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Eight Things We Learned From The Explosive Pat Holmes And Noel Connelly Indo Interview

Eight Things We Learned From The Explosive Pat Holmes And Noel Connelly Indo Interview
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly, the former Mayo joint managers, have spoken for the first time since their dislodging by the Mayo panel in the autumn of 2015.

A heave against the duo began after Mayo's All-Ireland semi-final loss to Dublin. It resulted in Holmes and Connelly leaving after just a year in charge - they had originally been give a three-year term. They were eventually replaced by Stephen Rochford.

In an interview with Martin Breheny in today's Irish Independent, Holmes and Connelly have made some startling revelations and claims regarding their time in charge of Mayo's senior footballers.

They did the interview for the good of Mayo football

Holmes and Connelly believe that a 'small number' of egos within the Mayo panel need to be checked.

While speaking about this Holmes makes this interesting point.

In time, memories of the trips abroad and all other perks will fade and it won't matter how many Twitter followers you had during your playing days. The only question that counts for players on top teams is: have you All-Ireland medals? As of now, no Mayo player since 19551 can answer 'yes' to that.

A few players 'took exception' to the message being delivered by management

The joint managers felt that for Mayo to win an All-Ireland, something things needed to change such as players needing to become more ruthless. The majority of the panel believed this to be true. However, some players 'took exception' to this message according to Holmes.


One player stood up during a meeting in early 2015 and said:

These fellas don't think we're good enough.

This drew a response from another panel member.


Sure if we were, we'd have All-Ireland medals by now.

Three players objected to member of the medical team leaving

When a member of the setup's medical team left by their own decision, three members of the panel approached management and demanded that he be brought back in.

According to Holmes:


We were told, 'You'll have to reinstate him'. We said: 'How can we - he walked away - it was his choice'. Were were then told that we would have to adhere to his demands to which there could be one reply: 'It doesn't work like that.'

Mass caused a 'big fuss'

In late March of 2015, with Mayo down in Cork for a league game, one player kicked up a 'big fuss' because a pre-match meal was put back by 15 minutes. This was due to a Palm Sunday mass running, which some players had attended, running long.

Holmes and Connelly stopped Aidan O'Shea appearing on The Toughest Trade

Producers of the AIB-commissioned The Toughest Trade invited Aidan O'Shea and Rob Hennelly to be part of the show in 2015. It would have meant O'Shea spending time at Sunderland Football Club.


Holmes objected, ringing up the show's producers demanding to know why they had not asked a Dublin or Kerry footballer to participate.

Alan Dillon not happy with team selection

When Alan Dillon was omitted from the starting line-up for the Connacht semi-final against Galway in June 2015, Holmes and Connelly claim the forward 'questioned the logic' (Martin Breheny's words) of the decision to start Andy Moran ahead of him.

Dillon was told that decisions were based on a number of factors which included form of players and the opposition.

Seamus O'Shea wanted Rob Hennelly to play ahead of David Clarke

Holmes and Connelly say that midfielder Seamus O'Shea came to them and suggested that Rob Hennelly, his Breaffy teammate, should be first choice keeper ahead of David Clarke. O'Shea preferred Hennelly's kick outs.

Aidan O'Shea sent an email regarding the omission of a player

In the week prior to the All-Ireland quarter-final win against Donegal, Aidan O'Shea sent an email to team management voicing his and other players' surprise regarding the omission of one particular player from the 26-man matchday squad.

Watch: Rio Ferdinand Delivers Stern Pep Talk To Man Utd U15s After 9-0 City Loss



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