"Mayo have been back and back and back all the time. That's some resilience, to do that." - McGeary bats for Mayo 1 month ago

"Mayo have been back and back and back all the time. That's some resilience, to do that." - McGeary bats for Mayo

Having lost an All-Ireland final in 2018, Kieran McGeary has an idea of the hurt and despair being experienced by Mayo's class of 2021 right now.

An idea is all it is because, as McGeary says himself, losing one is no comparison to losing two, three or even seven finals, as some of Mayo's vanquished have gone through in the last decade. It's not a nice place to be and while, as a passionate Liverpool fan, McGeary can see where supporters and their frustrations are coming from, he says that, in the aftermath of defeat, the last thing a player needs is to be kicked while they're down.

Advertisement

Whether it came from inside or outside the county, certain Mayo players weren't spared by critics and knockers and with the Mayo county board having released a statement in defence of their players, McGeary has echoed these sentiments.

"Honestly, going back to 2018, we weren't the most liked team, going back to the county, either. You get that. I support a soccer team as well. Sometimes with Liverpool there'd be nights I'd be shouting as well, going, 'What are you doing?" begins the PWC footballer of the month for August.

James Horan Credit: Sportsfile

"And you forget yourself," he says.

"It's just part and parcel of it. It's just what supporters do; it's what fans do. For Mayo being there seven times in the last who many years, that's tough on them players. On a number of them that were there for the first time, some of them three times and some of them seven."

McGeary, who many are tipping for the Footballer of the Year award, touched on the sentiments of Theodore Roosevelt's famous 'Man in the Arena' quote in his praise of the Mayo men.

Advertisement

"Take off your Mayo hat and stand back for a second," added the Pomeroy Plunkett's man.

"Seven All-Ireland Final defeats for some of them - that's not easy. And it's not, then, nice to be criticised after trying your best, management or players.

"They were the pace-setters and trend-setters for a team that can continue to achieve at a top level. We were always quarter final, first round or semi final, over the last number of years. Mayo have been back, and back and back all the time.

"That's credit to those players. That's some resilience, to do that, regardless of what anyone has to say about management or individuals."

Advertisement
PwC GAA/GPA Footballer of the Month for August, Kieran McGeary of Tyrone, with his award today at Holy Trinity College in Cookstown, Tyrone. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile