After a disappointing end to their 2018 championship season, Stephen Rochford has this evening confirmed that he is stepping down as manager of the Mayo senior footballers. Brought in ahead of the 2016 championship, Rochford brought Mayo to the All-Ireland final in his opening season, and in 2017, losing on both occasions to Dublin by a solitary point.
In a statement released this evening, Rochford outlined that difficulties between himself and the Mayo county board had prompted his decision to resign.
After a meeting of the Mayo GAA Board’s Executive Committee last night, held to discuss the management team I had assembled to manage Mayo senior men’s team in 2019, the board issued a statement saying they wished to meet the management team and me about our structure and plans. 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. This disappoints me greatly.
Accordingly, I see no value in meeting with the officers of the board and I am resigning my position as Mayo manager. I thank all those who supported me during the past three years, two of which saw Mayo come so close to winning the All-Ireland title.
Having looked to be drafting Shane Conway and Peter Ford into his backroom team, it would appear that last night's meeting left Rochford convinced that he could no longer within the current situation.
Stating that he believed this new backroom team "had the capacity to build on the progress of previous years and drive the team on in 2019," speculation will now begin as to who is set to replace Rochford in Mayo.
Outlining that "like all Mayo people, I enjoyed the good days when the team won and suffered the disappointments when the results didn’t go our way," Rochford insisted that it had been "a great privilege to manage the Mayo team."
In particular, I thank the players, backroom team, spouses and partners, family members, our team sponsors Intersport Elverys, the county board, the clubs and the Mayo supporters worldwide who turned out in huge numbers to support us during the three years and who lent financial backing to the team. A special word of thanks to my wife, Laura, and our children, and both our families, for their support and forbearance at all times.
Rochford concluded his statement by wishing "all who will wear the Mayo jersey in 2019 and beyond every success and I look forward to supporting the footballing fortunes of the county.”