Mayo County Board ratify Stephen Rochford as new football boss

Stephen Rochford was officially ratified as Mayo senior football manager at a County Board meeting in MacHale Park, Castlebar last night.

Mayo County Board ratify Stephen Rochford as new football boss

The Crossmolina native has been given a three-year term with a review at the end of each year. He will address delegates at next Sunday’s County Convention in Ballina. He was formally proposed for the position by his clubmate Dermot Butler, and seconded by Kevin McDonnell (Kilmaine).

Rochford (37) was the only nominee for the high-profile post when the deadline closed just over four weeks ago. He succeeds Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly, who stepped down as joint managers following a vote of no- confidence in them by members of the 2015 Mayo squad.

County Board chairman Mike Connelly revealed the former Corofin manager’s back-room team will include outgoing Mayo coach Donie Buckley as a selector/coach, former Armagh All-Ireland winner Tony McEntee (also as a selector/coach), and former Kiltane footballer Seán Carey as a selector.

Ballaghaderreen’s Barry Solan, who’s currently working for Arsenal FC, will return as strength and conditioning coach, while the medical team will be headed up by Dr Seán Moffatt, physio Liam Moffatt and Martin McIntyre. Rochford’s brother Eoin, an Army captain by profession, will be in charge of logistics, while Caroline Brosnan will be the team nutritionist.

Connelly revealed that Rochford is in talks with former Ireland rugby international Gavin Duffy (a Ballina native) to act in a supporting strength and conditioning role.

The chairman also confirmed that an independent mediator/facilitator, Martin Conroy from DCU, had concluded his report into the recent events that led to the resignation of the Mayo joint managers. Connelly indicated he hopes to have the report put before delegates for ratification in January.

Two delegates noted that they still didn’t know the reasons why the players had voted no-confidence in the previous management team. Connelly said the reasons ‘weren’t divulged’ to the Executive during the mediation process. Acknowledging Mayo back-room teams are now probably as big as those of Manchester United, the Hollymount/Carramore clubman admitted: “Maybe we haven’t been as professional as we should have been.”

Outgoing Mayo treasurer JP Lambe, who will be stepping down next Sunday after 18 years in the position, indicated he will be reporting a surplus at Convention. Lambe revealed Mayo took in almost €3m in 2015, compared to €270,000 when he first took up the job.

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