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Published: 18:49 | 14/12/15

Rochford plans to experiment


New Mayo manager Stephen Rochford plans to experiment with his squad during the Allianz Football League campaign.

Rochford's appointment on an initial three-year term was ratified by the county board on Monday night and comes on the back of the decision of Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes to step down after just a year following a vote of no confidence by the players.

The new manager will meet with the players in the coming weeks before naming an extended squad for the FBD League and the Allianz Football League.

While maintaining Division 1 status is the top priority, Rochford admits he will tinker with the squad over the course of the national league to ensure they are ready for the summer.

"We will experiment during the league, we will want to maintain our Division One status and if we get more from it then that’s good. But there will be no talk of All-Irelands or anything like that. Connacht will be very competitive and we want to prepare for that," Rochford said.

"Our first FBD League game is four weeks from next Sunday so we have plenty to do, but I think we have assembled a strong management team."

Having guided Corofin to three Galway SFC titles and an All-Ireland club crown, Rochford admits he is honoured to have been selected to take charge of his native county.

"It is a huge honour to be asked to manage your native county and it has been an ambition for some time. You just never know when you are going to get an opportunity so I’m grateful to be given the chance," he added.

"This is a huge football county, it means an awful lot to the people and you want to try and honour that passion. The fact that Mayo have been operating at the top end has increased that interest, and it is a credit to the people who have gone before."

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