After a day of rumours and counter-rumours, Stephen Rochford has this evening announced he’s stepping down as Mayo manager. Here, in full, is the statement he’s just issued, bringing to an end his three-year tenure:
After a meeting of the Mayo GAA Board’s Executive Committee last night, held to discuss the management team I had assembled to manage Mayo senior men’s team in 2019, the board issued a statement saying they wished to meet the management team and me about our structure and plans.
It was apparent from what transpired at that meeting that the desired level of support for me as manager was not forthcoming from the Executive Committee. This disappoints me greatly.
Accordingly, I see no value in meeting with the officers of the board and I am resigning my position as Mayo manager. I thank all those who supported me during the past three years, two of which saw Mayo come so close to winning the All-Ireland title.
Like all Mayo people, I enjoyed the good days when the team won and suffered the disappointments when the results didn’t go our way. It was a great privilege to manage the Mayo team.
The 2018 season was a disappointing one for all involved, and for our supporters. However, I had every confidence that our new backroom team had the capacity to build on the progress of previous years and drive the team on in 2019.
In particular, I thank the players, backroom team, spouses and partners, family members, our team sponsors Intersport Elverys, the county board, the clubs and the Mayo supporters worldwide who turned out in huge numbers to support us during the three years and who lent financial backing to the team. A special word of thanks to my wife, Laura, and our children, and both our families, for their support and forbearance at all times.
I wish all who will wear the Mayo jersey in 2019 and beyond every success and I look forward to supporting the footballing fortunes of the county.
Needless to say, this is a deeply depressing development. Stephen brought us so, so close to the Promised Land in 2016 and 2017 and while 2018 was a disappointment for everyone, the manager included, there were good grounds to believe that a renewed push for honours could and would be made with Stephen at the helm in 2019. Sadly, this wasn’t to be.
This is a black, black day for Mayo GAA. It’s an outcome that can only weaken us and will make our task of rising again in 2019 all the harder. There are no winners out of this.
Stephen deserves to depart the manager’s seat with the good wishes of Mayo supporters everywhere and with profound thanks for all his unceasing efforts to get us over the line in the championship. You gave us many days to be proud of, Stephen – thanks for all you’ve given and everything you’ve done for the county.