Mayo News football podcast 2018 – Rochford resigns

When the news broke on Monday evening that Stephen Rochford had resigned as Mayo manager it came as a bombshell to Mayo GAA supporters and the wider GAA world alike. Just two weeks previously, Stephen had confirmed his intention to stay on for 2019 and he was in the midst of assembling a new backroom team for next year when that process unravelled in spectacular fashion, culminating in Stephen’s announcement that he was stepping down from the manager’s role after three years in charge.

In this special extended episode of the Mayo News football podcast, we’ve got together a number of contributors whose task it has been to make some sense of this dramatic development, in terms of why and how it came about and where the the county goes from here.

Host Rob Murphy and I are joined on the podcast by Mayo News sports editor Mike Finnerty for an in-depth roundtable on the issue, following which Seán Rice places this latest management crisis in its historical context, by reflecting on previous such upheavals that have engulfed the county. Billy Joe Padden provides some thoughts on the impact the manager’s resignation is likely to have on the players, in particular those who have only recently broken into the county panel, while Michael Foley of the Sunday Times offers an outsider’s perspective on Stephen Rochford’s time as Mayo manager, focusing on the enthralling All-Ireland final clashes with Dublin in 2016 and 2017.

This special edition of the podcast is now online and is available to listen to on iTunes and SoundCloud. You can also listen to it on the Mayo News website as well as here on the blog using the SoundCloud player below or the one on the right.

We haven’t, by the way, forgotten about the club action! A separate podcast episode focusing on last week’s second round group fixtures in the Senior and Intermediate club championships will be online later tonight. Stay tuned for that.

148 thoughts on “Mayo News football podcast 2018 – Rochford resigns

  1. One interesting thing to note in the discussion on our various managers is the similar level of performance at national level i.e.getting to semis and finals and running Dublin close. People refer to SR’s clashes with Dublin but there were similar contests in 2013 and 2015. We beat them in 2012.

    Yes Horan had success in Connacht and SR didn’t however SR got stuck with an improving Galway team in the first round each year whilst Horan almost lost to London and Rcommon in 2011, was ran close by Sligo in 2012 and should have lost to Rcommon in 2014. SR was also unfortunate in the Galway games re sending offs and injuries- small margins folks.

    Much the same players used by all 3 sets of managers also.

  2. Excellent pod cast.its hard to disagree with any of their views.
    Enjoy listening to sean rice.
    Well done lads.

  3. Excellent podcast lads, really honest analysis of recent events and the comparisons as far back as 2006. I really think Sean Rice was correct in identifying some key points, namely that:

    (a) Donie Buckley is a sizable loss from the backroom team for 2019 that, irrespective of the new manager, will need to be replaced.
    (b) The clamour by those looking to replace Rochford were not coming up with an obvious alternative as to who would replace him.

    After the “heave” in 2015, there was a lot of talk as to how a “charter” would have to be signed up to by players, in essence to ensure that a repeat scenario would not occur. After 2006, 2011, and now 2018, it’s obvious that the CB have not improved their processes and instead stick to cloak and dagger chicanery. It therefore undermines trust in any new manager as to whether they would succomb to something similar.

  4. Excellent podcast.

    One thing that keeps occurring to me is why does McGuinness’s name come into this? As mentioned on the other thread it’s pie in the sky stuff.If anyone thinks the CB have some sort of master plan here they are deluded.

    I imagine they’re on their knees begging JH to help them out of this latest shambles at the moment.

    If he doesn’t come back expect a hastily cobbled together ticket headed by Solan.

  5. yew_tree says:
    Avoid the Indo….that b1ll0x from Galway is playing his same old tune again.

    Perhaps too many home truths in that article. He’s was quite cutting about Galway too particularly the heave against Cunningham. Remember Donohue then axed 5 senior players when he took over I wonder will the new Mayo manager wield the axe too or will he be under instructions from your county board to maintain the same panel. The Galway lads thought they had time for one more crack at Liam too but in reality they didnt.

  6. No, Reamonn, with that particular clown there’s only one trick. He’s been banging this drum for years and he wouldn’t know a real fact if it clobbered him in the face.

  7. I dont honestly know much about him Willie Joe only his obsession with Cunninghams heave and picking flaws in our game ever since perhaps he also has an agenga regarding Mayo football. Its been a bizarre year for ye with the Newbridge or nowhere and now this and its only the 29th August!

  8. Looking on paddy power – McGuinness is in from 3/1 to 9/4 in last few hours. Horan still favourite but has drifted out slightly to 8/11. Solans odds have also drifted slightly

  9. Raemonn – That particular “journalist” doesn’t know Mayo football and is basing all this theories of an interview with Holmes and Connelly.

    EVERY article he writes mentions the H&C scandal and his career highlight interview with them, which is tiresome and pretty poor journalism.

  10. He’s had an agenda with us that spans the decades, Reamonn. I remember once when doing some research for the results archive finding an exchange relating to a story he ran – probably in the Irish Press – back in the Seventies in which he painted the circumstances surrounding Dermot Earley’s declaration for Roscommon in the worst possible light from a Mayo perspective. This prompted a furious denial from County Secretary Johnny Mulvey and a flat-out denial of what was claimed in the story by the player himself. That poor excuse of a journalist hasn’t exactly got better with age either. His one-sided reporting of the Holmes/Connelly business was an utter disgrace and this latest effort is just another pathetic attempt to reheat the same old shite for clickbait purposes all over again.

  11. I don’t think he’s being out of line in that article. The players got rid of the previous management and haven’t backed it up. As Reamonn says the Galway Hurlers did the same and the first thing Donohue did was get rid of a few senior players, it looks from the outside that that’s what’s needed in Mayo at this stage. I hated those 2 examples of player power particularly against someone(cunningham) who had won 2 all Ireland’s on the field.

  12. How can you say the players didn’t back it up, Big Mike? I would have thought that losing to Dublin (aka The Greatest Team of All Time) by a cumulative two points over three games in the finals of 2016 and 2017 showed their mettle. In both finals there was nothing more than the bounce of a ball (or, put it another way, a dodgy reffing decision) between two equally matched teams. Breheny is nothing but a vile shit-stirrer and, as I’ve said, he’s been nothing else in his coverage of us down the years. This is but the latest in a long line of Mayo-related hatchet jobs from us.

  13. Big mike that article is laughable if you do research what actually happened.
    Ill say no more about that man,because he thrives on stirring shite.
    Take plenty of no notice is advised.

  14. They were very close to Dublin in 2015 Willie Joe, They got rid of the manager and have gotten no closer. The Galway Hurlers had lost in 2012 after a replay(close) and 2015 against the great Kilkenny, they got rid of the manager and luckily won an all Ireland, that’s what I mean by backing it up. I’m just perplexed at why everyone is blaming managers and county boards. What was McConville suggesting, your issue should be with him.

  15. That’s not correct, Big Mike. Sure, we drew with Dublin in 2015 but that was a semi-final and there’s no saying how we’d have fared against Kerry in the final had we made it there. In 2016 and 2017 we made it to the final and put it up to Dublin in a way that no other team in the country have come remotely close to doing. We were way better both years compared to 2015 and were much closer to winning it outright than we were in 2015. That’s what i mean by backing it up.

  16. Its amazing what passes for journalism these days – Breheny’s article was especially weak and agenda driven – it’s speculative and based on tenuous assumptions based on an Oisìn McConville interview with nothing more to go on than the fact that he’s from Crossmaglen and that he must have spoken to McNulty. To somehow blame the Mayo players for Rochford’s resignation based on that flimsy piece of so-called “evidence” must be borderline slanderous. This despite both Jason Doherty and Chris Barrett coming out recently saying they were happy with SR to continue. Whatever happened to opinion pieces backed up with facts and proper evidence?

  17. I’m sorry WJ but having spent a large part of my life in Kerry I just place no value on this ran them close stuff. The players ousted the management because they wanted to get over the line not run teams close.

  18. Big Mike they gave it an almighty rattle both years but for a sliver of luck. Nobody who went to Mayo games those years can say that the players didn’t leave everything they had on the pitch – after last year’s final we were all so devastated because we walked away feeling that there was nothing more either players or management could have given. In any other era they would have done enough to win a few all-irelands – even Kerry people would have appreciated that level of commitment to the cause from their team. This is why we feel Steven Rochford was so hard done by this year and why there is absolutely no evidence the players wanted him out.

  19. Fair enough, Big Mike, but I’d say there are plenty in Kerry who would have been far happier to see their team run Dublin as close as we did in ’16 and ’17 compared to how they fared out in the championship in both years. But, lookit, you have you own view on this so let’s leave it there.

  20. The reality regarding McGuinness is simple…..the longer it takes him to rule himself out the greater the chance he’s in the running – same with Horan.

    After all they’re not stupid and are aware of the speculation surrounding their supposed eligibility for the position.

    Which begs the question- why haven’t either of them announced they’re not in the running today. Until they announce they’re out – they’re very much in; just ask the bookies.

    So Jimmy will hopefully be winning matches next year with Mayo…..but which Jimmy?

    Not to worry: we’ll follow out on Newstalk tomorrow night.

  21. Thats just an insulting piece by Breheny. No facts. Just the delight in his mind and the controversy and how he wishes what might have happened.

    Sorry Big Mike, I’ve never seen the Mayo team play as well as the 2016 / 2017 matches. Those displays were breathtaking. i never believed I would see a Mayo team play that well, but it happened.

  22. It would take considerable time to weigh putting your name forward for the mayo job . If anyone thinks it’s simple ,you’re wrong . Some of the men mentioned are on six figure salaries in their day job , you’d have to have all kinds of meetings with your bosses before considering it.

  23. Great podcast WJ well done to all concerned. For all the good work Rochford and his team had done in 3 years they had not earned another shot at the title. I loved the comment where Mayo were not in the AI this week so we decide to burn the house down instead. brilliant and so true. Also the time we played in the AI final and we played the goalie that had not played all year. This stuff is our real measure folks. Different actors come and go but make no mistake its the same old story and it is set to continue.

  24. Why would McGuinness rule himself out? He has no intention of going for it but this is keeping his profile high which does him no harm! You never know paddy power might be giving him a few bob too to play his part!!

  25. Big Mike, I appreciate you are taking an objective angle on all of this but I feel it’s done with a large dollop of satisfaction seeing Mayo in turmoil. Trying to argue on behalf of, in agreement with OR even in understanding with Brehony on this issue is, in my opinion, rubbing it in too far. That’s as diplomatic as I can put it.

  26. If they can’t get anyone to take the job Mike Connelly might have to take on the aul training sessions himself ! Now wouldn’t that be a scary thought !

  27. I’m assuming Newstalk will broach the manager subject tomorrow night. I think they have both Horan and mcguinness on the panel. Don’t think the show is been broadcast live though. It’ll be a tricky situation for either if they have had contact with the board and have to keep stum.

  28. Enjoyed that podcast, great work. I love listening to Sean Rice, a wise old head is often the best to listen too. On Brehony’s article, its plain and simple.. He is shit stirring, he wants this to fall on the players and is trying to stir up something that is not there. Bringing up old wounds on the Noel and Pat interview is only trying to keep himself in some sort of journalistic limelight..

  29. Big Mike In fairness those great Kerry men you mentioned ran Mayo close in 2017. They actually drew with Rochfords team before they were well beaten in a replay. They have also failed to really put it up to Dublin in the last few years unlike a certain other county. True they did win an AI in 2014 helped by farcical reffing in semi replay in Limerick and Donegal’s ambush on Dublin the following day. Yet for all their mediocrity they stuck by Fitzmaurice and when he eventually decided to pack it in , he did so ,not as a result of bungling from the Kerry co board but because he had enough of abuse from so called supporters who for the most part wouldn’t even travel to support their team. As for Brehony, surely the greatest excuse for a sports journalist imaginable, with his agendas and bullshit non facts and figures.

  30. Great work gentlemen. I thoroughly enjoy your efforts. You make my long commute fly every time I listen. As my epiphany only occurred a couple of years ago, this fanatic American with Mayo roots appreciates the perspective these history lessons and education give.

  31. Does anyone, anyone, seriously, seriously know where anyone could read about an apparently something BIG, really BIG, (no it’s not as big as needing it written twice in Capital Letter’s, but it’s about this Big all the same) is taking place this weekend, or even know where one could read about it?…. Something happening somewhere, I heard from a man with a different accent to my own…. What Oh What,.. Could it be … Is it, The Big Tree is closing down?.. No it couldn’t possibly be that is the Big Thing,.. The Pope has only left a few day’s ago, and he’s all for Tree’s, big one’s and small one’s, good for the environment, don’t ya know.. And he’s 100% right there… What, oh What could it be?…. Has the Ventrequelist pulling the Brolly Man’s strings and operating his mouth died from repetitive strain injury… Same thing for decade’s could lead to even the best Ventrequelist to an early death!…. Has Fitzy the Banner Man in Wexford, finally let his pant’s out to stop him squeaking?… Has the Ace (sorry Ass) of Trump’s in Washington finally figured out how to sit down on a chair with his leg’s spread even wider than what’s his name, the Kerry Man greatest football player of all time….. I can’t think of his name,.. Spill, Spill the bean’s or something?… No, none of them thing’s, I’m expecting a letter from the Postman… Oh No I’m Not, hasn’t the Post Office closed down!

  32. Big Mike have to agree with you I think we probably spend two much time taking solace from close encounters when we should do as you say and read the record books and we haven’t won one thing this last three years, yet we are trying to make it feel like we’re in some sort of golden age regarding Mayo football. Btw Does anyone think Donnie Buckley would be a good option for next Manager? From reading many previous posts he seems to have the liking of the players and is held in high regard with most contributors?

  33. I agree with you Leantimes the build up to this all Ireland final and the Mayo story is like manna from heaven to Jim Gavin and Mickey Harte they can go about their business under the radar while we seem to be self destructing here in the Wild West. On a positive note though I think if James Horan comes back in he could hopefully get the show on the road again fairly quickly in terms of training plans and strength and conditioning. Hopefully this is put to bed sooner than later.

  34. I have never seen a quite build up to an All Ireland Final.
    Maybe Tyrone can catch Dublin on a complacent day and pull it off.
    Not beyond realms of possibility.

  35. One of the great mis truths is that Mayo were a better team in 2015 than under rochford in 16 & 17. We were well beaten by 7 points in that 2015 replay and only got a replay due to a Dublin meltdown in the last few mins of the drawn game.

  36. James Horan has some quotes in the star today on the Mayo job. Doesn’t sound like he’ll be coming back anytime soon.

  37. I read that Turnip Head ans not sure id agree completely. He didn’t rule it out when he had the opportunity to, which could be telling.

  38. Great podcast lads, particularly for those of us who reside outside the county its great to keep in touch with the championship

  39. Not up on the internet SeanM. He doesn’t make the following quote tho:
    “There is no point in going into inter-county management unless you are fully confident you can do things the way you think they should be done. If I was ever to go back into it, I wouldn’t do so, unless that was the case. That, I would suggest, is not the environment at the moment”

    The above wouldn’t appear to be someone who has confidence in the current county board and that he’d get the support if he was to get the job.

  40. Turnip Head – are you Donald Trump?

    – just joking, THE Donald also had an incident of “Does and Doesn’t” recently…

  41. That quote above is Horan laying down his marker before he meets the county board. If I come back – it will be on my terms not on the terms and conditions laid down by the county board. If the county board cant deliver what I need – then I am not interested.

  42. Fair play Turnip Head, thanks. Sounds like a message to the county board more than anything – ‘If you want me, it’s going to be on my terms’. 3 years ago when there was talk of him coming back he was fairly quick to categorically rule it out, not so much this time.

  43. Great Podcast. Sean Rice is a man I’ve a lot of time for, he sure knows his onions.
    That quote from Horan is quite telling. A bit of a message to the CB, but not sure they have the wherewith-all to cop on to it.
    As for potentials – based on bookmaker bettings:

    Jim McGuinness – he’s certainly a tactical master. He’s good at a lot of things. The style of football he brought about with Donegal was difficult to watch, but I don’t think Donegal fans give a hoot about that. They won a Ireland playing that way and they cut their cloth to suit their measure. If Mayo won an Ireland playing that way I doubt I’d get too upset about it. From what I gather he’s a great man to get commitment from external sources for funding – e.g. going round to people and getting them to pay for training in Johnstown Estate and the likes, getting players looked after for jobs or that sort of stuff. We could do a lot worse than him and I suspect we may indeed to a lot worse. Don’t think he’s going to be interested, he’s been putting too much effort into the Soccer management to go back to Gaelic Football.

    James Horan – you’d have to credit him with making the team competitive alright. Left a bit to be desired in terms of decision making on the sideline but those that wanted Rochford out seem to give him a free pass on that front. A capable candidate, but would need paying as no doubt he’ll be looking for something to cover what he would miss out on from the Sky gig and other media jobs he has, and also whatever he might miss out from other jobs he would no longer be able to get paid for by taking the County job. Again would not be the worst selection.

    Mike Solan – left it far too late to do anything to re-shape the defense in the under-20’s final this year and it cost us. Not sure he’s ready for a senior role but history has been kind to former managers at this level that do move up to Senior. I think its a bit early for him to be honest.

    Kevin McStay – deserves a shot but would be forgiven for running a mile from it given how the CB treated him in the past so that they could get some relatives a job.

    Maurice Sheridan – don’t know enough about his capabilities to comment, but if people were underwhelmed by the announcements that Ford and Conway were to be selectors then I can’t imagine this would lead to excitement.

    Tony McEntee – given what he’s done with the team while he was around, probably deserves a shot. Not sure how this would sit with the “need to freshen things up lets get rid of Rochford so” line of thinking.

    Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly – probably the favoured option of certain members of the CB but getting rid of them was the best thing that happened to Mayo senior football in a long time. I wouldn’t have them manage an under 10’s team. They’d go running to Brehany with whinges of any slights or disagreements with anyone involved. I would place them as being hugely and entirely responsible for a lot of negativity with regards Mayo Football. A state of permanent exile from any involvement for these 2 would be my strongest recommendation.

    Ford/Conway – doubt they would be interested given how the Rochford scenario played out.

    Stephen Poacher – did a good job with a limited pool of talent in Carlow. Could be a one trick pony. Not sure he would be the man to put any improved shape on things.

    Rest of the field- God only knows.

  44. Yeah Horan statement seems to be I’m interested but only if you agree to my demands, which is fair enough.

  45. In all of this, most people are assuming that the county board know what they are doing. Most people are crediting the county board with having a plan, a view of the bigger picture. Most are expecting a big announcement that would put some sense to the county boards decision to, effectively, make SR walk from the job. Most people are wrong! We are not dealing with any of the above.
    For proof look back through our recent history. Mickey Moran, an outstanding manager at every level of the game, brought us from nowhere to an AIF. He was working, hands on, with clubs in helping to implement a structured coaching methodology that would help bring players through. Tactically astute, long before most knew what the word tactics meant. Guess what, our county board ran him out the gate to get a politically favored former manager, O’Mahony, back in. See where that got us.
    Even go back to O’Mahoneys time. He brought us to an AIF in ’89, wanted to pick his own selectors for his backroom team the next season, guess what? The county board refused and O’Mahoney walked. Sound familiar? O’Mahoney went on to win a Connaught title with Leitrim and 2 All Irelands with Galway, but our county board knew better!
    We then went through a phase of bringing in outside managers, like McDonald and he had the country laughing at us as our senior team pushed buses around the car park at MacHale Park. Jack O’Shea came, feathered his own nest and flew the coop after it became apparent that great players do not always make great managers.
    In more recent times, the county board failed to back Horan in his objection to the Limerick venue in ’14, tried to force through Holmes and Connelly (ending up ruining both mens reputation in the process) and now have brought this SR mess on the county.
    The only constant in all of the above is the county board. A consistent theme is them eventually ruining a good thing, hiding behind “committees”, “processes” and “executives” and eventually ruining a good man.

  46. Very well said Pebblesmeller ! Same thing over & over when will it change ?? Can it? How? I just don’t understand how EVERYTHING was made so public ? All & sundry knowing every move ? John Fogharty wrote a piece a few years ago saying not everyone in Mayo had Mayo’s best interests at heart I was horrified & didn’t agree but looks like he was spot on … huge divide now between everyone the managers first job will be to get EVERYONE on the same page again … Good luck with that …

  47. Totally agree Pebbles. An announcement then last night from county board .. a committee is being formed (grrrr). No pressure now it seems from county board re this infamous deadline of 31.8.18. It is beyond disasterous and Stephen (one of our own) treated so shabbily. Is it any wonder mayo fans are up in arms. (Lee was on off the ball and said players are shocked and were expecting Stephen to be staying on and a winter of uncertainty ahead). Where will it all end…….

  48. I’ve been holding off on posting as I was away when this mess started, but Pebblesmeller just did my post for me. If anyone thinks this is a masterplan by the county board then I’ve a bag of beans to sell you. We as a county, as club members and as supporters need to grasp the nettle and finally deal with the elephant in the room, the Mayo County Board are not fit for purpose and need to be rooted out. They are the one constant going back generations that have caused chaos, sowed division and presided over calamity after calamity. Getting rid of the county board is not as difficult as you think. All that’s needed is for a few honest people to go to their club AGM, put themselves forward for the position of county delegate and start asking questions at county board meetings. 99% of the county board delegates are nodding donkeys and the executive can sit up there month after month safe in the knowledge that they will not be put under pressure to explain their actions. You’ll soon find that the codgers and bluffers will slink into the background when they are held accountable. The other thing we need is a local press that will step away from the parasitic relationship and hold these people to account also. For too long the old “they’re volunteers” and “good GAA people” was been used as a shield to deflect any and all criticism.
    I’ve been saying it over the last 5 years, the only curse on Mayo is the CB. A fish rots from the head down and until we have a competent, united county board that has the best interests of Mayo football at heart instead of guarding little fiefdoms then we are doomed to failure.

  49. Not too confident that James Horans comments do much other than highlight problems in county board but didn’t definitely rule himself out or in ,but more out reading between the lines unless he gets exactly what he wants …Over to you C.B

  50. You’re wrong about Brian McDonald Pebblesmeller, that story has pretty much morphed into something that it wasn’t. Read the House of Pain by Keith Duggan – that was an end of training drill designed for a laugh that the media blew into something it wasn’t and in fairness to McDonald we won a Connaught Title with him that year which is a damn sight more than what we won in the early part of the 90s. Also he’s about as much as outsider in Mayo football as Martin Carney is .

  51. Joe, my “outsider” comment is a reference to Jack O’Shea, I know full well who Brian McDonald is, having schooled with his son. Furthermore, two of the players that pushed that bus have a very different view of the incident than that reported in the House of Pain.

  52. @pebblesmeller… “Seán Rice places this latest management crisis in its historical context, by reflecting on previous such upheavals that have engulfed the county.”

  53. Also, I know Mickey Moran is an “outsider” but he came with a pedigree in club, schools and county football that was second to none. Yet he was still ran out by the county board.

  54. The ironic thing with the car pushing (I believe it was cars). We hear all about strength and conditioning now.
    A very common modern fitness drill is pushing a weighted sled. It’s exactly the same exercise as pushing a car.
    Next time you are involved in pushing a car for 30 seconds or so, notice afterwards the shock to your system in terms of anaerobic effort.

  55. Well Pebblesmeller you literally just said ‘outside managers, like McDonald’ – I’d take umbrage with the way he was treated by the players, it was their actions that lead to Jack O’Shea getting the job. Regardless, long in the past now but it’s not all county board actions, there are plenty of others involved in these old stories. Nothing is ever that black and white.

  56. Sounds like Horan would come back if it’s on his own terms
    This one is goIng to rumble on and negate the little positives that an early championship exit may have brought

  57. regarding the county board. I know some of these lads can have remarkable constitutions so can seem to be around forever (Frank Murphy in Cork, and our own John Prenty), but are we actually dealing with same people in the county board since the 80s?
    If its not the same people is it just a culture thing then that is being handed on from executive to executive?
    nub of that, if it is the culture or the same people is that they only way it can be changed is from inside in the clubs by getting involved and getting put forward for election. The problem with that is most committees only want to elect like for like so this is something that looks like it is going to be really, really difficult to change unfortunately.

  58. Listening to Lee Keegan it certainly doesn’t sound like their were any issues that the players had with Steven and it was good to hear him comment on it. He commented on the time required in any county to put a backroom team together and the pressure timelines bring. Still not sure why Steven was given a tight deadline to have his backroom put together.
    KM79, you might be right about James Horan but I didn’t pick up from what he said that he was gearing up for a comback.
    If the County board were in such a rush for Steven to put a backroom team together why haven’t they even contacted Horan yet if he’s the man on their radar ?

  59. jr, Stephen Rochford hasn’t retired, he was forced out of his position and will be back in management very soon.

  60. James Horan is not saying anything whatsoever about coming back. His quote is pointing to problems that the County Board present and my inference from that is that he is pointing the finger at them for what happened with Rochford.
    I tried to contain my reaction since Monday to this fiasco of ushering out one of the best managers in the country. I tried to be rational. But my feelings on the matter are what Pebbles described above and I believe, from looking at the unfolding of this situation in context since end July, that the CB wanted him gone. I believe their feelings about wanting freshness were fed over and back from certain feelings out among the public. And then we have Rochford leaving. I was angry at first and now I am just despairing about the outcome and the reasoning behind it.

    I want to ask a direct question (in all seriousness). Can we get Rochford back (please also read the following paragraph)? He is the best qualified right now. Those complaining about freshness – we’d have a new backroom team, like it or not. AND, how can you worry about freshness of approach when you’re dealing with a man capable of pulling off left of field decisions on a regular basis (goalkeepers, AOS on Donaghy, Keegan on Smith etc?) Rochford would know that a new approach would be needed this year and would be able to shake it up. People keep judging him on what he did in his first 3 year tenure. This is a new departure.
    I’m not completely bats, or raving. I feel the real blame here is with the CB (amplified by journalists and persons out there in the public who were calling for a change of management, without maybe exercising responsibility) over the last couple of months.
    I am sorry if I am slandering anyone (I hope not) but this really appears – unless I am proven wrong by upcoming events – a total incompetent level of behaviour from those in the Board. And for that reason, can there be a vote of no confidence? And can they be replaced? I don’t think this could happen in the immediate term, but maybe as things unfold. It’s just frustrating that we have to just tolerate and take what happened, without seeing a spelt-out level of reasoning from those in the Board, with pros and cons etc, I mean a grown-up, capable approach. If this is a totally incapable shambles, why is it right to just sit back and let it all just happen? I really am not trying to stir things up here but it is after all a pretty big turn of events that have come to pass since Monday.
    I don’t think the above ‘option’ should be discounted either. I don’t mean this to happen as an ‘ousting’ or a revolt but maybe as a gradual unfolding of events.

  61. Swallow Swoops I think the Rochford ship has sailed and all bridges have been well and truly burnt. It would be a rather spectacular climb down from all sides for him to come back and I don’t see that as happening.
    Also if Steven felt that he had to resign from lack of support shown then I can’t imagine he would have any confidence in any faux support shown in order to get him to return.

    New manager required, all interested parties need to apply to a county board with a reputation for making a complete balls of appointments, and the only ones they have got right in over a decade have left on poor terms (Moran, Horan and now Rochford).
    Sean Rice sure had it nailed on in his column.

  62. Alot of people are saying they wouldn’t mind having Jim Mcguinness and that he is a tactical genius.
    While he did beat Horan’s Mayo in 2012 by 4 points where was the genius the following year when Mayo beat Donegal by 16 points. That’s right 16 points 4-17 to 1-10.
    Did Mcguinness get squeezed out for that hammering. No he didn’t. Donegal stood behind their man.

  63. Is there any reason why CB can’t ask Stephen to return and promise full support and maybe a 2nd manager with him. He did sign a 2 y contract. They could save face by being humble and apologetic.
    Otherwise a full supporters revolt in some shape is what’s looking like will happen, ie non attendance, non renewal of season tickets,etc
    Swallow Swoops says above ‘a grown up capable approach’. Haven’t seen much of that from them this last week sadly.
    Are we just going to all sit back and let it all ride out to our detriment again.
    So much for our great phrase ‘in this together’

  64. Mairead the way to deal with this is via the clubs, to put forward appropriate delegates for the roles within the County Board and remove at least some of the crowd that are there.
    Any form of non attendance would be detrimental to the financial health of the Mayo GAA organisation and counterproductive as it would force the county board to make even less money available to any managers that come in.

  65. First off let me say, I am not a supporter of Mayo CO. Board which I believe behaved terribly in their treatment of Tommy Lyons and Kevin McStay in the past. I’m not sorry neither got the job but they were treated very shabbily.
    On this occasion though, I don’t blame the CB. I feel that any management team should expect to outline their plans to the CB who will eventually have to account for success or failure. All the more so in this case when the majority of the selectors resigned.
    I feel too that Stephen Rochford left the ball in the air too long before getting a management team in place and, even now, this was a proposed team rather than a confirmed one. I don’t think the CB could be expected to enthusiastically accept that.
    I think Stephen Rochford did some things exceptionally well, made some bad blunders but always showed great dignity as a manager. Best of luck to him and all involved.
    The man I would like to see being offered the post would be Donie Buckley. He was instrumental in making us a top team and playing quality football. He has good knowledge of our player resources, strengths and weaknesses. We could do worse than offer him the job.
    Whoever gets the job, hopefully we will not have to suffer the negative muck which Jim McGuinness would bring.

  66. FBD, I meant that maybe Stephen might be able to come back if the County Board were held to account and if there followed a change in the composition of the Board. I am trying to put this in as delicate a way as I can. I think there has been inept behaviour to say the least in this matter by our Board over the last month (and maybe more, in their reasoning behind the scenes).I’m not fully saying they were strange in this because a lot of people had similar ‘opinions’ about wanting a change of manager. I just don’t think they were very responsible opinions and for a CB to take those on and then act on them is a stark turn.

    Do we have to just let this all play out to our detriment as Mairead phrased it? I feel shaky talking like this when we don’t know all the facts but it does seem from what we do know that the CB has definite questions to answer.
    And this is not even to talk about the leaks, and stories about McGuinness put into the press. It is quite shocking to me. Do we have to just let this be? If there is inept behaviour in public institutions in general how do we deal with it? Again I really don’t want to cause a lot of fuss here but I am trying to look for reasonable options.

  67. As the days pass it is dawning that there is no alternative lined up. So it seems they got rid of our manager for what?? This is all Connolly’s fault- his comments to the Western and all his utterances since Newbridge. I should have trusted my gut feeling that he was undermining Stephen. Out of the championship early is now turning out to be no advantage. Players will probably throw in the towel now. ( there is no way Rochy will ever come back)

  68. Why are people assuming that the CB even want James Horan back? There are current members of the executive who danced a jig when he resigned in 2014, who conducted a none to subtle smear campaign against him in conjunction with a certain local journalist and who couldn’t wait to undo many of his initiatives such as the development academy. How many more different managers, players and journalists need to spell it out, there are people within Mayo GAA who do not always have the counties best interests at heart.
    The wagons will circle now and I expect “stories” about Rochford to start appearing from certain quarters by the end of the week, they’ve already tried to spin the player power line. There will be no mea culpa here.

  69. There was public outcry in the county in 2014 when the county board failed to speak up and protest Mayo playing Kerry in Limerick. Again in the awful mishandling of the Managerial interview in 2015 when Kevin Mcstay was treated very unprofessionally and the job was instead given to a brother of the chairman. And here we are in 2018 and they have made a complete mess of things again and treated another fine manager with complete disregard. And in 2 or 3 years time, history will again repeat itself because these boys are going nowhere anytime soon. What manager in their right mind would even take the job when they know how they will be treated in the long run. I cant see there being a queue of high profile names out the interview room door. Hopefully the interviews go ahead this time around at least.

  70. Sean Burke, I know hes not. My comment was referring to GAA administrators in general and their longevity in their roles. “Our own” was in reference to him being a mayo man

  71. As regards Limerick 2014 the time to complain was when the provisional fixture was made, not after the draw.

  72. Mairead.. Are you a paid up member of a club. If not why comment on something that’s nothing to do with you.

  73. That’s a bit harsh Norris. Mairead is entitled to her opinion just like the rest of us and I think Willie Joe is still the Sherrif around here and he decides who can or can’t comment

  74. Anyone who thinks the county board (a) had a masterplan (b) wants Horan back is in cloud cuckoo land.

    If there was someone waiting in the wings with a wad of cash hoping to entice McGuinness or whoever, if they have an ounce of sense they’ve put their purse back into their pockets now with this latest clown caper.

  75. Mairead..FBD makes a good point in that the CB are dependent on income from.supporters and the only ones suffering would be players in the long run..Undetstand your sentiments though..

  76. Norris . . . Lady didn’t say anything wrong ,only giving an opinion .( I don’t agree with all she posted either ) Seems to have hit a nerve with ya . Don’t say anything against the county board is on another blog I think .

  77. Revellino, Jim McGuinnes had delivered an A I with a far less talented group of players than this group. Everyone knows Donegal were suffering a major A I winning hangover the following year….do you honestly think we’d be much better if we won one? He also got them back to a final in 14 with as I said a far less talented group than this Mayo team. Like him or loathe him he delivered results so using that hiding as an example of his capabilities is a bit disingenuous. I can’t say I liked his brand of football…but if he delivered an A I, I’ll be honest I wouldn’t give a flying fuck what style if football he used to do it…do you think the good people of Donegal did? Having said all that I don’t think its something we need to worry about as I can’t see it happening.

  78. – Mayo County Board executive consists of 21 Men
    – There are differences in both personnel and positions held between the Oct 2014 version of the board and the current Aug 2018 version.
    – There is a definite overlap that I know off to 2006
    – I cannot see how there is any overlap all the way back to 1989/90 BUT it would be great if some of our esteemed self-declared senior bloggers like Joe Mc, Andyd and John Cuffe could confirm ?
    – Therefore East Cork Exile is right, it’s not the same personnel for the last 30 years as you would expect, it’s the culture.
    – There is no revolt from the Mayo Clubs/Supporters nor will there be….
    – BTW anyone following the appointment process for the next Waterford Senior Hurling manager ?……

  79. @Walterwhite. If your saying Jim McGuinness delivered an AI with a far less talented group, it was against James Horan and Mayo. Are you then saying James Horan is not the man for the job if he couldn’t manage us to beat that Donegal team. Alot of people said James would be their choice.

    S Rochford still my choice by the way.

  80. That Donegal team was a lot farther down the road in their development than Mayo. We also lost Andy that year when he was playing brilliantly. Your argument is pointless…sure if you want to down that road…then that’s the same James Horan that managed Mayo when they dished out that hiding to Donegal in 13. I could say to you…Is that the same Stephen Rochford that didnt win a Connacht title? Is that the same Stephen Rochford that failed to get Mayo to the Super 8s? Is that your choice. You judge a manager over many results not just by picking out individual results to support an argument.

  81. Think most posters agree county board handled this horribly wrong .My attention now turns to who the feck is going to manage us next year ( or start in the next month or so). Not convinced by James’s comments that he will do it ( only if asked by the sounds of it ) which is understandable . Will McGuiness give us any info between now and Sunday or will he too wait to be contacted as then he can dictate terms as well .. What a sorry mess .

  82. @Walter.
    We had 2 out of 3 brilliant years with Rochford.

    Your right. Andy was injured in 2012.

    This year we had Lee Keegan injured.
    We had Donnie Vaughan injured.
    We had Brendan Harrison injured.
    We had Tom Parsons injured.
    We had Seamie O’shea injured.
    We didn’t have Keith Higgins for any of the league.

    I would say all the above had a bearing on our performances this year.

    I’m not for.a minute running down James Horan but what I am saying is what was wrong with the manager we had.

    If I was Steven Rochford I wouldn’t speak to the County board again. He’s better off away from these people.

  83. The county board will change over the years,but there will always be an overlap from some members retiring and new members joining,so the culture is always the same,I have seen this carry on since Joe Corcoran the best footballer of his generation left out of a trip to America in favour of someone from Castlebar who was retired,but fitted the type they wanted to travel,nothing had changed,nothing will change,but never mind the story is out there that Jim Mc Guinness is available,we are about to have a new training complex so everything is fine just wait and everything will be sunny,if a private company carried on like the Map county board it would be bankrupt in a year,but just levy the club’s they will have to raise the money,it is a complete shambles

  84. Said it before and asking again now…..Why is Jim McGuinness’s name being mentioned here? What the link ? This is fantasy stuff…..

  85. Has anyone noticed tickets showing up in nuetral counties. Just wondering is the demand as big for this final as 2016/2017 or would tickets easier for a neutral to get his hands on this year.

  86. Revellino. I accept your point re injuries, I made the same point on this blog defending S R re injuries. 2018 was always going to be a tough ask. What I am saying to you is using Mayo’s result against Donegal in 13 in your argument is pointless. You could take a single result out of any managers cv to help paint a bleak picture (Saint Jim Gavin excluded) . Jim McGuinness has A I winning medals as both a player and a manager…he’s a proven winner. Personally I think he would be a brilliant man manager and tactician. FW I agree in the sense I don’t think there is a chance of him coming in but based on how short the odds on him are I wouldn’t suggest it is complete fantasy stuff either…if it was paddy power would be taking your money at 50 to 1 not 5 to 2.

  87. If things transpired as reported, after such a dismal year the CB had every right to enquire as to SR’s plans for 2019. If he believed he was going to improve our form/ chances he should be able to both back up his plans and acknowledge badly needed changes…

    As for player’s comments- I would read nothing whatsoever in them, either prior to or after the resignation. Did we really expect any of them to come out and say ‘I’d like to change the manager!’ If they were that upset they would have met as a group and made a statement/ stand.

    All in all, unsavoury, but theres enough fault to go around, tis far from black n white. At this stage a new start is unavoidable/welcome depending on one’s point of view…

  88. Jim McGuiness has ruled out a return to Gaa management for the foreseeable future but James Horan hasn’t according to Newstalk

  89. Been offline for several hours so only catching up on comments now.

    Norris – others have already pulled you up on this but I need to do the same. If you object to what someone else has posted then take on the point you object with, not the person who made it.

    Casual Observer – I’m not looking for tickets for Sunday myself (I still haven’t decided if I’ll watch the bloody thing on TV, I might go to the movies or something instead) but I gather that Dublin fans aren’t starved of tickets in the way they so clearly were last year and the year before. I’d say it’s probably one of the easiest years in a long while to get final tickets.

  90. McGuinness has stated on Off the Ball that he is not returning to GAA coaching at the moment. He told the representative sent to ask him the same thing a number of weeks back.

  91. Serious question WJ or anyone who can answer… why the 2 different spellings for the Connelly brothers Mike and Noel? Mike – Connolly Noel – Connelly?

  92. One I don’t have an answer to, JG, though I did once hear of two Irish brothers involved in the building trade in London some years ago (this is a true story), one of whom spelled his name Durkin while the other spelled his Durkan. Not a word of a lie!

  93. Thanks WJ its a puzzler thats bugging me. On the bigger picture its lookimg like the CB has made a sow’s ear out of a silk purse, and not for the first time either.

  94. The betting market is interesting

    Opened. Now
    James Horan 7/2. 4/7

    Mike solan 6/1. 5/2. 6/4

    Winning matches. 11/8. 5/1

  95. Horan and mcguinness seems to have both ruled themselves out. I think in a few weeks, we’l be geting nostalgic about the good old days when Rochford was in charge.

  96. Clearly Horan is saying if the county board give him full control for everything , he’ll take the job . But that is very unlikely to happen

  97. dont think JH has ruled himself out DJ.
    what I read into his offdaball comments were that he would concentrate fully on Westports 2018 championship but once that finishes would be open to discuss Mayo as other folk here have said “on his terms’…position of strength and ball bk in CB’s court n all that…

  98. I am not sure James Horan has ruled himsel out but I am not convinced he will ge given the amount of control he wants. If that’s the case everything to me would suggest Mike Solan will be offered the job.

  99. Do ye get the feeling this is going to drag out now . Who’s going to be scouting during club championship.

    I propose poster JP in here does it on a temporary basis . I’m not joking either

  100. How did we get here in less than a week??How are we looking at the possibility of Mike Solan as a manager ??I honestly thought the CB could not be so stupid to let Rochford go unless they had a clear candidate with experience at Senior level required in the wings…I shouldnt be shocked after all that has gone before but I am flabbergasted..And its no reflection on Solan I just dont think he’s ready..

  101. Maybe hasnt ruled himself out fully but he doesnt seem too keen imo. I think there is still a lot of animosity between Horan and the cb. Not sure if either side would be willing to work together again in a hurry.

  102. And yes Sean Burke I think it will drag on til we are past caring who they put in..They will just sit out the drama and then drop a name in the depths of Winter..

  103. Willie Joe,
    Don’t doubt for a second that your story of London is true, or that they were indeed brothers. It’s just possible that they were neither Durkin or Durkan. Could be Jimmy and Johnny Cash.

  104. Bring back Stephen. Bring back Stephen. Please.
    After listening to Lee today, I reckon it’s what the players as a group would be happy about.
    Can’t help thinking of that Heart breaking speech by Stephen on all ireland losing night.
    So deserves a 2nd chance and support.
    If only County pride could be top of the agenda,and personal pride swept away.

  105. Those people calling for Stephen Rochford to come back, need to realise that he’s gone, and is not coming back.
    We can also now definitely rule Jim Mc Guinness out of the equation.

    At this stage, it’s fair to say that there are major doubts about whether or not, James Horan is going to make a comeback at this time..Knocking heads with the Co Board is the main stumbling block and might always remain the case.

    As several other posters have stated, Michael Solan is imo, way too inexperienced to even be seriously considered for the role of Senior manager.
    So, who does that leave in the frame ?
    Personally, I can’t see either Donie Buckley or Tony Mc Entee returning to the Mayo set up.
    Other people have made fleeting mentions of Malachy O’Rourke and Kevin Mc Stay, but both of those men are with other counties.
    I think we can also realistically rule out anyone from Kerry.
    After that, who else is there ?
    Prospective managers may well have reservations now about working with our Co Board.

  106. James Horan was picked after managing a club team .. Maybe you lads and lassies still living in Mayo know of any club manager’s who might make the step up .. Heard Pat Fallon ,Maurice Sheridan , The Mitchell’s lads , The Breaffy lads all mentioned in posts here . Is there other good club coaches that might even be an addition to a backroom team .. I know I sound desperate but its looking like we are pretty much up the creek at the minute ..

  107. @My Ball
    James Horan took over in 2011 after the low point of the Longford defeat in 2010. Expectations were fairly low in the county and but for extra time in Ruislip we could have really gone into terminal decline. Your now taking arguably the most high pressure job in Irish sport, a post in which you will be declared a failure unless you win the All Ireland almost immediately. Your entering a dressing room that while none of it’s occupants have Senior All Ireland medals, they have Minor and U21 medals, over two dozen All Stars and two Player of the Year awards. Add into that you know your going to be dealing with a dysfunctional county board that will publicly undermine you in the press and shaft you the minute they think your getting too big for your boots or they get a better offer.
    Stephen Rochford will lead a county to an All Ireland title, it just won’t be his own.

  108. Illuminating day. We now learn that CB has no plan A, yet alone a plan B. One guy flat out says not interested, other guy says he’ll consider it if you give him the keys to the castle. Meanwhile, star player says team was surprised by Stephen’s dismissal, I mean resignation. Hard to see how we’re in a better place next year. Sad. At this point, might as well tab Mike Solan — invest in youth. Would you trade 5 more years in the wilderness for the promised land? Mayo for Sam 2023?

  109. With all this talk of Solan, has anyone even stopped to consider if the man himself is even slightly interested in the role?

    I don’t know Solan personally but I admire what he has achieved and how he’s done about it. He’s obviously a very talented manager who has gained respect from his players and there is clearly a strong bond there with them, much like Horan had a few years back.

    Solan also strikes me as very intelligent and methodical. Despite the glitch against an extremely talented Kildare team, he has quietly built a good reputation and must know he is well-placed to progress plans to progress via the senior championship. Anyway,,,<~ju

  110. Desperate measures for desperate times – Mike Connelly to whistle in the set plays after little brother Noel has laid out all the cones !!

  111. No McGuiness . No Horan by the sounds of it . Would the county board be brave enough to meet James and ask him what exactly the support he requires to get him to take the job . Surely the player’s Rep’s will be getting anxious and will be in contact with cb .As Annemarie said maybe Solan is an option but at this rate may be the only option .

  112. We must have someone in the executive who has relations in Kerry because everytime the job comes up they are traipsing down to Kerry with cap in hand. Jacko before, Micko and now Jack O’Connor if you believe the mirror

  113. Mid West Radio running a poll this morning on Tommy Marren show 9am to 10 50am,who should be next Mayo Manager?
    A Jim Mc Guinness, B James Horan, C Mike Solan and D some one else name this person. Just Vote A,B,C or D.
    I personally believe James Horan should be our next manager, Mayo County Board should give him the support he requires.

  114. It would be like something mid West would do alright. Have a poll for next manager including an option for a man who said he has absolutely no intention of taking the job

  115. Why all the media talk about the Mayo manager job? Two successful counties like Tipp in hurling and Kerry in football (both with more allirelands than we will ever dream of) have vacancies at present. They have a committee in place to get their new manager. No talk in the media. They just going about their job like they always do. We as usual are all over the media. This poll in midwest – more bulls*** and the results will guarantee us more publicity in national media over the weekend. If allirleands were given to out for counties who talk about football – we would be going for five in a row this year. Action is what wins allirelands not the bulls*** that Horan tried to clear out of Mayo football.

  116. For all those going on about Solan being too young he’s pretty much the same age now as SR was when taking over the job!

    Maybe the difference is that SR had won an Senior Club as manager?

    Also I’d say people are being too harsh on Solan – judging him solely on the basis of perceived tactical mistakes the Kildare game. He won an AI U21 in 2016 and back to a final at U20s this year. Not too many Mayo managers, at any grade, have that kinda success. He also managed Ballagh for a year if I’m not mistaken.

    I’m not saying Solan would be my first choice. That would’ve been to keep SR! And I think Horan did so much for the county that his record at this level can’t be overlooked.

    However I think we need to be careful now about heaping too much pressure on whoever is appointed. I truly believe getting rid of SR messed up any remaining chance we had of winning Sam in 2019. Expectations need to be reset to a Connacht and the Super 8s in 2019 – bring on the youth and plan for serious tilts at Sam in 2020 & 2021.

  117. Not surprised we haven’t won an All-Ireland after this outpouring of grief at the departure of Rochford.

    – no connacht championship in 3 years
    – lost to Galway 3 years running
    – horrible league performance
    – knocked out meekly by Kildare
    – regurarly brought first subs on with minutes remaining
    – parachuted in 2 players who never played championship… backfiring badly

    What were our expectations going into 2019 season after this one?? to automatically reach the super 8’s?

    I acknowledge what Rochford has done as manager but I would not have been surprised if Mayo’s competitiveness took a serious dip with him at the helm for another season. Not the greatest fan of Horan and his tactics but believe he would bring back a serious bounce to the team

  118. Everyone seems to be talking about Stephen Rochford and the county board no been able to agree on a plan going forward for 2019 . What about the main problem of the three selectors retiring after the Kildare game . Two of these lads Tony McEntee and Donie Buckley was a big loss to the team .These positions are is important to fill as the manager .Its no good having a good manager and a poor back room team that the current players dont trust

  119. To be fair south mayo exile, I doubt the results of a text in poll on a local radio station are going to make the front page of too many papers. Its pointless of course but its just a harmless way of letting the listeners have their say.

  120. Big Mike is on the money. Winning is the bottom line really – it’s hard but true.

    We can convince ourselves here on the blog about running teams close, but Galway hurlers chucked out the manager and won an All Ireland. It’s hard to persuade outsiders (who do see things objectively) that we don’t self-destruct (Vaughan, Robbie, and so on) on the really big occasions.

    I keep going back to the U20s this year. Kildare were a better team, deserved to win, no question. But we have had far more experience, managerially and organisationally of big days; yet they were far cuter than us, had a better game plan and maximised their potential. We didn’t.

  121. Kildare were the better team . Better forwards and good work rate . Sometimes you have to accept that you were beaten by a better team . Tactics or no tactics . Not plugging Solan for senior team but was at the u20 final and never felt Mayo would win as Kildare just had more quality .

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