Peter Leahy defends Mayo set-up

Mayo ladies football manager Peter Leahy has rejected Cora Staunton’s claim that a dozen players left the Mayo panel because the environment was not safe.

In an interview last week with Off The Ball, Staunton said she and 11 other players walked out of the Mayo set-up as they did not feel “it was a safe environment to be in”.

Leahy is unhappy with “close to slanderous accusations” being made against his management, insisting he put several measures in place to ensure his players were properly looked after.

“Safety was mentioned last week and I have to protect my management team,” Leahy told The GAA Hour yesterday.

“There is a chartered physio at every single training session. We have live heart-rate monitoring to make sure none of the girls are over-worked.

“We had a meal after every session. We had top facilities. We had a fully qualified strength and conditioning coach. What we have a lot of senior men’s teams don’t have.

“We have a liaison officer there so if there is an unsafe situation, they have to be contacted. She has never heard a word about unsafe.

“These are close to slanderous accusations being put out there. It is not fair on my management team. If somebody wants to come out and say, Peter Leahy did x, y, and z, I’d welcome it. It has to be put out in the public domain at this point.”

Following the Connacht final defeat to Galway in June, members of the Mayo management met each player individually, during which it emerged, according to Leahy, certain players disagreed with team selection.

“Some of the players weren’t happy with my selection, simple as that.

“We only had nine players from the All-Ireland last year playing, that was a problem to a lot of them. In my opinion, it’s not a problem. It’s whoever is the best goes on the pitch on the day.

“All my selectors, including the selector who has left, have agreed on every team selection we’ve made all year.”

Leahy also alleged certain players did not take kindly to feedback given to them during these individual meetings. Two days before the Carnacon footballers opted out, a meeting between them and management “went nowhere,” added Leahy.

It was about selection. It was, ‘oh my feelings are hurt’. It was a feelings situation.

Elsewhere, Tadhg MacCarthaigh and Kilmacabea are likely to face sanction for the unsavoury scenes which greeted the end of last Saturday’s Carbery JAFC final replay. Kilmacabea retained their crown on a 0-15 to 0-10 scoreline, with nasty scenes playing out after the final whistle had sounded.

The executive of the Carbery divisional board are currently studying referee Alan Long’s report and will decide in due course what punishment, if any, is handed out.

“After what was a great game of football, it was a shame to see what took place afterwards,” said a spokesperson for the board.

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