Answering Andy’s call

Andy Moran

It’s Thursday, with the longest build-up to a big match that I think I can ever recall continuing apace. There’s been loads of chat about every aspect of the game over the last few days including a fair bit of discussion about the possible size of the Mayo crowd at Croke Park on Sunday. This particular issue is, I reckon, worthy of some focus as Sunday draws ever closer.

Although we’re always credited with bringing a big noisy following to HQ – and the poor old Kerrymen are constantly lambasted for doing the opposite – this hasn’t always been the case, in particular at the quarter-final stage. It was only the true believers who were there on that marvellous day that we knocked the then defending champions Cork out of the race two years ago and the size of the crowd we brought to Croker for the Down match last August Bank Holiday weekend wasn’t much to write home about either. Those who chose to sit out both of those matches missed what turned out be two scintillating displays by the lads.

There’s set to be a big attendance at Croke Park on Sunday. Donegal have a huge and very loyal following, Cavan – who had half the county there last Saturday for their qualifier match with London, from what I could see – are likely to have sizeable support on what seems all but certain to be their last big day out of the year and while the place won’t be teeming with Kerry supporters they’ll still have a reasonable hard core at it (way more than that pathetic Cork crowd will muster the following day).

If we’re going to be heard at all on Sunday – the Kerry gang are likely to have fecked off home before our match starts to come to the boil and, given the way they shouted for Tyrone last Saturday, I think most of the Cavan support will swing in behind Donegal – we need to bring out own raucous following. If anyone was in any doubt about how important a big Mayo crowd is to the team, then Andy Moran’s plea during his victory speech in MacHale Park for a big turnout at Croke Park should be enough for you. If there ever were a match where a big, loud Mayo following could count for something, then this is the one.

And it looks like Andy’s call is being answered. @MayoGAA tweeted yesterday that their ticket allocation is selling out rapidly and they said it’s looking like there will be a big Mayo crowd there. If you haven’t got your ticket yet, details on how to do so are here.

There’s not much to report on in the papers this morning. Declan Bonner, who is now Donegal’s minor manager, is quoted in the Irish Examiner taking a swipe at James for his comments about the opposition’s physicality. Whatever. Darragh Ó Sé’s column in the Irish Times (always a good read) mentions our match briefly and he reckons we’ll do it.

No word on the team yet, though I guess we’ll hear something later on today. A possible straw in the wind in this respect, however, comes in that Irish Examiner piece referenced above which concludes with the suggestion that we might name Keith Higgins to start at half-forward, i.e. the position he ended up in during the Connacht final. I’ve heard this rumour from more than one source over the last few days and I think there may be something to it – the idea, as I understand it, would be that Keith would play in a withdrawn, sweeping role to provide extra cover at the back and to prevent any disastrous one-on-one situations occurring close to our posts.

We’ll find out soon enough, I guess, if this is going to happen. By the way, I’m going to be offline for most of today with work stuff so I’ll probably be well off the pace on the team announcement on this occasion but will have something on it when I get back into action later on this evening.

43 thoughts on “Answering Andy’s call

  1. Absolutely WJ but can u also put it out there those who do turn up to actually shout them on no matter what is going on 100% from start to finish …. Don’t know how many times I’ve seen ‘some’ of our supporters just watching saying nothing at all I don’t get this why go atall then? The proudest I’ve been of our supporters was that league match v Kerry in Dublin when we beat them we definitely were the 16th man that day …. Come on Mayo

  2. This match is really catching the imagination of the whole country again & with Jim Mc & JH having a go @ each other in the press it is really spicing things up. I cant wait for sunday & i’m a Tipp man traveling with my dad. We have relations in Ballyhaunis & from what we are hearing there is a big Mayo crew going.I have gone to my fair share of Mayo games & ye have unbelievable loyal supporters i’m sure ye wont leave down this team.I’ll be shouting ye on from the Hogan stand…All the best on Sunday…

    ps. Last time Kilkenny didn’t play in Croke Park in the Championship,Mayo won Sam.

  3. i think we should tell everyone that is going that we know to bring a flag and keep waving it. Its a game Mayo can win but they all are easier to win if you have people cheering you on. The players can be counted on to battle all the way this sunday, we at least can sit on our backsides and shout for them in the stands.

  4. There are always exceptions such as Mayo supporters who have to earn their living abroad, supporters who may not be physically able to travel due to illness, bereavement etc.

    But those exceptions aside, it pretty much comes down to this:

    The real supporters will be there on Sunday.

    The sunshine supporters won’t.

  5. Team named for sunday
    wynne,
    forde, prendergast, flanagan,
    staunton, dixon, quinn
    mongey, mcandrew,
    irwin, carney, mulderrig,
    flanagan, langan, gilvarry.

    Our untouchables from 51.
    Follow them..

  6. I tell ya this war of words malarkey is getting out of hand, Bonnar the former Donegal player is in the examiner callin Horan ”foolish” and now i’ve just read Gallaghers article over on HS where he is accusing Mayo of fooking colluding with Monaghan in telling them how. to go about beating Donegal.

    Its madness is what it is and getting close to potentially explosive , they should all quit the shit now and get on with the football.If it was soccer they would be called irresponsible for stirring the emotions of fans, thank gawd the GAA doesn’t bring that sort of atmosphere.

  7. The qtrs are a great day out for GAA supporters and we have been blessed in Mayo with great teams that we can follow. There are no excuses for supporters in Ireland not making it to the match. What else would you want to be doing on a Sunday in Aug. I am looking forward to a great game and will settle for a one pt win.

    Congrats WJ on 2 million hits. It is a credit to you, fantastic to read reports through out the media and the infectious enthusiasm it generates before and after. I am hooked. COME ON MAYO…….

  8. Fairly toxic comments from Rory Gallagher in that article on Hogan Stand – Horan seems to have riled them without saying very much at all.

    Regardless of the result, McGuinness and Gallagher have let themselves down badly this week.

  9. To hell with Rory Gallagher and McGuinness. When you light a fire it will burn.

    Not convinced re Higgins in Mark mcHugh role.He is too serious a defenfder for that imo.
    Prefer to see someone else …carolan maybe…doing that.

    That is a worry as I also heard that is the plan.

  10. I can’t see JH changing tactics now and move Higgins, it would be a big gamble. Hopefully not.

    Regarding the comments from Donegal today best thing JH can do is say nothing more. The more Gallagher/bonner/ McGuinness say now the worse they look. they seem to be rattled which is great.

    C’mon Mayo!

  11. I wad down in Castlebar this morning collecting my ticket and wad told there neatly all gone.i did ask how many they were allocated i was just told a sizeable number.im assuming around 15 thousand.Good to see the support for the lads.As for this craic between the management i listened to horans comments i felt he said very little and what he did say was the truth.Have to say in a little disappointed with Rory Gallaghers attitude of late.I think he had let himself down badly.Their problem is most of their supporters felt they were going to do 2 in a row and prob the management felt it as well.now the wheels are beginning to come off the cart and they don’t know what to do.so its easy to see why there lashing out like hormonal teenagers.

  12. Oh and i don’t think Higgins will play in forward line.I don’t know if this was a tactic of horans to confuse opposition but i think ge will start in his normal position.

  13. Just read Gallagher’s comments on the Hogan Stand.

    Have Donegal completely lost the plot. They are coming across as bitter & paranoid.
    “what are they smoking up in them hills!!!”

    The Mayo set-up would do well to keep stump until after the game. I don’t like the way this is going. If this was Donegal’s first love (soccer) the police would be warning them against aggravating the crowd.

  14. I really hope Galagher believes what he is spouting because if he truly thinks Mayo can give another team tips on how to beat Donegal then he must believe that a team with this know how will have no problem dispatching his team . I actually think it funny stuff unless i was from Donegal or the Donegal players . I would be embarrassed if my management team was talking muck like that .

  15. Here’s a fact…Karl Lacey got plenty of advice from a Galway player last year before the final on how to beat mayo. So, is that collusion too Mr Gallagher!??!? Twat.

  16. Jeez Mayonaze – I’m guessing he didn’t take take it from him – 4-16 to 0-11…I wouldn’t trust one of those Galway players to be able to give me the time, let alone GAA advice!

  17. Losing their marbles up in the hills…… Read this

    Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-final between Donegal and Mayo is rapidly becoming the GAA’s biggest grudge match in years.

    It follows sensational claims made by Donegal assistant manager Rory Gallagher that Mayo offered advice to Monaghan on how to beat the All-Ireland champions when the counties met in a challenge match before the Ulster final. And this has led Gallagher to believe that the heavy challenge by Monaghan’s Stephen Gollogly that forced Mark McHugh’s early withdrawal, and which left the Kilcar man with concussion, a burst ear drum and a quad muscle injury, was pre-meditated.

    “Maybe we suspect there was a bit of collusion between Monaghan and Mayo,” Gallagher said in the Irish News.

    “Bear in mind Lee Keegan’s tackle on Mark McHugh at the start of last year’s All-Ireland final. When Lee Keegan got booked, he came out and winked at a team-mate as if to say ‘job done’.

    “I don’t believe for one minute that Gollogly went out to do the harm he did. He went out to hit him hard, but our player came out of it badly. I know Gollogly hurt himself as well.

    “I don’t believe Malachy O’Rourke sent any player out to ‘do’ anyone. That is not in his nature. But ask some of the top referees to view the incident. Was it a dangerous tackle? It was reckless and dangerous. At the end of the day, that deserves a red card.”

    The former Fermanagh star also claimed that well-known sports psychologist and journalist Kieran Shannon is advising Mayo manager James Horan on what to say to the media.

    “I think Horan works to a pre-mediated script and I think Kieran Shannon is behind a good bit of it,” Gallagher continued.

    “I know Shannon fairly well. He was involved with Fermanagh when Malachy O’Rourke was there. I think Shannon is behind Horan’s statements.”

  18. Just read it, Trevor. I always had Gallagher down as a bit of a nut job but this is off the map altogether. They’ve lost the plot altogether by the sounds of it.

  19. Stall the ball with all this talk of Donegal loosing the plot.
    Wasn’t there a story of a row in the Donegal camp about whether Sam was going to Donegal Town or Letterkenny? All nonsense and all designed to distract attention from the players last September
    McGuinness and Gallagher are at the same again.
    We are facing the defending All Ireland Champions who everyone seems happy to write off, a dangerous combination in my book.
    .

  20. No Declan… Lacey received the advice last sept.

    TonyK ..do u have a bro in NYC???

  21. Martin mc Hugh is in the star saying horan has more to loose than any other manager in da quarters and all the pressure is on mayo,more mind games.st pats oldie u make a very good point,let’s not underestimate the feckers

  22. I really hope Horan keeps his counsel on this verb incontinence. He made his point earlier in the week in a clear and simple fashion about just wanting fair and consistent referreing. End of. Let the lads do the talking for us now on the pitch. Anything else is a distraction at this stage. Donegal can get as distracted as they like…it only means they’re not focussing on the main job.

  23. I get that Mayonaze but its hard to argue that getting advice from Galway lads about how to beat us would have been a good idea at any point in the last four or five years really!

  24. Easy on lads. Getting enough stick from the insane Gallagher without the rest of us having a go at each other. THose who can go, Please do.

    Can I just say Bernard Flynn gave a good reply to McGuiness yesterday urging him not to throw rocks while in a glasshouse.

    Mayo people do not need to sink to Donegal’s level. WE are proud and fair- I agree James should stay quiet now and give the other idiots rope. Wasnt Gallagher fighting with McNulty on Saturday- now blaming Monaghan and Donegal! Hilarious.

    Once again our mantra this year has to be no excuses. Win despite all the extraneous nonsense I say.

  25. Monaghan and Mayo sorry – its the rain! Will rain have a bearing on Sunday I wonder?

  26. Write these fuckers off at your peril lads. Mc Guinness is a sports psychologist dont forget, he’s deliberately stirring the pot to create a siege mentality and try bring the best out of his players, it’s working too as everyone in mayo is saying they are losing the plot. They ARE NOT losing the plot, they know exactly what they are doing, the messiah wants to play up mayo as favourites and then they come out all guns blazing on Sunday having been written off by everyone. Can you imagine the smirk on his face if Donegal win on Sunday! It would be unbearable.
    I hate Martin mc Hugh too, but he is right. This is a defining game for James Horan. Defeat is just unthinkable, this is a watershed moment for this team, we simply have to win. The pressure is now firmly on, and we have to deal with it. All great sides who win major titles deal with pressure as part and parcel of elite level sport. I believe we will step up and deliver on Sunday, there is just no other way from here. Maigheo Abu!

  27. Everyone should ignore what’s being said up north, let our team do the talking at 4 on Sunday.

  28. I know nothing is confirmed yet, but while I agree with the idea of having someone sitting in front of the FB line early doors to present a rerun of the disastrous start back in Sept, I’d still rather KH was corner back and someone else given the “sweeping role”. I was impressed with Barrett v London and has always been a reliable man to call upon but I want Higgins at number 4 myself. We’ll wait and see I guess.

    If this scenario unfolded would Dillon be the man to lose out I wonder? Or RF? I imagine O’Connor will surely start, but I would’ve thought in place of Coen. We wait and see anyway! Mayo Abu

  29. the team has being named lads . Got this on mayogaa.ie
    The Mayo Senior Football Team to face Donegal in the All Ireland Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final this Sunday 4th August at 4.00p.m. is as follows:

    1. Robert Hennelly – Breaffy
    2. Tom Cunniffe – Castlebar Mitchels
    3. Ger Cafferkey – Ballina Stephenites
    4. Keith Higgins – Ballyhaunis
    5. Lee Keegan – Westport
    6. Donal Vaughan – Ballinrobe
    7. Colm Boyle – Davitts
    8. Aidan O’Shea – Breaffy
    9. Seamus O’Shea – Breaffy
    10. Kevin McLoughlin – Knockmore
    11. Richie Feeney – Castlebar Mitchels
    12. Alan Dillon – Ballintubber
    13. Cillian O’Connor – Ballintubber
    14. Alan Freeman – Aghamore
    15. Andy Moran – Ballaghaderreen (Captain)

    16. Brendan Walsh – Ballintubber
    17. Shane McHale – Knockmore
    18. Michael Walsh – Ardnaree
    19. Kevin Keane – Westport
    20. Barry Moran – Castlebar Mitchels
    21. Enda Varley – Garrymore
    22. Chris Barrett – Belmullet
    23. Cathal Carolan – Crossmolina
    24. Darren Coen – Hollymount/Carramore
    25. Jason Doherty – Burrishoole
    26. Jason Gibbons – Ballintubber

  30. game on!!!

    Cunniffe only surprise, but a reliable performer. always solid.

    Looks like JH has a more or less settled starting 15.
    Freeman for me will be key on Sunday. If he keeps up his current good form, I’m confident we will make the semis

  31. Barrett can consider himself unlucky. However 1 to 15 if fully fit should have enough hunger and spirit to get over Donegal.

    See you all in Coppers!!!

  32. Thought Dillon would start. Experience vital on Sunday. Building up to a big battle driven by media and himself.
    Still if its war they want i don’t see too many players there who will lie down. Pressure on Donegal then!
    Is it Sunday yet?

  33. Great post there Aussie exile, you’re spot on with those comments. A lot of Mayo people are reading to much into all these comments from McGuinness and co. and assuming it’s showing signs of weakness. On the contrary, in my opinion this is a ploy and would have been discussed at training sessions and players will have been well briefed on all statements to be realised well in advanced.

    I’m sure James will have briefed the lads on these matters too and no doubt they will be well aware of the mind games going on all around them. I’m also sure the Mayo players will be taking nothing for granted and will know that anything less than a complete performance will not be good enough to beat Donegal.

    Mayo supporters would also be well advised that winning this match is not a given, and even though we will travel in confidence nothing can be taken for granted. Living in Dublin I’ve had many discussions with lads from all corners of the country and the general view is that it’s ours to loose. Lack of competition in Connacht would be their main concern. And assuming they beat Cork, a lot of the Dubs will be coming to support Mayo on Sunday – can’t ask for more than that …….

  34. @ Aussie Exile From what I gather, Donegal fans are embarrassed and let down by Gallagher’s comments. I don’t think McGuinness and his avant-garde sidekick know exactly what they are doing, you give them too much credit.

  35. @ Mayomchale, the signs of weakness that people see aren’t so much the nonsense they are spouting but their performances. Relegated in the league, let off the hook by a poor Tyrone side who were on top for large periods, slipped by a Down team that should have beaten them, comprehensively beaten by Monaghan, and unimpressive against Laois.

    I don’t know why people got it into their heads that Donegal were “unbeatable” or had an “aura”. A lot of their players are average, which is why they play to a system where they are “hard to beat”. Their style of play is not “the protagonist”, they don’t “take the game” to the other team. This in itself is a weakness.

    If I was to break down the Donegal team named on Sunday which is virtually their strongest team, I would find:

    Class: 3 players
    Above average: 3 players
    Average: 9 players.

    Last year, their sum was greater than their parts, their 3 class players were playing top class football, they were given exceptional leeway by referees, they had hunger, they remarkably stayed injury free AND they had serious luck in their matches, particularly in the Ulster semi, the Quarter Final and the Final. Things couldn’t of gone ANY better for them. Now they are performing at their actual level.

  36. Dillon MUST be fit as he would have had to earn that spot off form (not reputation or experience), given the bench we have.
    I was surprised with Feeney…maybe he plays around the middle third with super mac dropping further back as sweeper?

  37. Enough of the focus on McGuiness and the hocus pocus. McGuiness started it and we’ll fooking finish it. 15 against 15 plus the two benches. Fear not.

    “Come On Mayo!!!”

  38. what gallaghers problem and why is he having a good at kieran shannon of the mayo backroom team really silly hope mayo make them pay

  39. I hope there is a few last minute changes to the team selected, I worry about Dillion starting if he plays the way he did against London, he needs to pass the ball quickly to players on the run. I feel Coen or Carolan would be a much better choice in the forwards. Feeney was a great sub to bring on in games for us and can hold onto a ball in tight games.

  40. Irrespective of all the talk, in the end, it will boil down to the best team winning as it usually does. All that matters now is that we have the best 15 on the field and that they give it 100% and that we give them every support. Oh and it’s important that we enjoy it……these are indeed great days to be a mayo supporter.
    Wouldn’t it be great if we beat them out the gate…….10+ points! I have a funny feeling this could turn out to be a day to remember.

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