PETER LEAHY HAS stepped down as manager of the Mayo Ladies after being appointed as part of the new backroom team with the Meath U20 footballers.
Leahy steps away after three years in charge, having guided the Connacht outfit to an All-Ireland semi-final in 2019 where they narrowly lost out to Galway.
Mayo reached this feat following a controversial period in 2018, in which 12 players left the squad along with two members of the backroom team.
The news of Leahy’s departure comes after the management team for the Meath U20′s was ratified last night. Bernard Flynn has been appointed as manager of the side with Royals legends Graham Geraghty and the recently retired Graham Reilly coming on board as selectors.
Leahy and Kilmacud Crokes joint-manager Robbie Brennan have also been included as coaches.
“A tinge of sadness leaving such a good group of players, and a county with so much heritage and history,” Leahy told Midwest Radio as he confirmed his decision to step down.
“But an opportunity arose and it’s been in the cards [for] over a week-and-a-half.
“It kind of leaked to the media a little bit that I was going to be involved and it was ratified last night.
“It’s with a great amount of sadness in one way but a huge adventure for me. Last year was a very tough year. Things changed a lot with a lot of things that happened, obviously with Covid and my own mother passed away. And having no county board — it was a very tough year.
“The last year with Mayo was exceptionally tough but I had a year left on my contract and I was going to honour the last year.”
Commenting on the prospect of working alongside Flynn and the impressive backroom team in Meath, Leahy added:
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“I know Bernard very well, he’s from my own home town in Mullingar. The team he’s put together with Graham Geraghty, Graham Reilly, Robbie Brennan and myself, it’s a huge opportunity.
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“I just felt I needed to make a change for me personally with the travelling up and down, and all the things that transpired in Mayo over the last 12 months. At the end of the day, I think it will be healthy for the players to make a change.”
Remarking on his overall experience at the helm with Mayo, Leahy said:
“It was sort of topsy-turvy. I came into a Mayo team that was in transition, and in ways… self-destruct button whether it be my responsibility on that or other people’s, we’ll live to learn.
“The one thing that transpires in any sporting arena is things evolve and move on. There was a huge change in Mayo but I’d be very proud of what we achieved.
“You mention the player walkout and losing so many players, we also developed so many players who put the Mayo shirt on and performed with great pride. We were a kick of a ball away from an All-Ireland final.”
Listen to the full interview here: