Stephen Rochford’s knowledge of the Mayo players will be “invaluable” to Donegal boss Declan Bonner this weekend, according to Tony McEntee.
Rochford was in charge of the Westerners for three seasons, steering them to All-Ireland finals in 2016 and 2017, before stepping down last August when he cited insufficient support from the county board.
Now the Crossmolina native plots against his former charges as Donegal bid for an All-Ireland semi-final place and McEntee, who worked under him in the Heather County, reckons “all the cards lie” with the Tir Chonaill selector heading into the crunch Castlebar showdown on Saturday.
“Stephen clearly knows that Mayo team as players, and he clearly knows their personalities. He knows who gets rattled, he knows their favourite side, he knows their weak point… he knows everything,” McEntee is quoted saying by The Irish News.
“That information is invaluable; that’s not information you can take off a video. He knows, for example, what way Aidan O’Shea likes to turn or run, or work from kick-outs… he knows every little detail about Mayo.
“All the cards lie with Stephen Rochford. This is the difficult part for Stephen, and I’m sure it was the difficult part for Donie Buckley with the Kerry set-up a few weeks ago – knowing that information, he has to use that information because he’s here to win.
“It worked for Kerry, I’m sure there were other factors in it too, and we’ll see will it work for Donegal too. I’m sure Donie Buckley felt sorry having to use that information against the players, and I’m sure Stephen will equally find it very difficult.”
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