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'Continuity' a positive for All-Star Barrett as Mayo wait for management team to be rubber-stamped

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford is assembling his backroom team for the 2019 season.

MAYO’S CHRIS BARRETT says having ‘continuity’ in the Mayo squad is a positive as the group wait for the management team to be ‘rubber-stamped.’

2018 Londis All-Ireland Senior Football Sevens Launch Chris Barrett. Source: Seb Daly/SPORTSFILE

Manager Stephen Rochford recently committed to a fourth season in charge of the senior team, while long-serving coach/selector Donie Buckley and goalkeeping coach/selector Peter Burke have both said that they will be stepping down from their respective roles.

It is also believed that selector Tony McEntee is unlikely to return to the Mayo fold next season.

“I’m not going to go too much into that at the moment because I’m not sure if it’s all rubber-stamped,” says Barrett.

“He’s [Rochford] putting together his team at the moment,” said the 2017 All-Star defender.

Continuity is great in football and it’s probably a key thing that it keeps going. Obviously there’s a shake-up in the backroom team so we’ll see who comes in.”

When asked about the prospect of bringing new faces into the Mayo backroom team, Barrett paid tribute to the outgoing members of the management team, but declined to comment further.

“The guys have been huge servants so I think it’d be wrong of me to comment on that.”

While Mayo’s shock exit from the championship was a major discussion point earlier this summer, the county has since been rocked by controversies in ladies football.

12 members of the panel and two selectors left the Mayo senior ladies team, citing ‘player welfare issues’ in July, and this has been followed by the news that Carnacon have been expelled from the Mayo ladies football club championship after the club moved to withdraw all eight of their players from the Mayo squad.

Barrett says he hopes the issue is resolved soon as the reigning county, provincial and All-Ireland champions prepare an appeal to the Connacht LGFA over the decision.

After contesting the last two All-Ireland finals, Tyrone will be taking Mayo’s place in the All-Ireland final this year as they attempt to try and halt Dublin’s four-in-a-row charge.

Damien Comer Chris Barrett in action for Mayo against Galway. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Barrett admits that he felt himself becoming ‘angsty’ when the All-Ireland semi-finals were taking place this year, but much like his teammates have already done, the Belmullet man has turned his attentions to regular things in his life such as catching up on work.

Barrett is based in Dublin for work, and the break from the Mayo footballers means he can step away from the difficult commute for a while before another campaign begins.

It’s an extra hour from Castlebar for me to Belmullet. Yeah, the driving is tough from Dublin to be honest.

“The worst is the Tuesday or the Wednesday training at home when you are getting back at one o’clock in the morning and having to get up the next day for work.

“It does take a toll, and then you might not be right for Wednesday or Thursday then. The sleep is kind of affected as well, but it’s our own choice to live up here and work up here. It’s not something I regret, but it would be nicer to have a shorter journey.”

Chris Barrett was speaking at the launch of this year’s Londis 7s, the All-Ireland Senior Football Sevens, which takes place on 1 September at Kilmacud Crokes GAA Club.

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