A change is as good as a rest

As we put some daylight between ourselves and yesterday evening’s car crash exit from the championship, we’re left with the reality of having no inter-county football to look forward to, at senior level at least, for several months now.  The FBD World Series final against New York in October is as good as it gets for us at this stage, followed by the 2011 FBD at the start of next year and then the NFL in early February.

The minors, whose excellent first round win over Roscommon yesterday has largely been overlooked due to our Pearse Park meltdown, once again carry our hopes on their young shoulders and there’s a reasonable chance that we might get to see them line out at Croke Park later on in the summer.  Next up for Tony Duffy’s lads are Leitrim, in the Connacht semi-final at Markievicz Park on Saturday evening (this match has been switched from McHale Park to become the curtain raiser for the Sligo-Galway replay) and, if they win that one, they’ll face Galway in the final.  The Leitrim match is actually the more important of the two, as qualification for the provincial final carries with it a place in the All-Ireland quarter-final whereas if we lose to the Ridge County the next day, that’s it.

With the seniors’ year over, it’s obviously set to get a hell of a lot quieter round here and, in that sense, my timing for heading off tomorrow morning on a work trip for most of the week is (however unintentionally it may have been) pretty spot on.  While I’m away, I’ll probably have some time to set down some more considered thoughts on where we now find ourselves and how we might start to climb out of this massive hole we’re now in.  Whether or not I’ll have the inclination to do so is another matter, though – after all, there’ll be plenty of time all summer long for that kind of thinking.  Time isn’t something that’s in short supply for us right now.  Take care, y’all.

49 thoughts on “A change is as good as a rest

  1. Its gonna be a long year for mayogaablog, I suppose the management debate will liven things up.The minors also have an extremely strong team.

  2. Was numb yesterday, suicidal today but as i read the lads comments i realise i am not alone. When Johno was appointed i was thrilled as i thought that it was just a matter of time. Lets now go forward. No outside managers. Its our mess so let us sort it out. Noel Connelly is a winner and should be given a go. He knows every footballer in Mayo and most of that team are his former U21s. I am sure they would welcome a friendly face.
    Why did we lose to Longford? Lets not waste time and energy looking at that. Lets look at why we lost All Irelands. Problems at fullback? Pick the most promising young lad in the county( Keane) and back him to the hilt over time. Footballers are not the problem. We need 15 thick, bloody minded lads who will die for each other. Cant ask more than that.
    Final note- Im sorry Johno it didnt work out. I know u are feeling it most of all. As a proud man who has given his life to football and Mayo as a teacher, Manager and politican i know u wanted it as much as anyone. Sometimes it was not meant to be. When we win it maybe people will realise how much he has given to Mayo and WE WILL WIN THE FUCKING THING! BELIEVE THAT!

  3. Truly gutted like everyone else. It’s hard to swallow but we have to move on. While my anger was towards JOM yesterday, i kind of felt sorry for him when i seen him on tv tonight, he is a true Mayo man and he felt really bad about not progressing the team, i wish him all the best and hope he sees Mayo land sam as a supporter some day.

    Mayo imo don’t need that many changes in players, maybe 3/4 dropped. A lot of our players for whatever reason did not play to their full potential this year. I ended up going down home after the game last night and there was a few stories going round about not a happy camp type thing. I know these stories can be untrue or exaggerated but it does make sense, did anybody notice one of our players go up to a team mate before second half throw in, he was giving instructions or pep talk and the team mate clearly ignored him and shrugged his shoulder in a gesture like ” go away i’ll do my own thing” .

  4. WJ- not my business but if you are on your own – then you might have time (in evenings) to put your opinions together.

    Here’s a few maybes you might put up for consideration. Probably more but sure you know yourself what you want to add and discard.

    1: Are structures in Mayo adequate – clearly they are ‘good’ at underage but not at senior. What’s missing ?

    2: What should county board do to improve our lot ?

    3: Should more players be encouraged/nourished to come forward ? If so how do we get these ?

    4: Do county board have any blame for where we are ? If so what action should be taken ?

    Finally – If you’re going with the family take the break and enjoy it !!! Good luck.

  5. Dont worry WJ we will have loads to talk about! New manager, a spotlight shone on who is the county board should keep the site mixer tipping along.
    I see Eugene McGee suddenly finds us a once mighty county just because his beloved team got stuck to the bottom of our soles. Strange that he spent the last 15 years turning his nose up at us. The Isle of Man would beat the current Mayo team Eugene.
    Dublin get their annual 11 points + trimming and nobody calls them bottlers or balls-less. Cork inside 12 months win a Munster final, beat Kerry, lose an All Ireland final, win the league, draw with Kerry in Killarney, Lose in extra time narrowly and suddenly they sre portrayed as eejits by a lazy media. We too used to suffer the same shit. Yet Cluxton will be pencilled in for an All Star once more, the Dubs will be touted as the next white hope despite being ten times worse than Mayo or Cork never were.
    Its all about image and access. The Mayo’s and Corks are far away, easy to piss on them and sneer but when you have to pass Parnell Park or Croker on the way to work it becomes a different matter. Am I making sense or has the summer sun and Mayo’s misery finally tipped me over the edge?

  6. Enjoy the break WJ, and thanks for all your work on this site.
    While this loss to Longford was pretty hard to take, venting on this site seems to have made it a bit easier. I suppose it’s good to know there are like-minded souls around who feel the pain as well.
    We’re all down now, but we know we’ll all be back for the start of the FBD, it’s the breeding of us. We’re at possibly our lowest point right now, so I guess there’s only way left for us to go.

    Living in London, my only consolation this morning is the look on the faces of all the English! I think the word is schadenfreude isn’t it??

  7. On this dreary day lads we have a ray of hope. Alan Freeman was probably our best player on Saturday and then he hit 2-3 yesterday (2-2 from play) in club championship. For lads who don’t follow club football, he’s been top scorer in club championship in Mayo for the last 3-4 years but for some reason is only getting his chance now. I’m not sure there’s any other unhidden gems though.

    We need a manager who’s going to really make a difference. In JOMs time in Galway, you hear stories how he held training sessions on jhis own for Kevin Walsh because he knew how vital he was. JOM hasn’t (couldn’t) give the same commitment to Mayo. Aidan O’Shea has a big future for Mayo but I think he needs special treatment similar to what K Walsh got. I don’t know who that manager is though!

  8. Willie Joe, just enjoy your break now-don’t go torturing yourself looking over the game and what not!!

    One thing I really admired when Mickey Moran and John Morisson took charge was their ability to create a fully bonded team. They said their aim was to make the team like a ‘family’. They did that in 2006 and Mayo got to the final. There seems to be a loss of unity there this year in particular, and it looks like the younger players aren’t being assimilated well into the older group there. In essence, there’s a loss of connection within the fold.

    When the new manager takes charge(hopefully Connelly) I hope he sets out to improve the unity in the team, because I think that’s a huge key in achieving in our games.

    Also, what are the chances of Ciaran McDonald coming back? How’s he playing for Crossmolina does anybody know?

  9. What is the agenda in trying to get Connelly in as manager? He was assistant to Holmes, who in my opinion would deserve it more than Connelly. Pat Holmes won our last two major trophies i.e the League of 2001 and the U21 of 2006. Personally I believe its a job that requires more than one man. The likes of JP Kean with Holmes, Tom Jordan, James Horan and Pat Fallon would be an ego free team to put a bit of pride back into the green and red. When Connelly has actually done something of note as a manager at county level ie minor, U21 then lets tout him. We all can look good when we dont have to bite the big bullet. Noel hasnt yet.

  10. Jeepers lads …i’m sorry but will ye calm down.
    One man out the door and already an argument about next one coming in and not a game to be played for 6 months.

    1st of all neither P Holmes nor N conneely might accept it. At the moment all you’re guaranteed with the job looks like a final fag and a blindfold.

    Would it not be more in line to have a debate on why this one failed besides looking fw to recruiting the next “Messiah” ?

  11. JOM gone. We can talk about all he has given to Mayo football but let’s not forget what he has gotten out of Mayo football. He is now a TD. Would not have happened if he did not take the job of manager. Also the “expenses” involved and the “brown envelope” all top managers get. The players on the other hand only get abuse and damn all thanks. JOM did not have the time to give his all to the Mayo effort and the players would have seen this first hand. Result is demoralisation and lack of belief in themselves. We do not need another media whore like Paidi o S. We also need a return to basics, defenders who can defend. A midfield that can catch a ball and forwards who can score from distance. Take your points and the goals will come. The county board need to be sorted out and the chairman for life deal done away with. They have utterly failed to deliver and should go also. See you all at first FBD game!!

  12. Well said JPM.

    Mayo have months to appoint a new manager. Instead of bouncing in another Messiah the Board would be better served in a spot of reflective self-analysis and setting themselves a few goals rather another coronation of a cock of the walk who’ll be a feather duster this time next year. If we don’t learn from our mistakes we’ll always repeat them.

  13. I couldn’t agree more with An Spailpín and JPM, we should forget about another new ‘messiah’ and engage in a bit of introspection.

    This is not the time for blaming the previous management and just appointing a new manager to paint over the cracks. As Kevin McStay outlined in the Mayo news a couple of weeks ago, a root and branch review is needed and proper structures need to be put in place to develop the type of footballers that Mayo need and are well capable of producing.

    The next management team whenever they are appointed have a thankless task ahead but hopefully if the proper structures are put in place they can contribute to building the foundation for the future, more long term.

    JOM called his time in charge a transition, but it wasn’t really. This was his fourth year and I think in the Sligo game we had 9 different players started than the previous years Connacht final!! There didn’t seem to be any idea where they were going with the team as it changed from week to week this year, no plan whatsoever. That has to change and really Mayo need to look much more long term now!!

  14. ontheroad, everyone knows that Connelly was joint manager with Holmes at U21 so they had shared success.

    However from talking to numerous players who played under them, it was Connelly who did all the talking in the dressing room and he seemed to be the main guy at trainings. In fact, I know guys who said they would go through the wall for Connelly, however lets just (to put it politely) say that none of them had any time for Holmes.

    That NFL result in 2001 is trivial. Holmes failed to win even a Connacht title with Mayo. Thats the real statistic.

  15. You know it AbbeySider. I stand corrected. Fair play to Holmes for adapting to that subserviant role and I am sure the 2001 league win was trivial. How would you describe the league final losses of 2007 and 2010? In reality I could not give a toss who gets the Mayo job. I asked what was the drive behind Connelly’s canditure. Thanks to your insight I now know that we have a gem that was hidden behind Holmes all along. The men that decide such issues dont care for ontheroad, Abbeysider or tom cobbley. They will appoint either Paidi O Sé or Mick O Dwyer at the end of the day. Last Jan O Sé left his calling card.

  16. How I would describe those losses sounds quite the rhetorical question but all ill say is that the 2010 loss was detrimental to the players mindset.

    If ever we needed a win, it was against Cork, in Corke Park on the day of the a final. A win here could have given players some belief.

    It was there for us, we went in at half time barely out of third gear and only a couple of points down and we needed leaders to take the fight to Cork in the second half but that didnt happen and we folded. We folded like we did against Meath less than a year before that and the same we we always fold to Kerry in Croke Park.

    Against Donegal in 2007 it wasnt so bad, because at least we showed up and tried to preform. If I remember correctly it was a close game with Roper having a fine match and Donegal only pulling away in the last 10 minutes so there wasnt a total collapse.

    The fact is that there is no hope of a manager from outside the county getting the job. It will be someone from within, that knows club football.

    My money is on Connelley as he has the experience and has the motivational skills to put some fight back in Mayo football, but he needs a good backroom team and most importantly; selectors. But I wouldnt like to see Holmes part of it.

  17. Willie Joe thanks a million for your blogs and tweets during the league campaign and our depressingly short championship.

    There will still be much to discuss over the next few months and please god our county teams at all other levels will give us something to cheer.

    I am not down with this whole root and branch thing being called for at all, rather i want a good modern coach appointed who will quickly gain the respect of the team , know which players to pick for the correct positions , inspire them to train hard and to perform on the big ( and smaller) day, to work for each other and to represent us as we would wish to be represented, to earn the respect for our county that we feel it deserves and to achieve the potential that we all know that they as mayo players have.

    I am not buying the “we dont have the players” line. The county produces great talent and always has, even when we performed poorly.

    And finally Johnno , Many thanks for all your work in the two stints. Sorry it wasnt to be.

  18. Well Abbeysider…. I don’t know ya but you’re quoting guys to me who supposedly said ‘such and such’ a thing about ‘such and such’ a person.
    Would you care to back up that claim and NAME them ??????

    Ontheroad you’re right – we don’t get to decide who will be apointed as manager as we’re not in that position of approval.

    But, I would not underestimate the influence and power of opinion on the subject.

  19. Just a small point ….possibly irrelevant. There has been no mention of the fact that the ref blew the game up AFTER Alan Dillon was rugby tackled to the ground just short of the fifty. Maybe his decision not to award the free was a blessing in disguise but I still think decisions like this should not be accepted. We have been on the recieving end of some really dodgy decisions over the years and i really believe the county board needs to do something about it. Gearoid/Jerry was an absolute disgrace. Can you object to the appointment of a ref? I wouldnt go near this fella again

  20. I agree Ted he should be pulled up on his dubious performance. He should not be let off the hook just because we are so angry at ourselves.

  21. good point ted and I see the lads over on http://www.clubmayo.ie/386.php have been adressing the same topic today and calling for action on the referee thing. Not sure it’s possible to sway the Keith Higgins sending off but it’s the point that you are making ted – county board need to take a stand and make noise and show a bit of balls.

  22. Do any of ye have to put up with Rossies rubbing salt into the wound, i swear if you could see my facebook page, you’d swear they had won something.

  23. I commented on “Andy’s analysis” from last week that we were in serious shit if, as was in that article, Andy thought that all that was wrong was complacency. It was plain to see the problems were much deeper than that, that group as a whole, management players and all the rest of the entourage were obviously away with the fairies, beyond reality.
    These Mayo players I have seen against Meath, Cork, Sligo and now Longford are no more than prima donnas. To self important to have to work hard on the pitch. Think its ok to drop the head and walk around with hands in the air instead of actually trying to do what you trained all year for, work at making it better.
    Crying in the dressing room, spilt milk comes to mind. Just proves my point, I have never walked off a pitch without the knowledge that I left everything on the pitch. I may have been crap but I god dammed well worked hard at being crap. Were they crying cause did not do enough, fight enough, work enough, cause I can tell you if I worked as hard as I could there would be no energy for tears.
    I remember in the 06 final, a forward ran out for a ball, got a slight tug of the shirt from his Kerry marker, he stopped through his hands in the air in direction of the ref, Kerry lad ran by him, won the ball and set up one of their many scores.
    “Stopped and through his hands in the air”, remind you of any EPL ponces across the water. That’s the Mayo attitude to me from outside, bunch of prima donnas.

  24. Willlie Joe enjoy the break
    I dont think JOM ever really wanted the job and his profession did not allow him the time to go the extra mile with players that needed it Aidan O Shea for one .It might explain why it took so long for Freeman to get a game.As for a new manager we need someone who can man manage the team and turn them into a pack of lads that would die for each other,are afraid of no one and put the fear of god into oposition.They have to be the boss and there can only be one boss I dont go for this shared leadership.They have to stand up to the county board and be supported 100%. Maybe Holmes not my choice, Connelly has worked with most of the team in the past, or go for a strong PROVEN boss from outside, no big name x players from outside looking to make a name for themselves. Finally although I never agreed with JOM getting the job I have no doubt the man was gutted after Saturday and wants to see Mayo win the big prize.Had he a different profession we might have got more out of him he just did not have the time.

  25. Marty. To be fair to the players I thought we got more effort in Longford than in Sligo…

  26. jpm, just respond with your name and address here and ill send that out in the post to ya.

    And for yourself and on Ontheroad’s information, we DO decide. Clubs have the power and its time it was used.

    In case you fellas didnt know, its clubs who nominate managers for the county minor, U21 and Senior job, and its club delegates that vote them in. Club delegates are also responsible for the election of the county board, of which the election for a new chairman is happening at the end of the year.

    If either of you guys were involved at the grass roots of the GAA with your own clubs you would know that. You do have a voice.

  27. FEAR OF FAILURE
    Enjoy the break Willie Joe and fair play to you for this excellent site.
    Having cooled down after Longford and having had time to reflect it seems to me it all started in Croke Park v Meath. We lost that game and the team and management were castigated. They put it right with a fine league display and we thought we had a more or less settled team with the bonus of several options on the bench. Then we were blown away by Cork and everything was back at ground zero again. Confidence was shattered, pressure was mounting on JOM, his selectors and on the team. The pressure that was on JOM translated into several challenge games to try to establish which were the best 15 in various positions. Players became the focus of attention. Players were fighting for their places (and avoiding being blamed) and the focus was off playing as a team.
    The pressure on this Mayo team against Sligo was huge and it was a very toxic pressure compared to lets say the intense pressure of playing in an all ireland. The pressure was to avoid playing badly and being lampooned by everyone. Small wonder then that when the Sligo comeback started that the jitters set in and that we were crippled by self doubt and fear of failure.
    The Longford game was a repeat of the same process except on an even higher scale. Utter humiliation was the award for losing. [There was no prize much for winning!]
    The result was what I saw at first hand:
    1. Players who were making basic mistakes
    2. Players who were not enjoying their football
    3. Players who were inhibited by lack of confidence and fear of failure
    4. Management who were under all kinds of pressure (political and other) taking decisions poor decisions.

    All in all we ourselves (the supporters, media, fora such as this) may be contributing to a culture that is toxic for IC players and management – particularly when that management has a political agenda.
    And here is the key point – the pressure that was on JOM to succeed seemed to have been transferred onto the players in a way that actually undermined their potential. It was a pressure to avoid failure – the difference is subtle but very important in how it manifests itself in action.
    One drives you on to great things – the other drives to to distraction.
    De-toxing the team and building a healthy approach has to be one of the biggest challenges for the new management.

  28. RE ontheroad, I thought that was an excellent point even if it has got lost among the next manager/ PatHolmes debate “Its all about image and access.”
    I could not agree more… there is a cosy GAA media family in Dublin led by RTE TV & Radio and they love nothing more than a successful Dublin team because they cause all the noise and ultimately generate the cash that pays their wages. Mediocre Dublin players are hyped as if they were the second coming of Mick O’Connell. The relationships between the media and the players they cover is so close as to render any kind of objective comment impossible- because they are reporting on friends.

    For intelligent GAA analysis and debate WJ has perhaps shown us the way forward with this site and let me add my thanks to him for another years hard work. It is very much appreciated.

  29. I would like to extend my thanks to WJ for all your hard work. I know for a fact i wouldnt have the time to keep a site like this going. Enjoyed every post and can i say enjoy your holliers – well deserved. Maigh Eo Forever. 🙂

  30. Great points Diehard. I do believe the players are there to win an All Ireland. To repair all the damage done is going to be some job. But it is amazing what a good win will do. I remember losing a league game to Limerick in 1995 and the Western People saying it was our lowest point ever. Less than a year later we were in an All Ireland final.

  31. Mayo need a manager with a proven record, !!
    and what i mean about a record
    1)is suceess in championship,
    2)have team bonding as a foundation,
    3)and players that will go through walls for each other
    Mickey Moran and John Morrission and 2) and 3) and if they were given a chance 1) would have been achieved, in their first year they had us to an All Ireland and what do the County Board do, shaft them because of money, they should be all f*cked out the lot of them, such a shower

    JOM you could say had 1) and thats it, he was more interested in whats happening in the Dail

    , there is only one man that can achieve sucees is Mick O Dwyer, who has decided to leave Wicklow

    the County Board should do as much as possile to get Micko look what MICKO has done with all the counties he has managed, pure brillant,

    so sort it out Mayo CC because i am one supoorter sick to the teeth of not learning from our mistakes

  32. The 3 teams that were v. successful in the League this year were Dublin, Cork and ourselves.
    At the end of the day all three are out of there provincial championships without even getting to the final.
    So much for form in the League.

  33. That’s true this year JPM but look at Tyrone and Kerry, it never seems to do them any harm to either get to the final or win it…Sligo went well in the league this year also.

  34. Careful there, Baz – I’m not sure that point about money can be substantiated …

    By the way, lads, just because I’m somewhere hot (and boy, is it hot) doesn’t mean on me hols – unfortunately, it’s work that has me where I am presently!

  35. “I am not in the blame game, but there seems to be some sort of a mental block among players in this county for a number of years.

    “It was not a case that we were not training hard or not well prepared, but there is a gap between what we do on the training field and what happens in a match. It was not question of lack of discipline or application, but we just could not deliver on the field.”

    Incredibly, not a quote from someone in the Mayo set up, but ex Donegal manager John Joe Doherty about his side.

  36. Dan, enjoyed the quote from John Joe. We should point out that Donegal are nowhere near Mayo interms of expectation or history. If we take a line from 1989 to September 2006 Mayo the GAA county was the most succesful in the country in getting teams from all sections into All-Ireland finals. 5 Senior, 4 Minor, 5 U21, 6 Club not counting colleges or ladies.
    Kerry actually made the same number of senior finals as us in that era. Winning 3 and losing 2. So we actually lived through a golden age. However the media would see Armagh as more succesful than us because they ground out a single senior win.
    In the end our overall ability to make the big day was taken for granted. When we continued to lose , we were derided and laughed at. Look at the joy that the 31st rated county in Ireland got when they beat a shell of a Mayo side last Saturday, look at the glee that Sligo got when they beat us for the 7th time in 127 years?
    We now slip into the shadow. In truth we were heading that way for a long long time. I laughed on Monday when I read McGee in the Indo. A lifetime of laughing and sneering at us was turned around once his own pathetic little county stuck the metaphorical boot into us.
    Before Mayo ever come back we need a county board that reflect our ethos as a county. We need to let Croke Park know that no longer will we be subject to referees that rule one way for Mayo and another for the other counties. Tyrone in 2008, Meath 2009, and a last minute decision in Longford are/were absolutly disgraceful decisions.We got the short straw in 1948. Had we stood up then we would not have got the same treatment in 1996.
    Unless we sort out our stall of the pitch then we will be always seen as nice, nice Mayo. With that I am signing off for the season. Best of luck fellow posters and thanks WJ.

  37. While we’re talking about quotes, I liked what I heard from our best player, Dillon. No attempt to sugarcoat the complete and utter disaster that was our 2010 championship.

    “There’s no short-term fix for this team. The county, in general, needs a big shake-up. From the top to the bottom needs to be examined.

    “In terms of team performance, we don’t seem to be fighting for each other as a team, as a unit.

    “We lost the individual battles last Saturday, not enough lads were digging out the guy beside them.

    “Everyone is too focussed on themselves, not the team. In championship, you have to be thinking of how the team can get better, can benefit. Lads started playing as individuals, started to lose the ball, miss passes, and fumble possession. It had a snowball effect and the confidence just seeped out of the team.”

    “The National League final probably deflated the team,” he offered. “Winning league games counts for nothing when it comes to championship. We weren’t reviewing the problem areas and didn’t see the cracks when we were winning league matches. We were in our comfort zone in a lot of games. Then, in the last three games, we were out of our comfort zone. There’s a huge lesson to be learned there and we need to re-assess everything for next year.”

  38. Ontheroad you make some very interesting informed points as always. I do enjoy reading your comments. To have been in twenty Croaker finals since ’89 is definitely a feat worth mentioning.

    Playing “nice” football is not winning us finals though and that seems to be what people remember. Not that there was anything “nice” about this years football mind. It might be time to take a few steps back now and lower the expectations on the County. We have some good young lads that need to be strengthened and developed. At the moment they are being ravished by criticism and self doubt. Maybe we need to take our foot off the gas? What good would it do us to reach another final and get hammered by Kerry again? Perhaps the County Board plan should be winning an All Ireland in two or three years time but sacrifice next season if it would develop the squad or the core build. We all have identified a fundamental problem with the spine of the team. This will take more than one year to put right. I don’t know but we need to start thinking outside the box now. Old ways have failed us – we need some new thinking.

  39. Interesting that the Minor Fixture v’s Leitrim has been reshuffled to fit in with connaught SF Replay Next Sat.
    No problem with this we all say But I wonder did our County Board not request what has been mentioned here before, a double header last weekend when minors were also playing. I dont suppose for a minute that it mattered to either Mayo team but did to supporters. this is only a small issue but It makes me wonder ,Are the county board accountable to anyone for their inaction or is there any transparency regarding their function from one CB annual meeting to the Next where all that seems to happen is S Feeney giving out about the past years failures on the field and no mention of the huge failure in representing Mayo football at a national level.Then the same officers are re-elected or r-e cycled for another term by the same tired club delegates who have been put in the position of club delegate to CB cause there’s no where else for them to go at club level The inertia that exists here is as frightening as it is impossible to change.
    Re Dillons piece in the Mayo News
    Its interesting that its only now we may at last be seeing the players face up to their shortcomings as a group, as I have often down the years of many disasters CRINGED on reading a post match quote from a player involved ” well Iv’e not actually looked at the match video since that game” Well in that case I think Its time to get the old VCR and the DVD out ..go to the croke park archives and as part of the introspection suggested start with the 89 AI and slow forward to the end of last saturday Therin may be some material for soul searching for Players Management and County Board officials who seemed to see it as their place to sit among players in the dugout on match day .

  40. There is numerous calls around the county that Junior and intermediate players are not getting a look in.This has been a problem from as long as i can remember, there is only one solution to this imo, if you have an outstanding player in a junior club, give him an option to play for his nearest senior club,ie..Kilmovee shamrocks let their 2/3 best trial for Ballaghaderren. People will jump up and say, you can’t have that, it will destroy junior championship, you can’t please everyone and something has to be sacraficed for the greater good. Another way is total reform in our club structure and start malgamating 3/4 clubs for senior championship, whatever way we do it, club scene has to be changed for a level playing field to pick county team.

  41. We won a Connacht final last year with the same group of players that fell at 1/4 final level in Croker. It was the same group of players again this year – who should ‘theoretically’ have been a year bigger, stronger and wiser.
    However this was not the case. Hard to know who to target criticism regards this to but the players have to take at a share of it too.

    Most revealing point of Dillon’s interview I thought was the reference to players being too focussed on themselves. I think it’s the same in every county though because they are the guys sent out to represent their relative counties.
    So some may end up with so called ‘stars in their eyes’ and want to protect their individual reputations.
    One thing that’s needed is more competition for these current players so that they see they have to perform. It goes back to changing the system to produce better players at club level.

    To do this smaller lower down clubs will have to be encouraged to amalgamate, to form teams, that will be allowed to play at both Intermediate and Senior Championship (and maybe League) level. This then puts more pressure on existing senior clubs to perform ad ups the ante big time overall.

    If club football is v. strong then the county team will automatically gain greater reward with better players.

    Q. is of course will CB (or senior clubs) allow any of this to happen.

  42. Quote from Alan Dillon
    “Everyone is too focussed on themselves, not the team. In championship, you have to be thinking of how the team can get better, can benefit. Lads started playing as individuals, started to lose the ball, miss passes, and fumble possession. It had a snowball effect and the confidence just seeped out of the team”.
    Fair play to Alan for calling it as it is.
    This seems to confirm a judgement I made in an earlier post. Is it any wonder the lads started playing as individuals when their own individual performance was the main yardstick by which they seemed to be judged lately. Blame, witch-hunting (albeit subtle) and individual rivalry seemes to have repalced camraderie and unity.
    That toxic set of ingredients has to be assigned to the rubbish bin and the lads have to return to old fashioned teamwork where they can again start to enjoy their football and have a sense of unity and belonging to something really great. Then we will have something to shout about.
    And I dont agree with McStay that we dont have enough top class players – we certainly had enough to see off Sligo or Longford. Maybe not Cork Kerry or Tyrone but for God’s sake dont anyone try to tell me we hadnt players capable of beating Longford. With all due respect to them a good club team would beat them.
    Better days ahead no doubt from one who has seen many twists and turns in the road!

    BTW Willie Joe can I work somewhere it is hot and sunny!

  43. WJ I hope the heat is not to hot and the work to hard.There is nothing like cold pints on a hot day.Ive read all above and lads get real defeats to Sligo and Longford and Dillon saying players not playing together. Do we have the talent or not without team spirit means nothing. N Ireland got to two world cup finals in 82 and 86with to say the least a limited squad but they had team team spirit, each player would die for each other look at england this year no spirit .If we dont have the players to win the prize fair enough but lets make sure the fifteen that have the honour to line out will fight to the end.No shame ib that Fait dues to Dillon for speaking out

  44. for anyone intending to follow the minors against Leitrim on Saturday – the game is now fixed for 4.00 pm throw in (4.30 was announced earlier).

  45. A review of Mayo football is about to take place. I sincerely hope it is well done and acted upon with courage and conviction.
    One thing that needs to change is that clubs get to play serious football almost every week-end with all their players except for when Mayo are playing championship the following Sat or Sun.
    Protecting county players by p***ing about with silly challenge matches is doing harm rather than good. Let them play serious football with their clubs and watch the benefits. This is what Kilkenny do.

  46. Might be a good idea if everyone expressing an opinion here made sure that their clubs would bring these opinions to the county board. Apparently, the review will be done by gathering views from the clubs only. Anything outside that will not be considered.

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