So, it appears pretty much certain that the resumption of inter-county action will happen next weekend. For a brief period last Thursday it looked as if the GAA might be having second thoughts about playing out the remaining fixtures in the National League – a development reported on that day by the Irish Examiner – but this was quickly scotched following a meeting that night involving the GAA’s management committee and the Chairs of the County Boards where it was confirmed that it was full-steam ahead for next weekend.
While finishing the Leagues seems an odd hill for the GAA to risk dying on, the decision has now been taken and county teams have no choice but to row in with what’s been decided. Some counties, notably Fermanagh, could face difficulties fulfilling their allotted fixtures next weekend but the rollout of rapid Covid testing for inter-county teams should help matters in what’s certain to be an evolving situation over the coming weeks.
For us, next weekend involves a Division One clash with the high-flying neighbours at Tuam, a game we really have to win if we’re to have any chance of staying in the League’s top tier for next season. But will there even be a League campaign in 2021? It’s definitely hard to imagine the usual slate of seven games in nine weeks starting at the end of January next year.
I think it’s fair to say that the prospect of Division Two football comes well down the list of concerns for most people right now. Notwithstanding that, however, I’m sure it’s an outcome James Horan and his team will be keen to avoid if at all possible so I think we can expect a high-octane return to action next Sunday, given all that’s at stake.
The match against Galway throws in at Tuam Stadium next Sunday at 2pm. TG4 are showing it live and Maurice Deegan of Laois is the ref for it.
I guess there’ll be team announcements at some point over the coming few days. I think we’re also doing a preview episode of the Mayo News football podcast at some stage, to mark the resumption of inter-county action. As a result, you can expect a bit more activity than there’s been for a while here on the blog over the coming week.
In other news, it was announced earlier today that Mike Solan has stepped down as Mayo U20 manager, having held the position for five years. A productive tenure it was too for the Ballaghaderreen club man, as he led what was then the Mayo U21 team to a memorable All-Ireland title victory in 2016 and two years later he brought another crop of young players to an U20 All-Ireland final.
Mike deserves our thanks and praise for his sterling efforts as U20 manager. That day in Ennis on Mayo Day in 2016 will live long in the memory for many Mayo fans, myself and my young lad included.
80 thoughts on “A week ’till Sunday”
Next years league according to Fergal McGill and reported Irish Times could be a regional league. If that happens the current league format of Div 1 to 4 won’t be seen again until 2022 at the earliest.
GAA mostly keen to finish this years league because next years championships tiers will be decided on league placings. Its also a few decent games to prepare before knock out championship football.
Best wishes to Solan and thanks for the efforts but I thought a new man should have been in after last years inept u20 performance in Tuam. Any of you who were there will likely agree it was the worst performance of a Mayo team at any level since Roscommon embarrassed us in MacHale Park at u21 in 2014…think we lost by 11 or 12 points??
With respect, Mayo were warm favourites to win the u21 All Ireland in 2016. We got a fortunate route to the Final in 2018. I attended all the games in the run up to that final and the opposition were no great shakes. We should have beaten Kildare but we allowed Jimmy Hyland the freedom of Croke Park in the 1st half. I still cannot understand why management had no plan for him. Crazy. When we finally got to grips with them, thanks largely to Cathal Horan (a great talent…where is ge gone!??) we almost snatched victory but spurned several chances.
Maybe Ray Dempsey might like a crack at the u20 job? I’ll tell ya who I’d love to see… Roch!
Jim McGuinness ‘involved’ with Galway according to report on RTE website.
Thanks Catcol, that report is here. According to the report, the arrangement is just an informal one but it’s expected to last for “the remainder of the campaign”, which I guess you’d have to assume is until their interest in this year’s Championship is over.
The more you think about it, this is a bit of an inspired move for both parties. Donegal, managed by McGuinness, were the last team to beat Dublin in the Championship and if they win Connacht this year (which, prior to his coming on board, they were already favourites to do) and beat Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final (no mean feat but they beat them in the Super 8s in 2018 so won’t fear them) they’ll be up against Dublin with their rookie manager in the final. Four matches, one a gimme followed by three increasingly hard ones, at the end of which is Sam … easy to see why McGuinness was willing to hop on board this train and obvious too why Joyce would want to have him riding shotgun with him on the journey.
Agree completely Willie Joe. It’s a smart move alright and will make Galway that much more formidable. Not that we need to worry about a CF meeting at this stage, given our record since 2016. Still, Jason apart, and we didn’t expect to have him initially, I think we are in a much better position now compared to March, with a reasonably full and fresh squad.
I might be wrong but my information re McGuinness is it was essentially a one-off.
I would be glad if he was involved though. Very experienced and very successful.
I had actually heard before lockdown that Donie Buckley would be coming on board but that seems not to be the case.
There’s no way Pj will set us up the way McG did with Donegal though (even if he is involved more regularly). He just simply won’t. With the u20s last year we were possibly even too open at times at the back.
Anyhow, I’m getting the feeling that we will be at level 5 before long so the championship is very much up in the air.
Are there any Galway players missing with injury this weekend?
We’ll be without Harrison, Doherty and probably James McCormack. Should be full strength outside of that. I’d go with a team like this…
Barrett, Mullin, O’Hora
Durcan, Keegan, Eoghan McLaughlin
McDonagh, McLoughlin, Diarmuid
Cillian, Coen, Conroy/Towey/Carr (whoever is in form)
Subs: O’Donoghue, Higgins, Seamus O’Shea, Parsons, Darren McHale, James Durcan, Boland.
We’ll have to get Gavin down to take a couple of sessions
Now you’re talking Baconfactoryend! Good team Wideball.
Willie Joe I think that even better than Ennis was the Connacht Final against the Rossies in Sligo. I remember one shoulder to shoulder clash between Akram and a Rossie. I thought the roof of the stand was going to be blown off. Pure raw passion and effort. Loved it. Was part of a great weekend with the better half. GAA related wedding of our club captain in Enniscrone followed next day by a minor league match in Enniscrone at 1.00 and then the U21s in Sligo.
Wideball – I’m not sure what the story is really re injuries apart from the fact that John Daly is gone for the season with a knee injury as is Ciaran Duggan.
Cillian McDaid also hasn’t played for his club at all due to ongoing hamstring trouble, so I would doubt that he will play. Other than that I’m not sure how we are fixed.
Of the Galway long terms injuries, John Daly the centerback is definitely out for the season.
Ciaran Duggan who was motm against us in champo 2017 also ruled out for year
On Sunday, while i dont expect Horan to throw the baby out with the bathwater in terms of personnel i would like to see a couple of wildcards included, a lot of other counties seem to drafting in a few newbies based on their strong showing in club championships, i was quite disappointed as the starting team that Mayo lined out against donegal a few weeks ago in that it was the same old, same old…also im a broken record on it but im staggered by the fact we are still using the same 2 keepers as we have been for the past 10 years despite doubts about both
My team for sunday then…
Goalkeeper (flip a coin!)
Cillian O’Connor/James Carr
Tommy Conroy neale
If Cillian McDaid and John Daly are both out for season then that leaves a very weak halfback line for Galway, perhaps an area of weakness for Mayo to hone in on (if not sunday then in connaught final please god)
Throw us out your preferred strongest galway xv there, who would be playing in hb line? have ye sorted out your own goalkeeping issues? where does gary sice get in, surely they have 6 forwards better than him at this point? seems strange recalling him with all their attacking riches
Agree WJ that day in Ennis was very special…..when Irwin got that last goal it was a unique feeling because traditionally we would have been in Corks shoes looking on from that perspective.
Could anyone tell me if Ciarin King is related to that fine Knockmore footballer P.J.King of previous years.
Supermac – I don’t think McDaid is out for the season. I just would doubt if he will be ready for this game at the weekend given he didn’t play for his club at all this year (they had a game 2-3 weeks ago and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t togged & he definitely didn’t play any of their other games before that). But that’s just my reading of it I don’t actually know the full extent of the injury…
Sice I’m going to assume is in as it’s a very short season. I can’t see him starting games but he may come on in the second half. The fact it will be winter football will increase his chances of gametime for sure.
Also, he is a decent freetaker which won’t do him any harm either.
In terms of our lineup it is very hard to know given the gap since our last game but I’ll take a stab at what I think the team might be…
1 Gleeson (Power from Corofin will be sub keeper I imagine)
2 Sean Kelly
5 O Donnell
15 Finnerty or Ian Burke
Subs likely to come on I guess would be Paul Conroy (along with Dessie Conneely probably the standout player in the club championship but likely to be an impact sub this year), Bradshaw, O’Curraoin, Sice, Burke/Finnerty (whichever doesn’t start), Dessie Conneely.
There aren’t many new additions to the panel to my knowledge. I heard James McLoughlin & Paul Kelly are in but both are u20 so will be preparing for Kerry this weekend (McLoughlin played in the AI minor final only last year – a serious prospect watch out for him).
Two other guys Maher from Salthill & Foley from Mountbellew but neither likely to make much of an impact I think.
Eoin Kerin and Padraic Cunningham gone off the panel – I’m sure there are others dropped too.
Supermac, I may be dreaming but I think I read that Mayo played Clare in a Challenge the same weekend as the Donegal one. That team against Donegal might have been just an opportunity to try a few players. Hope I am not leading you astray.
No, you’re correct there, Ciaran 2. I think that was reported in one of the locals because I read it too. There was a match report and team details published online by the Western but I didn’t see any information on the Clare game, though it was reported that a match was played with them the same weekend as the Donegal game.
ah ok, that makes more sense now.
So probably close to 2 entirely different teams lined out that same weekend so to get a good look at everyone.
Cheers for insight Galwayman, as i expected absolutely spoiled with quality attacking options but potentially weak in goals and half back line
If this game had gone ahead back in March I would have been very confident of a Galway win, now not so much…
Reasons.. Mayo had more injuries back then, a lot of them lads ie Boyle and Cillian seem to be back , jason Doherty a loss .
Galway had momentum then, that’s gone now..
Galway have lost john Daly centre back… a massive loss
Mayo had extra time due to county final been wrapped up two weeks before Galway…
Mayo have had some serious build up games..
Mayo need to win and their record in Tuam over the years has improved..
It’s a 50 50 game for me .
I dunno why Padraig Joyce brought in Jimmy McGuinness, sure couldn’t he just, keep down unnessary travel especially from Counties with a very high Covid infection rate, and get Kevin Walsh to do the same thing?
Philor grandson i believe
One could argue it that way Leantimes but as we all know, Jimmy offers a lot more than packed defences. A charismatic leader who would certainly inspire a young Galway team and bring something fresh and new. Without question.
The Kevin Walsh era is well and truly over.
As far as I am aware Ciarin King is the grandson of great preat Paddy Joe King from the Knockmore team of the 1970’s and early 80’s.
Hard to see anything but a Galway win on Sunday. I always feel we stutter out of the blocks early in a season. (This is effectively a new season), Galways want to relegate us may just be higher than our want to survive. Really feel Horan has given up on this years league, and is gunna go gung-ho at the championship, just my opinion of course. But I feel he’ll hold back a few things on Sunday. Galway by 5
Not confirmed but heard both Shane Walsh and Comer are out for Sunday so it could potentially be a very different Galway side to the one that was flying early in the year. Joyce seemed to be naming his side early in the week during the league so I’d expect a Galway team named by tomorrow night.
A funny story : my son in law is involved with St Brenda’s gaa and they have a pitch near to the Garda boat road. He was cutting hedges inside with 6 slash hook but walked down the Chapelizod road to cut some branches on the outside when the rapid response unit arrived __the life of a gaa volunteer
Mayodunphy, I dunno how you could come up with a prediction for a 5 point win for Galway with no evidence to go on whatsoever. We haven’t seen any of the teams in action for over 6 months. And I doubt Mayos want to survive in the league can be questioned after all of our last ditch escapes down trough the years and the fact that we’ve been in division 1 since the 96/97 season. That stat is hard to believe.
Shane Walsh and Ronan Steede out for Sunday according to today’s Irish examiner .
Yup Steede and Walsh both definitely out.
Shane is irreplaceable for us. He has been on fire in 2020 for both club and county.
I haven’t heard that Comer is out so will have to wait and see on that one.
This changes things hugely. Shane is our free taker as well. The only other guy who is a consistent freetaker in the team I listed above is Rob Finnerty, who wouldn’t be considered a guaranteed starter in normal circumstances.
Yep, a few places reporting Walsh is out, which is huge.
If the game had gone ahead in March i felt Galway would have won comfortably given the formline of both teams.
However it feels like a brand new season after the layoff and Mayo doing well on the injury front so i had it as a 50/50 game this week, the shane walsh news makes it a 60/40 game for Mayo now, this plus the fact Mayos need is greater means i think Mayo will win on Sunday now.
If we cant beat them without walsh then we have no hope of beating them in a provinical final when he is back
Great to have so many NFL games televised this weekend, a badly needed distraction from real life, i for one plan on watching every single one of them :-p
I still maintain Dubs wont win the champo this year, but who will be the team to topple them??
5. P Durcan
7. E McLoughlin
8. S Coen
10. D O’Connor
12. J Durcan
13. Kev Mc
15. C O’Connor
E O’Donoghue, Higgins, Boyler, S O’Shea, D Coen, McDonagh, McHale, Conroy, R O’Donoghue
That is the question supermac. I feel Kerry (in particular), Mayo and Donegal have the best chance.
Much as I’d love us to do it I just can’t see it. We have too many gaps to fill defensively in particular.
If the Championship does actually go ahead and can be completed, which is still not guaranteed, i cant see anything other than a Dublin win. Logistics alone is a huge advantage, there will be no overnight stays for teams so players will be making their own way to Croke Park the morning of a game, far from ideal preparations (there is no reason games cant be held away from Croke Park as the crowd issue wont be a factor – but this wont happen). There isnt a team in Leinster to lay a glove on the Dubs therefore they will be able to rotate players and be fresh for an AI semi final whereas every other team will be picking up injuries on weather affected pitches in a very condensed championship. Obviously everyone except Dubs supporters hope they get beat and they will very soon but this will not be the year, too much stacked in their favour which isn’t their fault just the reality of the situation we are in.
Behind closed door games need not be played in croke Park
More casualties for Galway on Sunday.. covid related
Heard that Tuamstar. Will affect the Tribesmens u20 team as well
It’s a particularly big blow to the u20s. James McLoughlin and Paul Kelly are key players and both are on the senior panel also. Daniel Cox also was quite close to starting in the forwards.
Looks like Galway will be fielding a very weakened team, a boost for Mayo to make the great escape from relegation once more.
Ease up on those unconfirmed stories, all. I appreciate that, with Covid, it’s a rapidly evolving situation but I’d prefer if the pre-match debate here remained grounded in known facts rather than unsubstantiated reports.
Quayman – regarding that team and subs you want to post: is that your best guess or is it a line-up you’ve been told about? You might confirm as the comment you posted with these details is sitting in moderation.
Sorry Willie Joe it’s my best guess, haven’t heard a thing, I imagine it’ll be nothing close to the team lining out on Sunday knowing my predictions
Just saw the Moycullen statement. Hope the players recover. This is the way it will be now in the pandemic. The Leitrim Gaa Chairman was on radio earlier highlighting their worries of going to Newry. I see Fermanagh have asked for a postponement v Clare.
Thanks for posting the link, Big Mike – I’ve just now seen that Irish Times piece myself. Awful situation for Moycullen, hope they’ll all be okay.
Thanks too, Quayman, for clarifying that. I like the look of that selection!
No problem WJ, genuine question if anyone can enlighten me.
Longford are down to travel to Derry next weekend, Derry has one of the worst set of COVID figures in Europe, Kerry have to travel to Monaghan.
Are these lads, travelling up in cars(they would need 4 or 5 buses), are they overnight in Hotels(single room only), this is going cost county boards who I would imagine are down financially as it is. Why does the league need to be finished. At least the provincials are relatively local and the latter stages are in Dublin, it doesn’t make sense to me.
@Best wishes for a full and fast recovery, and any close contacts/family of any player or member of the Galway Football team affected by Covid…We are all affected by this virus, it’s just a matter of how much, and it’s at least a possibility that any of us or our various sports teams could be adversly affected.. Now is not the time for one upmanship in anything connected to Covid (not accusing anyone either),.. Remember there is always Karma… Anyhow best of luck to Mayo in Tuam on Sunday.. it’s literally decades since I wasn’t at a competitive Match involving Galway and Mayo in either League or Championship… Just one of thousands in both counties very disappointed that I won’t be able to attend due to the current public health emergency!
Yes sorry about not confirming initial story, but Galway Bay fm had it on lunchtime news.. Anyhow hopefully all in Moycullen will be ok..
Jesus thats shocking news. Hope no one involved gets too ill, especially older family/friends of the players. Usually a game against the ould enemy would consume my head space in the days leading up to it, but with so much going on around us, im not too bothered how it goes….maybe not a bad way to be.
Hard to get the head around these games alright. Very difficult to see COVID not having a big impact on the championship. Whoever avoids an outbreak could potentially have a big advantage and that might be pure luck at the end of the day. Very possible there will be an asterisk hanging over the entire championship even if it gets completed.
Gizmobos and Tom B, thank you for your replies re C. King, I had an idea there was a relationship with P.J.King but not certain.
As you have stated P.J. was a fine footballer.
Best of luck to Mayo on Sunday, would like to see one or more of the Knockmore forwards introduced at some stage, as they are a class act.
I would make Galway favourites but with everything that’s going on between injuries and Covid who knows….it’s probably a 50/50 game….
Really looking forward to seeing how Sunday goes given its likely now that it will indeed go ahead, and regardless of the covid uncertainty thereafter and whether or not all sport will cease. Finishing the league properly would be a huge plus for the gaa and indeed the players.
Cant wait to see what shape Mayo are in and what team will be chosen. I think we’ll all relish tuning into this one, just enjoying the couple of hours of football for what they are.
Would love to see some newbies shine, and club form continuing. We’ve plenty to be hopeful about on that front. Galway are a obviously a huge test and it would be great to get one over on PJ and Mcguinness.
Getting excited already about this one.
Hard to see anything but a Mayo win on Sunday given our injuries and withdrawals. I dont really care if we win the league or not but these covid withdrawals is probably whats going to happen all through this championship if it goes ahead. Cant see why it has to be played at all should have been straight to championship as for playing the u20.
It’s so sad to see so many club and county players being affected by this virus and the overall consequences this can lead to, just cannot figure why GAA will not cancel all competitions for health reasons, best of luck to Mayo on Sunday.
The Galway Senior Football team to play Mayo in the Allianz League this Sunday, October 18th is as follows:
1. Connor Gleeson
2. Conor Campbell
3. Sean Andy Kelly
4. Johnny Heaney (Capt.)
5. Liam Silke
6. Johnny Duane
7. Cillian McDaid
8. John Maher
9. Cein D’Arcy
10. Eamonn Brannigan
11. Michael Daly
12. Jason Leonard
13. Robert Finnerty
14. Ian Burke
15. Paul Conroy
Have to say straight up I don’t fancy us at all looking at that lineup.
8 first choice/likely championship starters in that Galway team published. If they start with that team Mayo should win by a bit to spare.
I would say our championship 15 (assuming no injuries aside from John Daly) would be…
Gleeson (Power could get in ahead of him tho)
Galway pretty much missing the entire spine of their side from the league. Mulkerrin, J Daly, Flynn, Steede, Walsh and Comer. You’d have to fancy Mayo now presuming they have a full side out which you imagine they will be close enough to.
Yeah, that galway team is very depleted. Some of them ive never heard of.
No excuses for Mayo now, should be winning that
Pretty much a Galway B team, great chance for us to get the win and give us a chance of staying up.
Never even heard of some of those Galway players
Galway can afford to try out lots of newbies. Great position to be in.
The Galway Senior Football team to play Mayo in the Allianz League this Sunday in Tuam is as follows:
Sean Andy Kelly
Johnny Heaney (c)
Ian Burke is probably the most underated forward in the country, does it when it matters unlike Shane Walsh, I would have Padraig O’Hora or Oisin Mullin pick him up on Sunday.
Young Finnerty isn’t bad either nor Paul Conroy . Be lucky if we don’t get a good trimming unless we’ve improved immensely since pre covid . Relegation and a defeat to ros in the championship would be unfortunately not much more than 6/4 . That’s the truth . Think people tend to forget how we were performing above in clones and the likes .
Apologies Mac. I see you have posted above
Just a word of caution. The Buffalo Bills travelled to Nashville last night to play a Covid-19 ravaged Tennessee Titans that could hardly train in 2 weeks, they were widely expected to hand the Titans a beating. The Bills were trounced. Underestimating any team in sport is the beginning of your downfall.
To be fair, I think most a the contributors on this thread, talking down Galways chances are Galway supporters. Which is fair enough too. Enough potential in that named team to beat us no bother. We didnt set the world alight up in Navan, and but for a James Durcan last gasp wonder goal, we’d be relegated already. I think our main focus should be on the Roscommon game. If we lose Sunday (and i expect we will) we’ll have 2 more games to sharpen up for Roscommon, which imo is a far more important game than Sunday.
Never underestimate any Galway team, remember June 2016 when ‘all we had to do was turn up’. That’s a dangerous mindset. That Galway team may look weak / weaker, but trust me they’ll be fired up for this. I fully expect Galway to make a number of changes prior to throw in, Comer will start and Walsh will be on the bench. Joyce and the Maroons would love nothing more than to relegate us, make no mistake about that. We need to be tuned in for this one, while Championship is the main target, I don’t think it should be acceptable for any Mayo player to be relegated by Galway, that should be enough to spur us on.
Jays us, I hope JH or the team aren’t reading some of these comments.
On second thoughts, I hope they are!
Surprised to hear some haven’t even heard of some of that Galway team…
Who? Only lesser known guys I could think of are Conor campbell and John Maher – the former captained the Galway under 20s last year, and Maher has been a top performer for Salthill for a while, and has been touted as a big prospect for a few years now. Cein darcy starred on their under 20 team that made the final a few years back
Still a strong looking Galway side to me, especially up front. Paul Conroy, Michael Daly and Robert Finnerty were all outstanding in the club championship
I agree Ciaran. Padraic Joyce a top man. Wishful thinking to think they will be anything but ultra competitive under him.
Of course it’s a very talented Galway team but assuming Mayo are at full strength and what’s at stake we should be able win this game…if we don’t then we fully deserve to be in division 2 next year.
Any news on the Mayo team yet I think the match is on tg 4 so looking forward to it.
Nice to see the County football making a return but in fairness it won’t work.
Too many Covid19 cases, over 1,000 today, even higher than the daily figures if April and early May.
Some Counties have half their teams out with the Virus.
I dont think any games should go ahead, more important things in life right now than Gaelic football.
Crikes the number of cases are scarily high tonight. A lot of fear and worry all over. I hope the Gaelic Players Association make a stand for their amateur players and ask for the season to be postponed. Fair duce to Westmeath’s John Heslin expressing his concerns about the upcoming games.
Mayoabu20 – ‘Ian Burke is probably the most underated forward in the country does it when it matters unlike Shane Walsh…..’ What sort of a comment is that – I take it you mean he’s the most overrated. How he got an all-star a few years ago in front of a few of the Mayo lads is beyond me. He has been so bad these last few years I have actually felt sorry for him. You may have bought into some commenters praising him but that’s rubbish. Compare him to what Andy could do – winning dirty balls, forcing backs to foul, target man for whoever else had the ball, Inspiring the team; he hasn’t been doing any of that for Galway. Instead, all we have seen from him is participation in simple link up play with the likes of Comer or Walsh – but it’s those two that cause the havoc in the Galway team and not Burke.
MayoDunphy, I’m beginning to think the opposite to you. If we get relegated on Sunday it potentially has major ramifications for the next few years because theres no guarantee we’d be back up any time soon as Galway discovered themselves.
As opposed to that, there’s no guarantee the championship will be completed this year, and at the moment it’s looking more likely that it won’t. So if we lose at some stage (as we have done for the past 70 odd years) it’s not the end of the world, hopefully next year we have a ‘proper’ championship.
@ciaran “Still a strong looking Galway side”. Let’s be honest it’s a FBD like selection from Galway matter of fact they selected a stronger team for the FBD game in January against Mayo. Joyce is not known for picking dummy teams so with a expected near full choice Mayo team it’s great opportunity to win this match and no excuses if they don’t.
I dont think league or championship should go ahead.
It’s not essential activity. It is in question for 2021 also in my opinion.
There is no guarantee a vaccine will come next year ……or at all and when it does there wont be sufficient quantities also there is no guarantee people will get the vaccine. The flu vaccine has very low uptake and it’s free to many for eg HSE staff the majority of whom dont take it.
Why would uptake of Covid vaccine be any different