Search Results for 'Trevor Howley'
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The widely anticipated County Board meeting passed off relatively peacefully last Thursday night with a few members of the board resigning over the process in which the new Mayo managers were appointed. The story had gained national headlines for all the wrong reasons and certainly it was a little embarrassing the way matters were conducted in appointing Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly. An apology was offered as there were and still are a lot of disgruntled people in the county. I am sure Kevin McStay and Liam McHale are bitterly disappointed at what happened, and some gesture or apology to both men should be offered as both are true Mayo Gaels who gave an awful lot to the green and red and they deserved at the very least an interview before been told they did not have the job. I am sure anyone reading this has heard the vile rumours about players not wanting McHale, which I am told could not be further from the truth. It is amazing how widespread the rumours went and pretty much to the point that people started to actually believe them. Liam McHale suffered a severe character assassination over the last few weeks and did not deserve it. Good luck to Pat and Noel; it is time to let them at it. The new management team along with selector Michael Collins and strength and conditioning coach Barry Solan from Ballaghaderreen were deep in discussion and taking lots of notes during the senior semi finals last Sunday. I am a little surprised a forward coach/selector was not incorporated in the set up, I guess they will be basing their team on a strong defence. I feel someone like Kevin O’Neill would have been a great addition to offer some insight into good forward play. I am delighted Barry Solan has finally been given a chance with his own county. Apart from working with Laois and Kildare he has also done a lot of work with Katie Taylor so there is obviously good pedigree there. If Hollymount/Carramore win the intermediate title on Sunday and get a good run in the Connacht championship, Noel Connelly’s wife Valerie and their children may not be seeing a lot of him for the next few months.
Lambs to the slaughter; the class of a top four in division one team against division three mid-table mediocrity, use whatever other phrase you like but the gulf in class between Mayo and Roscommon was of epic proportions. I was being very kind to Roscommon last week while predicting a five to six point win for Mayo, and was fearful of insulting any Roscommon reader in my first column, truth is I expected it to be a lot more, and when asked before we went live on Mid West Radio on Sunday if I thought Mayo would win, I told Shane Curran (former Rossie keeper and current St Brigid’s net minder) and all listening that Mayo would hammer them.
In June 2012, PJ Loftus lost his battle with bowel cancer. PJ was an extremely popular and valued member of the Knockmore community and had been a dedicated servant to Knockmore and Mayo GAA for many years. To pay tribute to his father's memory and raise much needed funds for the Mayo/Roscommon Hospice, PJ’s son Alan has organised a charity match between the Knockmore senior GAA team and their soccer counterparts from Conn Rangers. The game will take place on St Stephen's Day at 1pm at the Knockmore GAA pitch. The Knockmore team will feature county stars Kevin McLoughlin and Shane McHale, alongside Alan himself, Aidan Kilcoyne, John Brogan, Declan Sweeney and the returning pair of Trevor Howley and Niall Canavan amongst others. The Conn Rangers senior soccer team who narrowly missed out on promotion to the Super League this year will be represented by Owen McNamara and Brian Hughes (who both featured on the Mayo Premier A league team of the year), along with Noel Butler, Darren Coleman and Joe Faughnan.
I managed to take in four of the five matches at McHale Park last weekend. The weather was particularly nice for football and I thoroughly enjoyed the majority of the action. I am partial to giving the GAA at administrative level the odd short-arm tackle over the way they do business when it comes to entrance fees to matches. No such complaints last weekend and I have to applaud the fact that the County Board decided an entrance fee of €10 to be an appropriate rate on both days. This represents excellent value for money, even in these economically depressed times. However when you consider that €20 gave you access to five games I was disappointed that the crowds did not flood into the venue over the weekend.
With dreams of Sam, put to one side for another year last weekend. It is back to the real heart of the GAA this weekend when the Mayo club championships thunder back into action at the quarter final stage. McHale Park on Saturday and Sunday is the place to be with a double header on the first day and the Sabbath day serving up a triple header of action in the county ground.
At least half a dozen Mayo players were nursing injuries this week according to Mayo manager James Horan. Speaking at the press night in the lead up to next week’s semi-final showdown, Horan confirmed that Trevor Mortimer, David Clarke, Aidan and Seamus O’Shea, Mark Ronaldson and Peadar Gardiner were all nursing knocks at the moment.
The Connacht senior football semi-final win over Sligo was the first step on the road to redemption for the Mayo ladies senior football team after a very poor run in the National Football which saw them go winless over the whole campaign. Jason Tanniane took over a team which had its difficulties, but with a championship win under their belt now he looks to have the team moving in the right direction. The win over Sligo was backboned by a number of old familiar names who have battled valiantly in the green and red for what seems like years now, Yvonne Byrne, Cora Staunton, Claire Egan, Fiona McHale and Martha Carter have all seen the highs with Mayo in the past and their experience will once again be invaluable on Sunday afternoon when they face the old enemy Galway in the Connacht Senior Football Championship final.
I recall watching the Irish rugby team playing a Triple Crown match in 1985 against England. The match was very much in the balance with minutes left on the clock. It was at a critical juncture in the game that team captain Ciaran Fitzgerald demanded his team step up to the plate with his by now (in) famous line “where’s your f***ing pride?” The team responded and delivered a magnificent final few minutes to beat England on that day. I have no doubt that Fitzgerald’s leadership was crucial to that victory. Mayo football is, to some extent, at a similar juncture right now. We need leadership both on and off the field and, more than anything else, we need to display a bit of f***ing pride and heart. After last year’s championship defeats to Sligo and Longford we need to resurrect our reputation before we slip into a downward spiral of mediocrity that could prove difficult to shake off were it to continue. Mayo looked very sluggish and tired last year and some critics even suggested that they did not appear to be playing for one another. This season, however, we retained our division one status with some credible gutsy performances but appeared to hit a dip again a few weeks before the London match.
Last weekend’s opening round of action in the senior and intermediate club championship gave the Mayo management team a chance run their eye over a number of players who were coming back from injuries. Midfielder Ronan McGarrity came through Ballina’s defeat to Shrule-Glencorrib unscathed, but it may be too soon for the influential player to make the starting 15. Seamus O’Shea, who is another option for the middle of the park, also put in a full shift for Breaffy in their win over Ballinrobe alongside his brother Aidan who lined out in midfield in a recent challenge game against Donegal. Keith Higgins also got back on the road to recovery after his recent hamstring injury when he started for Ballyhaunis, while Neil Douglas and Enda Varley also came through their games for Castlebar Mitchels and Garrymore
I didn’t travel to Ruislip last weekend to see Mayo’s opener in the Connacht championship. I am glad I didn’t. I did, however, listen to the coverage in its entirety on the radio. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I had a knot in my stomach for most of the match. I had an uneasy feeling that we were going to be beaten and I was considering the type of damage a defeat would cause to the future of Mayo football. Andy Moran, Mayo’s vice captain, is credited with a post-match statement that Mayo players aren’t working hard enough. Do the players realise that once they pull on a Mayo jersey they have a responsibility to themselves, and also to the county, to work hard? In the past lesser players were capable of standing up for themselves and the county whenever they were pressed. There was invariably a manliness about the majority of players picked to represent this county. I, like many others, am a fiercely proud Mayo man. I love this county and I love football. The majority of my close friends within this county are football people. They, like me, are genuinely saddened by the pitiful nature of the performance(s) of the Mayo senior team, not just last Sunday but in recent times.