The inspirational Cora Staunton.PHOTO: SPORTSFILE.

Cora allays retirement speculation by committing to Mayo for 2017

AS Mayo ladies senior Gaelic footballers embark on a new season next Sunday with a first round national league encounter against arch rivals Galway, the management has been given a massive boost.

Cora Staunton. widely regarded as the best ladies footballer in the country, has decided after much deliberation to stay on and play with Mayo for one more year.

The four-time All-Ireland winner and holder of 10 All Star awards has spent the last number of weeks considering her future.

While Mayo manager Frank Browne was hopeful Staunton would stay on for another year, Stauntion had suggested it might be the right time to step away after 22 years at senior level.

But as promised she indicated she would make her decision known to the management before the opening round of the national league.

This she has done and her decision to stay on will certainly shorten the odds on Mayo regaining the All-Ireland championship this year.

Mayo went very close last year, just losing narrowly to Cork in the national league final, and to Dublin by a pointi nthe All-Ireland semi-final.

It was expected that if Cora had decided to call it a day, two other staunch members of the squad who have also given tremendous service to Mayo, Yvonne Byrne and Martha Carter, would have followed her in retiring from the game.

But with Cora now staying on, both Yvonne and Martha also now stay on for one more year.