Aidan O’Shea is our MOTM from yesterday’s game

Photo: Irish Mirror

The voting is closed on what is the final MOTM poll here on the blog for 2024. For the second weekend in a row it’s Aidan O’Shea who collects the gong, winning with 27% of the vote.

In what was his 91st Championship appearance for us, Aidan was a rampaging force against Derry yesterday evening. There’s nothing we can do about it now but the way he turned and ran at their defence to bag the point he got was surely something we could have tried more often. And don’t get me started on his late subbing, our cue, for the third time in this campaign, to let a match-winning position slip through our fingers.

Others who featured strongly in the poll were Jordan Flynn (18%) and Tommy Conroy (13%), as well as Ryan O’Donoghue and Colm Reape (both on 5%). Well done to all of them and, in particular, to Aidan O’Shea, our MOTM from yesterday’s game.

268 thoughts on “Aidan O’Shea is our MOTM from yesterday’s game

  1. It’s a shame we are out now when aidan over the past 2 games has looked like he was playing his best football of the year, looked to me like he peaked for this stage of the season, he’s in some shape and I just hope we have him again for next year he still offers so much to the team.

  2. I would like to endorse what Ontheroad13 says. Remember Kevin McStay says ‘not closing our games out is the story of our season ‘. Strange how that has usually coincided with taking Aidan off. Has anyone told him this???

  3. Why Aido was taken off when he was by far the best player on and the only one who showed up in the first half hope he has another year in him.

    I like mcstay but questions have to be asked about some of the decisions made tbh I’d fear for him I’d say next year is his last if we don’t see improvements I actually think this year is worse then last year least we won something last year sure.

  4. Cora like everyone has questioned the logic of taking AOS off, 3 times this year, I like McStay and he needs his last year, but I’m afraid we are as far as away as ever, I’m hoping that U 20s will be stronger next year and build on that.
    In fine margin the management team is crucial, got slot right in Dublin game, slot wrong in Derry one

  5. Looks like the galwegions will be gone next weekend got dubs I for one be delighted when they get knocked out and derry be gone to with getting kerry.

  6. Congratulations AOS. Thanks for the effort this year and, on behalf of the fans, thanks to all the lads as well for all your commitment. AOS has played his best this years so please stick around. The same to some other experienced members of the panel please give it another lash. We/you are not that far off! Its a questionable system when the team that draws with the All Ireland and League Champions and gives us the best two games this year so far is out of the competition.

  7. Clare – I wouldn’t write anyone off but it is very hard to see tired and wounded Galway getting the result against a fresh Dublin team.

    Roscommon will feel they have a chance against Armagh based on what they did against Tyrone.

    If we had drawn Kerry this week it would be lights out for us this weekend regardless.

  8. It was 3 out of 4 last year, be interesting to see if teams have prepared better for it this year, if that’s even possible. Looking forward to seeing how Galway and Derry get on. Derry are very familiar with Kerry

  9. @Tony freeman well I’ll be shouting on dubs this weekend to be honest the amount of snerring from fecking Galway is ridiculous and actuary most dubs I know have been pretty respectful and said hard luck that was tough and we will be back next year but Galway are being patethic as well as the rossies.

    I’d say rossies may beat armagh.

  10. Kerry will have too much for Derry but I’d say Mickey might’ve wanted Dubs. Donegal for Sam as stated previously.

  11. The draw is interesting, Galway v the Dubs, this will be close.
    Donegal to demolish Louth
    Armagh to just about beat Ros

    And dear I say it, Derry can make amends for Kerry defeat last year in semi.

    I hope there are a few shocks next weekend, all being set up for a Donegal ambush in the final.

  12. I’d say Roscommon will be competitive against Armagh. At least I hope so. I’m glad for them.
    As for the other teams, I don’t have compelling interest in one team more than another. I’ll be intriguing to see the progression though.
    I wish you all a good day. It still feels a bit tough – our sporting evening on Saturday, but I am starting to feel pride in our lads as I look back over parts of that game and elements of their performances this year. I have an image of Ryan doing his amazing, harrying tackling on front of me in McHale Park on Saturday in the second half. The bould grizzly Derry backs couldn’t live with it. The Mayo forwards pressing back the Derry backs late in that game was some spectacle.
    With thoughts such as these I’ll start my day. Have a great day all!

  13. Well done Aiden. A leader on the field for us for many a year and keeping himself very fit. Hope there is one more year in him.
    Some good matches at weekend. Let’s hope the Connacht flag will continue to fly, Roscommon probably our best chance.
    It will be very interesting to see how Kerry approaches the game tactically.
    Will they bring all 15 into their own half when defending? Or will they keep a couple of forwards upfront to keep Derry honest.
    Will they use the occasional long pass to break quickly out of defence? I expect they will mix it.
    And the Derry keeper? Will he be picked up In his tracks or will he be given the freedom of the pitch?
    Galway just not firing consistently, they will need their A game.

  14. Who cares what the neighbours say Clare. It’s all nonsense, And you’re on here now saying you’ll be shouting on the Dubs at the weekend. Sure what’s the difference in ye really. We could have been on the end of a bad beating really against Kerry if we met them this weekend. The 4 group winners should prevail easily enough.

  15. Jesus Clare, the Dubs have won nearly everything this past 14 Seasons, Kerry also have nearly 40 titles.
    Why not let someone new win for a change.

    My preference would be Donegal, Ros, Galway and Derry to get through next weekend.

  16. Armagh Roscommon is not far off 50/50 for me. Best draw the Rossies could’ve hoped for. They’re going for an Ulster 3 in a row. Already knocked Cavan, Tyrone out

  17. Ah I don’t see Galway and Dublin being close, the three games in a row is a killer for any team as we found out ourselves last year. With that current system I think all four group winners will get through.

  18. Aidan is a legend always gives everything for the cause. I said this before Cora Staunton should be our forwards coach best forward we have ever produced in the modern era and that includes the likes of Kevin O Neill, Ciaran Mc, Andy Moran et al definetly make her forwards coach

  19. Upon mature reflection (as one of our elder statesmen said), I’d be thinking Derry might not have preferred Dublin over Kerry. They left it behind them last year against the kingdom so it’ll be another tactical nightmare for the purists to negotiate. Dublin are reputed to have major injury concerns so I’ll plead the fifth on that game. The Rossies might just do it. Louth have probably achieved as much as they could this year and poor Mulroy will probably feel as though he’s been for a prostate exam after it.

  20. Why have a go at Clare for her preference in seeing the Dubs beat Galway? I would be of the same opinion.

  21. Hope Galway and Derry can cause a shock! But it’s so unfair to have them playing three weeks in a row.

  22. Well done Aido – again!

    Saturday night was so so so disappointing. When the penalty went in midway through the second half, we were on fire, the crowd was back, Derry were on the ropes. All we had t do was build on it, pile on a few more points, and then frustrate them to the end.

    We frustrated all right – ourselves. Derry hung in there and we’re always likely to get an equaliser at the very end. To get that kind of goal, at that stage, and remember O’Donoghue’s flick, was massive. Reape’s miss from the free was critical, we were rudderless without Aidan, and Cillian needs to start to make more of an impact.

    All very frustrating. If there is a psychological upside, it’s this: It will all be over very quickly. By next Sunday, four of the teams feeling smug right now will be out, and it’ll be two left in by mid July.

  23. Uuugh. Sickened not being in the draw this morning.

    I give galway no chance against the dubs, as far as i can see Joyce is continuing to play injured players which is madness. Kelly, Finnerty etc are clearly playing injured. Need everyone at full health against the dubs in croker.

    Donegal to hammer louth and armagh to beat rossies in a high scoring one.

    I have a sneaking suspicion Derry will really put it up to kerry

  24. I’d agree Supermac, the structure of the championship means we are already in trouble.
    Finnerty in fairness has been terrific , kicked 0 5 the weekend and 1 29 in our championship campaign.
    Sean Kelly has had poor form all year, yes he has missed games but hopefully Croke Park will bring out the best in him.
    But I’d agree a monumental task ahead against the All Ireland champions who I believe now are only starting their championship..

  25. @Ocides2 thanks!

    Before this weekend I probably would have shouted for Galway I shouted for them in the final to.

    But to be honest the amount of crap coming our way from them atm is ridiculous so why wouldn’t I shout for the dubs I live up here is well and as I said they do have a lot of respect for us much more so then the galwegions.

  26. A walk over for Armagh and donegal
    Galway will give Dublin a rattle
    Derry will have no legs left and I hope they get beat out the gate by pure football from Kerry .

    Donegal could be dangerous yet
    If Jim gets them to a semi which he will you can be sure he will have a plan to get the job done

  27. Did anyone hear spoofer Jarlath Burns when he was asked to comment on the QF finals draw today. He had to go and rub salt into our wounds by saying Mayo have completed everyway of loosing by loosing on penalties and we not in the draw. This is the man that’s promoting GAA Go and didn’t have one of the pre qualifiers on TV. He clearly doesn’t care about the fans it’s all about money once he got elected President.

  28. Rossies haven’t won in croker since 1980.
    I always have to maps for them when they go up to Garth Brooks

  29. I’m with you as well Clare. You are free to shout for whoever you wish at this stage. However I think Donegal may just surprise everyone and win it out.

  30. I would’nt write Derry off at all. I understand that they are in a very good place in that camp now and went into Castlebar on Saturday evening ”buzzing” after clearing the air during the week so I expect them to give Kerry a right rattle and they feel its the right time to get Kerry as they have not really been battle hardened yet.

    Best of luck to our friend ”Westkerry” who is one of the best posters on here and as humble as its possible to be with 38 All Irelands in the bag……….

  31. Well deserved Aiden, had a great season , but why o why was taken off in last two games , games we looked like winning and then desaster when he was taken off. If for whatever reason the management didnt think he was fit for a full game why didnt they leave him off for first 15 minutes. Time for McStay to take full control of team (time for one man in control ) and make changes as he see the game from the line and not depend on stats and sat nav etc.from computer nerds .

  32. PaddyPower have it down that Kerry vs Derry will be 6 on Saturday and Galway vs Dublin at 4 on Sunday.Armagh vs Roscommon 3:45 on Saturday and Donegal vs Louth at 1:45 on Sunday.I wonder if these times will be the right ones.

  33. Donegal will be absolutely licking their lips.

    They seem to have a full healthy squad to pick from now too with savage competition for places, they will get over Louth and then you would fancy McGuinness to come up with a plan to beat anyone with a 2 week break after that.

    I reckon Donegal will be in the final, which would be quite the turnaround in 12 months

  34. I haven’t felt this heartsore after a result since 11 September 2021. I half anticipated it might end this way, but it’s been such a long time since watching Mayo has got the blood pumping that I wasn’t really ready for it to be over. But we have no-one to blame but ourselves, we had the winning of it right there, multiple times. And as has so often been the case over the past 13 years, you’d really have to question some of the decisions made – and not made – on the sideline.

    I wonder whether Aido will give it another year. He owes us absolutely nothing, but god, the thought of not seeing him in a Mayo jersey again is not helping my Monday morning mood.

    It’s a bit galling to see the Rossies heading to Croke Park next weekend while we are sat at home, but fair play to them all the same. And to Galway. Now, I’m not sure where the rhetoric around Galway being so tired and injury-stricken is coming from. Yes, they had a rotten league with injuries but they more or less had a clean bill of health going into Saturday’s game, did they not? Even Comer, their one big injury concern, was able to play and saved the day for them yet again (god, if only we had a Damien Comer!). If players are playing injured, that’s a serious indictment of the manager and medical team. Galway have been talking the talk, and having the talk talked about them for at least the last four years, so this is their big chance to live up all to the hype and surely they and PJ and the crew will grasp it with both hands and show all of us doubters what they are capable of!

    With tongue removed from cheek, this championship structure really is a shitshow and I do feel for the teams having to line out again next weekend.

    Glorydays, let’s see how Ballina Stephenites go this year before promoting Cora to forwards coach 😉 Roll on the club championship. Pity we have to wait for it.

  35. I agree KM79, I think Galway will go very close with Dublin. They won’t fear them. The talk is that Dublin will bounce back after Mayo pushing them close, but I actually think Dublin aren’t motoring as well in 2024 as they have in previous years. It wouldn’t surprise me if Galway were to beat them. I could be completely wrong but just a gut feeling that Dublin are beatable. It’s teed up for Galway.

    I think it’ll be hard for ros to produce enough to beat Armagh. They’ll ne getting treated like heroes this week and I just think Armagh will be so focussed on winning this QF.

  36. Anne Marie………..if we had Damien Comer he would either be a half back or a FF with no ball being kicked into him.
    I have never understood why we cant kick a pass to AOS at FF.
    A few podcasts ago I heard Colm Boyle lamenting the same thing ….but when he played with AOS at FF the ball never seemed to be kicked in either.
    It would be interesting to know why that is……but its like the 3rd secret of Fatima or one of the devine mysteries……if those kind of things still exist.

  37. Yes I did not like them comments by Jarleth Burns he would want to look at his own county’s record in loseing big games by peno’s

  38. Well done Aiden.
    What spectacular season you have had and being present to see what you also have to put up with on the pitch…… pure abuse.. yet you continue onn focusing on the game. Unreal!! Thank you.
    Player of the Year for all of us.

    As for draws this morning…. Couldn’t care less.
    Will we see any game like Hyde Park last Sunday week or Hastings Pk on Saturday. Doubt it…..

  39. If I was playing fullback I would hate Damien Comer winning the ball and taking me on and I would be thinking the exact same about Aidan O’Shea

  40. On this form and the eye test on his fitness Aidan can go several more years and I really hope he does. If Aidan is down to a literally 8 min impact sub role aged 38 and was willing I’d want him there.

  41. Hope Galway have a full team to pick from, if and its a big if…Comer, Walsh, Conroy, Kelly , Tierney ..and an improving Finnerty are all fully fit ..Galway will be more than a match for anyone..Problem might be that Dublin will have a few subs on the bench as good as the cream of Galway starters..but I will shouting for the Tribesmen in any event..Dublin will start strong favorites ..but imagine the game was to be played in Dr Hyde Park?, which is a MORE neutral ground than Croke Park ever was in games involving Dublin. Of course the GAA despite its noble ideals set up in 1884 , in its current subservience to the exclusive benefit of ONE PARTICULAR TEAM which has been evident all of this century, more resembles the subservience of the Irish people to the Monarchy way back in 1884. I will also be shouting for the Rossies ..Armagh again will start strong favorites , but the Primrose and Blue have very good natural forwards, able to take points from distance, and hopefully Enda Smith reminds everyone just why he is a deserved All I will also be shouting for the Rossies. If Galway and Roscommon keep winning I will have to choose one…Ill probably have to toss a coin.

  42. Yes I’d agree JP. AOS in an interview a year ago said he’d keep going as long as he was wanted/felt he was adding etc. on that basis, it’d be very strange not to see him involved another year or two. It’s Cillian I’d be more concerned about. I still think, I’d fit, he has another season or two in him also. Sure, he was only getting going this year so not much mileage in 2024!

    The main focus needs to be getting lads who have plateaued to come on in 2025. We need lads like Tuohy, Hession and Carney to take a leaf from Donnacha McHugh’s book and bring it up a notch or two in 2025!

  43. When you go through the players on the team, only a handful actually had progressive years in 2024.

  44. Mayonaze, I’d say these players had progressive years:
    Colm Reape
    David McBrien
    Donnacha McHugh
    Sam Callinan
    Eoghan McLaughlin
    Jordan Flynn
    Fergal Boland
    Conor Loftus
    Tommy Conroy

    I can’t think of any of our subs that had progressive years but that’s not their fault – maybe Bob Tuohy did.
    I’d love to see Bob and a few more subs really flare into form next year.
    I think we’re in a decent place with definite room to build. Our injury profile isn’t bad either. Let’s try too to build out potent scoring options on the forwards – we are vulnerable if anything ever happens Ryan. He has been brilliant for us and it’s be lovely to build out capacity in our forward line.
    JP, love your comment above.

  45. Agreed on all of those, Swallow Swoops. We are a team in transition and I actually think that’s a pretty decent return.
    It was hard for too many of our other subs to have progressive years when they didn’t get game time.

  46. Our footballers fought hard but were overrun in middle 8 in 1st half. Eoghan continues to be a loose cannon – final ball very unpredictable. Stephen a poor year, why not develop Hession with his speed. Supporters may have expected too much.

  47. Some slightly hard conversations are needed with lads. “I need you 5kg more muscle next year. It’s up to you”
    The team did progress, the individuals several of them progressed.
    However attack was unnacceotable. The quality of attacking strategy and attacking plays was a total fall grade. Everything else is pretty good.
    It doesn’t matter the quality of your forwards if you you don’t have plays.
    We didn’t kick many bad wides.

  48. @leantimes.i reckon you don’t live anywhere near the Galway /mayo border or don’t encounter galweigans on a daily basis

  49. I think if we were asked at the beginning of the year to predict where we would depart the fray, if at all, very few posters would have predicted at pre quarter final stage. So in the eyes of most we have underachieved, most people I feel having given us a fair / outside chance of reaching semi finals.
    Derry, the most disadvantaged team in QFs next weekend, having dragged themselves into the next round through extra time.
    I don’t think our focus should be on players who came up short or selecting a number who excelled. We should be looking at our system or style of play, hard to watch at times, but nothing to do with lack of effort from players.
    We might learn a lot by tuning into Kerry Derry

  50. Well done Aidan.
    And hard luck to Mayo players, gave it some blast over the last 3 games especially and despite the result against Dublin, that young panel grew massively coming out of that game and will be so much stronger come next year. We have a number of good young inside forwards to add to the panel next year.
    We’ve desperate luck, Fergal Boland would have been ideally suited to that half forward line in second half to shoot from distance so a hard one on Fergal, tough on Paddy D too.
    Donegal and Roscommon likely to make all-ireland semis and that in itself shows the change that is happening now and will continue over next few years. Anything could happen in the Dublin/Galway game and I expect Kerry will start the first 20 mins against Derry at flying pace and force it into an open game and win.

  51. Swallow Swoops – Not being critical on the player but in no way did Sam Callinan progress this year, he was tasked week in week out to carry a role he was uncomfortable in and his player got the better of him in nearly every week. He is a player many have high hopes for and is still young, if he is used correctly he can be a good weapon for Mayo going forward.

    Loftus, Boland, Mclaughlin and Reape also showed nothing in the championship to say they have progressed.

  52. @Tomy freeman reape his kick outs have gotten much better didn’t let any goals in v dubs or derry obvs penalties but he has gotten better.

  53. Not the time to be criticising players. Systems of play yes. Callinan is an outstanding prospect and there isn’t a county in the country wouldn’t be glad to have him.

  54. Haven’t posted since the game was just to depressed. Still struggling to understand what went wrong. I keep going back to the first half we were very poor. We looked lead footed and the zest of the week before was gone. We lacked the same forward movement and ideas, we didnt break hard and fast, no direct ball in all game which gave Derry ample time to set up. We all knew the Derry game plan that was coming, defend deep, break fast rinse and repeat.

    The excessive lateral stuff re-appeared, we didnt take shots on I’d say on 5 or 6 occasions when around the 30. If we got a strike rate of 2 from 6 from those wouldnt it have changed the game. Even Sam’s miss would have won us the game.

    That is the stuff that is difficult to process, there was ample opportunity to win that game. I also wonder did the mgmt get the prep wrong for this game, I expected a big bounce after the Dublin game it just didnt seem to be there in that 1st half.

    I hope and believe Aiden will stay on, he is such a valuable asset. I also hope Cillian stays for another year or 2. Lots of talk on whether we have regressed or progressed. We have improved defensively this year thats for sure and that can improve further. The team is young so will learn. A couple of more additions and more luck on the injury front and we shouldn’t be far away. I’d stick with the mgmt team but let them tweak whatever is needed to move us forward.

    On this mornings draw the system is so biased to the group winners I can see them all winning comfortably and that’s not being disrespectful to those team thats came through. Plus its even more bias for Dublin and Kerry as they are nailed on really to win their province and automatically get the No.1 seed. If you dont top a group you are most likely going nowhere..

  55. @FreetheEastbank,
    In the 2015 Season, plenty of ball kicked into the full forward, but v the Dubs this tactic never worked.

    Honestly, I think many players improved in 2924 from 2023,
    McLaughlin but hit with injury at times.
    O Shea
    Conroy ( from his pre injured Season)
    Towey, biggest improvement but not enough time given in the championship.
    Carney also.

    Others got injured in the league and a few have regressed or stayed the same.

  56. Donnacha McHugh was brilliant for us this year.
    Very disappointed with the loss but I feel we are not good enough to win it out.
    Unearth one or two from the club championship and start over.

  57. Eamon Sweeney’s Indo piece today sums up the ludicrousness (his term) of the championship structure, and how Mayo is its biggest victim.
    We’ve got to trust Mr Burns(hmmm) lives up to his word and kicks this crap into oblivion for next year.

  58. If Galway had a full deck to deal from I would give them a right shot against the Dubs. But Walsh, Comer, Kelly and Finnerty are all clearly carrying various knocks and niggles. You need your best players playing at 100% to challenge the Dubs. And Galway are fielding lads who are not fully right. Add in the 3rd week out on the trot against a rested Dublin and there’s probably only one winner.

    Actually think the Rossies have a right good chance against Armagh. A Comer less Galway should have beaten Armagh out the gate. Rossies should fancy their chances at the very least.

  59. Loftus appears to have regained his form. I’m basing this on the very limited appearances we have seen from him this year. He made his first proper appearance in May, if memory serves and he looked sharp and scored. This is progress because he was out of form last year, wasn’t scoring and was played in a different position. He is a live option in the half forward line now, is placed in a position where he can score and appears lighter in spirit. And he sure seems to have his confidence and nerve to my eyes – seeing as he dispatched that penalty with cold bloodedness on Saturday. That’s big progress to me.

    Boland is back in the team, has been given trust and responsibility, is accurate and did well in that Mayo v Dublin League game. The latter shows that he can make an impact. He showed he can shoot and score from distance, vital info for Mayo to have. If he was available for the Dublin and Derry games we’d have more to say. We were lamenting that he wasn’t available to us for those games. Progress from not being there at all last year.

    McLaughlin – still scoring goals. Good. Progress is that he is even better than last year at tackling which I thought was previously quite good. Has actually developed an ability to kick and score points this year. This was notably missing previously. He’d shoot but often miss. Plus he showed that he could actually fill the gap somewhat left by Paddy Durcan in a recent game. This is marked development but there is more to do for Eoghan for sure.

    Reape – maybe the progress here was marginal but I note increased accuracy with getting his medium and long range shots out to a Mayo player. Seems a bit steadier on kickouts this year.

  60. There are no hard luck stories folks. The structure was the same for everyone. We didn’t perform well enough on Saturday, nowhere near good enough.

    We were absolutely deplorable in the 1st half. We only attempted 7 shots in that 1st half. We upped it for about 15mins & we thought all we had to do was keep possession for the next 25 minutes. We scored 1 point in that period! 1 point. We made no attempt to kill the game. I’m not blaming Sam, at least he showed the balls to try & kill the game. If we hadn’t spent 20 minutes trying to play conservatively prior to that, we would have broken Derry. And people wonder why fans of other counties no longer root for us? It’s because we play rubbish football.

    Is this the players doing this themselves? Or is it the coaching telling them to do it? If I was on the Review Committee, that’s the question that needs answering. No pussy footing around it. Why didn’t we drive on? We didn’t kill Galway off. Same story. We almost threw away a 6 point lead against Roscommon. The Dublin game was unlucky as we literally just took the lead at the death. But unless we address the late game collapses, we are pissing against the wind.

    If McStay stays on 1 more year. I’d be hoping there is a seismic change to the coaching set up. We aren’t as good a team as Dublin or Kerry. But we’re as good as anyone else & we need to start expecting that standard.
    I would give them a bit of credit for shoring up the defence a bit. But that’s it. Our attack has gone backwards.

  61. As much as I’d like to see Dublin lose, I can’t see Galway running them close at all. Dublin by 10+ with Gleeson to crumble under the pressure the Dubs will put on his kickouts.

  62. Just a comment on Ulster football at the moment… won all 3 club champs, Sigerson, Schools, U20 and Minor and have 3 teams in QF. I think the black card introduction has really helped develop football up there. They always had the ballers. Gone is the cynical fouling (mostly), the body checks, the brawls and what you see now is structured attacking football. Like it or not its successful.
    Look at the underage teams… big, athletic direct running players. They are of a type.
    People use terms like blanket and shawl, but these teams aren’t just putting 15 behind the ball. There’s a system.
    I posted this year that galway had a better league than us. They finished 1 point behind us without key players, but they worked on a system. They know what they are doing. What exactly did we work on?
    A few players had good games but we had the same squad playing the same football again this year and we expected more?
    We need a tactician on the line. We need a plan. At this stage I don’t care if we play puke football or whatever it is but we need a defensive set up that makes teams think. We have lovely ballers at the back but if they are getting roasted every day what’s the point.
    Couldn’t give a fiddlers about the draw tbh.

  63. We have seen flashes of very good play in games plus some bad so consistency we are lacking, easy to say I suppose but if we get the same incremental improvement in ’25 and a couple of additions we could be in a good place, its all small margins.

    On paper the Rossies do have a chance but feel its greatly diminished by playing 3wks in row. Armagh can run hot and cold though so there maybe a chance, but expect Armagh should pull away handy in the last 20..

  64. There really has to be a serious review held into Kevin McStays management getting 2 more years at the next County Board meeting.To throw away leads near the end of 3 big championship games, thats a failure by management.He has a dismal championship record now 5 championship defeats in 2 years thats as bad as Johnos 2nd term in 2007 to 2010, Pat Holmes 2000 to 2002 and Jack O’Shea 1993 to 1994.

  65. Desperately sorry for Mayo. I cant remember a non-Galway game that I was as disappoined after. Disappoined for so many reasons.
    1). The Quarter finals should have the best teams and in my opinion Mayo are top 4/top 5 for sure and definitely should be in the last 8
    2) Mayo play an exciting brand of football and for neutrals to have to watch the likes of Louth and Galway rather than Mayo at this stage is a pity,
    3) I always want to support the Western teams , be it Roscommon , Sligo , Leitrim and especially Mayo. I know in recent years there is a rhetoric that Galway want Mayo to lose and vice verse, but all of the genuine Galway supporters ( including myself) always want Mayo to win.. ( Apologies in behalf of a small number of my county men if they are jeering … I’m sure those unsporting sentiments will be reciprocated by a number of Mayo “supporters” when Galway lose)
    4) I do think its unfair that Mayo lose 1 championship game all a year ( and that one undeservedly and by 1 point) are out , while Derry march on after getting 3 good beatings, Louth after getting 2 good beatings, Roscommon 3 defeats also.
    5) No more than Galway v Armagh , Mayo had opportunities to close that game out v Derry and will regret some poor decisions. The only thing that I would see as encouraging is that ye did show great heart to come back a couple of times. Dont give up hope, Mayo football is still in a very strong place and I would be optimistic for 2025

  66. JP, we didn’t hit many bad wides, because we didn’t hit al all. Our safety strategy means shooting is only on when the stars align. Yes, for the opening sessions, but not when the game is in the melting pot; I feel you have to go for it.

    Agree completely about having conversations with players and getting them to bulk up.

    Is it me or are Mayo easy to attack and easy to defend against?

  67. Hoping a “footballing” team wins it now and unfortunately that only leaves Dublin or kerry so tho i never thought I’d say this but I’ll be rooting for those 2 from now on and tho I’d normally like to see new teams winning i don’t want a team with the parish and their dog behind the ball playing pure shite to be going up the steps to lift the cup.

  68. Our problems started on Saturday when McLaughlin didn’t reappear for the second half.
    It didn’t take long for Derry to exploit a weakness and attack us down their right and our left side.scoring three almost identical points in a row at one stage. That continued right to Conor Glass’s last kick off the post. We saw it, management saw it, they could have done something about it. Maybe the introduction of Hession was a response.
    On a positive note, I thought the two best balls fielded all night were from Jordan Flynn.
    If he could continue to develop leadership skills and get his game up to “Kilkenny” standard, we’d be in business

  69. The frustrating thing is that we seemed to have ironed out the habit of conceding soft goals. We weren’t wide open as we were last year.
    The Galway game it is agreed that Gough handed out 2 of the softest frees you will ever see. The second one especially. I wouldn’t have McStay to blame for that.
    The Dublin game we did everything right bar at the very end. Kilkenny should have been taken out simple as that. It was right in front of the management group. You would be imploring your players to foul foul foul as Kilkenny was in the air. Hard to blame management solely for it and Diarmuid would have turned Costello over had he not slipped.

    Derry game again the job was almost done. Sam should have scored and the rest is history.

    The management group will carry the can but on the flip side we have done so much right with what is a relatively young team. I thought Towey should have been bought on at the start of extra time but that isn’t the reason we lost the game.

    Didn’t you just know Kerry would pull Derry out this morning. If we had put the Dubs away then that would have been Kerry v Dublin instead. One of the big 2 gone in the quarters most likely Dublin having played 3 games in 3 weeks.

    It feels like a hangover without the drink this morning.

  70. With 3/8 Northern teams – one will may spring the big one with 2/3 seriously crafty managers and the other not so stupid either. Of course the players in every sport are crucial and in among them all you need a few dogs and most importantly you absolutely need clued in management.

    BTW can anyone give an indication of what the annual budget in euros is available for a tilt by Mayo for Sam? I dont know what it is but I have heard some huge figures thrown around??

  71. Diasapointed with Jarlath Burns comments about how Mayo exited the championship. He was treated like a king in Crossmolina a few weeks ago at the unveiling of Dr Mickey Loftus bust, seems its popular nationally to make Mayo a laughing stock. We’ll get no respect until we win it again

  72. #GloryDays – disappointing is a kind word – that was a bit cheap – he should know better given the office he holds.

  73. Achill 75. I still can’t see how McStay was at fault for those late 3 points that cost us so dearly. Human error was to blame but the human in question wasn’t the manager. I don’t tend to blame refs but I think Gough did err in not giving us a free in last play v Galway and erred even more in awarding it to Galway instead. Against Dublin Kilkenny should not have been allowed a clean catch but once he had it he should have been dragged to the ground. Against Derry we missed a sitter to go 2 up and then should have got the ball which rebounded off the post from Glass. The were all things that happened on the field of play not on the sideline. Now maybe McStay is not immune to criticism for our style of play or for substituting Aido. These are in his control but using the bad scores we conceded in injury time to have a pop at him is I think incorrect. Like a good few others I thought we improved a lot this season though getting knocked out pre quarter final would suggest otherwise. But how many really think Roscommon and Louth ( no offence intended) are better than us. There is nothing wrong with a system that allows weaker teams a day in the sun and best of luck to both of them but the structure allied to some downright bad luck sees us looking in from outside and that’s a bitter pill to swallow at the moment. As regards the quarters well Donegal must have the broadest smile of all as I expect they will overcome Louth without having to be anywhere near their best. Roscommon with their potentially very good forwards could give Armagh a rattle but I would expect the Ulster county to prevail. A rejuvenated Derry could test an under cooked Kerry but the kingdom should make it through. The most interesting of all is Galway v Dublin. I don’t think Dublin are as good as they were and if Galway take a leaf out of our book and go after them then they can win. But sometimes Galway are desperately cautious instead of letting Walsh, Comer, Finnerty, Tierney, McDaid etc loose. I have been saying it for a few years that they have the players to win an AI as they almost did 2 years ago. Big chance for them now. Only worry is fitness of top men and a small bit of fatigue having to go 3 weeks on the spin

  74. @Glorydays what did he say about mayo?

    Guess we can expect this shite now until the end of July.

    Looking back over yes still hugely dissapointed can only imagine how the guys are feeling themselves and I feel for Ryan O D missing that penalty I’m sure he’s beating himself up over it but he’s been brilliant this year.

    We looked flat the dubs game just took it out of us. I’m glad now we are out because I don’t think we would have beaten kerry this year without durcan and 3 huge games in a row would have been a massive ask.

    We’ve come back from far worse defeats we will bounce back next year.

    And to all the snide comments well feck em hence why dubs get my vote as every dub over the weekend I’ve spoken to said we should still be proud and that our day will come eventually and said we’re the only ones to put it up them all year twice league and last week. I’ll shout for them this weekend but I won’t go as far as getting a dubs flag haha.

    Chin up everyone try and enjoy the rest of summer !

  75. On Callinan, he’s still u21 so I think he can and will improve and he already has valuable experience of 8 or 10 championship games over the last two years, but I think he still has quite a way to go before we can be sure he’s at the required level. The required level being – good enough to start in an All Ireland winning team. Go through our team and ask would they start for Dublin or Kerry? It’s probably true only 4 or 5 guys would.

    I like Sams pace and athletic traits but I feel his skills are not quite there yet, and he tends to telegraph to opposition players where he is going to play the ball especially when it’s that static over and back movement across the 45 against these blanket defences.
    Now this is where I question the management – Enda Hession was outstanding when he came on. Why was he left off? His skills and ball handling ability are far superior to both Coyne and Callinan in my opinion. We have seen him previously have an almost telepathic relationship with ROD where they play beautiful little one twos through these blanket massed defences with clean hands and one touch skills.
    I’m convinced hession would start for both Dublin and Kerry yet we can’t find him a place in our 15? The way he dived on that ball to win the turnover before Flynn’s late equaliser was outstanding.
    The use of Towey was another strange one, all the last two years you get the feeling they don’t really fancy him, he struggled to get much game time yet the biggest 20 mins of the season arrives and they turned to him to bail them out. I thought he was really good actually. He’s got an eye for a score and I think he needs to be persisted with. The penalty was unfortunate.
    Is Jack Carney under orders not to shoot I wonder. Certainly feels like it when you watch him play for mayo

  76. Clare , climb croagh patrick , dip your toes in the atlantic in Achill , go for a feed of pints or whatever but ffs stop for the love of god stop goin on and on about what galway/ros/dub supporters are saying , who cares honestly , therye all in croker next weekend we arent and sometimes ya just got suck it up .

  77. @sean Burke right. I was trying to lighten the mood around here by saying some positive things but guess it’s still to raw.

  78. Bate the blanket there is a difference between kicking loads of ball into a full forward and kicking good quality ball in .in the drawn semi final with Dublin in 2015 Aidan o Shea was nominated for man of the match and in the replay the ball was just hoofed in any old way some of it out to the corner flag

  79. @sean Burke apologies Willie Joe but I dont have the link to what Jarlath Burns said this morning but he said by losing on penalties Mayo have completed every way possible of losing in the championship. No need for it

  80. If anyone gets offended by what Brolly, McMahon, Galway, Roscommon and anyone else thinks about us – then don’t be reading what they are saying.
    I never read what Brolly and Co say and I couldn’t give two fu@#£ either what they say.
    Stick to the blog here.

  81. No Doubt, that laugh was needed today.

    It’s Armagh all the way for me after this weekend, and that’s no slight on the Rossies (for once). I’d just like to see them doing well. On that note, while I know McStay’s record after two years is nothing to write home about unfortunately, McGeeney has been managing Armagh for a decade now and they have won literally nothing.

  82. McStay & co out his depth. Crunch decisions needed to be made by him v Galway / Dublin / Derry yet none were made. How could he not recognise the huge gaps in closing out games? He’s too old and the game has progressed beyond his ability to influence the team and results. They should poach an outsider. A northerner with steel who understands modern football would be my preference.

  83. Southmayo exile – agree 100% national media is all click bate stuff even Lee is at it trying to rattle the Rossies, keep to the blog and local media within the County that’s enough for anyone…

    On the mgmt team they should stay another year and get the chance to fix things. There was plenty I didn’t like but I still have faith they will get it right with this young developing team. They might have to tweak the backroom team and some of the stuff they execute though, keep the faith..

  84. @clare everyone is disapointed especially the players. I remember being at a Mayo game in 1991 as a very young I think Roscommon beat us in Castlebar and when we got back to ballina I was passing by the post office and the crescent bar at the time when i spotted a world class basketballer/ gaelic footballer actually I think Deora was there as well and a few others outside the pub having a few long neck bottles of bud and having the craic. I nearly went up and asked them what are ye so happy about and Mayo knocked out of the championship. Life goes on at the end of the day its only football

  85. There was 3 tweaks last year with 3 out and was it 4 or 5 in or something like that.

    @Down Under, in 2023 the on the record cost of running the senior team was €809,872, almost two-thirds of the overall outlay on all our county teams (Hurling, Football and underage). That was up from €644,078 in 2022. Factored into this were €294,379 in management/backroom expenses.
    Would imagine this figure could be quite a bit higher for 2024.

  86. As this is supposed to about AOS I wont go off topic but merely extoll this man’s heroics on behalf of his county and by extension on behalf of Mayo people all over the world. His unique reach within and without the GAA world is not due to his accumulation of All Ireland medals but rather by his sheer leadership, ability, sportsmanship and get-on-with-it mentality despite all the setbacks and disappointments he has had to endure.
    Strangely he has become a ‘hate figure’ for many inside and outside the county may not be all that strange after all. Other-county detractors see him as a proxy for Mayo supporters in general (many of us can be rather strident at times) while internal detractors, it seems me, emanate from other club-supporters, who like to see someone, other than from their clan, getting his/her comeuppance in local rivalries.
    Both sets of detractors are bonded by their discomfort at the sight of a man with his physique, ability and the epitome of the person imagined in two lines from Rudyard Kipling’s ‘IF’ masterpiece:
    ‘If you can meet with triumph and disaster
    And treat those two imposters just the same’.
    Finally, AOS no doubt is aware that statistically you will never please all the people all of the time – so water off a duck’s back.
    Thank you big fella.

  87. First Gen Dub

    I’m not necessarily McStays biggest fan but to suggest that he’s too old is perhaps the worst take I’ve heard in a long time. He’s 10 years younger then Micky Harte and a year younger then Jack O’Connor. The issue he has is that he has not surrounded himself with better coaches. Buckley and Rochford have been finished for at least 3 years now in relation to their style of play. Donegal found that out the hard way. I’d like to get an outside coach in but ultimately I think the manager needs to be from the county, to at least have the knowledge base on where the talent is in the county. Perhaps a future joint management team with an outsider and an insider would work. But I wouldn’t suggest age is the problem for Kevin, just needs to get better men around him. Similar to how O’Connor has Tally with him.

  88. Green and Red…. nail on the head. Like all too chefs, he needs very good sous chefs to cover the days off. There’s too many dining at his top table.

  89. Good link Lionel. On reflection since 2021 it has been a real struggle as a supporter. Perhaps it’s like an extended grieving process or a kind of long goodbye but my brain is a bit numb to it all really. I feel a sense of apathy and have for some time now. I know its a very negative mindset but the chance is long gone. 2013 to 2021 were the halcion years and I feel so nostalgic on thinking about them.

  90. My fear is Galway have a run this year. Always have had more of a soft spot for Galway, especially the ’98 team, than most in Mayo would, but living in Galway and being involved in a Galway club could make it unbearable. Moreso from all those thinking they are getting a rise from me, than any badwill towards them.

    In addition, kids though born in Galway remain Mayo supporters. Recently though its moved a bit from “Mayo or Nothing” to “Mayo but I support Galway when Mayo aren’t playing”. I fear a run from them with Mayo gone could tip the balance and my allies would be lost.

  91. Was sat beside mcguiness on sat , impressive man in real life character . Im not saying mcstay should go but the question is does he have the stuff to win an all Ireland .

    Im also convinced our conditioning is lacking, the state our underage teams are in the last 2/3 yrs is very noticable compared to the derry , kerry , tyrones . The lack of bruisers is wild , i honestly dont think weve had one

  92. Paul – I personally think Galway will really struggle with Dublin’s press.

    Derry and Kerry might be a bit closer, but if Derry’s intention is to play how they did against us, Kerry will happily take that, I would imagine.

    Armagh and Roscommon could be a bit of a tussle. It’s a great opportunity for Roscommon. You would think Armagh will come out the right side, but it’s provided they can keep their heads together, which is not a guarantee.

    Donegal are in a great position to get to a final. I tipped them early in the year to cause a major upset in the championship and I still think that’s to come.

  93. I would give McStay another year, he is not far away from success but he has to make big changes in his backroom team and take a more leading role himself. After that get Ger Brennan an outsider who is an up and coming manager.

  94. In our post match pub analysis we did our best around the table to get inside McStay ‘s head to examine his/their thinking on the reason behind taking Aido off with the few minutes left on the clock. Was there any apparent injury? No, that we could see. Would he be so fatigued that he couldn’t give one more ounce? Didn’t seem to be,we agreed,was he on a yellow?,no.
    Then we stumbled on it,it could only be to spare him the autograph hunters,aha , that was it wr reckoned. On Sunday morning I thought how stupid were we to even consider it as a reason. But I’m coming back round to it again.

  95. Cant see Derry upsetting Kerry, Kerry will shoot where we didn’t and be much more direct. Also intriguing is that if all group toppers win Kerry and Dublin will be kept apart in the semi

  96. Hang on now, let’s reflect on what’s being posted. The idea that McStay should get another year buy bring in major changes in backroom coaches. Well it’s he that brought in those coaches.
    He’s had two years and we’ve been surviving on frees, penalties, marks and potshots. We’ve had an awful poor record at scoring from play.
    Our attacking style is the worst of the top 8 teams. How does that deserve one more year?
    If some FRC rules come in the game will be even more attacking. The aspect of the game that this mgmt is weakest in.

  97. 2 Hops – a number of people have pointed to Aiden been taken off being an issue plus I’d throw in why he wasn’t brought back in after a short rest. Its not where this game was lost though it was the poor first half and failure to shoot when the chances were there and that one bad miss

  98. I’d argue we were leaderless, rudderless and missed his physical and calming presence in those final few minutes @darky.
    But had we got through I admit I would be fearful about next weekend.

  99. I thought it would be Kerry and Mayo next weekend but it’s Derry instead.

    To behonest I’ve lost a fair bit of time for them given the stamp on Comer and the reaction of Harte afterwards.

    The question down here is nobody knows were Kerry are.
    I’d have serious concerns that our HF line is not defensive minded enough given that’s line that Derry do a lot of damage from.

    David Clifford has had a quiet year which given everything the man has to deal with isint surprising.

    In our last game against Louth they kicked 2.21 and 5 came from Clifford.
    So we are seeing far more scores from others notably thr HB line in OBeaghlaoich being Kerrys player of the season so far.

    I am certainly nervous but if we are good enough we will win if not we will lick our wounds and head home.

  100. @Swallow…

    Colm Reape – agree. Still plenty of scope to get better but definitely a progressive season.
    David McBrien- agree, he improved a little.
    Donnacha McHugh – absolutely. Our POTY by a country mile.
    Sam Callinan – disagree. I don’t think he improved but nor do I think he regressed. I’d have hoped he might have been better in possession.
    Eoghan McLaughlin – really hard to judge. I’m a fan of Eoghan but he was riddled with injuries and blow hot and cold. When he’s hot he’s very hot, but he can make some silly costly errors. A fit Eoghan and inform, he makes my 15 though.
    Jordan Flynn – no. Ok, he had injuries but he definitely didn’t have a progressive year. Not at all imo.
    Fergal Boland – a very good league, not much else. Progressive? At a push.
    Conor Loftus – hmmm…the only way was up after recent years.
    Tommy Conroy. No way. He only got going in recent games but the only thing progressive was that he’s now for and looking like a player again but as good as in 2021? No. So, I wouldn’t call it progressive.

    2025 is a big year for Hession, Carney and Touhy. They are all at different stages so incomparable to one another but Hession has loads in him and Mayo need him buzzing for next season and a cert for starting 15. Carney, needs to dominate in the middle third and take a much more aggressive approach. Far too passive. Touhy, he had a very impressive stint in the league in 2023. He did very little in 2024. Id hope to see him really beef up over the winter because we need presence around the middle – a sector we are light in.

  101. Sorry to be fair to Loftus, his performances were definitely better this year off the bench but he’s a lad we all had really high hopes for coming from underage and just never got to the heights we hoped for. Maybe there’s still time? He shows glimpses every so often but sin é.

    Another who you’d hope might have a string 25 might be Plunkett.

    I’d be concerned about our corner back slots. I think both the 2 and 4 jersies are up for grabs

  102. Players are entering our senior setup aged 21+ too physically light and not strong enough or quick enough over ten yards for inter county.
    Now that is not acceptable. We need to get our house in order in SnC.
    21 is not young in terms of having already been physically developed.

  103. A few thoughts on the game,perhaps the reason some posters like are fed up of the opinions who are always downbeat before games and decide to shout louder about Mayo for Sam,on year any game I have attended there is a massive improvement in our play this year,much better defending,and our fowards are playing far better than last year,we lost to Galway by one point,drew with Dublin and lost by a penalty against Derry,all three will feel that they have a great chance of winning out,on not closing games out that is not a recent problem,I was Croke Park in 1981 when we failed to score in the second half,I was in Croke Park in 1996when we led by six points with ten minutes to go, we failed to hang on,so that is a long standing problem,I still feel that we have a great team and will get better,also can we stop having a go at Clare,she is entitled to her views and if she over steps the mark Willie Joe will soon tell her.

  104. @corick bridge thanks!

    @Glorydays yeah very true was crap way to go but the end of the day it’s only sport!

  105. …so out of who’s left, sophies choice, who are we hoping to win it outright from the teams that are left?
    Think I’ll be hopping on the Armagh bandwagon.

    – a lot of scarcely believable near misses
    – always involved in the most exciting games
    – often veer wildly from looking unbeatable to looking utterly abject, sometimes in the same half
    – rapid fans in big numbers

    ….remind you of anybody? Lol
    They are basically the northern Mayo. All aboard the Armagh bandwagon

  106. I’m not fed up with how we perform, I’m fed up with knowing that we can be a lot better without having to split the atom.
    1. We can be physically stronger.
    2. We can assess our talent better. Why in hell was Paul Towey made feel fringe? It seemed all year, few mins to go, Towey sub on Towey a point, Towey sub on, Towey a goal. He had 1-9 from 2 starts and 7 sub appearances most of which were a few mins.
    3. We can have an attacking play book a lot closer to Dublin.
    I’m also fed up of seeing mgmt backroom team who have consistently failed and are not wanted in their own counties. The absolute guff at the start of this mgmt taking about how “there were no backups” as in these were the only names wanted. Pure guff. There’s more proof that these are not top backroom names than they are top.
    To be coming out saying there was no backup name for some of the ticket. Sorry but hard to take that sort of stuff serious outside of picking a Jim Gavin or Paddy Tally who are top in what they do.

  107. Interesting article in by eamon sweeney in the independent today.The ludicrous system had a big part to play in our downfall this year but we are probably short 2 or 3 players in key positions in reality

  108. It would more in our line to actually look within at why we lost, not start looking around for external excuse like championship structures (which were agreed and understood by every team at the start of the year)

    I’d start by reviewing why we scored 3 points in the first 37 minutes of the game having taken 6! shots….and then managing 1 point in the last 25 minutes and go from there

  109. Not sure Galway are simply “talking the talk” the last few years as someone said. One final and 3 Connachts in a row is better than any other team in Ireland bar the Dublin/Kerry axis. Sometimes it feels like everyone else is just playing their own championship and those two are in a land above sadly

    Anyway I don’t think we’re in any position to throw stones at Galway they’ve had a better few years

  110. Not a snowball’s chance of that fella getting near the Mayo job@Corick. You can rest easy on that one.

  111. Its like the twilight zone lads. We are in exactly the same position as ye were last year. The Dubs are rested, have no major injuries that we know about and we have a half fit Kelly and Walsh and Comer wont be able to play 75 minutes in my view. We were way better than Armagh, threw it away and now we have to play the All -Ireland champions a week after what was in fairness not a hard match against Monaghan. Anyone slagging Mayo would want to relax and take a look at the last 2 years where we threw away winning positions against Armagh and landed on the hard side of the draw. Galway will need to produce a 75 minute performance this weekend. I hope we can raise our game as we will need to raise it significantly but I expect we will attempt to contain the Dubs but the fallacy of that approach is can we score enough to beat them. I very much doubt we can unless we can score 2+ goals. I’m glad to hear Burns is going to change the format as it should only be the top two teams going through from each group.

    One last thing that annoyed me. Galway could have played Donegal too at the weekend but the way the draw was done didnt even offer that as a chance. It should be an open draw, imagine Kerry vs Dublin then one of the big two would be out and would give hope to the rest of us. Its all very unsatisfactory from Super 8 on its contact tinkering and changing of the rules with more to come.

  112. @JP: Who’s do you feel is entering the setup +21 and looking light?

    Glancing back at our u20s and when they made their debuts, we’ve only had 3 +21 lads make their debuts for us in the last 7 years. Conor Reid, Aaron McDonnell (both this year) & Aidan Orme (back in ’21). I wouldn’t have thought any of those looked short on S&C at the time.

    Of the 24 debuts in those 7 years:
    McDonnell – u24
    Reid, Orme – u22
    Hession, Coyne, McLaughlin, Conroy, Diskin, C Moran – u21
    All others u20 (or younger).

    Is it possible that you’re comparing our lads at 18 or 19 to lads at 21 or 22 elsewhere getting opportunities (sometimes much) later than ours?

    Probably worth noting, the average age of our defence against Dublin was just a touch over 24. If you’d swapped Coen (the elder statesman at 28) for Hession (24) it would have just been a touch over 23 average. Given it was pretty much the same lads involved last year, with Paddy thrown in to bump the averages slightly, we seem to be getting young lads hitting the ground running better than most sides.

    A few suggestions earlier in the year on McHugh being light. Didn’t agree with them at the time & after the job he did on Smith, Fenton or anyone else he was thrown at for the year I’d hope those are put to bed. He’ll fill out more as he matures, as will Conor Reid as midfielders generally do, but I’d be more worried about them rushing it to do it too fast and losing their athleticism or becoming too injury prone rather than wanting them to bulk up more immediately. They’re well able to compete as they are.


    Had this handy from an older tweet, but probably no harm to throw it up here for come context. Our recent u20s (and the year they played u20, lads in brackets weren’t involved in this years panel at the time of the tweet) who made the step up to senior:

    (25 – Duffy)
    23 – Callinan, Tuohy, Kelly (Boland)

    ****** All still u21 so time to develop yet for the +21 standard ******

    22 – McHugh, Irwin, Reid
    21 – Carney, Hession
    20 – Coyne, McBrien, McDonnell, Brickenden, Towey (Mullin)
    19 – McLaughlin, Conroy (Orme, M Moran)
    18 – Flynn, R O’Donoghue (Diskin, C Moran)

  113. @JP: Who’s do you feel is entering the setup +21 and looking light?

    Glancing back at our u20s and when they made their debuts, we’ve only had 3 +21 lads make their debuts for us in the last 7 years. Conor Reid, Aaron McDonnell (both this year) & Aidan Orme (back in ’21). I wouldn’t have thought any of those looked short on S&C at the time.

    Of the 24 debuts in those 7 years:
    McDonnell – u24
    Reid, Orme – u22
    Hession, Coyne, McLaughlin, Conroy, Diskin, C Moran – u21
    All others u20 (or younger).

    Is it possible that you’re comparing our lads at 18 or 19 to lads at 21 or 22 elsewhere getting opportunities (sometimes much) later than ours?

    Probably worth noting, the average age of our defence against Dublin was just a touch over 24. If you’d swapped Coen (the elder statesman at 28) for Hession (24) it would have just been a touch over 23 average. Given it was pretty much the same lads involved last year, with Paddy thrown in to bump the averages slightly, we seem to be getting young lads hitting the ground running better than most sides.

    A few suggestions earlier in the year on McHugh being light. Didn’t agree with them at the time & after the job he did on Smith, Fenton or anyone else he was thrown at for the year I’d hope those are put to bed. He’ll fill out more as he matures, as will Conor Reid as midfielders generally do, but I’d be more worried about them rushing it to do it too fast and losing their athleticism or becoming too injury prone rather than wanting them to bulk up more immediately. They’re well able to compete as they are.

    Had this handy from an older tweet, but probably no harm to throw it up here for come context. Our recent u20s (and the year they played u20, lads in brackets weren’t involved in this years panel at the time of the tweet) who made the step up to senior:

    (25 – Duffy)
    23 – Callinan, Tuohy, Kelly (Boland)

    22 – McHugh, Irwin, Reid
    21 – Carney, Hession
    20 – Coyne, McBrien, McDonnell, Brickenden, Towey (Mullin)
    19 – McLaughlin, Conroy (Orme, M Moran)
    18 – Flynn, R O’Donoghue (Diskin, C Moran)

  114. Lads the reality of getting an outside manager is very slim if we are being honest. 2 years ago we were in a better position then we are today and no external candidate applied to the job. Ger Brennan, yes proving to be a good coach will never go for the mayo job. He wrote an article last year about a current mayo player abusing his faith on the pitch. Making fun of the fact he is a deeply religious man. Trust me Dublin men are loyal to their county and won’t take a job that could seriously damage Dublins chance of winning an All Ireland. It’s the same in Tyrone, Kerry, Donegal. Loyalty and pride for the county you come from means a lot to successful managers.

    If we go for a new manager at the end of next season our best shout is someone within the county who would bring in outside coaches with good experience. Someone on an earlier post mentioned McConville and I had a giggle to myself. He’s proving to be doing an excellent job with Wicklow but when considered in backroom team previous our chairman thought otherwise.

    At the end of the day there is many posters on here who have very good ideas but the reality is the man at the top table of the Mayo CB is the one who makes the calls, and let’s just say his two calls on U20 and Senior are proving to leave a lot to be desired.

  115. If all the top group teams win this weekend,why do Dublin avoid Kerry in semis? I thought the only way they can avoid each other is if Rossies win. As they already played Dublin,they then avoid each other and assuming Dublin and Kerry win,it would have to be Rossies v Kerry and Dubs v Donegal (if they win) Is that correct?

  116. @John Duffy: Armagh & Donegal already played each other, so that’s avoided in the semis. If all the top/rested teams win it’ll be Dublin against one of those and Kerry against the other to avoid their clash.

    If Dublin, Kerry, Roscommon & Louth all win it would be a guaranteed Dublin vs Kerry semi as Dublin can’t meet either of the other 2.

    If Roscommon, Dublin, Kerry and Donegal all win (as your mentioned scenario) it’ll be Dublin against either Kerry or Donegal (50% chance of either) and Roscommon against the other. No set ties needed to solve the clashes there.

  117. It would be interesting to see a Donegal up against a Kerry or a Dublin, going toe to toe in a high-octane, high-skills game that is not just relying on finding a fatal flaw in the opposition’s armour.
    Granted against Dublin, Jim might target their full-back line.
    I find Jim’s supposed magic touch interesting and am not convinced of it so far. We’ll have a fuller picture in a few games.

  118. @TsuDhoNim, Only Oisin Mullen recently has come in during or post u20 and been in strong physical shape. Could maybe say Eoghan McLoughlin when he entered also.
    Dublin routinely add in new young players and the simple eye test on the field you can see they’re stronger.

  119. I can’t see any change of management.
    Always thought we should have brought Aiden on after 20 minutes for the rest of the game.
    Never thought we were good enough to go all the way this year even though I think Dublin and Kerry are not as good as last year.
    Interesting to see how Galway get on against Dublin, I think the advantage Dublin have playing in Croke Park will be plain to see.

  120. I was really hoping McStay was the answer,have to accept that looks unlikely now, Rochford at nothing, I realise that JH didn’t get us over the line but I still hope he can build something with U 20s that will give us a platform. Saturday first half was so poor, mind set has to come from Management.
    I used to think it was only a matter of time before we got over the line, I’m beginning to wonder how much time, another 70 maybe

  121. Imo, our problem is not in players but style of can best be described as ultra cautious as a result of over coached.
    There will be an interesting contrast with how Kerry approach the Derry game.
    Will they get 15 behind the ball when defending? NO, imo, they’ll mix it, leave two forward at times..
    Will they allow the goalkeeper the freedom of the pitch? No, they’ll put him under pressure.
    Will they break quickly or go lateral, backwards when winning possession? Imo, they’ll mix it.

  122. See Ryan O D is the top scorer of the year in the country so far fair play to him he’s always a class act think him missing that penalty itll stand to him next year will learn from it. Saw some saying he wasn’t at his full best sat but he’s only human and he’s dragged this team over the line a few times during the year when we were missing durcan.

    Derry may give kerry a close game that’ll be interesting but still expect kerry to come out on top by a few to spare.

  123. I don’t think there will even be a discussion around McStay’s position. He got a 4 year term and he is only looking forward

  124. – Another super effort from Aido despite all the grief he gets, Christy Mc pulled him to the ground and should have received a black card for it.
    – Match turned out to be way more physical and cynical than the Dublin game. Jordan got some clatter initially and then got an elbow into the head subsequently.
    – We had started to mix the fast attack with the snails pace attack in the Cavan and Dublin matches but reverted back to the snails version. How annoying it is to watch our players be just about to shoot for a point but at the last second stop and pass the ball back.
    – Anyhow the only thing we achieved this year was retain Divison 1 status. All the other modest goals I.e win Nestor and get to quarter final went up in smoke.
    – You can judge the year by performance or by actual results and while we have stopped giving away silly goals which shows improved performance we are not getting results.
    – Have we just to accept two more years of this with a few tweaks ??? With likely same end result. Improvements are required but who can make them and when… the flipping years are flying by and still we wait.

  125. How many natural citog forwards in mayo senior club level , estimate ? Both feet with a more natual left included .

  126. Aidan thank you personally & all the team for your dedication to Mayo. I know it is an honour to play intercounty football but the sacrifices ye make, plus your families & work is tremendous.
    Thank you & the team for your kindness to the young fans esp a certain young fan who delights in seeing you before games. It will never be forgotten. Every good wish on your wedding day.
    Hoping you all can commit again to ’25, we need you all.
    Wishing Paddy a successfull recovery.
    To all the team, management, S&C, & backroom staff have a good summer. We only wish for your own sakes you had got what ye truely deserve this year. Thank you all.

  127. Speaking of citogs, it’s a pity young McDonald doesn’t seem to have a left foot at all from the little I’ve seen of him anyway? It’s baffling why that wasn’t drilled into him from a young age.

  128. @JP: Before Clancy & McEnaney this year it was a while since I was really impressed with a young Dublin player. Probably back to Lee Gannon (24 now) & before that it’d be Howard/Murchan/Bugler (all 26/27 now).

    Dublin have 8 lads 23 or under on the extended panel this year:
    McGinnis (23), O’Dell (22), Gavin, Millist, Forker, Breathnach (21), McEnaney & Clancy (20)

    McGinnis, McEnaney & Clancy are all tall, big lads and the only ones along with O’Dell to see any real minutes this year. Height is well ahead of some of ours and towering over them (as Kobe & Loughney are well ahead of most of our other u17s or John MacMonagle & Eoin McGreal are well ahead of most of our 20s) but changing a profile like that isn’t something you can do with S&C.

    Of the others, who’d be well ahead too if S&C was the difference there rather than natural profiles, from the limited minutes I’ve seen at club/Sigerson I’d have our lads well clear on every meaningful measure (including O’Dell who saw 2 starts and featured in every game in the league for them). Be that actually playing ball or random S&C metrics.

    The bar must be incredibly high for that eye-test. Personally, I was pretty blown away by:

    – Still u20 Sam Callinan man-marking an in-form Shane Walsh in the league-final last year (plenty of impressive performances at u19 too – and debated throwing in his brilliant sweeping performance against Kerry in the Group Stages last year when he had a huge number of turnovers won and notable 1v1 dispossessions of Paudie Clifford he looked plenty strong enough for)

    – Still u21 Enda Hession coming on against Dublin in the ’21 Semi-Final and absolutely slicing through them.

    – A still u20 David McBrien locking down full-back in a 15 point victory over Galway on his debut in ’20 (doing huge jobs on both Comer and Conroy)

  129. Well deserved Aidan. What a player and leader he is for Mayo. Jordan was also immense on Saturday. All the players gave it absolutely everything and losing on penalties is a terrible way to exit the championship. I’m still feeling gutted about it today and it doesn’t get any easier after decades of such experiences!
    There’s been a lot of debate on the blog about whether we’ve made progress or not this season. I’m struggling to see any real progress to be honest and for me progress can only be measured by where we finish in the championship each year. We’ve failed to qualify for the quarter-finals and this comes on the back of getting well beaten in last year’s quarter-final. Management no doubt will point to areas of improvement but they must be disappointed by how far they’ve been able to bring the team after two years in charge.

  130. We are in a very good position,our management is fine,don’t understand how some posters who must have gotten a hiding from Stephen Rochford are so,so bitter

  131. @Supermac absolutely bang on. If there was a like/retweet icon, I’d be hitting it.

  132. For Gods sake Corick. It’s still bright outside at this time of the evening and we’re out of the championship and you say , we’re in a good place. You also said during the match that we’d win it easily. All year you’ve been telling us it was just a matter of collecting Sam. I was delighted initially to see Rochford on Kevin’s ticket, but now I’m thinking that maybe, McEntee was the real brain behind 16/17.

  133. When did Stephen Rochford give you a hiding,because you have spent a couple of years giving out about him,he is an outstanding coach,just stop

  134. @Sean burke: It’s ~20-30% of people generally, so you’d imagine it’d be in that kind of range in football too. Never heard of any prevalence for left-footed forwards/backs or anything of that nature (though not too many studies on that type of thing), so you’d assume a pretty even split.

    ~55 clubs (according to the Mayo GAA website’s 57 & removing the 2 hurling specific clubs) x 6 (starting forwards – we only want the elite ones) x 0.25 (avg lefties) = ~82 as a very rough spitball.

    Exciting to see young lads like Darragh Beirne, Finbar McLaughlin & Evan Walsh pushing through the underage ranks with sweet left feet (& even better capable of stroking over the odd free too). Fingers crossed they keep the hard work up & get a little luck along the journey, we’ve been disappointingly short on them in the squad for a while now.

  135. Well done Aidan, one of our great players.

    Two days on and still bit raw. Hope Jordan Flynn is doing ok. The images after the match of him stretched out are frightening.

  136. Olive, I find it interesting what you said, especially this piece:
    “– Have we just to accept two more years of this with a few tweaks ???….”

    I like McStay and trust this management team but I admit part of me feels this and wonders about it.

    You say this:
    “..the flipping years are flying by and still we wait…”

    I feel that too.

    But the question for me is this, and I’d like your opinion, and that of others:

    If we had won and got through healthy, fit and well to the quarter finals and further, would we have seen a greater mix of play?
    I genuinely wonder and feel we would.
    I have the feeling Mayo have been playing a horses for courses style, or if not playing it, developing it this year.

    After the Cavan game, I think it was, McStay said there were a lot more games ahead of them yet, and I think he was planning for Mayo to get further and play more.

    I think Gizmo thought I was mad yesterday (don’t disagree with you!) when I gave my opinion that I thought McStay et al were developing different elements of play during the year (anti-blanket slow play; rapid fire blinding pace with intricate passing play; and long range shooting play – all different elements – to be deployed as needed in the business end of the Championship, i.e. from the Dublin game on. I say this because the last few years since 2022 have shown us that we need to develop these or lose. If we want to win the AI and that’s this team’s aim, we need to develop different elements.
    After last year’s story, I think Mayo weren’t that interested in really ‘coming out to play’ until the business end. We peaked too early last year (one of last year’s ‘lessons’.)
    But a halt was put to our gallop on Saturday.
    So: yes, I AM worried, as you pointed out, at the tedious slow play. We’ve seen a lot of it and not enough of the lightning fast energetic play, or even the steely accurate shooting. Do we have to endure this with tiny gains for two more years?
    Or is there more to Mayo than that, a Mayo playing a more strident, varied style, that we didn’t get to see in the AI series because we were put out on an overcast, grey evening in McHale Park playing against a blanket? That was the end point of our season.
    I’m wondering if it skews the view of what this team actually is, how it has developed and what it is capable of.
    And yes, besides all of that, we still have to learn to close out games.

  137. Personally I would have been delighted to have been proven wrong as I didn’t believe we could win the all Ireland this year and someone is wrong then for gods sake admit it without more total waffle.I have no particular issue with mcstay and rochford but they are responsible for the tactics or lack of when we take the field and as super Mac posted earlier scoring 3 points in 37 minutes and one point in the final 25 minutes won’t win very many games

  138. If the plan is to win it in year 4 with a near 37 year old Aidan as focal point of our attack it will be the greatest plot swist since the 6th sense Swallow Swoops 🙂

  139. Gizmo, LOL.
    We are a developing team, I think.
    We can date to dream re. Aidan.

  140. This might be totally daft but I can’t get it out my mind. I was at the game and it was like just stay in the game until half time, without expending too much energy. Then made a burst for 7/8 minutes and got in the lead. Fell asleep for a while. Another surge, got the penalty and dosed off again. It was like we can get enough scores without going flat out. We did it again in extra time and had to put the boot to the floor to get back level. Was the thinking, just do enough and be fresh for next weekend.

  141. Kerry won’t be as cautious as Mayo simply because they a completely different set of players. While Ryan has been excellent for us in both scoring and work rate he is no David Clifford. Likewise Paudie is excellent and O Shea, Geaney etc are no mugs either. I genuinely believe the dubs are not as good as they were and think Galway have a chance if they go for it. Some great forwards there but I often think Galway play within themselves unlike the 1998- 2002 vintage where they were so brave and adventurous. We have really honest hardworking lads on our team, but our backs are collectively young, relatively inexperienced but learning and improving. We don’t get enough scores from our half forward line. Amazingly in the motm poll the top 4 nominees were forwards, despite the fact that no forward scored from play in the first half, and we went 25 minutes in the second half when we scored one point so maybe we judge our forward play differently than other counties. We had 6 shots in first half. We got 13 scores in 90 plus minutes. Now in fairness Ryan is top scorer in championship so far but he did get a good few v New York. Our forwards not scoring enough has been a feature of Mayo for years even in our great team of the last decade but you could rely on Higgins, Boyle, Leeroy, Vaughan and co to always chip in with a few scores. In the present group Paddy was always a good man for a score so his injury hurt us as well.

  142. I know ill be sneered at for even suggesting this but we also have to be the unluckiest side not to be in the qf this weekend , Sam callinans fisted effort goes over we are in the hat , Cormac costello slipped and still managed to fist it over again he doesnt point that and we are in the hat avoiding the prelim , all very unlucky aspects to our championship run and then we draw derry in prelims another bit of misfortune if the truth be told .

  143. @craggy boglands sadly actually agree with regards Rochford. Donegal are like a different team now. Mcstay needs to go it alone but next year I think is his last chance hasn’t been a great 2 years and I feel bad for him is well we’ve been very unlucky in lots of ways but just don’t know why the feck we can’t close out games.

  144. Until the GAA admit they haven’t a clue in organising a championship and ask for assistance from another code like soccer or rugby we will continue with this nonsense of a competition. Kerry have a stroll through Munster every year as Dublin do in Leinster while Mayo have to slog it out with Roscommon and Galway and the Ulster teams face a war of attrition each year to get to the same place. That’s one problem.
    Roscommon (no disrespect) get beaten twice after the Connacht championship and are in the quarter final while Mayo who are unbeaten are out. I will never accept a fucking penalty competition as a part of Gaelic football.
    At the start of the championship only Dublin, Derry and Kerry were considered as potential champions and to get to the semi finals Mayo were expected to play all 3 on consecutive weekends…… bs.
    Derry, have to face Kerry for their 3rd game in 14/15 days despite having to come through a gruelling battle including extra time against Mayo while Kerry are fully rested and prepared.
    People will say if ye hadn’t thrown away leads against Galway, Dublin and Derry blah blah blah but it would have just put some other county in that position instead of us. I’m not just saying it’s unfair on our county but it shouldn’t be unfair on any county. Isn’t a level playing field the least we should expect from the association?

  145. @JoeG 100% agree with you there and I’ve a feeling that’s why Jarlaith burns slagged us off he knows the whole system is very unfair and way to many games at once.

  146. Don’t agree with those comments on Stephen Rochford. It’s easy to criticise and point fingers when a result goes badly. When it’s a success the critics are silent.
    The main criticism of him seems to be Donegal’s style a few years ago. Do we know the full story there? No.
    Rochford gets slated normally for one or two specific decisions in 2016 or 2017 but the people who point those fingers conveniently forget the literal string of strings the man had to get right to bring us to the final two in both of those years.
    Do ye know what is involved in managing at this level?
    Let’s watch Jim McGuinness’s run with Donegal. The man is the closest to a magician or the ‘amazing one’ people love at the moment. Let’s see how that journey continues over the next month.

  147. James Horan is 200 times the manager / coach Rochford is. He built an excellent team from 2011 to 2014, left just as the team were coming into their prime. Rochford had his chance to get the team when they were in their prime and failed to win an All Ireland and by the end of his time Kildare knocked us out. Horan had to come in again and rebuild a team. Got them to 2 more finals and now Kevin and Rochford have their hands on them, and from what I can see we are getting worse.

    Corrick you said on a previous tread that we would win the game vs Derry very comfortably. So you can give out about people pointing out or weaknesses but please don’t go around living in a world where everything is perfect and rosey in the garden. Since 2011 only on 2 occasions mayo haven’t been to a QF, on both occasions Rochford was heavily involved, along with his great sidekick Buckley. He’s still never won a bloody Connaught title. Horan won 6.

    And before you suggest Rochford must have gave me or other bloggers a ‘hiding’, that’s just a deflection tactic. Don’t know the man personally, I’m sure he’s a nice guy but his style of play is miles away from what we need.

  148. Swallow swoops I don’t understand your argument and the critics stuff .as far as I can see the posters on here comment on what they see in a game and even in the games we won there was concerns about the way we play.look at the second Roscommon game and the chaotic way it finished.I have no agenda with mcstay or rochford but at the end of the day we are out of the championship and the harsh reality is the buck stops with the management and “their decisions”The fact that people now seem to find time to post on here while being at a game tells its own story

  149. Craggy and Green&Red, the specific game we are having a problem with is the Mayo v Derry one the other day.
    That’s why we are all commenting since Sunday. One way or another we are all reacting to that.

    My specific question to you both:
    If Rochford’s approach to that game, or ‘Rochfordball’ was the wrong approach, what was the right way to play that game?
    Would ye prefer a higher tempo?
    Would ye prefer to have a few more shots?

    (Bear in mind the factors of McHale Park, Derry’s strangling aggressive defending, the fact our shooters found it just a bit harder to score in tight gaps as opposed to Derry – I was there and saw this, and the fact we didn’t convert several goal shots in the first half.)
    I’m interested how Horan would have approached that differently. In fact, do we know? We’ve seen Horan-managed teams struggle a lot with blankets when he was manager. I know our injury profile was high that year but we had a toothless, fangless approach versus Kerry in the AL QF in 2022 in which we repeatedly powered up to the 45 only not to be able to score. Running yes, score no.

  150. Rochford had his chance with mayo for a few years and we never crossed the line either time for mcstay to go it alone or something else needs to change at the end of the day this was our worst exit since 2000 and I thought last year was bad at least last year we won something

  151. To be fair to Stephen Rochford no manager has won the All Ireland for us, he came close as anybody and I think got the best out of the 2016/17 team and up against the greatest team ever and almost got us over the line. Yes the style of play has let us down – when eg Dublin are going forward 12/13 of the team are well inside the opponents 45m line , Mayo have 6/8 inside the 45 when we have control of the ball which means we’re outnumbered big time even AOS can’t win against 3 all the time. No point in having 6 or 8 players across the riddle doing nothing absolutely useless, not going to score from there. The only time mayo go forward is when we push up on kick outs , why not push up when we do have control of the ball.
    This year is the easiest in a very long time to win the All Ireland but as we’ve seen at club level it’s debatable whether we have the natural football talent to do so. Holding onto the ball rather than going on the attack 4mins into injury time or keeping the play outfield no matter what. Style of football played is the managers niche but surely basic skill and reading the play at any given time is down to the players.

  152. In truth, the only way to make the competition fair is for it to be knockout. It’s too gimmicky.

  153. Swallow,

    Firstly I’d like to see some resemblance of attacking style of play regardless of the defensive system approach. Worth remembering Donegal and Armagh both put 3 goals past Derry and I don’t think their attackers are a million miles ahead of ours. We scored from a peno.

    There is no forwards looping off the man with the ball for a score, like we saw Loughlann Murray do on 4 occasions last week. There is no close runners to take a ball off a player and break the line. There are no angled runs to pull defenders away. Fuck all marks taken. No quick diognal ball in on top of Aido. If these things weren’t being done by club managers there would be concerns. ROD is currently the highest scorer in this years championship, which explains or relicense on him. However only a quarter of his scores come from play which shows how badly we rely on frees to get us over the line, yet management have developed a left footed free kick taker.

    I’m not saying Horan is the correct answer to come in and mange mayo again, he’s had his chances. But at least his style of play was more attractive and produced better results than this current one.

    But in a straight shoot off between Horan and Rochford, it’s Horan all day long for me.

  154. @swaloow swoops fair point but it’s just the collapse v derry is hard to understand.

  155. Thanks Green&Red for that detailed answer. Do you think that could have been done in Saturday’s game in McHale Park? It felt suffocating to me there. I also saw Derry were getting scores marginally easier.
    Clare, thanks also.

  156. re Rochfordball: At times, the pedantic approach is fine. It is acceptable when you need to take the sting out of the game or if you have a large lead & you are trying to frustrate the opposition. But it is our modus operandi. We can’t shake ourselves out of it. Numerous times on Saturday we had a turnover & it came to absolutely nothing because players are coached to play sideways, head down football. It’s glaring!

    We had all of the ball against Galway. We owned the first half, we were turning them over constantly. We had the momentum but never used it to our advantage. A James Horan team would have buried them & that’s a fact. We didn’t put them away & deservedly lost in the end.

    The Dublin game was an excellent performance & I wouldn’t fault players or management for not seeing that one out. We made mistakes not taking down Kilkenny, but this is Dublin & not some also ran.

    The Derry game. First half was abysmal but we were still in it at half time. Started 2nd half well when we had to throw the shackles off & had Derry almost broken. But we went back to the pedantic rubbish for 25 minutes & deservedly got our comeuppance in the end. At least Sam tried to finish it off. A pity a few of our more experienced players didn’t take the bull by the horns earlier than that & finish them off.
    We looked dead & buried in extra time, but the players to their credit managed to drag us to extra time.

    We are being massively hindered by our approach. And the sooner we dispense with it the better. A bit of it is fine, in certain circumstances. But it can’t be our gameplan going forward.

    Was this season better than last season? on balance, I would say it was marginally better. We were more competitive & should have won the 3 biggest games we played. But in the Derry & Galway games, our negative approach was what cost us. We did defend better as a unit overall this season.

  157. I don’t think it was a bad season overall, but obviously the end result wasn’t good enough.

    I’ll make a few observations:

    1. Dublin, Kerry and Derry were everyone’s favourites before the championship. We played two of them in Championship and neither of them could beat us.

    2. I think our panel is actually very strong. For the first time in years, I found myself looking at our bench for each match and seeing loads of options, and players that you’d be happy to see come on.

    3. Defensively we have definitely improved. Didn’t concede a goal against Dublin, Derry and Galway. And to be honest, our defensive system is in a good place.

    4. Our attack is not good enough. Half of our goals in championship were penalties. We don’t have enough options to get scores and its making setting up defensively against us very easy.

    5. We need to be more clinical and have a better plan in place to win matches. We wouldn’t get out of our half against Galway, couldn’t keep the ball against Derry and couldn’t stop Dublin scoring. All in the last minute.

    6. We aren’t as far away as we will feel we are this week.

  158. Our faults well analized on the Independent this morning,lack of a left footed free taker and lack of intensity in the first half.

  159. Mayo Focus, you mention:
    “Numerous times on Saturday we had a turnover & it came to absolutely nothing because players are coached to play sideways, head down football. It’s glaring!”

    Derry managed to funnel players back at speed on those occasions – they were *highly motivated* and were focussing on defending.
    I agree it was imperative that we moved the ball immediately and rapidly when those turnovers presented themselves. We failed to capitalise on those tiny moments.
    I also thought we didn’t have forwards in position to receive the ball and score on those occasions.

    Games against blankets are often tight for us – games against Roscommon last year for example.

    Our arch nemesis, the blanket, has had a role to play in this.

    Perhaps, as Mark said above, a fairer system to the competition would improve things for everyone. Mayo hasn’t thrived since the Super 8s came in – and that’s a fact!

  160. Mayo Focus:
    I completely agree with what you say here and in all our matches for a long time:
    “We didn’t put them away & deservedly lost in the end…”
    This is brilliant.

    “We had the momentum but never used it to our advantage.”

    The latter is a killer. We need to be pressing our advantage and to be more (much more!!) skilful. *That’s what we want in a Mayo team.* Also to be powerful and ruthless.

    Thanks for that very interesting post.

  161. ,@swallow, there’s change coming but the cashcow that is the current round robin thing (mess) probably won’t be on their hitlist.
    I’m in danger of sounding like uncle Albert from only fools and horses if I keep on the knockout track…
    Lots of ideas being bandied about with the lads under Jim Gavin’s tutelage, so hopefully they get to implement the changes without the usual resistance a la the provincials a few yrs ago.
    As a side issue I think McStay is a lot cleverer than some think and he has carefully placed others on his team as potential culprits. That said, I believe he is the man for the job.

  162. The system is a joke but I don’t know if you can blame that 100% on the collapse even colm Boyle said in the podcast the collapse wasn’t to do with the fixtures.

    Though there’s definetly way to many games at once why can’t they bring the finals back to september Jarlaith burns probably wants to keep August free for his holidays .

  163. Clare, how was the Derry game a collapse? Don’t mean to be odd or weird in asking that question. Just wanting to understand your thinking.

  164. @swallow swoops cause the first half we were a no show the only player was Aido on the ball. I don’t know we just looked flat the 2nd half was much better from us I mean we weren’t hammered at least but it’s still so depressing the way we are gone still some positives to take from the year Tommy conroy definetly showing more of his old self. I’ve no doubt we will come back again next year stronger then ever but it’ll take a while for the dust to settle on this one I think.

  165. The reason we didn’t transition from defence was because we had lots of bodies back, and to be fair we were solid there even against Dublin, didn’t seem to move the ball as quick against Derry but they may have not committed as many forward as Dublin.
    Defense looks solid but simple fist over the bar and frees droped short can’t happen at this level.
    As for open draw for quarter, don’t agree, there has to be rewarded for topping group same as Euros that’s on now, agree only 2 teams should go forward

  166. Our best performance of the year was v Dublin. We played the game at their tempo.
    Why on earth we didn’t build on that is beyond belief.
    Instead we returned to ultra cautious. McLaughlin, a player that plays on the edge, ‘risk and reward’ football, was not on the field for the second half. Replaced by Loftus, a master of cross field running and later/back hand passing. No doubt he was playing to instructions.
    And of all the pitches in the country, McHale pk is not the one to pack 30 players into one half of the field. Tactical suicide.
    For anyone with a doubt that we got it tactically wrong, contrast with the Kerry approach. And it’s not that we don’t have the players. They are held in a tight rein by our master coach. Is it any wonder so many players played ‘below their best’ at different times in the season.

  167. Thanks for that detail, Clare. I’m understanding that you mainly believe the first half was a collapse. I think the game was lost there myself and we appeared lifeless or shackled. I don’t like this.
    Personally I wouldn’t call the first half a collapse (or an implosion), just that we were stagnant or caught in a bind, lacking ideas, a spark or skill to break out of the system Derry imposed on us. It’s a pity we didn’t seize the initiative before Derry set up their system and push, push, push. We’d have imposed ourselves, I’m sure. Mayo didn’t fold – it’s more that they didn’t act or couldn’t act. And a lot of that is down to Derry’s effort, fighting for their lives and season in a knock-out game that they knew they had to win and that they had to be in the game in the second half to win it.
    Personally I wouldn’t call the game as a whole a collapse either as the game ended all square at the end of extra time and could only be separated on penalties. Mayo didn’t sink like a ship. Wouldn’t a good old fashioned replay have been amazing?

  168. @swalllow swoops yeah exactly we lost the game in the first half I couldn’t believe what I was seeing from us. Is every team just going to park the bus against us now I’m the future : /

    No we didn’t sink like a ship but I’m still feeling crappy over it.
    Yeah it should have definetly gone to a replay
    Penalties as a decider have no place in the game..

  169. Love that, Ahh Not Again.

    On the Ditch, you say:
    “McLaughlin, a player that plays on the edge, ‘risk and reward’ football, was not on the field for the second half. Replaced by Loftus, a master of cross field running and later/back hand passing. No doubt he was playing to instructions.”

    Eoghan was playing on front of me in the first half and he was literally ineffectual. I remarked it to myself at the time as we needed a player with gumption and Eoghan has go and spark. But he wasn’t often on the ball and when he had it he could do nothing with it. Eoghan had literally no impact on the game to my mind in the first half – unless it was as a deterrent, as a poster mentioned yesterday – and to me a switch was likely to be an addition. And I like Eoghan but zero impact was had by him.

    Derry were dictating a heavily defensive game where a poster said triple sweepers were used (someone can say whether this was true or not). It was fast moving ring a ring a rosey stuff. Move the ball around quickly, try to find an opening, avoid the Derry defenders coming out into your face pressuring the man on the ball. Such is how the game went for long spells.

  170. There’s still such an inconsistency to our play and to our players that is deeply frustrating.

    Jordan hasn’t had an amazing season but stepped up Saturday. Eoghan Mc was phenomenal against Roscommon, anonymous Saturday. Mattie Ruane could be incredible and then games could pass him by. Tommy was patchy all season. The list goes on.

    We are never going to win anything until we get some consistency. The frustrating thing with this team is they are equally as capable as playing like they did against Kerry last season or Dublin this season, as playing like they did against Cork last season. We never seem to put a run of performances together.

  171. Thanks Swallow Swoops 🙂 was just my take & I am running a bit hot, so am probably being too general my critiques!

    Clare. The split season is in now & it would be very unfair on every club player to push all Ireland finals back to September. They’ve finally got a definite start date to club championships, and it wouldn’t be right to go back to the old days where the county team dictated when the club championship might start.

    There are too many games in the window we have.. so something will have to give. But pushing the All Irelands back to September is not the answer.. they could get away to pushing it out 1 or 2 weeks, but no more than that

  172. Someone mentioned the euros earlier. I reckon all of Croatia know how mayo are feeling after last nights game conceding a goal in the last 10 seconds and getting eliminated. i am surprised no smartass has come with a WhatsApp linking both teams.

  173. At swallow swoops. Why wasMcLaughlin playing. And if we wanted to be attack minded, why wasn’t Hession the substitute
    You had a good view of the way derry ranriot down your side of the pitch in the second half
    The game was their for the winning.
    We lost the game because we were three points down at half time? That’s as defeated as you can get.

  174. There’s a young forward out there somewhere to take the heat away from RoD. There has to be. Tactics often go out the window when the opposition is intent on stopping you play. We’ll see if Derry can nullify Kerry for the entire first half. I don’t think they’ll be able. Dublin struggled for yrs against the shawl but had more, and dare I say better, long range kickers such as Flynn and Andrews.

  175. Ontheditch, yes, I did indeed see how Derry scored at least three points easily enough down that side of the field in the second half. I remarked on it also at the time that it was a bit too handy (not super easy but it was something to stop). You’d assume Eoghan’s presence would have had a say in stopping that.
    On the whole they got their points a bit easier than us – I mean the same chances were probably there for both sides but Derry’s forwards seemed to be able to squeeze their points in from distance in tight spaces that we didn’t have as much. They had that bit of skill – or maybe experience – that we need to still develop a bit more.
    You mention Loftus replaced Eoghan. Could it be a calculation that he could shoot from distance, take points accurately when chances presented themselves in that blanket? Eoghan doesn’t offer the same type of point threat. He can but not in tight spaces – yet.
    Eoghan is a goal threat when he gets a run. We had about three goal chances that I didn’t see clearly in the first half but didn’t convert them unfortunately.

  176. Mark, the Kerry v Derry game will be played in Croker and that’ll be an entirely different kettle of fish.
    I don’t think Mayo would have struggled in any way similar to last Saturday if our game versus Derry was played in Croke Park.

  177. It reminds of back in 2015 when Tyrone came to castlebar and frustrated the life out of us and pat holmes came out afterwards and said they weren’t expecting Tyrone to set up like that!!!!!!!!!!!! How exactly did the management expect Derry to set up .I don’t know the answer to it but I am not employed to come up with ideas to counter theese defensive systems

  178. Agree, much is find space in Croker, also Clifford will make use of the mark,

  179. Let’s look on the bright side. Only the very foolish had expected us to go all the way e.g. the Mayo for Sam (MFS) brigade – time to get off that foolish mantra, likewise mention of the curse. We had some great wins during the year and held Dublin and Derry to a draw. Sport is unpredictable by its nature and personally, I’m certainly not sneering at Sean Burke for saying we were a bit unlucky. Better luck next time?

    Two special mentions – AOS of course and then Jordan Flynn – scored some key points all through the campaign. These are very young guys for the most part – remember the old Irish proverb Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí / Praise the young and they will flourish! They give us memorable days – lows and highs.

  180. Really don’t think any of the teams who won last weekend have much of a chance this weekend, most of the games will end in double figure beatings.

  181. Okay…. Kerry played Derry in last yrs semi lads…and it was in Croker… Kerry were blessed to win it… absolutely blessed. This year’s different in that Derry will be at a disadvantage in recovery time…
    Two semi predictions: Donegal v Dublin and Kerry v Rossies.

  182. Tommy Rooney on OTB reckons Mayo are the real deal. A bit more confident than a lot of us here.

  183. Best of luck to Galway and Roscommonat the weekend,as for this idea of kicking long ball into the fullfoward line,how do we expect one or two players to compete with six or defenders,1985,I am desperately trying to reach your level,let me know when I get down there?

  184. Corrick when did I say that.what I said was about Aidan o Shea being nominated for man of the match in 2015 when playing full forward.I see you have now decended to insults now .pity you can’t just hold your hands up and admit to being wrong all with your ridiculous posts

  185. Yeah I saw Tommy Rooney on off the ball to praising us I still think we will bounce back better then ever next year but it’s all so raw right now it’s hard to look further ahead..

  186. Mayo are that close. Just rewind to Dublin game. They’re one forward short and a dose of self belief. I’m surrounded by Dublin fans and not one of them is as hard on Mayo as the natives..fact.

  187. After McLaughlin was taken off , three easy points came from that wing, his replacement a lovely footballer is not a defender and will never be, he got a full year in defence last year and it didnt work, so why try it again. After all the mistakes made by the line including taking O Shea off and not starting Diarmuid, Mayo didnt loose the game of football on the field , it was a draw. Penalties to win game should not be part of our games. We are not far away but more is needed in cuteness both on line and from the players.

  188. Corick, seeing as you’re so sure that kicking a ball won’t work against a mass defence, do you mind explaining what exactly would work. And also just let us know why Kerry and Dublin tend to kick and move the ball quickly?

  189. Ah, rest in peace indeed, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh. What an inspirational man and a joy to hear as a commentator and witness in an interview. One of a kind.

  190. @to win just once: “you could rely on Higgins, Boyle, Leeroy, Vaughan and co to always chip in with a few scores”

    Got me wondering just how the current crop might compare.

    Lee Keegan – 159 appearances – 8-77 (101) scored – 0.635 per game
    (*huge caveats on most of Lee’s scores coming in the biggest games or in the biggest moments when most needed. The ultimate big game player)
    Donie Vaughan – 133 appearances – 3-43 (52) scored – 0.391 per game
    Colm Boyle – 137 appearances – 2-24 (30) scored – 0.219 per game
    Keith Higgins – 186 appearances – 3-22 (31) scored – 0.167 per game

    Some of todays lads:
    Paddy Durcan – 108 appearances – 1-77 (80) scored – 0.741 per game
    Eoghan McLaughlin – 45 appearances – 3-15 (24) scored – 0.533 per game
    Donnacha McHugh – 29 appearances – 1-7 (10) scored – 0.345 per game
    Eoin O’Donoghue – 29 appearances – 0-7 (7) scored – 0.241 per game
    Michael Plunkett – 44 appearances – 0-10 (10) scored – 0.227 per game
    Stephen Coen – 129 appearances – 1-25 (28) scored – 0.217 per game
    Sam Callinan – 28 appearances – 0-5 (5) scored – 0.178 per game
    Enda Hession – 36* appearances – 1-2 (5) scored – 0.139 per game (*only 17 starts, so score/minute would be much better)
    Padraig O’Hora – 37 appearances – 0-5 (5) scored – 0.135 per game
    David McBrien – 27 appearances – 1-0 (3) scored – 0.111 per game
    Rory Brickenden – 29 appearances – 0-2 (2) scored – 0.069 per game
    Jack Coyne – 31 appearances – 0-1 (1) scored – 0.032 per game

    Interesting to see Eoghan & Paddy scoring so heavily in the era of blankets & bodies, especially Eoghan who wouldn’t be one for shooting over defences.

    Obviously not how you measure a defensive (or even offensive) performance. It ignores all the great line breaking runs a Zippy or Enda Hession might make before laying it off for someone else to tap in a score or which lads are being asked to fill roles as counter-cover and stop fast breaks by the opposition, but still interesting stuff to glance at.

  191. I’ll always remember Micheal for his quip about Sean Og O’Hailpin, the Cork hurling great…his mother’s from Fiji, his father’s a Fermanagh man… neither one a hurling stronghold… rip sir.

  192. Interesting stats TsuDhoNim, it would be great to get a avg points conceded per game on each player also but with the way games play out and how fluid and interchangeable each player is during a game it would be near impossible to track. I have a feeling the older guard including paddy durcan conceded less.

  193. The greatest Gaelic Games commentator on the history of the GAA., Today Ireland is poorer place for his passing, in a long life Micheal was blessed and we were all blessed to have heard that wonderful Kerry lilt as Bearla, no Gaeilge and we are all the richer for it for so many years. The true Laochra Gael .RIP

  194. A man who painted the scene’s of game’s on radio better than the television could. His recall of game’s and players was unsurpassed. You could feel the love he had for the game’s he commentated on. The man the legend. RIP Micheal.

  195. Had to take a few days away from the noise after Saturday’s excursion, what a bloody kick in the teeth.
    Felt we played into Derry’s hands not contesting all the kick outs and essentially mirroring them for the first half at least. If we had of played on our own terms I don’t think Derry would have stayed in contention.

    Was pleasantly surprised with our form overall this year, yes was disappointing to go out so early but a good deal of experience gained in the Full and Half back lines and AOS having the form of his career. Begs the question do we just do a Derry or a Roscommon and target the pQF next year. ( if it still exists)
    Imagine the crowd at Mayo V Derry replay, the back door system with replays allowed for more drama and fairness to both teams involved, rather than resort to penalties.
    Current structure just doesn’t cut it for me.
    Don’t think its time yet to look at new management, would give next year a whirl based on what I’ve seen so far.
    Let the dust settle a bit until rash decisions are made.

    RIP Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, what a legend he was. Puts things in perspective a little.
    Maigheo Abu

  196. Mícheál says his 1st football final commentary was 1949 cavan v mayo and guess what mayo lost by 1pt after the cavan goalie blocked down a mayo free to equalise in the last minute by being too near the free taker. Some things never change. Btw i don’t think Rochford can’t be blamed for that one.


    The Latest Ah Ref pod is a must listen, Enda McGearty making some very valid points about current management ,hes straight to the point.The left footed free taker problem which has been there since both Conor Mortimer and Enda Varley left, and McStay not finding any new players in his 2 years since Horan left are major concerns.if McStay is to stay on there needs to be a serious shake up in the management and the backroom team and a series of trials should be held to find more more talent.McStay hasnt held any.In fairness Horan always held a series of public trials at the start of his 2 tenures in in 2011 and 2019 and so did John O’Mahony and Mickey Moran in 2006 and 2007.

  198. Galway 100/30 for the gamblers among you lads. Dubs are 3/10. No bet for me but there’s something wrong about that.

  199. @craggy boglands. I have no idea what happens in the mayo camp but I’ve heard this b4 about mcdonald, Jack oshea, John o Mahony Maughan, Connolly, Holmes, Horan, Rochford and mcstay and we are still waiting for the big one and maybe mickey morans year in and out b4 the knives come out is the way to go. Sometimes the players have to bear the responsibility and cut out some basic errors or maybe we need to come down off our high horse and accept we’re not good enough and it won’t be handed to us.

  200. I have read posts on here saying that no one expected us to reach the final this year,yet the same people giving out that we are going further,please make your minds up,I believe that it is an insult to our squad and management who trained all year to win the final

  201. I couldn’t let today pass without commenting on the poster who continues to misrepresent other peoples comments and when called out on this has nothing to offer but snide remarks.we are all disappointed that mayo are out the championship and for me over the years the Monday morning after a championship defeat was a very depressing place but I get the feeling this individual isn’t concerned about the players but that the many silly predictions which became more and more ludicrous were proved a nutshell the Fbd league is not or never was intended to be a major trophy.inter county managers do not get paid in the equivalent of the price of a cup of coffee and I am certain that even Stephen rochford would be surprised to learn that mayo play corifin style football

  202. We went out in the preliminary quarter final .going further would be the quarter final and then the semi final which is before the final I’m fairly sure

  203. Derry have a zonal defence system which works well for them, especially when they are given the time. And we gave them time. A verification of that time is the Derry goalkeeper. He could wander up the field as far as he liked and saunter back to his own goal, no pressure, we were doing our lateral passing thing. To allow time and condense thirty players into one half is totally the wrong tactic. Had the match being played in the Hyde, we may have won.
    Players like Jack Carney, Rory Brickenden Jordan Flynn and Conor Loftus are way better footballers than the bread and butter role they are given. They look for movement but are forced into basic hand passing.
    Thankfully Durcan and McLaughlin do their own shifting…I wonder what did Paddy make of it all on Saturday night from the subs bench? Spare a thought for Hession too…

  204. Rip Michael…don’t know about any of you, but for the 30 years, but it’s was his voice that was the soundtrack when many hours have been spent daydreaming of the day mayo wins Sam and what he’d have to say about it…sadly he won’t be around for it….rip Michael.

  205. We lost to derry in a penalty shootout after a six day turnaround after playing and matching the dubs physically for 70+ minutes. We played awful against derry and yet only lost in a penalty shootout. The fact that the amount of people are complaining about management shows how spoilt we are as fans. I’m not mcstays biggest fan but i can’t blame him or rochford for losing. People will say derry also had the same turnaround, however they were playing westmeath (no disrespect towards them but playing dublin is much more energy sapping). It was a poor performance but the championship structure has ruined the chances of any team outside of Dublin or kerry from winning the all ireland. Stop trying to find a scapegoat for the loss and just accept that we were never going to get far after drawing with the dubs (which was a very good result imo)

  206. @craggy, there was no way in hell we were going to beat cavan and Roscommon by the same or more of the margin that the dubs beat them by. We don’t have the forwards dublin have. And the club championship also proved that management probably have all the best forwards in the county. Fair enough not wanting rochford on the ticket but i can’t see our early exit as the fault of management (and i supported dempseys bid for management)

  207. Still not sure about donegal, had a fairly east group. Won ulster which is fair but were badly exposed by cork. Wonder how good they actually are versus the big teams like kerry and dublin.

  208. The current managements championship record so far is poor and the style of play has turned alot of people away from attending games I just don’t think we have sufficient quality on the field to win an all Ireland Ireland at the moment.obviously some of these players will improve .we clearly have the nucleus of a good team and had a bit of luck gone our way then we would be playing in the quarter final this Rochford responsible for the tactics , I don’t know but it certainly appears that way but mcstay is the manager and ultimately it’s his responsibility.Time will tell but it was another disappointing championship for us.while I never thought we could win the all Ireland this year I certainly think we aren’t outside the top 8 teams in the country

  209. Kerry will expose Derry’s weaknesses and tiredness. I really fear for Galway too. Those responsible are not the managers who wore themselves out..
    They’re wearing Louis Copeland suits getting expenses looking onwards from on high lads.

  210. I have to agree with you 1985.. we underachieved, related to our style of play, in particular at home.
    I agree furtherwe have quality players.young players are strangled by our system. Jordan Flynn could be our ‘ Kilkenny’. Jack Carney is an outstanding.midfielder, stifled by our system.
    Maybe poor Conor Loftus should play in goals for the club championship, it could be his next move
    Thankfully Durcan McLaughlin and to an extent Conroy have maverick streaks.
    Posters are entitled to their opinion but I’m convinced we have outstanding players and very close to being competitive.
    Corofin is football heartland. They were always player driven.a managers job was never more than get them fit and make substitutions.
    Maybe Durcan will put his stamp on it next year

  211. @Craggy Boglands …Rochford is NOT the Mayo manager, neither was he the Donegal manager. He was the Mayo manager that got some big calls WRONG. .but on the biggest days of all, he got much more RIGHT, he took risks that might have gotten us over the line. BY a MILE the greatest performances of any Mayo team came under Rochford. I think two big problems have been repeating themselves. We struggle to close out a tight match..Even against Galway last year 3 or 4 points up Galway playing against a gale it was by the grace of God we got over the line..We were 6 points up v Cork and time running out and we lost, We were 4 or 5 up in Castlebar v Louth and very very lucky in the end to hold on.Galway again this year, Roscommon ALMOST caught us and Dublin and Derry did to STEAL a draw from the hands of Victory ..And we struggle against mass defences, it was the same under James Horan second coming ,same with Rochford but, less teams knew about our tendency to struggle against mass defence..Kevin Walsh Galway knew about it alright, nowadays EVERYBODY knows about our struggles and unless we just play Kerry or Dublin all the time most will set up against us that way. But at the end of the day Kevin McStay is the manager and thats where the buck stops. No where else.

  212. NO Mayo player on the team of the week, Derry get 4 and we drew with them, most be a lot of style points for penalties

  213. I’ve been otherwise engaged for the day and I think it might have done others good to do the same after the weekend, in particular you, Craggy Boglands. I’ve now deleted eight separate comments from you where you’re sticking it to Stephen Rochford, as you’ve been doing on here for at least the last 12 months. I’ve suspended you before and warned you about this but you’ve kept at it. So let me make this as plain as I can: stop it, now. One more comment in that vein and you’re banned from here for good. And don’t blame me if this happens, blame yourself.

  214. To the winner the spoils, as they say Mayo67.

    Team of the week like the All stars is a bit of faff, wouldn’t get to hung up on it. We’ve had some very dubious winners ourselves since they started it 🙂

  215. As a new poster here, and mayo fan it’s interesting reading the posts.. Isn’t it amazing how football can frustrate the life out of people. The difference after the Dublin performance to the Derry one is ultimately disappointing obviously. You’d see some posts saying we’re not far away, but if you don’t make the quarter final it’s kind of hard to take that serious… You analyze what you see.. To me mayo are very poor, regardless of the opposition at breaking down a blanket defence. Matches v dub or kerry are usually open affairs which suits mayo. As much as I dislike defensive football, and at one stage I took a pic in mchale park on sat eve.. 29 players in one half of the field.. It wasnt a surprise but isn’t it shocking.. Breaking down a well organised blanket is hard.. You need good shooters from in and around the D.. We don’t have that at the moment.. Only Rod and ocassionly Tommy C, who’s still a long way off his 21 form.. Maybe Flynn on ocassion.. But you’ll only get a few seconds to get a shot off.. It’s incredibly difficult.. And by God is it an eyesore. So hopefully rule changes will make the game more attractive nxt year.

  216. @Achill75: “.. McStay not finding any new players in his 2 years since Horan left are major concerns”.

    In the last 2 years 1st competitive starts have been given to Bob Tuohy, Diarmuid Duffy, Aaron McDonnell, Conor Reid, Kevin Quinn, Conor Hunt, Ciaran Boland, Fenton Kelly, Darragh Reilly, Darren Quinn, Thomas Fahey, Gavin Durcan, Connell Dempsey, Kuba Callaghan, Ronan Carolan, Ethan Gibbons, Joe Tuohy, Tom O’Flaherty, Conal Dawson & Conor Dunleavy. Possibly missing a couple more that I assumed had seen time previously.

    Of those Tuohy, Duffy, McDonnell, K Quinn, Reid, Hunt and Kelly kept hold of places and got as far as league or Championship minutes & part of the Championship squad (with a couple of those having their potential involvements further limited with injury).

    Unless someone is naming specific players’ management are failing to spot and try, this seems less a complaint about management & more a complaint on us not having more elite players in the county. The reality is James Horan had (intelligently) blooded a huge amount of our up & coming young talent already, leaving a very young squad with very few gaps for whatever manager stepped in (it’s still a very young squad in general 2 years later with those relatively minimal changes).

    Regardless of who’s in charge, we’ll have new faces coming through in the next couple of years.

    You’d expect next year (seeing how the club championship goes) a couple from Seán Morahan, Darragh Beirne, Ronan Clarke, Niall Hurley, John MacMonagle or Eoin McGreal to see time with the development squad & potentially see some minutes (all u20, and a couple u19, except for Morahan who’s u21). After that a couple more from Gilmore, Dara Hurley, Mortimer, Cunningham, Feeney, Lydon, Coghill, Melvin, Lynch or Forry you’d hope might be able to push. With a list of another 10 or 15 coming after that you’d hope might push if they keep up the hard work (along with the potential for a bolter or two like Howard in Belmullet who didn’t see underage time), so definitely no shortage of potential coming there if the lads can start to successfully fulfil it.

  217. Dont buy the comments that Kerry are going to have to much for Derry, if Derry shut down the 2 Cliffords which I think they will, I see them winning it they have massive momentum now.Kerry going into this game cold having played poor Division 2 teams all summer.I think Derry are the bet of the week.

  218. Probably late here now as didn’t get chance to read blog today. Surprised at the excessive criticism of Rochford which I reckon is unwarranted. No great fan of criticism of McStay either. Always so easy to blame management. Also some interesting comments about our poor forward play yet our man of the match polls over the last 2 games have been so heavily weighted in favour of our forwards. Even Clare has got bitten by the negative bug, having a pop at Rochford and talking about Mayo’s collapse on Saturday. Well personally I didn’t witness any collapse. Yes we had a bad first half but a few posters here last week predicted we would find it difficult to lift ourselves again in 6 days after the exertions v Dublin. Some of us were pointing out a similar thing after last year’s league final having to get up to a level v Roscommon which we failed to do. No surprise in that, just ask the psychologists who work with teams but the feel good factor after an impressive result for some fans can’t be toned down. I remember it was the same in 2021 after we beat Dublin. James Horan was God. 4 weeks later he was a terrible manager. A number of people pointed out what a dangerous opponent Derry were. So instead of a collapse last Saturday I saw a really difficult first half followed by an excellent opening 20 minutes of second half. Derry wrested back control but we had a great opportunity to win with Sam’s chance
    . We showed incredible character in extra time. Lots of our leaders were gone for different reasons from Paddy to Aido to Mattie while Derry had all their big guns yet we clawed our way back to force penalties. No collapse there. Finally a word about Micheal, the greatest commentator of this or any generation. Rest in peace.

  219. Tau
    ,that’s a good list of new players but most of them were FBd or non playing subs
    The only ones I can think of who got substantial time were Duffy and Tuohy. Yes injuries may have played a part but no new players became championship starters but as you point out not many open spots. Is the lack of new impact players a comment on management or the lack of talent in the county..Has Tuohy for example improved in 2 years?

  220. To echo Mayo67 point Tsu of those names were pulled in to fulfill an FBD fixture and had not been training or part of extended panel or training with squad. That’s not trying lads.

  221. OntheDitch…………I fully agree with your point above. We have some fine players but management-permitted style of play is regressive and negative……We have no chance playing like that. Contrast that with the lovely open style of play, wing play and long range points in the Sligo v Down game…..

  222. @Mayo67: “Is the lack of new impact players a comment on management or the lack of talent in the county.”

    Personally, I’m not sure if it’s either of those.

    A quick look at our panel (with a fully fit Paddy Durcan, Diarmuid O’Connor, James Carr & Eoghan McLaughlin who were all struggling for fitness for Dublin or Derry this year) would rival most in the country for strength & depth. Dublin ahead of everyone, for now, and then arguments for where Armagh/Galway/Mayo/Kerry would rank for that. Tyrone & Derry with the potential to push hard there in the next 2 or 3 years if they can bring through some of the successful underage talent.

    We’re potentially lacking a touch too-much just yet in real top-end quality (Ryan, Paddy & Diarmuid there or there abouts & hopefully a few with the potential to touch it – notable this year had 2/3 of those missing for the majority of the action) compared to a few sides. As the younger talent mature & gain valuable experience, we’re moving closer to that target rather than further away from it in my eyes. I’d certainly not fault lads or overall quality in the county too much not being able to break in to the panel. There’s talent there for sure (Brian Reape, Evan Regan, Liam Óg Horkan, Ethan Henry, Caolan Hopkins, Mark Cunningham or Jack Fallon all a serious joy to watch & would light up lots of county sides but not quite hitting the panel. Yet, at least. But huge talent in Paul Towey, Kevin Quinn or Diarmuid Duffy keeping them out of the panel too). Some valid questions on the style of play at times (especially some of the more structured & defensive stuff at senior the lads mentioned on the pod) but work rate in recent years appears through the roof.

    We’ve introduced a lot of the talent incredibly early. Usually you’d be waiting for or expecting lads like Sam Callinan (21), Jack Carney (23) or Donnacha McHugh (23) to be breaking through under this management over the last 2 years and providing that impact. Instead, we’re seeing them a bit further along in their journeys & seem to be considered old faces at this point. Throw in lads like McBrien, Coyne, Hession, Brickenden & Towey all just turning 24 this year yet treated as if they’ve been around for a long time now.

  223. I don’t see your point at all TsuDhoNim. Most of the starting team against Derry played significant senior minutes when they were under 22. I think 11 of them. All of them played under James Horan except Colm Reape and I’ll say Jack Coyne because he only played a few minutes. No new player played in this years league and then in this years championship. Worrying think is Rochford has history like this when he was manger. I can’t think of any player he debuted that played significant minutes in the league and went on to play in championship that year except maybe Connor Loftus and Eoin O’Donoghue. Lots have done this with other managers. The last time there was this much talk of no new players playing in league and not making it to championship team was 2018. Then Horan came in and gave significant debut minutes in league and championship to James McCormack, Fionn McDonagh, Ciaran Treacy, Mikey Murray, James Carr and Matthew Ruane. I find hard to believe that one of those players wouldn’t have been useful in Newbridge.

  224. @To win just once.

    Yes I’m seriously dissapointed as we all are I still think we have a top team.

    But at the end of the day we’re out and so crap we should be there and I like mcstay and Co but some of the blame does lie with management like making some strange calls like taking off Aido off the only player who showed form the first half.

    The first half was a collapse to be honest to many games at once and probably tired from the dubs game for sure but it’s more then that is well.

    But our guys did show great character to take it to penalties which shouldn’t be a decider in a game.

    See Ryan O D is the top scorer of championship fair play to him. Madness how we loose one game all season and derry loose 3 and are through the structure has to change and still annoyed at Jarlaith burns for the dig at us when he came on news last night actually turned him off.

    Apolagies over the last few days if I’ve gone on a rant but we should be allowed to question management were all dissapointed but we will bounce back next year and I’ll be cheering our guys on as always.

  225. I’m not getting into a debate with you, Craggy, I’ve already (more than once) tried to reason with you and a fat lot of good it has done me. I’ve had it now, you’re going to have to take your bitter little agenda somewhere else as you’re not going to pollute this place any longer with it.

  226. @Mark Dempsey

    Galway would have to be a lot more than 100/30 for me to part with my 1 Euro. The Dubs will be back in their comfort zone of Croker and have an extra weeks rest. Galway would need their best men fit and be close to their best to get near. With Walsh and Kelly visibly carrying injuries I just don’t see it. Kelly in particular looks lame.

    The Dubs were 1/5 to beat us on neutral territory and we were 9/2. We blew our chance. That should be a Kerry v Dublin QF at the weekend with Dubs playing for the third week in a row.

  227. Craggy Boglands – I’ve already said I’m not going to debate this with you. You know what you need to do if you want to continue posting comments here. All I’m asking is that you stop making the same personalised attack on Stephen Rochford, something you’ve been doing here on a non-stop basis for far too long. Enough is enough. That’s my last say on this.

  228. Galway haven’t beaten Dublin in the championship since 1930, enough said.
    Their injuries will kill them.
    I love to see Comer in full flight.

  229. @Tsu. Great analysis as always.

    Considering all the retirals in 2020/21 I don’t think we have done too badly since. There was always going to be a hiatus given that so many retired at the same time but we cant hide behind that excuse much longer. The new lads have had to learn on the job and we miss a bit of know how in the team but that will come with experience. There looks to be a big upward curve in some of those players such as Mcbrien, Callinan and Mchugh. .

    I was sat next to a Dublin man at the Mayo v Galway league final last year. Dublin had played Derry in the league 2 final before and he stayed to watch the Mayo game. He was gobsmacked that we were still competitive given so many had retired and remarked that things would be lean for Dublin once their greats started to fall away. His exact words to me were “who on earth are this new mob” referring to McBrien, Callinan, Coyne and co.

    Patience isn’t a word that goes down very well in Mayo but fast forward 2 or 3 years and add if we can get a few of those younger players through then I think we’ll be there or thereabouts. Beirne, Clarke and the 2 Hurley lads would give you a bit of hope and they are forwards as well. I like the look of Beirne and he is a left footed free taker!!!!
    Tsu. You will know a lot more than me but I haven’t seen a potential crop of forwards like this at underage in a good while?

  230. Nothing for it now but to fold up the green n red tent and move on down the road. ’24 is done.
    For ’25 I’d hope when we get our ‘purple patch’ in games, as we invariably will, that we recognize it as such and take full advantage like the Dubs do in their pomp. To make a huge effort to claw back a lead, draw level or go ahead by a point and then retreat to attempt at keep ball is just a waste of time and effort. You drive on ,and ‘finish the bleddy job’ as my neighbouring farmer would say.
    Will current coaching staff change tact next year? Mmm doubt it , but we live in hope.

  231. @Lucero: Not sure which part is unclear. More than happy to answer a specific question about what was said if there is one.

    The point is I think the panel is strong & 99% the correct lads on it this year. When folks complained about a lack of new faces earlier in the year, I often asked who. Never tended to get an answer on it, and still not seeing any specific names being mentioned. A lot of commentary seems to want to invent hypothetical lads that should exist & slate management for not picking them rather than naming lads that do.

    In previous years I was calling for Colm Reape to be introduced and/or played more (though Robbie’s last year as 1st choice where I would have been picking Colm one of his very best, so shows what I know), Jason Gibbons to be back in as he was dominating club midfield, Ciaran King in or Caolan Crowe back to be in as they were the dominant defenders at club. This year, there are very few omissions (or inclusions) that stand out as outliers (Fionn & Aiden as omissions well up that list, so shows just how strong & healthy the squad was).

    Personally, I’d probably have swapped out Conor McStay (the same profile as a number of our other lads so added depth but limited alternative options) for any of Caolan Hopkins (bear in the square, so something only Aido offers us at present), Brian Reape (serious goal threat & able to fight to win dirty ball) or Mark Cunningham (tricky & a nice burst of pace, a free magnet). Other than that, not too many I’d have thought were missing from what I’ve seen around the county in the last 12 or 18 months.

    Next closest to the squad in that 18-22 bracket would probably have been Morahan & Dawson in from the 20s, Jack Fallon, Cian McHale, Ruairí Keane, Dylan Thornton or a couple of others from the 20s squad like Melvin, McLaughlin, Hurley or Cronin. Not many of those hitting exceptionally great form in the last year or so (Morahan the best of the list, and who was brought in to the extended panel following the 20s campaign as far as I’m aware. Cronin probably next best despite not starting the year as a starter for the 20s) or laying down a real claim ahead of lads they’d potentially be replacing like Quinn/Irwin (injury sadly hurt his year badly)/McDonnell/EO’D.

    I’d love to think there’s 3 or 4 lads out there that could have been parachuted into the side & make us better. I haven’t seen or heard of those performances, though. Thankfully, we’ve a relatively large number of young lads waiting in the wings to make a mark in the next couple of years.

    Genuinely excited to watch how lads like Reid, Irwin, Hopkins, McHale, McDonnell, Fallon, Thornton, Keane, Morahan, Dawson, Melvin, F McLaughlin, Clarke, N Hurley, D Hurley, Mortimer, Slattery, Gilmore, MacMonagle, McGreal, Beirne, Cronin, Howard, Corless, Maheady, Coghill, O’Reilly, S Cunningham, Neary, Lydon, Lynch, G Forry, Feeney, Silke, Keane, Armstrong, Gibbons or Guilfoyle get on this year. All sorts of potential there for lads to push onto the panel, the 26 or even a first 15 in ’25 or ’26.

    Not sure if I’d have had too many (or any) of them ready to have made that push to the next level this year, which seems to be what folks are unhappy about not happening. I’d personally have that on where lads in their personal development (mostly age related, with a few just plateauing short of the level needed to displace others) rather than any big oversight by management.

  232. Looking back on the year and trying to reflect on what success is for Mayo. In my measure there are two – progressing further in the Championship and-or improving/development in our play. OK on the first measure this has not been a good year. On the other measure I think it has and I don’t think we are that far off.
    Here is why:
    1. We really only lost one game (don’t count Derry – penalties are a coin toss) in the championship this year, against Galway and by the slimmest of margins and last possible minute.
    2. At full time we drew the All Ireland and League Champions, again last in literally the last few seconds.
    3. We didn’t leak any goals in those matches, a perennial problem for Mayo.
    4. We improved our forward play, we are getting chances and even better goal chances. We saw that forwrad play against Dublin but we do need to figure out how better to beat the blanket. Against Derry we really missed Fergie B who could kick over the wall and I think the GAA were really hard in not accepting our application for the 2nd game ban to be lifted. I think that really cost us against Derry.
    5. A number of more experienced players were in the best shape of their lives like AOS, SC, PD (before that terrible injury) and we saw development of our many younger players who stood up against some of the best teams in the Country, including a great performance against Kerry in league.
    So in summary it was a mixed year but we show great shoots for next year if we can keep the panel together. Mayo for Sam 2025!

  233. @Mind the House: Totally agree. There’s an awful lot there to be excited about. If they put in the hard work, get a touch of luck along the way & keep their progression going, there are some potential gems there. Some really slick ball-playing defenders coming through too. If we can find a couple of big men, or a few take another growth spurt or two, we’ll be laughing.

    Beirne’s early form for Claremorris in the league (just became eligible to play senior club) looking ready to step into the extended panel already next year (the first time he’d be eligible for senior county) while he’s still u19. Big lad, fair bit of pace, sweet left peg & a real eye for goal. Blew me away this year for the 20s with his timing of the hand in for a tackle. Best I’ve seen at that age grade for a long, long time… including some of our top defenders to come through there. Combined with his size/strength (for a lad that was playing u20 as an u18 this year) becomes a real weapon for turnover goals.

    A case to be made not to interrupt the 20s too much next year, you’d hope they’d put a nice run together if they can fix a few of the issues from this year, but a few of those you’d love to see getting thrown in at the deep end too (2 or 3 you’d name already and another 2 or 3 potentially if they put in a good year for clubs) so some big decisions to be made. No obvious right/wrong answers on which way to go on those, often comes down to the psychology of the individual I’d imagine, so glad I’m not the one making them.

  234. @ In Exile, literally couldn’t have put it better myself. Roll on the club championship.

  235. Sadly, am not expecting much from the senior club championship. It will be similar to last year ..too many managers brought in from outside and they have to justify their methods and their training allowances by being competitive. That means stopping good teams from playing. How?. Like the inter county , have 30 players in one half.
    But am excited about the intermediate championship, any one of 8/ 9 teams could win it..

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