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Carey: 'I believe now that they can win it'

Mayo selector Sean Carey.

Mayo selector Sean Carey.

By Cian O’Connell


The facts of the matter are that in every Championship year since 2012 Mayo have been beaten by the eventual All Ireland winners.

“I think the only thing you can take out of that is the excellence of the group of Mayo players,” well regarded selector Sean Carey remarks. “Some people might look at that differently, I would say that's a sign of the potential these players have.

“You could look at that in a lot of different ways, but the fact that it has taken the eventual winners to make us exit the Championship, I think there's something very positive about that.

“Okay, you could wallow in that, but the truth is that it's a sign that this group of players are excellent and really, really good at what they do. There's very, very small margins between us and what we want to achieve.”

In that spell Mayo have suffered several harrowing defeats, but Carey is adamant that the Green and Red can reclaim Sam Maguire.

“I would have been at all of those big games in the last five or six years and I think anybody who follows football would realise that Mayo have been really, really competitive and that, it's like the question that you asked me a few minutes ago, they've been knocked out by the eventual winners each time.

“So I don't think anybody out there can think that there was a massive reconstructive thing that was needed. These guys are seriously committed athletes and they know what they're doing.

“There's a lot of talent there and I think they believe they can win it and, leaving Croke Park last year, I believed that they could still win it and I believe now that they can win it.”

Since 1951 Mayo have been outfoxed in seven finals, but that doesn’t overly concern Carey. “I think, to be honest, since Mayo have come back into public consciousness in '96, there's 20 years where we've been there or thereabouts every couple of years.

“There's always pressure, but it's a pressure that I think every other county would take. That you're there at the top table and you're competing and your reputation is as a county that achieves and is competitive over that 20-year period so I'd say that there is pressure, but it's a pressure that 27, 28 other counties would gladly take in that time frame if they could have the kind of - maybe not actually winning it, but being competitive, consistently competitive over that 20 years.”

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