Another U21 campaign ends in a whimper for us

Mayo Galway U21

Photo: @L0ftus21 via Twitter

The scoreline from Elvery’s MacHale Park suggests a tight match in the Connacht U21 semi-final but in reality Galway were always in control and were never put under the cosh by their hosts.

The Tribesmen could even afford to go the final 19 minutes of the game without registering a score and still run out comfortable winners.

Mayo opened the scoring through Darren McHale but Galway had four scores on the board before Stephen Coen added another for Mayo. Even at the early stages of the game it was clear that the Galway captain Damien Comer was running the show as he had two points on the board and a hand in Galway’s other two scores.

Conor Loftus and another Coen point had Mayo on level terms after 20 minutes before a black card each changed the complexion of the game with Diarmuid O’Connor going off for Mayo while Johnny Heaney saw black for the visitors. Both cards were warranted for third man tackles.

While Mayo were waiting to bring on TJ Byrne in place of O’Connor, Comer had the ball in the Bacon Factory End goal to give Galway a three-point lead.

Further points from Comer and Eamon Brannigan against one from Byrne saw the Tribesmen go into the break four points to the good.

The second half began much as the first had ended with some sloppy play by Mayo being punished by Galway as the visitors opened the scoring through Conor Cunningham. A James Durcan free kept the hosts in touch but even at this early stage in the half it looked like a consolation score.

Durcan and Adam Gallagher traded points with Gary Kelly before the visitors went on a quick scoring spree with Brannigan and two from Comer bringing their total to 1-12, a total which would not be caught.

Amazingly Galway did not score after that but also never looked out of their comfort zone even as Gallagher and two more Durcan frees brought Mayo to within four points.

Niall Heffernan’s men desperately needed a goal and Brian Reape did have the ball in the Galway net on the 60th minute but it was correctly ruled out for a push in the back.

With that free out went Mayo’s chances of a miraculous comeback in the dying moments as Galway played keep ball and kicked two wides to run down the clock.

Mayo helped them in that regard when Patrick Durcan was sent off just into injury time for a dangerously high tackle on Galway wing back Liam Silke. It was the correct decision by the referee and we will wait and see how that could affect the Castlebar Mitchels player’s involvement in Pairc Ui Rinn on Sunday week.

Mayo, much like their senior counterparts against Dublin, looked devoid of a gameplan for much of the game and when put under pressure defensively did not have an answer for the direct running of the Galway forwards.

Losing O’Connor to a black card during that first half really turned the tide in favour of the visitors but it is hard to know if the Ballintubber midfielder would have been able to stem the tide.

That’s it for another U21 season as Mayo still go in search of back-to-back wins in Connacht for the first time since 2009, general consensus tells us that it could be another man on the sideline giving that a crack in 2016 as the 2013 All-Ireland winning minor team take centre-stage at this level.

Mayo: Matthew Flanagan, Kevin Lynch, David Kenny, James Stretton, Patrick Durcan, Stephen Coen (0-2), Sean Regan, Diarmuid O’Connor, Val Roughneen, Matthew Ruane, Adam Gallagher (0-2), Darren McHale (0-1), Michael Hall, Conor Loftus (0-1), James Durcan (0-4,4f)

Subs: Michael Plunkett for McHale (8), Cian Burke for Lynch (20), TJ Byrne (0-1) for O’Connor (22,black card), Eoghan Lavin for Roughneen (HT), Eddie Doran for Stretton (48), Brian Reape for Plunkett (48).

Galway: Tadhg O’Malley, Eoghan Kerin, Jack Wyndam, Kieran Molloy, Johnny Heaney, Adrian Nolan, Liam Silke, Michael Day (0-1), Dylan Corbett, Enda Tierney, Damien Comer (1-5, 1 ’45), Colin Brady, Michael Daly, Gary Kelly (0-3,2f), Eamon Brannigan (0-2).

Subs: Conor Cunningham (0-1) for Heaney (20,BC), Eoin Finnerty for Daly (38), Dylan Wall for Kelly (48), Paul Mannion for Comer (52,BC), Joe Donnellan for Brannigan (60).

Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon

76 thoughts on “Another U21 campaign ends in a whimper for us

  1. Overall poor performance. No game plan. Disappointing against a Galway team there for the taking. Massive loss with Doc and mchale exiting early. Management poor two years at this level

  2. Golden opportunity this year for this crop of players, unfortunately the management structure that was put in place 2 years ago are as useful as a waterproof tea bag. This team looked devoid of ideas, a game plan, and when they looked to the line for help they got nothing! At one stage Liam Moffat who’s the physio, was giving them advice and ideas on what to do. Ok rant over about management, but we’ve missed out in a big way, this has to be rectified for the future as this is an assembly line for which players get a chance at playing senior county football!

  3. Disgraceful 6 years not even a Connacht Final.

    Neglect of this grade will cost us and we are wasting good talent.

    4 titles in a row before that helped us to our good years, I worry what poor management choices have set us up for

  4. 13 men behind our own 45 in a Connacht semi-final when 7 points down and 15 minutes to go.

    No half forward line.

    Full forwards filling that void, resulting in no full forward line.

    Awful, awful football.

  5. Poor Minor results point to poor club coaching structures

    Poor U21 results point to poor county coaching structures.

    On a positive note the Minor’s were massively impressive in Charlestown today.

    On a further positive note, Galway saved us a trimming by the Rossies on Easter Saturday.

    We’ve played all in poker with the senior team over the last few years, let’s play the long game and invest in the future.

    I’ll leave on a final statistic, St Patricks NS in Castlebar with over 450 boys received the same 8hrs of coaching as Kinaffe NS with less than 10 boys. That’s per year by the way, not per week or term.

  6. Not long home and not feeling great after watching that and also feel a head cold coming on me. I feel Mayo football is also catching a cold….you know what they say about circles and cycles…really disappointing display this evening. They looked like a badly coached team devoid of ideas…short kick outs, kicking back and across and no support play when a man was on the ball. I also thought Halway looked physically stronger and fitter. I fear for our future I really do…sorry to sound so disheartening, maybe its my head cold but off to bed now.

  7. Now that old fucker that won’t go away raises its grimy head out of the water…The Strategic Review Plan that seemed to un-nerve the then powers that be in late 2010. Funny Dublin implemented a similar plan the same year called the Blue Wave and look at them . By the way the Dublin one was their own, not a copy of the Meath one with the word “Meath” scrawled out.

    Horans (James) 4 year run covered over a multiple of problems within the county. The crows are landing on the telegraph wires every day. That statistic re NS training hours is a disgrace.

  8. Don’t know why anyone is surprised by this result, we were poor in our first outing and there was no reason to believe that things would be any better for this one. Same old story up front, with no forwards capable of producing that bit of magic necessary to scare the opposition. Hard to understand why we are finding it so hard to produce good forwards, is it down to coaching, or are we afraid to express ourselves for fear of failure? Thing it’s time the Co Board shouldered some of the blame for the lack of success at underage level.

  9. Poor performance today.devoid of any ideas going forward.this is an age group the county board have to put proper structures and management into place for.diarmuid o Connor going off with black card was a huge performers were stephen coen and conor Loftus.

  10. The county board have something to answer here, playing the top U21 players in senior challenges are a priority over the U21 campaign, last week we seen our new county managers bringing on Steven Coen against Dublin with the game long dead, not releasing players like DOC, Adam Gallagher etc to gel with the rest of the lads showed the results tonight as part of the problem. Time to take the spell between minor and senior more seriously if we have any chance of re building a senior team!
    Still proud of our lads though, win or lose !!
    Hon Mayo!

  11. Disappointing if not unexpected. Most worrying though is the form of our Senior players. Michael Hall was destroyed by a good player in D Comer. Stephen Coen running up the field looking for soft scores and leaving the Centre Wide Open,when will we realise this guy hasn’t got it. Patrick Durcan never got into the game and looked totally short on confidence after last week. D O Connor a bit unlucky to get a Black. Adam Gallagher has gone back a mile.

    Conor Loftus tried his heart out and could make an impact, our management team may have tried their best but I feel that Monetary impositions led to them getting the job.

  12. Redcol stephen coen was outstanding today.scored 2 fine points and he defending was good must being at a different game or watching a different player!

  13. i was at the gane and i think that our backs are much too slow to send the ball into our full foward line, Loftus at full foward had the beating of his man but seldom saw the ball as our back insisted time after time on a few solos and a hop then a sideway pass to another plawer who the took a solo and a hop them pased the ball backwards . The senior team also tend to delay delivery to the full foward line, Fowards need low diagonal ball delivered early . Its too late when the backs carry the ball up trhe field and the oppisition fowards tracking them leading to a congested area and no room

  14. This could not be the best u21 team in Mayo , just could not be, otherwise we are in real trouble. What ever about the management team or otherwise, the Galway boys played with real hunger and commitment. They wanted to win it simple as that. They should have been out of sight at half time but had some woeful wides, They faded badly in the last quarter but it would have been unjust if we had caught them at the death. They were streets ahead and the law of natural justice determines that they should progress. The Mayo boys worked hard but were clueless and lacked a lot of the basic skills at this level. We should not be too hard on these boys, the first Mayo team to win any game since 2012. The crowd was very poor for a fine spring evening in the county town. A poor performance in the first round and and a bad track record in the past 6 years seems to have taken its toll. Best of luck to the Galway lads in the final.

  15. Couldn’t celebrate Ireland winning the rugby for me it’s all about the green and Red I think the county board needs to man up and get proper structures and coaches in place John Cuffe has covered everything else I want to say only that fine son of Erris can so eloquently say it

  16. Just back from one of the moot insipid displays I’ve seen for years. I don’t know whether to blame players or management. I accept that the players on the field gave it all they had but the problem is this was not enough, or nearly enough. We were beaten for possession at midfield and as in the Leitrim game our full forward line were totally lacking in a ball winner. So on the face of it we had to try to build slowly from the back which gave Galway bags of time to filter back in defence. Trying to thread our way through their defence was like trying to thread a fine sewing needle with darning wool. [If your’e under 40 ask the Mammy what darning wool was]. To add to all that our ball handling too often let us down. One example: Cian Burke fumbling an easy pass in the second half which ended in Galway scoring an easy point. It may or may not be fair to blame the management for this inadequacy but somebody somewhere has to take the blame if this is the best we can do.
    The news that a large school in Castlebar got only 10 hours coaching in a year is laughable. If we do not give youngsters in towns like Castlebar and Ballina a chance to get to know and like the game in their early years they are lost forever. In rural clubs the number of kids is generally low enough to allow each to get their chance and it is easier for them to get kicking a ball in any case. In urban areas a kid could easily go through to their teenage years without ever kicking a ball unless their parents are very interested. The trouble is, and I’ve mentioned this before in relation to urban and particularly Dublin clubs, that they have such a huge choice of youngsters that they can afford to ignore those whose parents are apathetic. It is no surprise that clubs like Balla and Breaffy, to name but two, are nowadays providing more young players to Mayo than the traditional big two.
    Incidentally some posters in the past couple of weeks suggested that Stephen Rochford was overlooked for the post of U21 manager. I presume it was two years ago before he became Corofin manager that he was overlooked because I cannot see how he could have combined U21 manager and Corofin manager. However I cannot recall anybody complaining last year that he was overlooked. Now that he has had success is it a case of being wise after the event?

  17. I don’t agree that loosing DOC had a huge impact to our chances. We were been roasted at midfield, roasted to the dirty ball and far too ponderous in moving the ball forward. For me non of the senior players performed to the same intensity as their Galway counterparts. We lacked leaders on the field. We lacked accurate kickers and fielders, and we lacked the fight that gets a team over the line.Just because they were picked for Minor 3 years ago does not mean they are still our best players.

  18. God that made for painful watching, it really did. I can’t say I went along with any great expectations either; it was more in hope than anything else, but I think the most frustrating thing about watching these U21s is knowing the depth of talent there is on the pitch (and on the bench) and seeing it going to complete waste. And that is, fundamentally a coaching problem. We were playing ugly football, poorly executed.

    The scoreline is telling, because Galway were distinctly average tonight apart from Comer. We, on the other hand were inept. We had 12 men behind the ball and one point and yet they ran through us like a hot knife through butter. What is the point of trying to play a defensive game when you’re not actually taking on your man and tackling him? Leaving men loose all over the field? We turned over well at times but when we did have possession, we ran into trouble time after time, whether it was misdirected passing or just overplaying the ball, playing it too wide. We have pace, but no direction – playing the ball across the field slows play, allows your opposition to regroup but time after time we were like headless chickens running into cul de sacs, without players showing for the ball. Conor Loftus showed flashes of what we know he is good at, but didn’t have much to work with because the ball inside was so poor. Our shooting in the last quarter was abysmal. The black cards weren’t helpful either, though I don’t think had either player stayed on, it would have made much of a difference.

    Fundamentally, at this level there is a rot that hasn’t been stopped and I feel we are short-changing a talented bunch of players. Not to single out players but it’s so disappointing to see a lad like Adam Gallagher out there looking like he’s struggling with confidence – he is a serious talent and should be thriving in the U21 environment. I feel for him – what’s going wrong?

    How Enda Gilvarry and his team were not managing that U21 team this year is beyond me – they felt like the obvious candidates for the job. it’s hard to envisage any radical changes in Mayo HQ over this term either in terms of forward planning (or strategic planning) and looking at the bigger picture, I feel a bit despondent.

  19. AndyD, Stephen Rochford put his own name forward, 2 yrs ago! And there was plenty of furore at the time when current management was ratified! But as Stephen was part of the strategic and review panel, if you look for it you should find his name attached! He was overlooked for this post, I’m not for one second trying to dig up that argument again, but as he has a proven track record, it makes sense now that he gets a chance at this level, with enda gilavary doing a fine job with the minors, we need to improve at the next level!

  20. willie joe kicked my whole on here the other night and he was well entitled to do so, until we get a new broom in mayo gaa from the top down ,nothing is going to change,soi for one diehard mayo man that i am ,ive decided to say were going to win nothing this year and anything else wil be a bonus ,,hon,mayo

  21. Not good enough
    This u21 management have failed miserably.
    Mayo u21 dismal for the past few years. It doesn’t bode well. It’ll be ten yrs since out last final at this grade, the longest gap Mayo has ever gone without reaching the final at this grade.
    County board need a good long look at the structures they have in place. But they won’t. I’ve no confidence in them

  22. John cuffe I agree fully with you as I did last autumn, but Mayo supporters are all talk… And no action. PJ Monaghan put his hand up to lead a new beginning back in sept/oct but the response from the Mayo public was mute. Unfortunately there r a few of us die hards… But most people who go to Mayo games don’t seem to really care.

    Mayo football is going nowhere fast unless that strategic plan is implemented and the cowboys are rooted out.

  23. Mike, I think Patrick Durcan would be fine to play for the seniors, if he was selected. I thought the GAA changed that rule and now it is something like “suspension in the same code and at the same level, applicable to the next game in the same competition.”

  24. The problem is now a new strategic plan needs to be put in place.its 5 years now nearly since the last plan was recommended and rejected.someone like liam horan again needs to put a team together and come up with a plan.everyone needs to be pulling in the one direction on this one.another person I like to see part of a group would be james horan.surely he would have seen plenty of faults that could be rectified going forward.

  25. mayo need to realise that they cannot attack and defend at the same time, it drives everybody including refs mad. its like the u21 red bjp article and treated it as gospel, the match was like watching irelands rugby team.
    they reminded me of man city when keegan was over them- lets go out and loose a 4-3 thriller.Galway werent even expected to win this match and must have left mchale confused but elated.
    slan wj go raibh maith agat.

  26. It can’t be good when you are happy to avoid coming up against the Roscommon “machine” at any level, we would have been skinned alive by the Roscommon lads at u21. The same Roscommon were shredded by Dublin if I’m not mistaken in last years final. And about horan ,
    James horan would not mince words to suit any county board people if he was given a chance to say much, thus, he won’t be asked. The big man of the county board told them all to sit down and shut up when he was busted last autumn, and that’s what they done bar the few that walked away, so let’s not think anything is going to change. It won’t. The good news is that we will know after the next 2 senior games if we are on the slide or not.

  27. I just cant believe how this game was lost. I was at the Hastings Cup game v Roscommon and despite being beaten that day I left Rathcline that Saturday full of hope for this team. Its not acceptable that Mayo have not even got to a Connaught Final for 6 years in this grade.The future does not look good. The Rossies are crowing again and with justification.Something needs to be done and fast. Two bad defeats at home one Saturday after another.

  28. Very disappointed by this result, but the sun will rise tomorrow.
    For someone to claim Stephen Coen doesn’t have it ! That person is a WUM or clueless or both. This lad if coached and guided correctly will be the FB we so desperatly need in the senior team. A leader in the making and he’s only 20.

  29. @ Mayo Mad, I’m not sure what you mean, “mayo need to realise that they cannot attack and defend at the same time”. Of course they can. They defend first and attack from there, i.e. Donegal, Kerry in the All Ireland, the Dubs last Sunday. Maybe I’m reading you wrong.

  30. We were absolutely cat against Ross in Longford in the Hastings Cup. Aimless football. It’s horrible stuff. We give out enough about northern teams doing it. Well, it’s here now. Our U21s have been doing it for 2 years. We did it against Dublin. It’s absolutely hideous.

  31. It’s unfortunately over for the under 21 lads for another year, and nothing much will change in that regard anytime soon. So it’s now over to the big boys to try and rescue something from our remaining two League matches, and following the Dublin mauling, survival in division 1 would seem to be the max for this year. After that, who knows what’s in store, but retaining Connaught would be a start.

  32. Well at least the silver lining is that all players will now be available to Noel and Pat, so its sink or swim for Mayo football in the coming months. You get the feeling that we are at a crossroads now. The next road that we take, we all hope is the right one. Here’s hoping that we have not taken the wrong road already.

  33. stall the digger lads,howmany mior and u21a llirelands have kerry won in the ten yearsprevious very few end of argument how many senoirs have they tookhome more than my proudd county has end of argument

  34. petermurr, not getting your argument there. If we had quarter the success those Kerry guys have, we wouldn’t be complaining about our underage teams at all. But it’s because we’re been starved of success at senior level for so long, that we’re consistently looking to our young guys, in the hope of unearthing a nugget or two that might turn the tide in our favour. Sadly there was not to many on show last evening, that would inspire one to believe that Mayo’s future is looking any brighter. Still as the saying goes, ‘ the darkest hour is just before the dawn’ so we’ll continue as ever to live in hope…

  35. It’s good that more and more people are comparing us to Kerry as they are the benchmark when you compare county size, club distribution and population. Kerry’s models need to be implemented more and more if football is to progress in Mayo.

  36. We did unearth a golden nugget from the 2006 minors. Potentially the most valuable one of all. Unfortunately the lure of big bucks in Brisbane lured him away.

    Mayo football is as efficient and well run as the HSE.

    The appointment for our next u21 manager is a seriously important one. I’m assuming the present one will step down after two years of shambles. Let’s not forget the mauling we suffered at u21 level last year. Absolutely shocking.

  37. @mayo mchale,irest my case its going to be a pain untilwelift sam,i hope you have got a good presciption

  38. Mayonaze,

    As I recall the 2006 minor Connacht final “the nugget” was brutally bad and his marker, if I’m not greatly mistaken, was man of the match. Incidentally we have not heard much of him since either. Obviously that was not “the nugget’s” true form as he has gone on to be a success since. However it is long past time for bemoaning “lost leaders” and to concentrate on those we do have. All counties lose promising players but because they are not our own we tend to forget them very quickly.

  39. Willie correct me if I am wrong but was that u21 team based on the minors of 2012 that went close to getting to an alireland.I was not at the match . I listened to it on mid west. But I don’t think one player that started in a position last night, started in that same position in the game against Meath.this I find amazing but I may have got it wrong .

  40. Yeah it is very strange that we have won five out of the last seven Connacht minor titles, won an All-Ireland at that level and appeared in a number of semi-finals. It seems that it’s just at U21 level that we are punching well below our weight. Here’s hoping that whoever takes over next will have more success but you do get the feeling that we need a root and branch review of our underage structures.

  41. The only review needed is u21 I reckon. We are still producing excellent minor footballers. But there has to be clear direction. How on earth (last year) can our minor and senior sides be playing open, quick, expansive, expressive football in their respective campaigns while our 21s play awful, shapeless, negative football? It’s senseless

  42. To think that Stephen Rochford, All Ireland club winning manager, was turned down for the post of Mayo U21 manager.
    The talent is undoubtedly there and when you have players of the ability of Gallagher, Coen, Durcan, Hall, Byrne, Reape, O’Connor etc you can expect, at the very least, a cohesive organised display with the players knowing exactly what is expected of them.
    A managers primary duty is to make the sum of the parts better than the parts themselves. I think it is fair to say that has not happened under the present management, for whatever reason.

  43. Did anyone get email about the merchandise not being distributed this weekend,got msg Friday saying that merchandise would not be distributed this weekend due to shipment of items being delayed,we didn’t even know that they were going to be distributed this weekend in the first place,just wondering did anybody know,?,

  44. Think we should get a manager who can nurse a team for a few years and be willing to step up with them to senior level.jack oconnor wasn’t afraid to step down a rank to minor and would be nice to see horan take an under age team and follow threw for another rattle at senior when time comes.under age wouldn’t be as time consuming.just a thought.

  45. Our backs simply would not kick the ball in quickly. Kenny,Durcan, Coen, Hall constantly joining the attack. Damien Comer wins a ball in his own half and goes 50 yards to score. We’ve a goalscoring specialist in Reape watching from the bench as the backs try n win the game on their own with selfish play.
    That is a coaching issue. Galways tactics were similar to Corofins with a much more direct counter attack. Our forwards get ridiculously bad service. There is a coaching issue at this level needs sorting for next year.

  46. It’s hard to fathom why we are failing at this grade so badly, very good minors not making the step up to 21s despite us having development squads for this transition . Something not right , it’s like we have decided to ignore this grade and our policy is just to develop the top of the class 20 year olds into seniors, surely they couldn’t be that stupid .

  47. @ chrisann, I got an e-mail on the 11th of March to say that the items would be available on the 21st and the 22nd. Then I got an e-mail on the 20th to say the items would not be distributed due to a delay, so I don’t know what the story is.

    It’ll be very interesting to see how Enda Gilvarry will get on with our minors this year. Then you’d think that if he wants to manage our U21s in 2016, that he deserves a chance to work again with the squad that he brought to All-Ireland glory in 2013. Maybe putting someone like Stephen Rochford in charge of our minors, might be a good idea, if he wanted the job.

    Anyone know whats the story with the Mayo GAA Academy, that was setup a few years ago, Oct 2012, I remember reading about it in the Mayo News but I never heard much about it since. James Horan spoke at the launch as did Cillian O’Connor. Quoting from the article:

    (Under the guidance of Academy ‘mentors’ and coaches, Noel Connelly, Kieran Gallagher, Michael Gavin and Stephen Rochford, 24 footballers that will be 19 years-old next year have been invited to take part in the Development Academy initiative. The aim of the project is to provide a ‘progression path’ for the players between the ages of 19 and 23 to graduate from the Mayo Minor squad to the U-21 ranks and through to the county Senior panel.)

    Is this Academy still in operation?

  48. Hope Springs eternall You make an interesting point about the Academy. Where did it go to anybody know? I go to some of the underage games around the county and we still have a lot of talented footballers. I believe the U21 have become such a shambles in the county that it no longer attractive to the young ambitious young footballer doing it for his club but unwilling to commit to a county setup that is broken beyond repair.

  49. i do not agree with the idea that we would have been hammered by Roscommon. I do not believe that Galway will get hammered by any team. Roscommon may have the best team and they will certainly be more competitive than Mayo but Galway will be able to give a good account of themselves.Having a game under their belts will be a help. A couple of years ago Ros played Galway at the Hyde I think and were 4 points up and lording it deep in the second half,, but Galway won that one in the end. Ros went into the AI last year with a big reputation and were brutal. Its all on the day and may the best team win.

  50. Who were selectors etc for the u21. An earlier blog mentioned that the physio was making some calls on the line, if so surely sounds like a shambles.

    Agree about strategic plan needed.

    Finally, the bottom line is that other than cilian O Connor, can anybody name two or three natural forwards who can score with both feet that have progressed from minor level in past five years. In my mind, this is where our focus is lost.

  51. Galway lose to Laois at home, Roscommon are struggling to beat meath in hyde park . Mayo are going for five in a row senior connacht championships . Now I’m not suggesting there is not a problem at under 21 level but at the same time both Galway and Roscommon are doing nothing at senior level , galway have four under 21 all Ireland’s since 2002 and not won a game in Croker at senior level in the same period, roscommon won a minor all ireland in 2006 and have been brilliant the last five years at u-21 level but again they have done nothing at senior level in this same period . If you were to be positive about it you could say it’s them that have the problem and not us , if you were to be negative about it you could say , it’s going to catch up with us soon. It’s usually somewhere inbetween neg and pos.

  52. Could we forget every other team for a while and focus on Mayo and what needs to be done. At this moment in time the other teams have no value whatsoever. All of a sudden people are beginning to see the problems we have in Mayo and I think that’s great. The positive thing from all this is by knowing, changes can be made.
    There is a common theme here now..we were headless, rudderless, devoid of new ideas against the Dubs. One poster said the U21s were “like headless chickens running into cul de sacs” Same as the Seniors.
    The problem is that any young players coming into this situation will do exactly the same thing. We need to give players time and space to develop their skills as well as a new system. Playing the way we do we haven’t won Sam for over 60 years.; logic…..change playing the way we do.. otherwise 60 more barren years loom on the horizon. Don’t let anyone tell me how well we have done over the years., etc. etc. Not until we are the All Ireland champions will we feel we have achieved anything
    Today the Ireland Ladies won the Rugby Championship for the second time in two years. They began a project 6 years ago to achieve this and they did. As one lady said, “all their hard work has paid off”. We, in Mayo, want to win Sam every year without taking the necessary steps to do so. Isn’t about time we got it right???? 60 f..king years!!!!

  53. Has anyone any info on where we are with the injuries to the squad players out there i.e. Gibbons, Feeney, Parsons, Conroy, Regan, Harrisson, ConorO’ Shea and others?

  54. Roscommon now seem odds on for promotion in the NFL and will be that much more dangerous come July. Galway on the other hand will probably be looking over their shoulders for other results on Sun 5th hoping to avoid relegation. They meet each other in the Hyde next Sunday and I find it hard to see the Rossies losing that one.

  55. HopeSpringsEternal Thanks for the link. Am I to believe the stuff we watched on Saturday was the result of this Academy. Given such strong endorsement by so many good people one would expect the we should start to see some 21 – 23 year olds challenge the status quo in Salthill in June similar to Galway and Roscommon teams. Certainly 2 or 3 positions in the forwards and 1 or 2 in defence. I checked the panel listing for the semi final last year to see who had made the breakthrough. Keeping my fingers crossed for the June panel listing
    Checked out the advice COC delivered to the 19 year olds present at that launch. Very accurate and very sensible for a 20 year old. No wonder he turned out to be such a gem.

  56. Your welcome PJ, as you said if what we seen at U21 level last Saturday and last year, is what the academy has produced, then it has been a real failure. I never heard much about it, since its launch in Oct. 2012, so I don’t know what the story was with it. It sounded like, at the time, that it was going to be a very good initiative but it didn’t seem to produce the results that it was expected to produce.

  57. Has it really been a failure though, apart from winning all Ireland’s and provincial titles what is the main objective of under 21 s , some might even say the only thing that really matters is bringing lads through to senior, getting a couple of lads each year to add to the senior squad.

    Since our collapse at this grade in 2010- 14 we have seen the following players make the step up courtesy of WJ archive section.

    J Docherty

    D kirby
    C.o Connor

    Conor o Shea
    Evan Regan
    Brendan Harrison

    Adam Gallagher

    Diarmuid o Connor
    Stephen Coen

    Now it might not be described as conveyor belt of talent coming through but I certainly don’t think it’s near as bad as some are making out.

  58. Sean,

    I asked the Q earlier regarding how many natural forwards other than Cillian O Connor that have come through the ranks in past six years or so. I think you may have inadvertently answered that Q.
    Not all the players fault, but I am curious are there any trainers, coaches that help develop forwards and how they develop their kicking skills, etc.

  59. Joe McManus – the game is not now about bringing natural forwards through. We have 6 if not more knacky, natural forwards, who are all small and light and if we played them all together, we would be run over by opposition juggernauts.

  60. Kerry haven’t been in an u21 final in 16/17 years , and it’s not stunting their growth. Galway have won a bag of them in the last decade and are weak at senior level today, maybe it’s the Galway management or whatever,but, if Mayo are putting senior teams in finals as frequently as we are there is something being done right somewhere along the line in Mayo. Maughan 96/97/04, Moran 06, horan 12,13 and within a kick of a ball in 14 were able to bring Mayo teams to the final, even though they lost, the players are coming through despite what the evidence says. It can’t be sheer good fortune that puts Mayo senior teams in these finals, if this current senior side can get over the line soon, I think a major barrier will fall.

  61. Kerry won the u-21 all Ireland in 2008 but that’s it they have only won two Munster titles 02/08 since the turn of the century.

  62. Just a few points. It has been mentioned here and elsewhere a few times, that current u21 management, got the job ahead of Stephen Rochford. That’s not correct. Rochford was interviewed for the job in late 2012 for the 2013 season, where Tony Duffy (Current Ballintubber manager) was given the job, having managed the Mayo minors for three years before that winning one Connacht title. Duffy was not reappointed after the 2013 season and the current management was appointed for 2014 and again for 2015. I do not believe that Rochford went for interview again in 2013.

    County Board have got a bit of a kicking, some of it more than likely deserved, but the senior management should also cop some flack along with pervious ones. Who used the u21 players in league games very close to u21 championship ones. If u21 players are good enough to be playing senior inter-county football, they are then more than likely to be the best players on the u21 team. With four u21 players involved in the senior squad last Saturday night, wasn’t exactly great preperation of the u21 managment as they tried to work on their game plan and tactics ahead of the Galway game last weekend if they were training on either Friday/Saturday/Sunday. If we are or want to be succesful at this level, there should be a cut off point where u21 players are left with that squad exculsively until the championship is over, otherwise we’re trying to get up the river with a broken paddle

  63. If I were the U21 manager I would have a chat with the squad at the end of Jan and outline the ground rule. No senior football until after the Connacht Final. Any who breaches this rule rules themselves out of selection. A good manager does not need excuses. I am sick of the same excuses for failures.

  64. Sean Burke Sorry Sean but the first few name on your list were on the 2009 if memory serves me correctly. COC. and Harrison and McHale are 3 that have made various contributions since our collapse. Personally I rate all .3 guys and so it is a bit unfair to say we got nobody. At this rate by 2020 we will get another handful before these lads quit.

  65. Stephen – I can’t, I’m afraid, allow you to make the point you’re trying to make in that way, not least in light of the libel laws that apply in this country. I can appreciate that you’re trying to make a valid point but you’ll have to come at it in a different way, one that works both within the law and in line with the house rules on comments (here).

  66. WJ, my last comment needed to be approved, did I post something wrong? Not having a go, just trying to figure it out 😀

  67. It was just because your email address was in the comment, Mark. Any comment containing a link or an email address automatically goes into moderation as spam messages tend to be full of them.

  68. Appreciate that Willie Joe

    Basically I’m blaming this on the County Board who aren’t interested in investing in this grade and the current Minor management who’s training regime has created a chronic long term injury list in the high teens and a disdain among players to the point of which many no longer want to make themselves available at county level.

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