A blow for Mayo GAA as goalkeeper O'Malley declares for Roscommon

STAR Westport Gaelic football senior goalkeeper Patrick O'Malley is set to throw his lot in with Roscommon on the inter-county scene for 2020.

The Connaught Telegraph has learned that O'Malley, who has been between the posts for his native Mayo in the past and was between the sticks when Westport captured the All-Ireland intermediate club title in 2017, has decided to play for Roscommon this year and could be involved with the Rossies' as early as in the forthcoming FBD Connaught League.

The Westport keeper' is eligible to play for Roscommon under the patronage rule as his mother is a native of Roscommon.

However, O'Malley will still be eligible to continue to play for his club Westport.

While Mayo have always had an abundance of good goalkeepers the loss of O'Malley to Roscommon will be seen as a big loss to county as he is very highly rated and widely regarded as one on the shortlist to replace present Mayo 'keepers David Clarke and Robbie Hennelly when they hang up their boots.

Indeed, with the third choice keeper last year Michael Slingermann having already decided to throw his lot in with Galway United this year, O'Malley's had been mentioned as a possible standby replacement this year.

No doubt O'Malley's decision to go with Roscommon will be a disappointment to Mayo senior team manager James Horan.

Having managed the Westport senior team in 2018, Horan will have been well aware of O'Malley's huge potential.