MAYO WILL HAVE to search for a new football coach next year as they attempt to bounce back from the disappointment of last Sunday’s All-Ireland final defeat.
Cian O’Neill has confirmed to The Irish Examiner that he has stepped down from the position due to health reasons. Three years ago O’Neill was involved in a car accident that resulted in two discs being removed from his back and the five hour round trip from Limerick, where is employed in the University of Limerick, to Castlebar for Mayo training sessions over the past year has taken its toll.
“I’m being seen to leave Mayo after just a year but there was never any chance of me doing a second year. My back has got worse with the driving and the five-and-a-half hour round trips were causing problems for my health. That is the only reason why I won’t be with Mayo next year.”
In the same paper O’Neill responded to speculation linking him with a role in new Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s setup by stating that he did speak to the Finuge man recently as he advised him in his hunt for a physical trainer for the Kingdom squad.
“I spoke to Eamonn four weeks ago. He was looking for a physical trainer and I gave him three names. There was nothing spoken about in terms of leaving Mayo. Eamonn was interested in discussing physical trainers and that’s not my area anymore and Eamonn does the coaching himself.”
O’Neill admitted that he would be eager to stay involved in coaching if travelling was not as much of a burden.
“I love coaching and love being involved with teams, whether it’s my own club or our (UL) Sigerson team. I would be interested in a position closer to Limerick.”