A massive double blow for new Mayo manager McStay

by Aiden Henry

AS new Mayo senior Gaelic football team manager Kevin McStay plots and plans for the forthcoming National Football League which gets underway in January, The Connaught Telegraph has learned he will have to do so without two of the county's outstanding players, Lee Keegan and Oisín Mullin.

An announcement on the inter-county retirement of Keegan, regarded as not only Mayo’s greatest footballers of all time but one of the greatest Gaelic footballers ever in the history of the GAA, is imminent.

Although just turned 33, Keegan showed throughout the 2022 inter-county season that he was still presently one of the best defenders in the game.

Indeed, Mayo supporters after watching Keegan’s great exploits this year, were hoping that he would stay on for another year at the very least.

The only thing missing from Keegan’s astonishing inter-county career is a senior All-Ireland medal.

Despite playing in six All-Ireland finals he ended up on the losing side each time.

Yet, he is the holder of five All Star awards and was selected as the 2016 footballer of the year.

He was also one of the three nominated for footballer of the year in 2021.

On the international scene Keegan played twice for Ireland against Australia in the 2013 International Rules Series, which Ireland won.

He was also named in the squad for the 2014 International Rules Series and was named as vice-captain for the 2015 International Rules.

Holder of two Mayo intermediate club championship titles and one All-Ireland intermediate club title with his club Westport, his greatest achievement on the club scene came just came last month when he helped Westport win their first ever Mayo senior championship title.

For McStay, if trying to fill the gap left by Keegan next to near impossible, news has amerged that Oisin Mullin is expected to try his luck in Australia by signing for AFL’s Geelong Cats.

Mullin was on the verge of signing for Geelong for the 2022 season, but in January decided to throw his lot in with Mayo and stay put.

“Going to Australia to play professionally was a really interesting opportunity and it was something I wanted to research and consider in detail.

"It was a big decision for me as playing for Mayo with my friends is a huge honour and something I love doing, so I wanted to take the time to consider all aspects of it.

"After some careful thinking and a lot of support from family, I have decided to stay in Ireland and I am really excited about joining up with the Mayo senior football panel as soon as possible,” said Mullin at the time.

But now it seems 22-year-old Mullin is ready to play professional football in Australia in the 2023 season.

He will be a massive loss to Mayo, having already played in two All-Ireland senior finals, having an All-Star award to his name and two young footballer of the year awards.