EX-MAYO MANAGER John Maughan has questioned the decision to continually leave Conor Mortimer on the bench despite the player’s fine recent form.
It was last night confirmed that Mortimer had left the Mayo panel for “personal reasons,” and speaking on RTE’s Sport at 7, Maughan suggested the decision of the Mayo management to continually neglect to pick him played a large part in the player’s departure.
He also expressed bewilderment at the decision not to start Mortimer on a more regular basis, given his fine form of late, coupled with the numerous injuries that the side have recently suffered.
“He corrected me a couple of weeks ago,” Maughan recalled. “I said he had scored six points in an A versus B game, when in fact he had scored nine. He was playing very well in those challenge games, so I personally think he’s good enough to be playing and I can’t understand why he’s not.
“Mayo are without a number of their key players – Pat Harte is out with a broken foot, Peadar Gardiner, Seamus O’Shea, and Aidan O’Shea is another. So it’s not the type of news Mayo or James Horan would like. It reminds a bit of the whole Kildare saga.”
Maughan added: “I did my own little straw poll – I rang a couple of close friends of mine this evening, and every one of them said he was good enough to be on the Mayo team currently.”
While the ex-manager acknowledged the player was unfortunate not to be starting, he also expressed doubt about the wisdom of Mortimer’s decision.
“He hadn’t been selected against Leitrim and he was exceptionally disappointed. He trains seven days a week, he’s a talented footballer, and he’s their all-time record scorer so I can understand how he would be frustrated, but I don’t know if this is the correct course of action to take.”
However, Maughan also suggested there may be other reasons for Mortimer’s departure.
“He’s made a huge sacrifice commuting up and down from Dublin, and from his point of view, he feels he’s not getting a fair crack of the whip, so that’s led to huge disappointment and he’s said ‘why bother’.
“Playing gaelic football these days dominates your life, and if he’s not happy, why play the sport?”
Maughan said that Mortimer’s Mayo teammates would be disappointed to see him leave, as he is a “popular figure” within the dressing room, and was doubtful on whether the 28-year-old would return anytime in the near future, saying:
“I personally don’t see him back this season, but I hope it’s just a little blip.”