Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Ryan Byrne/INPHO Cora Staunton (file pic).
# Waiting Game
'The whole ball lies with Cora': No decision from Staunton yet, says Mayo boss
The 11-time All-Star is back on home soil following her AFLW venture.

CORA STAUNTON HAS returned to Ireland from her AFLW venture but has yet to reveal a decision on her inter-county future to Mayo manager Peter Leahy.

Leahy joined us on The Ladies Football Show today and echoed 11-time All-Star Staunton’s words that she’s yet to decide on a potential return to the Green and Red.

The 36-year-old had an impressive few months in Australia with Greater Western Sydney (GWS) and landed home earlier today.

A stalwart with Mayo for the past 23 seasons, Staunton has won four All-Irelands and three league titles with the Westerners. The questioning of when she’ll call time on her inter-county career has been ongoing for some time now, and that looks set to continue.

Leahy, who was involved as a coach last year but has taken the reins as Mayo manager for 2018, told The42 today that Staunton was yet to inform him of her decision but that the door is well and truly open.

“Listen, Cora’s back and it’s well documented that she doesn’t know what she’s going to do yet,” he said.

“I have no real story for you in that I haven’t been contacted by Cora but we’ve text each other (when she was) over (in) the AFL, wishing her the best of luck and so on, so forth. I’ve been contacted by a lot of media over this issue of her being home. I think everybody’s looking for a story but there’s no story. It’s Dutch.

The way that it’s been left between me and Cora and the way it is for anyone involved in Mayo, if there’s a player out there who’s capable and good enough to be on the Mayo panel, all they’ve to do is pick up the phone and ring me and they’ll be brought in. That’ll apply to Cora or to anyone else.” / YouTube

He added: “It’s really up to Cora. She’s had a huge season over there, before that she won an All-Ireland with Carnacon, before that she was in an All-Ireland final with Mayo.

“Does Cora want a break? Does Cora want to come straight back in? She publicly said that she couldn’t believe that she wasn’t missing football but maybe that’s because she needs a break. Everybody needs a break sometimes.

“Listen, I know Cora. She lands and she sees a Gaelic football, she’ll want to play it. She’ll go back to her club Carnacon and she’ll kick a football around with the girls and they’ll probably annoy her as well. She’s very headstrong and she’ll do her own thing.

Do we want her as part of Mayo football? Whether she’s playing, whether she’s a substitute or whether she’s carrying the water bottles, it’s irrelevant as long as she’s part of the Mayo thing.

“Do I want her? I don’t beg but it’s very close to begging at this stage! She knows me, I know her. She can pick up the phone any time or text me anytime. There’s going to be no big deal about it and I don’t think she’s going to make a big deal about it because Mayo’s in her DNA, it’s her blood and that’s it.”

Exclusive Six
Nations Analysis

Get Murray Kinsella’s exclusive analysis of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign this spring

Become a Member

Leahy stressed that the decision is Staunton’s and he’s not going to pressure the Carnacon forward. He’ll give her space and let her see what she thinks. / YouTube

“The whole ball lies with Cora,” he continued.

I won’t be ringing her, I won’t be texting her, I won’t be annoying her. She knows me well enough to just send a text and say ‘Peter, when’s training?’ ‘It’s at seven o’clock this evening in Ballyhaunis, see you there.’ That’s the end of the story.

“Fighting to get into the team or not, that’s a separate issue and that goes by whatever happens on the training ground.”

Leahy confirmed that Staunton’s clubmate Martha Carter returned to the fold two weeks ago. The defender won’t be involved in the Lidl Ladies National Football League, ‘but she’ll be there ready and waiting for us for championship as well’.

Mayo face six in-a-row chasing Cork in the Division 1 semi-final on Sunday (throw-in 3pm, Birr), so that was a hot topic of conversation in the wide-ranging interview.

Leahy also spoke at length about the 2017 All-Ireland final and his ‘war of words’ with Dublin manager Mick Bohan, Mayo’s 2018 campaign to date, the current state of ladies football and much, much more on the show.

You can watch or listen to The Ladies Football Show with Mayo manager Peter Leahy, Galway’s Sarah Conneally and The42‘s Emma Duffy in full here: / YouTube

The42 Podcasts / SoundCloud

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

All Blacks speak out against Israel Folau’s homophobic comments

Another title-winner departs Connacht as homegrown stalwart Browne bids farewell

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment

    Leave a commentcancel