New Offaly manager, John Maughan believes he has seen talent in his side that would ‘walk on to the Mayo team’.
Maughan watched on last night as his side fell to a 3-12 to 2-14 defeat to Carlow in an entertaining O’Byrne Cup tie.
Afterwards, Maughan spoke of his return to inter-county management and how happy he is to be back out on the training field rather than sitting in front of the TV at home.
“There was a combination of reasons,” Maughan told RTE Sport.
“First of all it was nice to be asked to take over the team. That’s a privileged position, that they’d consider me worthy or good enough to take on the role.
“My family are reared. It can be lonely sitting at home watching Coronation Street or EastEnders when you could be maybe out on a football field! This is what I do, I’ve been at it for years.”
One TV programme that tugged on the heartstrings of Gaels around the country over the Christmas period was the RTE documentary “Players of the Faithful” which reflected on Offaly’s giant-killing of Kerry in 1982 to deny them the five-in-a-row.
Maughan stated that he wanted his players to see the documentary, in the hope that it could instil some much-needed belief into some of his players.
The Mayo native believes that he has seen talent in Offaly that could break into the Mayo team, all that is needed is some confidence and belief.
“I was quite keen for all of the Offaly players see it. There’s something that’s in a culture and the DNA of particular jurisdictions and in Offaly they have a great history of spirit, heart, determination and a never-say-die attitude,” he said.
“That’s always there. I don’t think I’ll ever challenge an Offaly footballer in that regard. It’s just a question of getting some belief into those players.
“There’s players here that I’ve seen that would walk on to the Mayo team for argument’s sake. All they need is a little bit of confidence and belief, get a few victories and you’d hope things would turn.”
Maughan had previously lamented the lack of players making themselves available to the Offaly cause, however, he cited last night that it is a huge demand for modern inter-county footballers and that the door is always open for a return.
“Every time I arrive in Kilcormac where we train… it’s an absolute pleasure. Every time I drive in that gate it excites me to see young players trying really hard to impress, to train hard and get on the Offaly football team. Hopefully I can guide them to better days ahead.
“Modern inter-county football demands a lifestyle choice that is very demanding. We have young people who are very often working in difficult environments and there’s a huge time commitment involved.
“Anybody who doesn’t want to get involved in inter-county, that’s their own prerogative. I was a little bit disappointed but I respect guys’ decision because it’s a huge demand.
“It’s a hobby, a choice of pleasure. The door is always open.”