McStay announces 12-strong backroom team as Rochford quips about the challenge ahead 2 weeks ago

McStay announces 12-strong backroom team as Rochford quips about the challenge ahead

Mayo manager Kevin McStay has announced a 12 strong backroom team for the 2023 season.

Further appointments, it was stressed at his first press conference as Mayo senior football manager, will be made in due course. The roles of strength and conditioning coach, goalkeeping coach and performance analyst are yet to be filled but those posts aside, Mayo are ready for road.

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As manager and coach/assistant manager, McStay and Rochford head the ticket but behind them, there are some distinguished and successful GAA people.

These include Donie Buckley, who has previously worked with Mayo and his native Kerry, Damien Mulligan, who managed Belmullet to last year's county final and Liam McHale, who also worked with McStay in Roscommon.

Another eye-catching addition to the backroom team is psychologist Niamh Fitzpatrick, who worked with the team during Rochford's time in charge and famously helped Wexford to their 1996 All-Ireland senior hurling triumph. Manager Liam Griffin always heaps the praise on Fitzpatrick for her role in that win.

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Having stepped down as Roscommon manager in late 2018, McStay had said that, due to the time constraints, that would be his last job in inter-county management.

“I suppose you should never say never should you really?" was what he said last night.

“I’m 60 now, I’d had a few goes at it. And I had no sense there was going to be a vacancy, I thought James would stay on for another year or two, he was doing really good work.

“I didn’t want the job just so I could say I was the Mayo manager, I want the job because I feel I have a lot to contribute and I feel I can make a difference," he added.

It was put to him that, as Mayo manager, there will be a lot of pressure down the line. That was where Stephen Rochford stepped in.

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“There’s no pressure at all," he said while patting McStay on the back, "don’t mind them!”