No way back with Mayo for Cora Staunton

Mayo ladies football legend Cora Staunton doesn’t expect to play for the county again.

The All-Star forward was among 12 players to walk out of the Mayo camp this summer, in a dispute with manager Peter Leahy's methods that still rumbles on.

And Staunton, who has played with the county for 24 years, can’t see a way back.

“No, I can’t see myself playing for Mayo again,” she said on last night's Late Late Show.

“I’m blessed. I’ve played for Mayo for 24 years. There’s not many people can say they played for their county that long.

“Every year when you get older, I’m 36, you have to take every year as it comes.

“I can’t say I’d love to be playing for Mayo in two years’ time, because my body mightn’t be able.

“I’d probably made the decision before I went back this year that this was going to be my last year in any event.”

Staunton explained again why the players, including eight from her club Carnacon, left the Mayo setup.

“The main reason I walked out was because of the treatment of my friends and my teammates.

“I couldn’t stand by and watch that. It’s an amateur sport and we can walk away from it an any time.

“We weren’t happy with the environment we were in and we decided, you know what... I’ve always said to myself, when I’m not enjoying

something, when my body isn’t able to do it any more, I’m not going to play any more. And I decided in early June to walk away from Mayo.

“It wasn’t an easy decision. I’ve played for Mayo the last 24 years. It was a very difficult decision.”

Asked why the rest of the Mayo panel were happy with Leahy’s management, Staunton said:

The environment can be good for some people and it mightn’t be so good for other people. But it’s really not my story to tell.

“There’s 12 players and two members of management who walked away. While it was hugely disappointing, and it’s got massive media attention the last number of months, it’s been a difficult couple of months.

“But we’ve come out the other side of it. I’m focused on my county final Sunday with Carnacon and my journey back to Australia in a few weeks.”

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