Mayo Senior Ladies Football manager, Peter Leahy is preparing to lead his side into the new season without the 12 players who departed the county panel last year.
Eight players from the Carnacon club, as well as four other members, left the panel 10 days before their championship clash against Cavan last June, citing player welfare concerns.
Leahy had led the side to the Lidl Division 1 League final but were defeated by Dublin in the decider. A loss to Galway in the Connacht championship preceded the controversy.
According to RTE Sport, Leahy admitted that the 12 players, and two mentors, have not returned to the panel.
“None of the girls who left are back or have requested to come back,” he said.
“Everyone who has wanted to play for Mayo, and are good enough, and can give the commitment, have been with us in pre-season.”
“It’s a new time for Mayo ladies and will need some time to develop”
“We started with 50 players from 15 different clubs and we will cut the panel to 35 in the coming weeks. It’s a new time for Mayo ladies and will need some time to develop.”
The Mayo LGFA county board showed their support for Leahy by extending his time in charge of the county to 2021.
As well as the departed players, Leahy will also have to navigate his side through the league without star player, Sarah Rowe who has joined ALFW side, Collingwood.
However, the short season means that the 23-year-old will be back to feature in the championship.
Speaking to Pundit Arena about her move, Rowe admitted that the calendar was a huge factor in her decision to move to the AFLW.
“It’s obviously very good for us to do it at the moment because it allows you to go over and come back and still play with your county. That’s probably the reason why I feel OK about going because if it was a year and I was completely leaving Mayo, I’d find that very hard. From that perspective at the minute, it’s a great opportunity.”
Leahy’s side will open their National League campaign against Tipperary on Sunday 3 February.