Aidan O’Shea our MOTM from yesterday’s game

Photo: Off The Ball

At half-time yesterday the Man of the Match poll for the blog wasn’t exactly the first thing on my mind. Indeed, had we continued in that funk after the break I’m not sure there would have been any poll at all. But our second half performance against Kerry was far, far better and in the end we were slightly unlucky not to snatch a draw.

Several players stood up for us in that period yesterday. These included Oisín Mullin, Ryan O’Donoghue, Diarmuid O’Connor, Eoghan MacLaughlin and Kevin McLoughlin. All of these featured prominently in the MOTM poll.

But the man who drove us forward to the greatest effect after the break yesterday was team captain Aidan O’Shea. Despite playing most of the game on a yellow card – which repeated Kerry playacting attempted to turn to red, thankfully to no effect – Aidan was in the thick of the action right throughout our stirring second half recovery.

Aidan wins the MOTM poll with 36% of the vote. Hearty congrats to him.

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

  1. Speaking of trying to get lads a 2nd yellow, I thought if Aidan had kept driving at Walsh he (Walsh) could have ended up getting a 2nd yellow. It was not to be and Kerry took him off soon after.

  2. AOS has been immense all league ..what a player covers every blade of grass and leaves it all on the pitch.

    I want to bring up something that Pat Spillane said last night and had me thinking..we are the team that has scored the least so far in the league and makes me wonder what Ciaran McD is doing (by the way Ciaran McD is a legend so i dont want abuse) but if he is brought in as a forwards coach from the outside looking in he needs to be doing some overtime, makes ya think that not all serious players are good coaches or maybe i am over reacting

  3. @BazHam, Pat Spillane not correct , Tyrone have scored the least & they have 6pts.

  4. Bazham I haven’t heard anyone, least of all Horan say that McDonald was brought in as a forwards coach. We might hope that’s why he was brought in. What we do know is that there seems to be a high turnover in coaching staff during Horan’s last reign and already in this one. People like James Nallen and Peter Burke didn’t stick around too long and I’d bet money Mac won’t see a 2nd season.

  5. Pat Spillane was wrong with that stat (shock horror). Meath and Tyrone have scored less than us. As I’ve said previously, our forwards get a lot of unwarranted stick. There was nothing Darren Coen could do in the 1st half yesterday, for example, when we were getting ate alive around the middle third.

  6. This is going to take time, we are playing catch up with 3 years of no blooding player s under Holmes /Conelly and Rochford both of whom seemed to think players at 26/27 were never going to be 30/31,, it beggers belief with good minor and under 20s, we have good lads on route in mullen, Rod, conroy, mcgloughlin,, where is irwin?

  7. Wide ball, maybe there was nothing Coen could do in that instance, but to be fair about it, there was alot he could do about the two balls played in to him that he then got dispossessed on. Granted, he’s only back to getting game time but he has to retain possession better than that and recycle the ball to his fellow forwards. He’s leading the line for a reason and he should have done better in those instances.

  8. Irwin is training away and could be a twist in the tail yet. Plays like he’s kicking it about in his back yard when he’s in that form….i feel he couldn’t give a monkeys sometimes and on the big day could blitz it because of that. Fionn mcdonagh is en route back for championship I’d say(where he has been I just don’t bloody know?!!!)…so is Cillian, Chris barrett and Harrison also? In fairness though James Horan is and has been doing a fantastic job and is looking to the future which is more than can be said for Rochford(sorry Willie Joe) who kept it as it was with absolutely no longterm sustainabilty. We were a sitting duck and an outside of the box thought frame was sorely needed.
    Anyways 2 games to go and I know I can be a complete spoofer sometimes but in all fairness who really really thinks we will beat the Tribesmen in Salthill and Tyrone a week later to survive? Its shit now or get off the pot bigtime

  9. Agree wide ball about unwarranted abuse of forwards. Drives me mad…couple stats show(1) 2017 all Ireland final score was highest losing score in final (2)cillian top scorer of all time( 3)Keegan top scoring defender of all time cship..(4) 16 drawn final 15pts v 09 Dublin .most final losses due to defensive mistakes e.g. 2 og 2016 -early con o callaghan goal 17 .the narrative is out there about no forwards and everyone jumps to the same easy criticism.

  10. Pebblesmeller – Yeah in fairness nobody could say they played well in the 1st half, bar Oisín Mullin possibly. I just find it odd that we get cut to ribbons by Kerry and the forwards get the brunt of the criticism again.

  11. Pullhard, I enjoy your posts and respect your opinion but I’m afraid I have to counter your argument on Rochfords tenure and I feel your criticism is harsh. Firstly, Rochford gave Eoin O’Donoghue his debut and made Harrison a regular in our defense, both coming from smaller clubs too, and he also tried to get Boylan into his squad for his final year in charge but Boylan decided to remain with the soccer. He had a very young and very injury prone James Carr in his development squad and saw the potential in the boy, long before Carr hit the headlines.
    His outside the box thinking, in my opinion, was actually what made him a great manager eg his deployment of Aidan O’Shea as a man marking full back, bringing in McEntee as a coach, and, rightly or wrongly his decision to switch keepers based on Hennellys long range frees and his kick out accuracy (again, his stats on kick outs and possession were a year or two ahead of all the current rage now). His marquee, game defining tactical ploy of going with only 5 defenders v Tyrone in the All Ireland series and using Dillion as a roaming “fullback” completely threw Tyrone off guard and put us in the driving seat.
    No one has gotten us closer to winning an All Ireland since 51, and a bounce of the ball one way or the other could have swung it for him, and us. Not once, but twice. I believe Rochford deserves alot more credit than he gets from Mayo supporters in general and I also believe history will paint a very different and much more favourable picture of Rochfords tenure.

  12. Wide ball, I agree. It was our more senior defensive lads, and Higgins in particular, that were in bother and it was our new lads that drove us on in the second half, eg Eoin OD, McLoughlin etc.
    The thing with Spillane is that whenever he comments, he is always doing so with Kerry in mind. In his opinion Kerry have the forwards that we don’t, but he fails to highlight that the same Kerry forwards only kicked 5 points (4 from play) with the wind in the second half! He also fails to address the collapse of the Kerry midfield and defense to allow us back in to the game. The same Kerry forwards failed to score enough v a 14 man Dublin for 50 mins of an All Ireland final to go on and win it. Could you imagine Spillane’s comments if Mayo had lost last year’s final v Dublin in the same manner that they did?
    Anyway, we out ourselves in the hole so we have to dig ourselves out of it. Spillane or no Spillane. It’s a huge ask, not an impossible one, but a huge ask. A big two weeks for Horan and the players.

  13. Ciarán Mac only in the door – give him a chance ffs. And maybe the previously mentioned turn over of coaches by puckout is due for the need for a fresh approach/change during a 3-4 year tenure in order to keep improving. Never heard any previous coaches speak ill of Horan so let’s leave the conspiracy theories to Jim Corr!

    Wide ball many of those Kerry attacks were started by our forwards sloppily turning over position and Kerry defenders bombing forward ala Gavin White. The entire team malfunctioned in the first half and came good in the second. New players take time to learn their role. Defenders who have been used to a man-marking role take time to learn and develop in a zonal system.

  14. Have been reading the comments over the past while and I’m just going too map out my team for the future 2022 onwards
    1-Jamie mcnicholas
    2-Brendan Harrison
    3-Oisin mullin
    4-Eoin o donoghue
    5-Lee keegan
    6-David mcbrien
    7-Paddy Durcan
    8-Matthew Ruane
    9-Diarmuid o Connor
    10-Fionn mcdonagh
    11-Ryan o donoghue
    12-Eoghan mcloughlin
    13-Cillian o Connor
    14-James carr
    15-Paul towey
    Subs-Hennely/Clarke Jack coyne ,oisin McLaughlin ,Cathal horan ,Liam irwin and Stephen coen
    My point of naming out this you may ask ?In mayo we tend to focus on the negatives more so than the positives we have a young fresh looking team and we have good minors like Aidan Cosgrove, frank irwin, Paul Walsh ,paddy heneghan,Ethan Henry,Ruari Keane coming up
    We had 2 schools in a Connacht final this evening balla and foxford and a great final it was
    We have a very strong minor team this year
    Keep the faith everybody!

  15. Pebbles, I agree fully with you in your analysis of Rochford. I think it’s inevitable that he will manage Mayo again at some point.

  16. Well done Aidan a worthy captain and Leader. In other news I see Oisín Mullin and Frank Irwin have been called up on a two week trial/ tour to Australia next month. Is there anything we can do to entice young gifted footballers to stay at home? obviously if they want to go they’re entitled to do that and we wish them well but it would be great if they could be enticed to stay

  17. Fully agree Pebbles. Rochford did try a large number of new players and most of the under 21 team from 2016 all got some game time at some point or another under his management.

  18. Aiden Orme from Knockmore should get look in. Only just 20 and has been playing senior football last 2 years and giving backs hell

  19. Hard to know Gizmo. At the u21/20 grade there have been many forwards since 2016 that were going really well at club and then when they face inter county 21/20 level I think it’s the more organised and pacier defenders that they struggle with.
    Frank Irwin looks already a senior prospect. Paul Towey and Tommy Conroy. Now all those three went fairly well at u20.

  20. Yeah, that doesnt make for great reading about Mullins afl trial, seems like he is in with a real shot of a rookie contract.

    Great opportunity for him so wish him well, he has been undoubtedly our best performer in the league so far in my opinion.

    In more short term view, i suspect he will have to sit out next few games against galway and tyrone so he is not at risk for afl trial

  21. I seem to recall in previous years Horan has done a cull/skakeup of his squad following the league ahead of championship. If he is doing similar this year i have feeling some of our old soldiers could be under pressure

  22. @Supermac. On what basis would Oisin need to sit out the next two games to not be at risk? He has no contract. Shut the doors I’m out if we are going to start resting players for AFL trials.
    The biggest result of the year will be if we don’t lose Oisin Mullen and Frank Irwin.

  23. im not saying its right JP but he may request sitting them out himself to avoid risking injury, im merely speculating of course

  24. While it would be disappointing to lose a talent like Oisin I wish him all the best if a career in Oz is what he chooses and I hope its very successful. He will be offered a contract, its obvious he has what it takes.

    Im sure there will be numerous posts complaining about him possibly leaving and how the county board should “do whatever it takes to keep him” but if a professional sports career is what he and any other player wants then the GAA or anyone else are in no position to try and deny that and no one should be pressuring any young player to give up a career in order to serve others interests, particularly supporters. The GAA cant have it both ways, celebrate the greatness of the amateur game and all the while expect the players to operate within a professional setup without the benefits. They are amateurs and are free to go where they please to pursue a living. If the GAA want to keep all its players then there is really only one solution.

  25. There is a solution to keeping Mullin and its the same solution that Kerry provided for Clifford and Tyrone for McShane – provide a suitable alternative to going to Oz where he can concentrate on his football. It been happening here for years on a reduced scale (Token job and car). Just needs to be beefed up a little. Does anyone seriously think Clifford isn’t been rewarded for his decision to stay?

  26. Lads,why would you give Spillanes comments any oxygen or listen to him at all.Hes harping on about Mayo never having a marque forward when Cillian in the top scorer of all time.Even when he throws out a stat like he did the last night its wrong.
    I’ve said it before but there is way more knowledge on here by the average Joe soap about Mayo football than Spillane or any other national pundit.I absolutely guarentee you he wouldn’t be able to even name a starting 15 players for Mayo.

  27. I don’t want to hear btw about the poor beleagured suffering amateurs. That is the existence of the club player.
    Andy Moran noted that returning to club was a harder existance with the lack of support and resources.
    The unemployment rate for county players is close to zero.
    The cases of them being employed in jobs way above their qualifications are numerous, on working hours below their peers.
    Cathal McShane knows what about concrete lintels sales?

  28. Interesting how there hasn’t been a peep out of Croke park, re the tunnel skirmish in Omagh . But then again it was the Blue “angels” involved so hardly surprising.

  29. @Mayonaze @Puckout. What if Oisín wants to go and play a sport professionally ? As in his own personal preference? No amount of sponsored cars and 9-5 bank job offers will quell that desire if he has it.

  30. @Alf Stewart. You state that and yet Cathal McShane was kept in Ireland by exactly what you state as not making a difference.

  31. Attended Galway/Meath game on Sunday. Not that impressed with Galway. Meath ran straight at them and scored freely. A ball turned over led to Galway goal with Meath defence caught way out of position. In relation to Omagh tunnel incident the only penalty should be both teams docked 2?league points.Mayoman in Meath.

  32. Osian Mullen, and everyone else are 100% entitled to make their own decisions in their own life… Obviously I hope he chooses to stay with Mayo. . Whatever he decides to do, we should all wish him and every other young person all the best….If Ireland was nearly as good a place for all our youth (and not just Stars) as it should be, the chances of them all seeing a good future for themselves in their native land would be allot more attractive…How many of our Girls have headed Down Under for our Winter’s and their Summer’s this last number of year’s?…. Plenty, I’m sure, Weather, Lifestyle, Money, the possibility of doing something you love in a professional environment, are all factors in their decisions, conversely lack of same has in Ireland has equally to be a factor!…. The very best of luck to all our Young People, the older generation of Irish people, myself included have all to take a measure of responsibility for many of the difficulties a generation of our youth are now facing!

  33. Huge blow to Mayo football if Oisin goes but of course the very best wishes to him. He’s fully entitled to go without any ill feeling. We can still lament it though. First the Hanley lads now Oisin. On the evidence of what we’ve seen of him he may be very well prove to be one of the most talented players to emerge from the county in quite a while.
    Any player that puts smacht on David Clifford without any fuss is some talent. He’ll be an incalculable loss.

  34. 100% his own choice and would wish him all the best if he decides to go same as we’d always wish mayo people who go abroad to make a living , every success to them . That does not mean that every effort should not be made to keep him at home surely .

  35. Did James not confirm on the Horan special podcast that Oisin Mullin would be with Mayo for the 2020 season??

  36. Puckout – you’ve said it. County Board has got to be proactive here. Liam Moffatt, are you listening?

  37. Fortheloveofmayo he would be with mayo for 2020. If trials are successful they would be going next season.

  38. When a young soccer player goes to England on a professional contract his club here gets on average €10000 per player. The schools and clubs who developed Mullen and Irwin will get nothing if they go. I’m sure the afl scout here in our county will get a few quid for bringing them to their attention.

  39. Jp chances of McShane making it at 24/25 are a bit different that Mullen making it at 19/20. McShane got a top paying job and even if that goes eventually he can fall back on his teaching degree(Presume he finished it in St Marys)

  40. Good luck to Oisin if he gets a contract.Great opportunity for him ,playing in MCG would be any young lads Dream

  41. Fair play to Mullin if he gets a contract and if will be hard for him to turn it down. One thing that strikes me though… he not a bit on the small side for Aussie Rules ? I’m not saying he is small because he isn’t it’s just in relative terms he seems to be.

  42. There’s lads going over there to spend half their time in a desert or a mine, imagine getting the chance to play professional sports! I don’t know what the county board can offer to match that! Best of luck of Oisin if he goes but make no mistake about it, it will be a massive massive loss.

  43. I hope that the young mayo lads decide to stay at home.

    I remember Tommy Walsh I think it was. He was the most promising kerry player as a young fellow when he decided to go.

    For whatever reason, he decided to return some years ago. While he still gets a run on the kerry team, his time abroad knocked alot of the potential he had out of him.

    I would say there are pros and cons to taking up a professional contract. Moving abroad is not for everyone. I’m sure there are plenty on this blog who made the move abroad as I did myself in the mid 80’s. My move was out of necessity and due to the poor economic climate.

    Of course if any of the youngsters do decide to go I would wish them the best of luck, but I would prefer to see them happy at home and playing for Mayo.

    I wonder if it was the International rules series that has led to young talent been scouted on this side of the water ? If so, it has in ways done more damage than the initial purpose for which it was set up which was to grow the game.

  44. Revellino, to be fair Tommy Walsh was very unlucky with a horrendous hamstring injury similar to Paul OConnells that essentially ended his pro career, he would probably still be out there but for that.

    While the majority of players head to oz beacuse of the similarities in the games, GAA players going to pro sports is nothing new, Kevin Moran, Niall Quinn went to soccer, numerous rugby players including Gavin Duffy played GAA. Recently Jack Canning went to Rugby. I feel the GAA itself is a big reason a lot more players are seeking a pro sports career. The increased professionalism of intercounty games has basically meant players are in a pro setup without the benefits and with less and less time to pursue a career and a life outside GAA. If the GAA doesn’t address the expectations placed upon players then more and more will leave.

  45. WJ, can you delete there personal comments on Oisin. Some people have zero cop on. Players have lives too.

  46. Which comments Mattdonnellon? Most of the ones on Oisin did no move than wish him well, which I’m sure everyone does regardless of what decision he makes. I don’t see the problem with that.

    Catcol – James confirmed that in answer to a direct question I posed to him on the interview Rob and I did with him for the podcast last week (Episode 8).

  47. @Mayomad.. Impossible to disagree with anything you have said there… It’s not just County Player’s, look at the efforts, sacrifice and discipline it takes so many Club Player’s,..For example look at Club player’s in Mayo , or any other County on the Western Seaboard, a big percentage, working or studying in Dublin, paying extortionate rent, Alcohol bans, Gyms, Diet’s…I heard recently that a County Player puts in an average of 20 hours a week…I know that a Dublin player would not have the expence of traveling to the West of Ireland, but they too are putting in ferocious effort… Something has to be done, we are asking way too much of our GAA amateur player’s… The season is too long, (Jesus they played the Club Final’s in January) A young student player, could be asked to play by his Club, his County, his University, imagine that, imagine if he played both Hurling and Football, too many completions, it can’t be good for those putting in such an effort for so long.. Was it John Healy who wrote in relation to other matter’s ‘No one said stop’ … Well it’s past time someone said, Stop Enough is Enough!

  48. Mayomad. Tommy Walsh might wonder for the rest of his days how great a gaelic footballer he might have been had he not gone abroad. He will never know now. Maybe playing Aussie ball professionally might make up for that but he will be left wondering I think.

    I don’t disagree with anything you said above although I think Moran continued for a spell playing gaelic after he started playing prefessional soccer. I think Quinn might have played minor hurling.

    The choice will always be up to the individual but there are examples going the other way too of players who have decided against going the professional route. It’s a tough and life changing decision for young people to make.

    Leantimes has laid out in the past the big money that the top Gaa brass are on. The Gaa will argue that to keep the best people they have to pay the big bucks (although they probably will not say that publicly).

    Unless the stay at home magnet is as strong as the professional abroad magnet, we unfortunately are going to lose top prospects from time to time.

  49. WJ, Mayonaze and O Sullivan’s for two, who are they to ascribe less than 100% loyalty to Mayo, to Oisin? That personal don’t you agree?

  50. Thanks, Mattdonnellon – I’ve gone back and reviewed both comments and have now deleted them. I’d agree with you that people coming on here calling into question players’ loyalty isn’t on. O’Sullivan and Mayonaze – please note accordingly.

    More generally, everyone needs to bear in mind that this is a young man who has a major decision to make, one that could well dictate what happens in his life from here on out. He needs to be given the time and space to make this decision and it’s not helpful, nor is it respectful, to be commenting on aspects of this decision.

  51. Jr, I don’t know of any young Mayo lad that grew up dreaming of playing in the MCG. Most young lads growing up have never even heard of the MCG.

  52. Let’s get irwin out on the field, he deserves the same chances that Jordan flynn has got, it could be the answer up top for the must win galway game, aido cannot play everywhere at the same time, let’s have some fairness,

  53. I think calling for some players to be got on the field without having a clue about how they are going in such an important game would be silly. In Liam’s last brief outing against Galway he seemed well behind where he needed to be fitness wise. So lets leave those calls to management please.

  54. So two hops, do you think flynn has shot the lights out so far or made a massive contribution to relegation, I know all too well how irwin is going on train ing,

  55. Reality,I would say j.Flynn is a work in progress as are quite a few of the newer lads in.

  56. That maybe so two hops but if lads continously have discipline issues, they become easy targets for other teams, at this stage they should be able to handle it,, another man unlucky in the pecking order has to be eoin o Donahoe,

  57. I also think Eoin O’D should be our nailed down no.6 for league & champo. In Boyle’s absence he’s our most agressive marker. As a previous poster said here at the time about Jason” I’d rather be trying to take some of that out of him than put it into him”. I think he has great potential once his discipline improves.

  58. Yes definitely 2 hops, we can agree on o Donahoe, starting 15 no doubt, I’ll reserve judgement on flynn, The men we badly need back are cillian, doc and matt is a must, injuries are killing us

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