O’Halloran proposes place for NY in qualifiers

New York manager Justin O’Halloran says a way must be found for the Exiles to play more competitive matches each year.

O’Halloran proposes place for NY in qualifiers

New York

New York manager Justin O’Halloran says a way must be found for the Exiles to play more competitive matches each year.

New York came close to pulling off major shocks over Roscommon and Leitrim in recent years but were blown away by Mayo on Sunday at Gaelic Park as they fell to a 21-point defeat, their biggest since losing to the same opposition in 2014.

O’Halloran said that while London have benefited from being in the national league, the logistics of New York taking part in it look insurmountable.

“Obviously taking part in the league is huge for London. They have all those games and very high calibre games and we didn’t get any games.

“It’d be great to be in the league but when you look at the expense of what it’d be, it’s not just a 30-minute flight from here, it’s a whole different animal.

A national league out here, how could you play a game in February or March with maybe a foot of slow? It makes it very hard to travel and I don’t think it could be feasible.

The Cavan native feels there is merit in looking at New York being in the qualifiers, as a second game would undoubtedly help them, but he was the first to admit they were well off challenging Mayo on Sunday.

“It was disappointing, but you know what when you look at that Mayo outfit in the flesh, they are a phenomenal team. Their strength in the tackle is unreal. I would never have noticed that before from any of the teams that came out before. They’re at a different calibre.

“Extra games would have helped us but I don’t think it would’ve made any difference. We’d be a little bit sharper and a little bit better in decision-making but we just couldn’t match them physically.

“Their ability to tackle is phenomenal. It is just unbelievable, but you have to give it to them. They are going to be right there come September and hopefully they can do it.”

Mayo have remained in the US, moving up to Rockland County for a three-day training camp before returning to Ireland on Thursday.

Captain Paddy Durcan said that they have plenty to work on despite the facile win, but they are just glad to have their 2019 championship campaign up and running.

Conditions were difficult enough. The rain was pouring down for a lot of the game. It was challenging in parts but we are just happy to get a win and move on to the next one.

“It’s going to be a good couple of days now. Lads are going to be training hard knowing that jerseys are available for the next game. that’s a positive thing.

“When lads know they are under pressure and they have to perform in training because there are lads coming for the jersey, that only creates a competition within the squad. That’s a good thing.”

Durcan also paid tribute to the thousands of Mayo supporters who made the trip, their enthusiasm not dampened by the incessant rain as a crowd of over 6,000 made it the best attended clash at Gaelic Park since New York entered the Connacht championship 21 years ago.

“I’ve said many times, along with the rest of the players, it’s something we don’t take for granted, but the support is unbelievable,” said Durcan. “They’re out in their droves again. it’s unbelievable to be part of the scene and have that support behind you.”

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