prepare and we're into an All Ireland quarter final. We will need to improve in a lot of aspects of the game to compete in the Connacht final and then in an All Ireland quarter-final, but it's great to have an opportunity to do that. We're all really looking forward to that, you can see it in their reaction after the game that they are delighted."
Mayo let Leitrim back into the game taking their foot off the gas in the second quarter of the game and that will not do later on in the championship, he said. "Leitrim can take huge credit from the game the way they came back after the start, they were the better team for long spells of the half, only that we had got the goals on the break and that was the story of the game, it was our goals that were a significent difference, apart from that we have a huge amount of improving to do."
As for the forwards going for goals early on, it is a simple message they are sent out with, Gilvarry said, when it comes to making the choice to go for goal. "We keep telling them to play what's there in front of them."
Mayo played the ball quickly from back to front with supporting runners joining in with the attack from the defence, and that is the way Gilvarry wants to see Mayo play their game. "Speed is one of the aspects of the game that we have, it is in Mayo's nature to play open attacking football and flowing football, possibly sometimes our defending because of it is a little bit loose, but when it works, it's great."
The next stop for Gilvarry and his team is Galway in the Connacht final in Salthill. "I'm looking forward to it, I've a few ups and downs against Galway, it will be a new experience to play them in Pearse Stadium. It's a fantastic venue, it's going to be a great senior final too, and I'd just like as many Mayo supporters will make the trip and support us as well, I know they'll all be out the night before to support the seniors, but we'd hope they'd support us and I think these young men deserve the support as well."
With the championship now under way and all exams put behind the players, Gilvarry reckons there will be big leaps in improvement from all the sides left in the competition. "Everybody can see minor teams improve as time goes on from the first day out, we've now the Leaving Cert behind them and it gives them another four or five weeks, and this is all of the teams that are in the last eight will improve dramatically over the next four or five weeks and we hope that we will too."