Conor Mortimer takes former Mayo bosses to task

Conor Mortimer has questioned the motives behind the tell-all interview Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly gave last December.

The former Mayo joint-managers resigned in controversial circumstances after the 2015 campaign, after the squad’s vote of no confidence effectively forced their hand.

In a hard-hitting interview, the pair gave their version of events and called out several senior players including Aidan O’Shea, his older brother Seamus, and Alan Dillon.

Holmes and Connelly stated they were speaking out for the good of Mayo football, but that’s not something Mortimer agrees with.

“I don’t think their reasons were what they said,” said Mortimer. “For the better of Mayo football, clearly not. It’s a negative for Mayo.

“It’s more rubbish on the pile that’s there already in relation to all the stuff that has gone on since 1951 in relation to us winning an All-Ireland. You need everything working very smoothly for you to go on and win an All-Ireland without needless stuff like that.

“It’s not a personal thing for me but they didn’t really have a leg to stand on when the players came.

“Those players know what it’s like at the top-level and what it takes in training and preparation to be at the top-level. And it’s not the last you’ll hear about it either. Some of them players will probably retire in the next year or two and they’ll have their piece to say as well.”

Mortimer felt it was inevitable that Holmes and Connelly would give their side of the story, given the circumstances of their departure.

“It was always going to happen. I know Holmesy and Noel. If you’re effectively shafted, you’re going to have an axe to grind at some stage. I don’t really know the reasoning behind the timing. Obviously they waited until the championship was over. I’m not one to say whether what they said was true or false, I don’t actually know. Generally, if players and specifics are mentioned, I don’t think there’s too much untruth behind it.

Meanwhile, Aidan O’Shea has been left on the bench for Mayo’s Connacht opener against Sligo on Sunday. For Mortimer, it’s imperative that Stephen Rochford plays the Breaffy man in his best position at midfield once he gets his conditioning up to the required standard.

“The positional sense of Aidan is primarily important for Mayo, to play him in a position and leave him in that position. I’d prefer to see him at midfield, he’s better there, he needs to get his fitness levels to a level of playing at midfield for 70 minutes. I’d like to see him at midfield but the way the game is gone you need to be seriously fit to play midfield. You need to be full of legs up and down the field, I don’t know has he that just yet. His best games consecutively have been at midfield.”

  • Former Mayo star Conor Mortimer will be one of Paddy Power’s GAA ambassadors for 2017. The former All Star will contribute a series of exclusive columns to the Paddy Power Blog during the championship.

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