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Mayo GAA interview was sub-standard production

Sean Rice

 Sean Rice

Interview was sub-standard production

ASKED on an examination paper in what circumstances would you employ a semicolon, a pupil in an English school answered: “When they have a good CV and interview”.
The classroom clanger, one of many published in an English newspaper, came to mind while watching a video recording of an interview with Mayo’s newly-appointed managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly, published by Mayo GAA Board.
It is doubtful, however, if you could even apply the English pupil’s interpretation of a semicolon to this interview conducted by the Mayo board and posted on YouTube.
May we suggest that this ham-fisted effort could have sprung only from the collective decision of a committee still reeling from the embarrassment incurred over the Kevin McStay affair.
It bears all the hallmarks of the incompetence displayed in the board’s process of selecting the two men they have appointed to guide Mayo football over the coming years. It is slovenly and slipshod, and a gross insult to the thousands of Mayo supporters all over the world whom it purports to serve.
What tempted the board to publish a video of such sub-standard quality is beyond comprehension. It is not compatible with the standard of football served up by our county’s teams, a contradiction in terms of worth.
You wonder was this an exercise in retribution, a fit of pique, a way of getting back at the local press for the warranted criticism heaped on the executive over its selection gaffe?
You look at the presentation, the shadows and reflections, the risk-free questions, the failure of the board to have the selectors meet the authentic press, the naivety of it all, and you can only conclude that this feeble effort was designed to obscure the sense of inadequacy which has already drawn down on them the wrath of Mayo followers.
You expected the officers to have learned from the previous shambles to have kept their heads low, but in their puerile bid to rise above the selection fiasco they have only fallen deeper into a quagmire of absurdity.
This disguises nothing. It is untouched by any sense of journalistic talent. It does not convey to Mayo followers the real calibre of the new selectors, not their plans, their ambitions, or their objectives.
It will not obscure what has gone before. This administration has been demonstrably unprofessional. And Mayo followers will not allow them to forget. Is it not time the silent, able members of the executive shouted stop?
How on earth can we expect our Mayo teams to function as we would wish them when they are governed by such ineptitude?
Semicolon indeed!

Mitchels must take stock
IT’S been a long year for Castlebar Mitchels ... two seasons rolled into one inside seven months.  Between the All-Ireland final last March and the county final last week, not a lot of time was left for readjusting to defence of their title.
Barely two months had passed after their All-Ireland exertions until they were resisting a challenge from their relatively new antagonists  and eventual conquerors  out in Clogher.
They won then because they were running on the psychological residue of All-Ireland final preparations. But as the campaign deepened, last year’s form gradually faded. They were winning their games, but not convincingly.
They had of course lost a couple of stalwarts, notably Tom King and Ger McDonagh. And perhaps most conspicuously, they also lost Pat Holmes, the man who had guided them to the final.
Whether Holmes’ presence would have been decisive the last day is debatable. The management team that replaced him might have made better use of the strong wind in the final, but apart from that were sensible and pragmatic in their selections.
When Barry Moran’s goal after the break failed to fire in the players the spirit that propelled them last season, you knew the shoe was pinching. There were no reserves of nerve and self-assurance to call upon, no comparable intensity.
So now they have got to take stock, and resolve to return hungry and ambitious as ever next season. The incentive ought to lie in the gap between their last two titles ... two decades of apathy.
Last year’s was a hard-earned triumph, three years of toil and disappointment sustaining the dream until they finally got back to familiar territory. After their latest defeat it would, however, be easy to fall back into old patterns of apathy and indifference. Old habits die hard.
With the junior title already in the bag, football in the club is flourishing. They have plenty of young men to pick up the reins and to inspire them. Their latest comprehensive league win over Garrymore is a promising sign that the fightback may have already begun.

Donaghy selection seems curious
IN the light of Dublin’s three places, it would be churlish to contend that Mayo deserved more than the three All-Star awards bestowed on Keith Higgins, Colm Boyle and Cillian O’Connor last week.
Yet, if Kieran Donaghy had not impressed the selectors after two games, the chances are that Donegal’s Michael Murphy would have been chosen in his normal full-forward position and perhaps Aidan O’Shea slotted in at centre forward.
The choice of Donaghy is curious. When measured against Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly, whose consistency over a number of years was rewarded with his first All-Star only last week, you wonder was it an accolade too lightly conferred on the Kerryman.
It certainly appears to give credence to the notion that performances in earlier rounds are rarely taken into account by those who select the All-Stars.

Just a thought
THERE must be some concern in Breaffy about their latest league defeat to Ballina Stephenites, which edges them closer to drop zone. Unfulfilled hopes may have temporarily dampened enthusiasm, but the sap will rise again.


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