THE newly-appointed Mayo manager Mick Hutton has spoken of how the sport was put firmly into perspective for him by an incident in last Sunday’s FAI Junior Cup game between Claremorris and Ballyheane at Concannon Park.
Hutton, who is also head coach at Claremorris FC, revealed his anxiety after witnessing his star striker, Derek Glynn, collapsing on the pitch with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Glynn, who established a big reputation for himself as a prolific goalscorer with Galway United in the League of Ireland two years ago, lost consciousness due to chest pains.
An ambulance was called and Glynn was transferred to Mayo General Hospital for exploratory tests.
When contacted, Hutton revealed that Glynn will make a full recovery but is likely to be out of action for an extended period of time.
He stated: “I was not particularly happy about how we had played in the game and I was thinking about what I was going to say to the players when I saw Derek collapsing.
“When he came around, he complained of having chest pains and feeling unwell. An ambulance was immediately called and he was placed in the care of a medical team at Mayo General Hospital.
“It was a very worrying experience for everybody at the game, but the important factor is that Derek is going to make a full recovery.
“But it certainly put things into perspective. While managers might be concerned at times about how their teams perform, they are rendered meaningless when compared to the health and wellbeing of the players. It is something of which we should all be mindful.”
Speaking about his additional role as the new manager of the county’s Oscar Traynor Cup squad, Hutton said his passion for attacking football will be reflected in his approach.
“I am not going to change. That’s the way I’ve always loved the game to be played, even if it means conceding a few goals at the other end of the pitch.
“In any event, there is an abundance of offensive talent in Mayo and it would be wrong not to play to those strengths.
“I am referring to attacking players in the calibre of Michael Duffy, Benny Lavelle, Ronan O’Boyle, Ger O’Boyle, Brian Gallagher, Brian McHale and Derek Glynn, to mention a few.
“My biggest problem is that I am not going to be able to name all of them in the same starting 11. It’s not going to be easy to decide which ones to leave out.
“But that’s all part of the challenge to which I am looking forward. There is an abundance of talent in this county and I’d love to seeing us doing well.
“I would like soccer people to start regarding the squad as the Mayo club’s team rather than simply the Mayo League’s team. We all have work together.”
Hutton said he is in the process of speaking to club managers in order to seek their help, cooperation and advice.
“The early response I have received is very possible and supportive. I intend to give every club a fair crack of the whip. Every player who deserves a chance of making the final squad of 22 players will get the chance.
“I also want to make it clear I won’t be impinging on the work being done by clubs in advancing their prospects in the FAI Junior Cup and Connaught Cup.
“I am very aware of the difficulties being experienced at club level, but I believe it is possible to achieve a balance between club and inter-league duties.”
Hutton’s first cup match is against Roscommon away in mid-November before facing Sligo/Leitrim at Milebush Park before the end of the year.
“With Sligo/Leitrim having already defeated Roscommon, it is already clear what we need to do,” added the Letterkenny-born bank official.