By Declan Rooney
The Mayo LGFA has given its full support to manager Peter Leahy after ten of his squad and one of his assistants walked out last week citing ‘personal and sensitive’ concerns relating to player welfare.
Mayo face Cavan in their opening All-Ireland qualifier this Saturday, and Leahy and his squad have been boosted by the unequivocal backing of the Mayo ladies executive ahead of the key clash.
The board’s statement says they are satisfied that Leahy has adhered to the training guidelines and structures laid out when he took charge of the team, and it has informed the remaining 28 squad members that the management team have their ‘full support’.
Following the withdrawal of the players last week, a statement was released by the Women’s Gaelic Players Association (WGPA) on behalf of the players on Tuesday. The WGPA gave their full backing the exiled players and said ‘personal and sensitive’ issues was the reason for their walk-out.
Despite these claims, the Mayo LGFA has weighed in behind Leahy and his player management methods.
The statement says: “The Executive Board of Mayo LGFA is acutely aware of the critical importance of player welfare. Player wellbeing is fundamental to all coaching and management structures.
“A comprehensive programme is in place to ensure that all Mayo players can train and perform in a safe and supportive environment and all necessary resources have been made available to enable the Mayo senior ladies compete with the very best in the country.
“In the light of media speculation about unspecified 'personal and sensitive' issues, the board feels it important to state that the senior management team has adhered to all protocols and guidelines set out at the beginning of their tenure.
“The board has made players and management aware that they have our full support going forward and we will continue to work with all parties to find an amicable resolution.
“Finally, we would call on all Mayo fans to come out and support the team in Saturday's TG4 All-Ireland Qualifier against Cavan and for the remainder of the season.”
The remaining Mayo squad trained during the week and Leahy has since named his team to face Cavan for the Clones clash.
Despite the upheaval, ten of the team that started the Connacht final defeat to Galway will start Saturday's game.