Kevin McStay: I wanted to get a job in May because I feel like I can make a difference

New Mayo chief Kevin McStay believes they are not far from Galway and Kerry and that his management team can “make a difference” when they begin their tenure.

cStay admitted Tuesday, in its first official media post, that he believes James Horan will remain as manager because he felt the team was getting stronger as it went through a period of transition.

But when the vacancy arose, he felt compelled to go to it.

“I’m 60 now, and I’ve had quite a few of them. I had no feeling there was a vacancy, I thought James would stay for another year or two, he’s been doing a really good job,” said the former Roscommon director.

“Well, they’ve had a season that they’ve been wanting a little bit more, but he’s been making a lot of transfers with young players, and the team has been strengthening again.

“Mayo lost two matches in the championship, to Galway and Kerry, so it’s not like they were cruising in the desert or something. There is still a very strong group. So I didn’t find a vacancy and I was just moving on with things.

“But then, as soon as she comes along, it’s my country, where I was born, and it has such a great attraction to me as a person because I always felt like I could bring something to her.

“I didn’t want the job just so I could say I was a Mayo manager, I want the job because I feel like I have a lot to contribute and I feel I can make a difference, and the guys I have around me really feel we can make a difference. We feel we’re going to make a difference – it remains to be seen.” I can’t tell the future.

“But what I do know is that we’re going to devote a huge part of our lives to giving this shot a massive opportunity.”

McStay confirmed some members of his back team. Former coach Stephen Rushford is listed as assistant coach, while Donny Buckley (with Monaghan last season) William McHale and Damien Mulligan are listed as coaches and selectors. Seán Moffatt continues as Chief Medical Officer while former Mayo player Evan Reagan remains as a nutritionist.

Niamh Fitzpatrick is a group psychologist, who rose to fame in the position when Liam Griffin’s Wexford bombers swept All-Ireland glory in 1996.

She had previously worked with the county during Rochford’s responsible tenure. McStay stated that more strength, conditioning, performance analysis and goalkeeping coach appointments will be made in the near future.

Mayo’s new coach also confirmed that he expects the likes of Cillian O’Connor, Ryan O’Donoghue and Tommy Conroy, all of whom have been injured, to be part of a “strict pre-season.”

After completing his stint with Roscommon in 2018, McStay hinted that he wouldn’t be returning to the boycott stage after being overlooked for a Mayo job on two previous occasions, but he admitted it was the one job he’d always wanted.

“I suppose you should never have said never, right? But there was only one date that obviously would have changed that (his decision to leave) and it was my country.

“And thank God, it happened. It was a great competition, you yourself know it. We feel very privileged and very proud to have been given the green light to manage football in May for the next four years.”