CORA STAUNTON HAS conceded that she is unlikely to return for a remarkable 25th senior inter-county season with Mayo next year.
The football legend was one of 12 players who withdrew from the Mayo Ladies squad this summer citing unspecified “player welfare issues”, setting off a summer-long saga which played out very publicly.
Manager Peter Leahy, and the players who remained to see out this year’s championship, have left the door open for all involved to return to the Mayo panel next season if they so wish.
But Staunton, 36, revealed on Friday night that her incredible inter-county career has now come to an end.
“I can’t see myself playing for Mayo again,” she said on The Late Late Show where she appeared to promote her autobiography, Game Changer, written in collaboration with journalist Mary White.
“I’m blessed. I’ve played with Mayo for 24 years. There’s not many people that can say they’ve played with their county for that long.
"I can't see myself playing for Mayo again" – Cora Staunton. pic.twitter.com/ryqsG4CG7w
— RTÉ GAA (@RTEgaa) October 19, 2018
“I still have my club, Carnacon. We play at the weekend [in the Mayo SFC final].
“When you come to my age and you’re 36, you have to take every year as it comes. I can’t say I’d love to be playing with Mayo in two years’ time because my body mightn’t be able.”
Staunton made the switch to Australian Rules this winter, playing professionally with the Greater Western Sydney Giants before returning to the Mayo panel ahead of the championship.
She added: “I probably said before I had made the decision to go back this year that this was probably going to be my last year, in any event.
“Obviously with Australia coming into the mix, I want to stay a bit longer over there this year. I want to get involved in a little bit of coaching and spend a little bit more time out there. I’d be coming home later so I wouldn’t have been able to do both.”
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