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Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: -2°C
Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO
# exodus
Mayo manager Stephen Rochford facing backroom rebuild as key coaches depart
Remaining selector Joe Keane is expected to stay on into the 2019 season.

MAYO MANAGER STEPHEN Rochford will have to build an almost entirely new management team if he decides to stay on next year.

Long-serving coach/selector Donie Buckley and goalkeeping coach/selector Peter Burke have both informed Rochford that they will be stepping down from their roles.

It’s also believed that selector Tony McEntee, an All-Ireland winner with Armagh in 2002, is unlikely to return for a fourth season with the Westerners.

However, Joe Keane, the remaining Mayo selector this season and a former Crossmolina team-mate of Rochford, is expected to stay on.

Peter Burke and Stephen Rochford James Crombie / INPHO Peter Burke (L) and Stephen Rochford James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

The Mayo boss is expected to meet with County Board officials after next Sunday’s All-Ireland Under-20 football final to discuss his future plans.

The 39-year-old was given a two-year extension to his term as Mayo manager by the Mayo GAA Board last October.

Last Monday marked exactly a month since Kildare knocked Mayo out of the All-Ireland senior championship race.

Donie Buckley and Tony McEntee were appointed as team selectors in 2016 while Peter Burke also assumed selection duties for each of the last two seasons.

Kerry native Buckley was brought on board by James Horan at the start of the 2013 season and has been involved for Mayo’s last six National League and championship campaigns.

He worked under three different management teams — including Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes in 2015 — and was involved in three Connacht title wins and three All-Ireland Final appearances, plus replays in 2016 and 2017.

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Donal Vaughan and selector Donie Buckley takes to the field James Crombie / INPHO Donal Vaughan and selector Donie Buckley James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Burke’s departure from the Mayo backroom team brings to an end his eight-year association with the senior football squad.

The former county goalkeeper was brought into the Mayo fold by James Horan at the beginning of 2011 as goalkeeping coach.

It was a role he also filled under joint managers Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes before being retained by Rochford.

– Originally published 06.00, 1 August

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