Mayo boss Leahy defends his set-up and calls Staunton’s ‘unsafe’ claims ‘close to slanderous’

MAYO LADIES FOOTBALL manager Peter Leahy has refuted Cora Staunton’s claims that the Mayo set-up is an unsafe environment to be in, calling her accusations “close to slanderous.”

Staunton was one of 12 players to left the Mayo panel earlier this summer. Initially, they cited “player welfare issues” as the reason for their departure.

The remaining members of the Mayo squad then released a statement to The42 saying that “no player welfare issues exist or have ever existed under the current management.”

In response to the statement, Staunton said: “The environment for us wasn’t right within the county set-up, we didn’t feel it was a safe environment to be in so we decided to leave.” 

Leahy was unhappy to hear Staunton call the Mayo camp “unsafe” and “unhealthy” and defended his set-up.

“The word unsafe is the reason I’m (speaking out),” Leahy told the GAA Hour yesterday.

“The minute safety was brought into it I had to protect my management team. Safety and unhealthy was mentioned last week, enough is enough.

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“There is a chartered physio at every single training session. We have live heart-rate monitoring to make sure none of the girls are over-worked.

“We had a meal after every session. We had top facilities. We had a fully qualified strength and conditioning coach. What we have a lot of senior men’s teams don’t have.

“We have a liaison officer there so if there is an unsafe situation, they have to be contacted. She has never heard a word about unsafe.

“These are close to slanderous accusations being put out there. It is not fair on my management team. If somebody wants to come out and say, Peter Leahy did X, Y, and Z, I’d welcome it. It has to be put out in the public domain at this point.”

Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

In the wake of their Connacht final defeat to Galway, the Mayo management had one-on-one meetings with the players. Leahy says some players were unhappy with team selection and “feelings” were hurt over the feedback certain players were given.

“Some of the players weren’t happy with my selection, simple as that,” he explained.

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“We only had nine players from the All-Ireland last year playing, that was a problem to a lot of them. In my opinion, it’s not a problem. It’s whoever is the best goes on the pitch on the day.

“All my selectors, including the selector who has left, have agreed on every team selection we’ve made all year. It was about selection. It was, ‘Oh my feelings are hurt.’ It was a feelings situation. I’m sorry but if we start bringing feelings into this equation, it becomes very, very muddled.”

He added that there was an attempt to remove the management and other members of the panel were encouraged to leave.

“We had girls who still remained on the panel who two or three days before we played Cavan were asked to leave, to join them. ‘Oh, if you go they won’t be able to field’, so this is the kind of stuff that was going on, which is cloak and dagger stuff, it’s not nice, it doesn’t reflect well.”

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