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Kevin McStay explains personal desire not main factor behind pursuing Mayo job

Kevin McStay

Newly-appointed Mayo manager Kevin McStay has explained that personal desire was not his primary motivation for pursuing the role.

McStay has plenty of managerial experience, as he has taken charge of Roscommon Gaels and St Brigid’s at club level and Roscommon’s senior football team at inter-county level.

He did apply to be Mayo’s manager back in 2014, but despite having led St Brigid’s to an All-Ireland club title in 2013, McStay was unsuccessful in his bid to manage his native county.

The 60-year-old will take charge of Mayo next year however, and despite his previous attempt, he explained on the RTE GAA podcast that it was never a major personal goal of his to become his county’s senior football manager.

Kevin McStay on taking charge of Mayo.

“There was a sense that I was chasing this job all my life or something and that there was something personal about it or a box I wanted to tick and it’s not really that,” McStay said.

“I didn’t want this for Kevin McStay. I felt I had something to offer Mayo because of my experiential life, if you like, and the things I’ve gone through – good, bad, indifferent, highs, lows and all that.

“You have to have that belief that you can contribute and make a contribution and I really did feel I’m in a space where I’ve a lot of knowledge now, I’ve a lot of experiences and I’ve got the backroom team I wanted.

“I’d said to the chairman at the interview, if any of those guys had said no, I didn’t have back-ups. Those lads were either with me or I wasn’t going to go.”

Bouncing back from a disappointing championship.

Things were going quite well for Mayo early on this year as they booked their place in the Allianz Leagues Division One final, but a 15-point defeat to Kerry in the decider brought the Westerners crashing back down to Earth.

A one-point loss to Galway in the Connacht quarter-finals followed for Mayo, and while they did make it to the All-Ireland quarter-finals thanks to wins against Monaghan and Kildare in the qualifiers, an eight-point loss to Kerry ended their season.

Mayo still have plenty of experienced heads and some up and coming talent for McStay to work with, although their 2021 season does not suggest they are close to winning the All-Ireland title which has so narrowly evaded them several times in the past.

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