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McConville Doesn't Like Look Of 'Overloaded' Mayo Backroom Team

26 July 2020; Inniskeen manager Oisín McConville during the Monaghan Senior Football Championship Group 1 Round 1 match against Magheracloone. Photo by Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

By PJ Browne Updated

Oisin McConville believes that the Mayo county board did not make the right decision in choosing Kevin McStay rather than Ray Dempsey as the county's new senior football manager.

McConville was slated to be part of Dempsey's backroom team had he been chosen for the role. The 2002 Armagh All-Ireland winner also feels that though McStay has a "a strong line-up" in his backroom team, it may be overpopulated.

McStay will be assisted by former Mayo manager Stephen Rochford while Donie Buckley, Damien Mulligan, and Liam McHale will also be coaches and selectors.

'Ray Dempsey is exactly what Mayo need'

"Ray Dempsey would have been a better choice for Mayo, genuinely," McConville told the BBC's GAA Social podcast.

"I found Ray Dempsey very direct, very honest, and I don't think there's enough of those people around any more, especially in management. He would have been a good fit for them because that's exactly what Mayo need. But look, it's Kevin McStay and he's got a star-studded backroom team.

"Experienced managers that I've spoken to have all spoken about the importance of keeping it fairly tight. That's not a tight backroom team that McStay has. It feels a wee bit overloaded.

"Backroom teams that are hefty in numbers, it's so difficult to manage them. You're trying to manage players, but also backroom teams. A lot of the egos can be in backroom teams as opposed to the players on the pitch."

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13 September 2022; Mayo manager Kevin McStay, centre, with assistant manager Stephen Rochford, left, and coach Damien Mulligan at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park in Castlebar, Mayo. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

McStay was appointed Mayo manager on August 22nd. McConville was told about the appointment shortly beforehand.

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"I knew the meeting in Mayo was on at 7:30pm," said McConville.

"Ray Dempsey rang me 20 minutes before the meeting. I think the words that were said to him were that 'the county board have decided to go in a different direction' which I thought was just garbage, mumbo jumbo. It doesn't really matter what way you say it, you're not getting the job, and that's it.

"I was probably more disappointed than I thought I'd be. I definitely was excited about [working with Mayo] because you want to work with the top teams.

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"I said this to Ray Dempsey when he first rang me: 'I don't think there's a team I've seen more of, not even Armagh, than Mayo in the last 10 years'. I felt as if every time I saw them, I wanted them to play in a different way. I had that in my head.

"When the phone call comes, you think you're going to get the opportunity to change things. I know I wasn't going to be in there on my own, and Ray was going to be the man, but still, I had a fair idea of the way I wanted them to play. I thought the opportunity was real, and I was reinvigorated."

That reinvigoration led to McConville becoming manager of the Wicklow footballers.

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"The mindset changes because you think, 'Maybe I am ready for a step up from club football'," he said.

"Then the Wicklow opportunity came back at me, and I met them twice. I was excited by what they had to offer, and excited by it being quite obvious that they're punching well below their weight.

"The [Wicklow] county chairman rang me 48 hours [after being told the Mayo news]. It was just enough time to let things settle. After that, it was done and dusted in my head pretty quickly, but it had to be ratified and all that."

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