Moffatt maps out his plans

Following his election yesterday as the new Chairman of the Mayo County Board, Liam Moffatt addressed delegates at the Convention in Belmullet. A piece by Mike Finnerty in today’s Irish Examiner (here) gives a flavour of what the new man had to say in assuming office.

The points covered by the incoming Chairman chime closely with what he had to say in advance of the vote, when he spoke at length with Rob Murphy on the Mayo News football podcast (here). For those who haven’t yet listened to this episode, by the way, it’s still worth your while doing so, both to hear Liam expand in some detail on his plans and also to hear – from both candidates – what a respectful, ideas-filled election campaign sounded like.

In his address to the Convention yesterday, Liam spoke about the GAA’s aim to foster communities, not just Gaelic games, and to make the organisation within the county a source of pride for all. He said that “our key objective will be to build trust in our County Board to connect with all the Mayo GAA family” and that “the work begins now.”

If you’ve already listened to the podcast, you’ll no doubt have been struck – as I was – by Liam’s determination to steer well clear of any discussion of personalities when talking about the recently difficulties facing Mayo GAA. His focus on the issues, rather than the individuals involved, will, one hopes, guide him and his colleagues on the Board in charting a way out of the current situation.

Liam and the rest of the County Board elected or re-elected yesterday have taken office with a fair bit of goodwill at their backs. They deserve to be given plenty of time and space to get moving on their plans for taking Mayo GAA forward in 2020.

As 2019 nears its end, then, it’s definitely time to take the Mayo GAA off-field soap opera off the stage. Let’s hope that’s what now happens, with the focus at last turning back towards a new year of on-field action.

12 thoughts on “Moffatt maps out his plans

  1. I’d say he is more comfortable in a tracksuit or IT style casual. Great guy I have heard him speak on two occasions about Mayo GAA. Once about the academy and once about his proposed chairmanship of Mayo GAA. He is focused and methodical. A bit like James Horan in a lot of ways. Whether he can get the organisation to the same shape as the Dublin County Board remains to be seen. He believes in a procedural basis of doing things. To take the personality out of it. Lay down structures and procedures and then follow these with total transparency. To achieve this he will need the support of the rest of the board and the club delegates. People must be open to change. The media, especially local, need to also play their part and put on the red and green.

  2. A good start. Both sides in the dispute took a step back. Not easy being an official at club, divisional or county. Best of luck to them all.

  3. Does Mayo have a dedicated sports scientist? Anyone listening to Prof. Niall Moyna tonight. Very interesting to hear him talk of the benefits of this. He namechecked Dublin Cork and Kerry as having people in board in this capacity who liaise amongst the management’s of teams from u14 to senior so that there’s continuity; so that players are being trained and given diets appropriate to their body/training age etc.

    Sounds like a no-brainer for me.

    I would hope Moffatt given his background would recognise this. It’s absolutely crucial that Mayo GAA are to the forefront when it comes to sports science and nutrition. If other, greater populated counties are ahead of us on this front then we may as well give up.

    I would hope too that he plans to revist and properly bring about divisional championship teams at senior club level (just like Kerry have been successfully doing for years) so that talented players in junior clubs are not left by the wayside. All you need to do us look at players like Declan O’Sullivan and Darren O’Sullivan. If these lads, both of whom lifted Sam for Kerry, were from Mayo then there’s every possibility we’d have never heard of them after minor. This is crucial so that Mayo maximises our potential. How can we expect to compete with Kerry if we are conceding clear and obvious advantages to them. I know divisional teams were tried in Mayo previously but I believe the Co Board MUST prioritise things like this regardless of the politics involved.

  4. Mayonaze,
    There is little the Co Board can do if the Junior/Intermediate clubs and particularly their players are not keen on the idea of amalgamations. And it would seem that they are not. In addition the issue of playing time for clubs/club players is a major problem. There are approx 20 weekends available if you exclude intercounty weekends and “closed season” into that you squeeze club league and championship. No matter how you do it it’s a tight squeeze without adding more to the mix. Kerry have a long tradition in their ways but it would take a long, long time to build that tradition in another county. Apart from Kerry how many others have amalgamations taking part in their championships? Are there any?
    Regards a “sports scientist”, what’s in a name/title? I think that there is enough known of sports peoples diet requirements if coaches are willing to take it in without having a scientist haring about the county looking into every cooking pot. It might be a job for somebody based in the Bekan CoE rather than county based.

  5. Good stuff. Hope to see Liam Moffatt make a positive impact straight from the off and looks like he is doing just off.
    It has been a long few weeks with the negative press put time for all of us to get the shoulder to the wheel for the year ahead.

    I see James Horan was up recently with Leinster rugby so no doubt players have been working.g hard during the winter. Roll on the FBD league. Will be interesting to see the squad named and see what new faces are tried. Will be good to see Ryan O’Donoghue in action.

  6. AndyD, it’s big in Cork. Reigning county senior hurling champions of 18 and 19 are a divisional side. A divisional side contested the senior football county final. They’ve existed in cork for about 40 years I think.
    UCC and CIT also compete and club players can play for both in the same championship!

  7. Kerry play thier intermediate and junior county finals on first Sunday in May. So in effect bar the league these club teams are finished their football at end April. A lot of clubs down there are very unhappy about this. Also a number of the amalgamated teams have only 1 or 2 training sessions before senior championship starts. Its their underage and coaching structures that have Kerry at the top. Winning 5 all Ireland minor in a row has nothing to do with the senior championship. Players like Darren and Declan o Sullivan were well on the radar as county minor and u21 players and were always going to come through. Cant see intermediate and junior clubs in Mayo buying into a system where they play county finals first week in May. With current intercounty season the way it is – this is the only way Kerry can structure thier games to get them played.

  8. So there was a mistake made in the counting of votes at the convention! I wonder is it worth checking one of the other counts? Or are we in for another era of gaffes? A war with the press is unwinnable!

  9. I’d agree with that South Mayo Exile. James Carr made the breakthrough in 2019 from a junior club and Oisin Mullin may do likewise in 2020. We also have 8 more senior clubs than in Kerry so it stands to reason that more of our intercounty players come from senior and intermediate clubs.

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