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Former teammate reckons Stephen Rochford would be a ‘great fit’ as Mayo boss

Michael Moyles has backed the credentials of his Crossmolina colleague and is also hoping that Donie Buckley remains on as coach.

Stephen Rochford is favourite to succeed Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly in Mayo.
Stephen Rochford is favourite to succeed Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly in Mayo.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

FORMER MAYO PLAYER Michael Moyles believes that his former Crossmolina clubmate Stephen Rochford is a “great fit” for the county’s senior football management post.

Moyles would also like to see coach Donie Buckley retained in his position, as the Kerry native is linked with the vacant management post in Tipperary.

Premier County sources have indicated that Buckley, who worked with Jack O’Connor in Kerry prior to linking up with James Horan in Mayo, is on their radar as they seek a successor to Peter Creedon.

It is understood that if Tipp get their man, he would be joined by Creedon’s former backroom team members Michael McGeehin (coach), Michael O’Loughlin and Tommy Toomey, who was in charge of the U21 team that contested the All-Ireland final against Tyrone in May.

Donie Buckley Donie Buckley has emerged as a contender for the Tipperary job. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Buckley may fancy stepping up to senior intercounty management in his own right after coaching spells with Limerick, Kerry and Mayo, latterly alongside joint-bosses Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly this year.

Speculation has centred on Buckley’s position after Holmes and Connelly were ousted by player power recently but Moyles believes the Castleisland native would work well alongside Rochford, the hot favourite for the Mayo job.

Moyles, a 2001 All-Ireland senior club medallist with Crossmolina alongside Rochford, said: “I think at the moment, the way the game is going, players are looking for a young, charismatic, energetic manager, with his finger on the pulse of the modern game.

“People are always looking for that edge and Stephen is somebody that’s played recently, understands the game and has an indepth knowledge of it.

“Tactically he can change it up a bit and while sometimes managers can try to outdo each other and take away from the strengths of the team, Stephen is a very smart individual.

“The biggest thing with high-profile teams is winning over the players, being prepared and having everything ready.”

Michael Moyles 11/6/2000 Michael Moyles is backing Stephen Rochford's credentials. Source: Tom Honan/INPHO

On Sunday, Rochford is hoping to mastermind a third successive Galway SFC title for the reigning All-Ireland champions Corofin.

And Moyles said: “Reading statements from Corofin, they knew the Slaughtneil lads inside out (in the All-Ireland club final) and that shows the level of commitment and organisation that he brings to the fold.

“But for the likes of Mayo, if they can keep Donie Buckley, who’s one of the best trainers, and bring in a good manager with great organisation, it would be a great fit.

“It’s interesting to see what’s going to happen over the next couple of weeks.

“I was favourite with the bookies for the Sligo job a couple of years ago but I never even got a call.

“It’s interesting to see where the bookies get their info from.”

Here are this weekend’s key GAA club fixtures from around the country

Kilkenny hurler Paul Murphy had some craic at the Aviva last night!

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