Stephen Rochford forced to listen to a load of brutal text messages during live interview
It's been an eventful week for Stephen Rochford.
The 39-year-old Crossmolina man on Monday stepped down from the Mayo manager position after three years in charge.
Rochford tendered his resignation following a stand-off with the county's Executive Committee, in which, according to Rochford, "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."
Rochford led Mayo to two All-Ireland finals in his three years in charge, losing both to Dublin.
But, while it would have been understandable for him to fade into the background for a while, he has seen no problem in keeping himself in the headlines after the fallout.
Rochford appeared on Miriam O'Callaghan's show on RTÉ Radio 1 on Sunday morning, during which an unnamed listener sent in a text message with some lukewarm sentiment towards the former Corofin boss.
While some texts wished Rochford all the best and commended him on his service to Mayo,
It takes a particular type of clown to send a text in to a radio show with Stephen Rochford on it to pretty much say 'good riddance'. Regardless of your opinion on his tenure, many Mayo fans have become the animals Paidi spoke of in Kerry.
— Edwin McGreal (@edmcgreal) September 2, 2018
The listener in question said: "If he's struggling to understand why he's in this position now, playback this interview to him. He won nothing with Mayo, brought in no new players and brought nothing new to the table despite promising the sun, moon and stars. Cop on, Stephen."
To which Rochford replied: "Listen, I think there are some facts in there. But look, absolutely correct; I didn't win anything but there's only one winner in sport. It's untrue to say there have been no new players. I think there were nine players under the age of 24 that we gave first Championship starts to, so there's no real detail in saying that."
Another listener sent in a text, saying: "Stephen needs a reality check.
"He should have resigned after the Kildare game, a roasting day in Newbridge on a hard pitch and he only brings on subs in the last quarter. His team management cost us the game, Stephen cost us the 2016 All-Ireland by dropping David Clarke as goalkeeper. Very, very poor show after three years."
In fairness to Rochford, he didn't rise to the bait and remain very level-headed in his responses.
Speaking to O'Callaghan about his time as Mayo boss, Rochford said: "They'll survive. They'll pick themselves up and be ready for next year. Over the three years, it was a real rollercoaster.
"My enduring memory will probably be the team bus, coming in and the sight of Croke Park, that amphitheatre atmosphere, out there representing your own people. It's a privileged position and something I really enjoyed, even on the sad days.
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"It was a massive decision," Rochford said of his resignation. "I had committed to the next two years so it's disappointing.
"I don't think we have long enough to get into the complexity of the GAA but in order to deliver at a high level, I didn't feel I had the support of the executive, the key people in Mayo, to bring the team forward. In many ways, it's not a decision I would agree with but I've had to accept it.
"I suppose, we didn't win any silverware in my three years in charge, there was no Connacht championship, no All-Ireland and no Super 8s this year."
"I'm disappointed that I won't get to finish the job but those lads are highly motivated, they'll go again in 2019 but unfortunately it won't be leading them.
Rochford's departure from Mayo has been far from amicable. Almost a week on, he says he is yet to hear from the county board and admits he is 'disappointed' that he is not going to be the man to lead the team in 2019.
"I haven’t heard anything from the county board at this point, no," he told RTÉ.
"I’m very disappointed that I’m not the manager of Mayo anymore. After the Kildare game, I had looked at getting myself ready, we were going to have a couple of changes in the management team, but we were ready and energised to go back at it.
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"Unfortunately, that’s not going to be the case."
Rochford also rubbished speculation that disillusionment among the playing panel following Mayo's Championship-ending defeat to Kildare contributed to his resignation.
"I don’t think so," he said. "The reality is that I’ve had a lot of phone calls, text messages from the player group this week.
"The Mayo players, every day they went out, went out and gave it everything and it was no difference the last day against Kildare in Newbridge."