WHEN MAYO LAST journeyed to New York for a Connacht championship game, James Horan was at the helm for that transatlantic trip in 2014.
Five years on and Horan is handling the managerial reins again as Mayo head back there for Sunday week’s provincial opener.
This time the Mayo boss is confident that no issues will crop up off the field to cause problems for the Mayo camp.
The 2014 trip saw some Mayo fans unhappy over the non-appearance of players at an event at a golf club in Yonkers two days before the match in Gaelic Park.
Horan believes a lack of clear communication was the reason for ‘some confusion’ at that time but they have ‘gone into good detail’ to plan for this match.
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“I think with experience you take the lessons, so hopefully all that side of it (off the pitch stuff) will be strong. I’m sure there’ll be a few things that’ll pop up.
“There was a few things planned (last time). I think the communications around it with some of the supporters that were there wasn’t clear. That’s sort of where there might have been some confusion with it.
“I remember the last time we were over, it’s funny, best made plans and all that. Just the logistics of getting over there and waiting for a bus and waiting to get some food, it had been quite a number of hours before we’d eaten, when you take plane food into account and all that sort of stuff.
“So it’s small stuff like that but it can have a knock on or it can snowball a small bit. Little things like that. We’ve gone into good detail to make sure they’re right.
The Mayo and New York teams before their match in Gaelic Park in 2014.
Source: Andy Marlin/INPHO
“There’s obviously things planned over there this year and it’s Mayo Day on the Saturday over there. I know there’s a few events planned and that kind of stuff but we’ve a very experienced bunch.
“The new guys have worked very well with the experienced guys. There’s a few events to go to but it shouldn’t distract in any way from the preparation.”
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Mayo fly out to New York next week on Thursday 2 May before the game takes place on the Sunday afternoon at Gaelic Park (7.15pm Irish time).
“That’s a huge benefit of it that we get together on the Wednesday night, we’ll train on the Wednesday night in Abbottstown before we go.
“We’ll fly out Thursday morning so you’ll have guys that really haven’t spent an overnight before, Fermanagh before we played Tyrone type thing, that’s about the some of the new guys have (experienced), so that’s huge benefit.
“Get everyone together for a couple of days, couple of sessions together and just generally spending time and figuring out what makes guys tick. That’s a huge part of the team development. So there’s a huge amount of benefits to travelling to New York from that aspect for sure.
“We arrive on the Thursday so we’ll train Friday morning, we’ll get ready for the game and just do as many of the simple things as we can. We’ll have a few sessions after the game as well. Try and make the most of our time there.”
Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO
Horan also delivered an update on the injury recovery of established players like Seamus O’Shea, Cillian O’Connor and Tom Parsons.
“(We’ve been) training hard the last few weeks so we’re pushing bodies and there is going to be the odd injury with cub games and championship and all that so we picked up a few niggles. Seamie O’Shea is making a recovery, Cillian O’Connor had some game time with Ballintubber, a few knock and bangs but not far off. It’s coming.
“You always want your injured players back quicker but you have to be patient with them too. Tom Parsons is making a good recovery. It’s difficult to know.
“I’d say the medical experts are the guys you need to ask on that. He’s making huge progress. I know there are other guys who had similar injuries that are back playing at a professional level. Tom has got the best level of medical care going so he is working hard and every day he is making progress.”
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