Championship launched but little action in prospect

Photo: GAA/Sportsfile (Ramsey Cardy)

The formulaic media set-piece that is the launch of the championship took place yesterday. Players, including Aidan O’Shea, were rolled out to provide material for copy for the hacks in attendance, there were plenty of photos and, in this regard, there was some coloured smoke deployed to jolly along the visual side of things. But, this being the championship with its now ludicrous, creaking super-structure, there remains the sad fact that there’s precious little to get excited about in terms of the matches that’ll be played between now and the August Bank Holiday weekend.

Aidan’s contribution to the proceedings (cue the usual miaowing from the same predictable quarters about one doing one’s talking on the field etc. etc. etc.) is covered in various outlets. Take your pick from GAA, RTÉ, The 42, Irish Independent (which is interesting as it touches on the Holmes/Connelly brouhaha from last December), Irish Examiner, Irish Times. 

In due course, we’ll have the provincial championship launches to look forward to. In that regard, I can’t wait to hear Jim Gavin once more prattling on enthusiastically about what a great Gaelic institution the Leinster championship is, replete with such fierce manly competition and great tradition and how his charges are so looking forward to seeing once more what things look like beyond the M50 at this time of year.

In fairness to Connacht, there’s a competitive provincial championship to be fought over. Granted, it’s not the cat-fight that occurs annually up in Ulster but neither is it the pointless cakewalk that Leinster has been for years and which Munster now appears to have turned into as well. Unique among the big beasts of this year’s championship, we’re not heading into the summer defending any provincial silverware.

The odds reflect this fact: while we’re 4/5 to reclaim the Nestor Cup (with both Galway and Roscommon on offer at 11/4), Dublin are 1/16 to win out yet again in Leinster, while Kerry are 1/4 to claim their fifth Munster title in a row (and their 79th in all). The competitive nature of the Ulster championship, meanwhile, is reflected in the pricing of Tyrone as 7/4 favourites, with Donegal at 11/4 and Monaghan 4/1. Paddy Power odds here.

As usual, of course, it’s Connacht where the action begins and, like every other year, that start will occur 3,000 miles away over in Gaelic Park, New York. This year the Yanks will entertain Sligo and the match throws in at Gaelic Park this coming Sunday evening at 8.15pm Irish time (3.15pm local time). RTÉ have confirmed that they’ll provide live radio commentary on the game on Radio 1. The bad news is that Marty Morrissey will be behind the mic.

Every county is well aware aeons in advance about when they’re next in line for the Big Apple junket. This makes Niall Carew’s bitching about the scheduling of the game for this coming weekend so hard to fathom. Sure, it’s hard on them that exams are going to rob them of a few players and Sligo aren’t endowed with the richest pick at the best of times but the date for this game has been known for ages so it’s not as if it has been sprung on the Yeatsmen at the last minute.

The Sligo manager is, though, right to be a mite skittish about how Sunday’s fixture will go. Roscommon narrowly avoided the shock of the century over there last year and the 2/7 odds on offer for a Sligo win on Sunday reflect the fact that while the visitors are strong favourites there’s still a match there to be won. (By contrast, Louth are priced at a measly 1/6 to beat Longford in Leinster in a few weeks time).

New York appear to sense the fear as well. Manager Justin O’Halloran reckons it’s only a matter of time before they finally take out one of the domestic counties in Connacht and they’re aiming for that day to come this Sunday. With Tom Cunniffe and ex-Dublin hurler Danny Sutcliffe playing for them now (full NY panel details here) and two hard games against Donegal under their belts, the Yanks look well set to make life difficult for the Magpies at the weekend.

They also have their sights set on becoming more embedded into the championship itself. Justin O’Halloran reckons (piece on this here) that New York should be afforded the same back-door rights London enjoy and he believes that the visa issue would not prove an obstacle to his team travelling to the oul’ sod to fulfil a qualifier fixture. Nor, then, should it be any impediment to the Yanks (including Tom) playing us at MacHale Park on Sunday fortnight were the unthinkable happen over in Gaelic Park.

But will this happen? You’ve seen the match odds, you’ve read the coverage so which way do you think it’ll go over in the Big Apple on Sunday?

Who'll win on Sunday?

  • New York (51%, 185 Votes)
  • Sligo (49%, 175 Votes)

Total Voters: 360

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87 thoughts on “Championship launched but little action in prospect

  1. What team would people like to see for Sligo or new york game.Personally I would like to this team lineout:
    Goalie and backs pick themselves each player has an All star bar Paddy Durcan.Seamie and Tom p strongest midfield we have.Forwards u would hav to hav Aido,Kev Mcloughin and the 2 O’Connors leaving the 2 spots for our best players during the league Danny Kirby and Shane Nally.Would like to see Kirby in around the square think he wud be a big goal threat.

  2. 1. D Clarke
    2. B Harrison
    3. D Vaughan
    4. C Barrett
    5. K Higgins
    6. SOS
    7. P Durcan
    8. L Keegan
    9. AOS
    10. T Parsons
    11. DOC
    12. J Doherty
    13. K McLoughlin
    14. A Moran
    15. COC (capt.)

    Pace and strength around that all important ‘diamond’ area. Plenty of ball winning players in that crucial area as well. Experience to come into the defence such as G Caff & C Boyle. Coen, Boland, COS and Regan have a lot to prove yet before they’ve earned that starting jersey. Not many teams would boast that experience and the rabbit in the hat would be L Keegan to play that athletic midfielder and add more scores to his already impressive repertoire.

  3. There might not be a cow milked in New York on Sunday night, if the early results from that poll are anything to go by. Jaysus.

  4. I think too many people are getting caught up in this NY talk. Sligo by 7+ points.

    Also what a pathetic launch yesterday…barely a mention on national radio this morning. The Championhip needs a shake up. Hopefully the “Super 8” will lead to more radical change.

  5. Because, Martin, it would appear he was asked about it. From my reading of it, he actually said very little about the issue.

  6. Posted this in the “Minors no Match for Galway” thread in error first.

    I think the Hogan Stand gives some direct quotes which to be fair give a clearer picture than the Indo does (or ever would, to be fair, given their previous direction of theme).

    specifically how the players were not given the right of reply at the time, and how he wasn’t going to get into it now, getting a measured and appropriate pop at the lack of ethics of our good friend Mr Brehany:

    “It’s old news. It’s factually incorrect and that’s unfortunately the way the paper wanted to write it.

    “That’s their prerogative. It’s not something I dwell on – I’ve completely moved on myself personally and the group have completely moved forward.
    “We’re trying to win an All-Ireland for lots of reasons but that’s (getting back at Holmes and Connelly) not one of them.
    “I’m not going to get into it, to be honest with ya. It’s not the time or place but some day in the future I’m sure I’ll go back over it, yeah.
    “I didn’t get the right to respond at the time and as a duty as a journalist they didn’t give me the right at the time and I’m not going to do it now, six months later. It’s a lack of respect. Please.”

  7. I think Aido approached the interview in the way we would like him to. It’s a filler piece before the real action starts.
    As for the team Andy is our form forward from the league and although it would be good to try Loftus or Nally or moreso Kirby in our first game I would have Andy in there for the Galway game as they’re an improving team and will take beating. If Caff is 100% I would have Higgins as no. 10 sweeper and Kevin Mc in his more familiar role. Would also consider Vaughan as no 3 for 1st game to try Keith out in forwards meaning no space for Nally or Boland to start.

  8. What about Keith at half back, Shuffly? I think this position would help his mazy runs and really add zip to our game in that area. Four flyers in the half line, Higgins to help out at centre field. I feel he’s restricted in the half forwards and is not a natural point scorer – he needs to be coming at pace to score or set them up and that position is really ideal for him.

    Higgins and Kevin Mac to pounce on breaking ball at midfield and break at pace or fire bullets (as Jackie Tyrrell would say) into Andy or Evan. If we really target the midfield we are capable of winning most duels, but we seem to have given up on the idea.

  9. Don’t think Donnie is a full back .. Would love to see Ger Caff back to his best at 3 ,wouldn’t mind seeing Donnie at 6 and push Lee Keegan to half forward line … Can score .. Run at defences and no bother tracking back ,,, or am I going back to the old mayo thing of trying to make backs into forwards ?

  10. I like your team TH. Only change I’d make to your selection would be to start Coen at 6 and give Boyler a bit of a rest. Moran, Boyler, Newcombe, Doc, Vaughan all good options to come on heading into the final quarter.

  11. Misread the piece. I sound like a good editor of the rag anyway! Sorry folks.

  12. Some man WJ, not sure how you do it. Western has nice summary of club games, not seen the other local papers yet.

  13. For the first time in years I really don’t know what team id like to see start bar the following:

    Don’t play Keith in the full back line, he’s not a tight a marker as Barrett or Harrison and he’s certainly not a full back.

    Don’t play Keegan in the centre, he has far more scope to attack from a wider position.

    Put either DOC or Doherty in the full forward line if playing AOS in the half forwards.

    And start david Clarke between the sticks………….

  14. Why is Aidan o shea always send to these media outings. It brings more attention to himself and Mayo. Has there been anything learned at all from last year? Why isn’t a player like Colm Boyle send to this? A player who always gives 100% on the pitch and the media wont be asking as many questions.

  15. Keith at half forwards would essentially mean a lot of his time would be spent in half back line and sweeper.
    I prefer him in this role to Keegan who would have good license to attack anyway given we’d have Keith covering for Keegan’s runs. Keith is our best kick passer, long distance hand passer and runner with the ball as well as good defensive experience when sweeping.

  16. Well, the AOS interview seems to have left some residue with one particular Irish independent gaa reporter,.. Yes I’d say ye guessed who it is without me naming him. And there was me yesterday, disagreeing with Jennifer K’s take on AOS giving interviews.. Looks like Jennifer K was right all along. And ‘Leantimes’ was as events have proved, wrong , such is life.. Last December expose on the inner workings of the Mayo setup, well I always had an inviting that there was more to come from the same scorce, I’m even more convinced now of that now. For me it’s all water under the bridge, despite other’s having an agenda. ‘what ever you say’ say nothing ‘. As the Poet Seamus Heaney said.. Seems to be the lesson not learned.. But I wouldn’t be too upset, neither will Stephen Rochford, nobody should overreact to someone who is obviously shit stirring..

  17. I see in the Connaught Telegraph that the Mayo senior GAA squad held a three day training camp in Carton House last weekend:

    The Mayo panel had a great three-day break away where they were able to enjoy the great training facilities along with a bonding exercise and planning for their first game which will be against either Sligo or New York in Elverys MacHale Park next Sunday two weeks. By all acounts the weekend for the 31-strong Mayo panel, and the five development panel members, Matthew Ruane, James Carr, Seamus Cunniffe, Adam Gallagher and Brian Reape, proved very successful.

  18. 40manpanel, I would say AOS was invited to attend the event rather than sent by Mayo. He is a high profile player who will naturally be invited to these type of events.

    I dont see anything wrong with him going or what he said, he gave the perfect answer when asked about the management issue, basically no comment. I dont know why people are trying to make an issue out of it, maybe read the full article and not just the headline.

    Also I dont see why people calling for some of our top players to line out in different positions. Keep them in their best position where they are most effective. Keith Higgins is still our best left corner back, leave him there. He was tried in the half forwards a few seasons ago and was average at best, I cant see him fairing any better this time around. Keegan is a half back, thats the position that suits his game best, running from deep, where he won player of the year from. he would not be as effective further up the field.

  19. We played Meath in a Challenge Match in Mullingar last week. Most of the panel got a run at some stage. We won by a few points. Joe Sheridan came on as an outfield sub for Meath which might indicate their interest in the game.

    We picked up a hamstring injury for one of our Allstar defenders, he will miss a couple of weeks. Won’t be playing for his club this weekend.

  20. Good to see Martin Breheny behaving in an impartial and professional manner in today’s paper. They are aping the Daily Mail more by the day, with personalised and vindictive attacks against anyone who calls them out. Breheny states that any player had a right of reply, yet he printed a full interview without giving anyone a right of reply, an interview that made numerous personal attacks on individuals. I’m glad Aiden said what he did both about that yoke and that rag of a paper. I will give Breheny one bit of credit though, he proves that talent, wit or impartiality are not required in order to write for a national newspaper.

  21. Mayomad I agree with you on several issue’s you raised. AOS done a good interview but some posters are not going to give him a break no matter what he says. Proposing moving POY to a different position shows a lack of knowledge on how he plays. Propositions of a hypothetical scenario where he might be as effective as he already is in his current role is just hilarious.

  22. What about a double sweeper system of Kev and Zippy.

    I’m a firm believer in Mayo playing to its strengths. What are these? It’s definitely our defence. So why not look to make it the most effective defence in the country.

    Another asset of ours is fast attacking wing backs. With a two man sweeper system this gives licence to Durcan, Lee or even Nally to attack when the moment presents itself.

    If I was gaffer, I’d build a system around this. Last season in both finals our defence proved how strong it is. Two unfortunate OG’s cost us the first day and lee’s media proboked and unjust black card really cost us in the last 10 mins 2nd day.

    So with a new and improved 2017 version it can be even better, harder to break down by even the most potent of attacks. Key for us then is to move the ball at speed…counter attacking football.

    For me, that’s what will make us champions.

  23. Well said, Liam. What’s saddest for me about this story rearing its head again was that it was Colm Keys – a top-class, highly knowledgeable GAA journalist – doing the initial shovelling for that odious colleague of his.

    There’s a far more interesting story in today’s Indo, though, and it’s the one here. Jim Gavin is complaining that the GAA appointed Paddy Neilan as the ref for the League final (sub-text: not one of the usual patsies who, when the crunch came, would have bowed down in face of the almighty) and bemoaned his inexperience in missing Dublin’s late shout for a penalty. Which, to be fair, he did but then again he also failed to sanction two clear striking offences by Philly McMahon and James McCarthy, which should have reduced Dublin’s playing complement to 13, so if he’d got every call right I’m not sure Dublin would have been any better off. What’s interesting, though, is the manner and the timing of Gavin’s statement on this issue, one that clearly has a forward-looking message, i.e. send us the house-trained “senior” officials for the big games in summer and don’t be troubling us with any of these independent-minded newbies.

  24. We could still tweak it to enable us to implement a full press on opposition kick out and be able to fall back if possession is lost.

    Not unlike the Jimmy McGuiness style that won a Donegal team (with less ability than us) an all Ireland. We have all right type of players to do this.

    If you have all the ingredients for a lasagne don’t try to make a shepherds pie out of them!;)

  25. Agreed with Liam, but I think the best thing to do with the Indo, either the website or the printed rag is to ignore it entirely.
    Don’t click on its website and don’t buy it, all you’re doing is feeding their revenues.

  26. Spoiler alert – Indo-hating posters please avert your gaze..

    Willie Joe, agree completely: that’s a really interesting piece in the Indo on Gavin’s assessment of Paddy Neilan. Timing, I’m sure, is geared to influencing Croker. Probably a meeting of refs appointment committee coming up in next few days. Gentleman Jim says Neilan is, ‘a very good referee’… ‘an excellent referee’, just that he’s inexperienced and shouldn’t be thrown in at the deep end. ‘It’s not fair on them’. Note also the name checking of the other (inexperienced) ref Sean Hurson for the Tralee game.

    So blazers, you got away with this one. Noted. But that’s it. Forget this idea of throwing in newbies for our championship games, and just give us the tried and tested, so that we can plan to maximise our dark arts, knowing what we’ll get away with. And if you don’t, now that wouldn’t be a good idea, because things could get out of control. As Jim puts it perfectly: “there’s too much work being put in on both sets (of players) that games either, one, get out of control or, secondly, that decisions like that (penalty) call go against you”.

    Can’t you picture the smile there as the veiled threat is issued? We’re warning you now so you’ll have enough time. The wrong guy in charge and things will get out of control – that’s bad for your image and bad for us, because we can’t plan for these guys.. But worse, if they do get out of control, then we could actually lose a game.

  27. Very unfair to compliment a referee as being competent and then totally undermine him by inferring his lack of experience undermined his performance.

    What I find thoroughly distasteful is the passive aggressive tone adopted consistently. If he has a gripe come right out and say it, instead of hiding behind this crypto PR bullshit. It reeks of a snideness that is fairly transparent and ultimately completely unnecessary.

  28. I have to say with the lash back from Brehany (not surprised) it really does beg the question, why is AOS sent to these events. I have no problem with a player making a few euro on the side and he is well entitled to it but AOS seems to be a controversial figure in the national game.

    I wish he just said “No comment, move on” – I thought we had a man handling media in the Mayo setup?
    Taking to the media is an art in itself and Mayo player and indeed ex-players have not done us any good over the years in the media.

  29. I seen a rabbit eating a carrot and then taking a few hops over to the water dish and drinking some water. It was very nice. Thinking of getting a new pair of socks today for the summer.
    Finally in other important news aos has made some very bad insustantiated remarks and upset the “journalists” at some newspaper in Dublin. Also, if you’re reading the article which outlines how Aiden has upset these delicate, sensitive little petals, look through the comments at the bottom, it’s like a guest invitation was sent out to the “reservoirdubs” website contributors and they duly obliged by giving their 2 cent.
    It must be a very slow week for sports journalism in Ireland, why can they not focus on Sligo and New York for the few days and let us know where and how and why ny might have a chance on Sunday?
    Aos, when you get a chance please, have a look at Sean Spicer on YouTube, he’s your template for dealing with these geniuses.

  30. I posted here after the league final that Nealon’s performance was one of the best I had seen in a high profile match, not perfect as close as we have seen, both teams playing would be well experienced in pulling the woll over Refs eye’s. Yeah it would seem that Jim would prefer the ‘old reliable’ s’. If all the reffing was as good, Dublin would never have won four All Irelands in this decade, and Kerry would not have won the one they did..

  31. Jim Gavin should resign now for his comments about the appointment of the ref. Either go or be pushed. Any decent man would have gone on 01st October when the Dublin based biased media had to step in to ensure that Sam stayed in Dublin.

  32. Put your money on Aidan O Shea for player of the year he’s chomping at the bit to get going and will have another big strong man in Kirby in the forwards to take a bit of heat off him we really need to win Sam and quieten the likes of Breheny

  33. Good old Martin, you can tell him in person what you think of him at the Mayo supporters function before the All Ireland should we get there, he’s already been booked along with Joe Brolly to give us some words of encouragement.
    On another note, now that Jim has told the lads in HQ who he wants reffing his games, expect a piece on St Philly who’s just returned from Nigeria and an exhaustive search for the Boko Harem girls at his own expense during the off season.

  34. While AIB may have invited aidan personally but I’d like if when there is a representative sent on behalf of the team/management he’s left at home. He’s just opened up an issue that had gone away. A shut mouth catches no flies

  35. Again why are people getting so upset about this article, or any article for that matter, AOS didnt give two fucks about it, he was asked the questions and gave an answer, the correct answer. The questions were asked and no matter how Aido answered there would have been a follow up article. Its was a none story until people started commenting and reacting to it. Aido didnt start it, the reporter asking the questions did and it seems the mayo public is now giving it fuel.

  36. agreed Mayomad – its a non story, Brehany is just looking to make himself relevant after fading back into irrelevance again.

  37. I agree 100per cent with Jennifer k. Player interviews are a distraction, the media will put their own spin on what is said. I presume here that the mayo management have a policy on players giving interviews. The job should be left to competent spokesperson. Only opens a can of worms when players give interviews. So many pitfalls.

  38. I think the moral of the story here is your as well to keep quiet and not draw attention to yourself.
    I have no problem with Mayo players giving interviews…every county does but you really need to be careful on what you say.

    Until we win Sam we have zero respect countrywide….Mayo and Mayo players are seen as bottlers and something you can poke fun at. You only have to look at the comments online around the AOS/Brehany spat which has now developed. Interviewers will look for a slip up and that is exactly what has happened Aidan here.

    Social media these days means anything said is picked up and can turn into a big talking point which this one seems to have become.

  39. Also – aside: Anyone know how many full time coaches we have in Mayo? I heard last year we are taking on 4 or supposed to be? How many have we at present?

  40. Some of these antics by the Dubs would really annoy you. Not only have they pretty much every advantage out there going for them, they still feel the need to engage in actions like they did before the All-Ireland final replay last year in relation to Lee Keegan.

    So they already have the following in their favour: Money, resources, population, home advantage, well paid top coaches, top notch facilities, are given the majority of the GAA development grants etc. etc. Yet they still want to have the media and the officials on their side as well. The phrase ‘Having your bread buttered on both fucking sides’ comes to mind.

    Lets be clear here, the whole reason for the campaign against Lee was more so a campaign FOR Diarmuid. With most of their other forwards been a bit off colour they really wanted to get the officials to give Connolly as much leeway (pardon the pun) as possible, to do damage on the scoreboard when Brogan etc. weren’t.

    One thing that stood out for me in the Jim Gavin article was that he name checked the guy who appoints the referees for the big games, Sean Walsh from KERRY, i.e. the Kerry man was biased towards Kerry. I’d love to see Roscommon GAA coming out and lodging a complaint with the GAA about Gavin’s comments in relation to their referee, they should come out and back their man against the big juggernaut that is the Dublin GAA.

  41. Good articles HSE and Rock.

    All top successful teams (who win national titles) do this and get away with it a lot. Being too cute and clever might catch up with them at some point but they’ll already have gained some advantages along the way.
    It’s beyond parody at this stage the tripe that Gavin gets away with. And thats the point – he does get away with it, on the national platform, in fact.

    We’ll only be fully heard after we win. I still think our Board and former pundits could be stronger and smarter and advocate more… around the team in every possible way.
    Unfortunately it’s not always the case. The media plays a massive role in terms of Dublin/Kerry platform and should not be underestimated. Whether we like it or not, Mayo carry huge baggage and there’s a negativity around us. Harness that I’d say and use it as motivation.
    But again, ultimately we won’t be truly respected until we win the All Ireland Final. We’ll probably have to be a good bit better than our opponent to ever do so.

  42. Brehanys a parasite, aido was asked a question and he answered it. What was he meant to do, sit there like a mute is it. RTÉ will always pander to the Dublin media machine but I think some of the other outlets have started to see through it a bit.

  43. So poor oul Martin can give but not take it.Lets see how impartial he will be about Galway during the season.What part of no comment does he not get and when did free speech becomes Martin’s gift?

  44. Nialmc1983,
    I don’t agree I’m afraid, there are a few media nights for all the top teams and AOS and Cillian are the Mayo men with the highest media profile. Aidan should know better than to give an open answer or one that throws up an opportunity to journalists to seek clarification in an answer. Words like inaccurate or no opportunity to respond are like dropping bated hooks in a piranha infested pond. They are going to be devoured and at a time of no inter county inaction on the field even more so.

    He should have just said “this is 2017 and we as a team agreed collectively not to revisit or to allow historical events or past campaigns to be part of our preparation for this years Championship in either consideration or comment”. The story would have continued to hibernate until the next journalist tried to breath early rejuvenation into this unpleasant beast, now it’s awake and its hungry. The management should have every player singing from the same hymn sheet as this story is a keeper for these scribes as long as these current group are involved with the Mayo setup.

    These lads are very committed athletes but they are nevertheless amateurs and some journalists are little worried what effect their pointed stories or suggestive or angled articles have on an individual or on the collective. Aidan and others should have a few scripted answers for these media events. How many times have we seen stories appearing in the week leading into a final that were innocently or jokingly articulated in the pre league or championship media event, these guys use their teeth to smile while you talk and bite when you walk.

  45. I admire the Dubs and Jim Gavin. They drag the media by the snout. They give nothing away. Their players talk fuzz, innocuous shite like Kerrymen. Last September/October they did a media number on us. Donegal did a number on us 2012. Tyrone tried it last season only that they have a blotted copy book themselves.

    Gavins interview boiled down is this. The very good referee for the league final didn’t buy into the Blue hype the “senior” refs bought into and facilitated the Dubs at every turn. Fair play to Kerry and Fitzmaurice. He called out Dubs for league final. Better, he used Mayo and Keegan to do it. In other words he beat Dubs at own game.

    We are useless media wise. When we should have been defending Keegan not just for AIF but since 2014 we haven’t. Stay quite, they might be nice to us seems our modus operandi. Bollox. They don’t respect us. “They” being Croke Park and RTE and wider media. By the way if I was Mayo I’d do a Tyrone. They give eff all to media. No need for O Shea to be facilitating or reigniting an old issue. We are green and we are novices that look earn nothing from media.

  46. mayoforsam I can’t let that disgraceful and patronising comment about Aidan O’Shea pass without reply. How can you say that Aidan(whom I don’t know and have never met) lacks the intellect or maturity to handle the media. Going back to when he wrote a column for the Irish Times as a leaving cert student it is clear to anyone who has followed his career that he is a man of high intelligence and is one of the most articulate of our leading Inter county stars who is always worth listening to and long may that continue. In my view you owe him an apology.

  47. I really don’t think aido did anything wrong. I actually think the Man is a saint to put up with the crap he puts up with. This stock answer thing, as if we’d have a better chance of winning an all Ireland if everyOne on the panel acted like a robot. I don’t buy it. We give out that our management/county board/ex players didn’t do enough last year when the Dublin media monster was lining lee up for the firing squad yet when aido stands up for himself in a very measured manner we say he doesn’t have the intellect to talk to media.

  48. Gamechanger10 – good post. Mayo are not cute enough when it comes to the media. Even out ex players have a habit of loosing the run of themselves in the past.

    Dublin players are like robots when talking to the media but you know what…we are never talking about them controversially either. Now it’s easy when your winning all the tine, that’s true.

    The problem here in Mayo is everyone craves an All Ireland so badly it hurts.

  49. NiallMc1983′
    We are swinging from different ropes here. I’m not talking about standing up for yourself I am talking about a smart and closed answer. When tou are walking through a mine field you should take off the snow shoes. A man with his media experience should know how to shut the door on flammable situations like this.

    The next time a Mayo representative is dealing with the media this will be dropped and land hard on the table with a please explain the inconsistancy’s in the viewpoints question. There are two ways to deal with thorny issues and Aidan looks to have been wearing snow shoes in this one if I am to be honest, great baller but he needs to be respectful of the dangers of the vipers that lurk in the grey and start fires with the black and white..

  50. Tom Cunniffe and Brian Gallagher (Claremorris) are starting for NY this weekend against Sligo.

  51. New York Team:

    1. Vinny Cadden (Sligo)
    2. Tom Cunniffe (Mayo)
    3. David Cunnane (Galway)
    4. Peter Witherow (Donegal)
    5. Gerard McCartan (Down)
    6. David Culhane (Kerry)
    7. Keith Quinn (Down)
    8. Brian Gallagher (Mayo)
    9. Shane Hogan (New York)
    10. Danny Sutcliffe (Dublin)
    11. Conor McGraynor (Wicklow)
    12. Ross Wherity (Donegal)
    13. Daniel McKenna (New York)
    14. Shane O’Connor (Dublin)
    15. Eugene McVerry (Armagh)

  52. Sorry Kelly but I stand by my post.
    Gamechanger10 has articulated precisely of how the media should be dealt with and I would hope Roachford makes sure that policy is implemented. [Deleted].

  53. Mayoforsam, I think your comment is well out of order regarding Aidan. Are we not supposed to be supporting our team and players, not making petty personal attacks on players.

    IMO Aidan did absolutely nothing wrong. Once the question was asked there was no right answer, no matter what he said Brehney would have wrote about it. If he said No comment the headline would have been something like “Mayo star couldnt face the truth” Brehney would have twisted any answer given.

    This really is a non story where only the Mayo supporters who are way to sensitive about whats written and those who take any opportunity to criticize AOS are giving it any life.

    What’s really Brehneys problem is that he cant get the full story from the Mayo lads, its eating away at him that he hasnt gotten to the bottom of it, I hope AOS continues to give answers like that to frustrate him.

  54. Mayoforsam – I’d pull in my horns if I were you. You can’t take a pop like that at a named player on the site. You’ll have to go and stand over your post somewhere else because I’m deleting that offensive post from here.

  55. We are talking about how Gavin handles the media. And on the other hand how handles them. Why isnt it Rochford or some other spokesperson. I havent heard any Gway players giving media interviews and when the media tried to stir it over the hurlers celebrating after winning the league, the manager was not slow to step in and sort it.

  56. Well W.JOE?as far as I am concerned the point I made is perfectly legitimate.

    Obviously as this is my last post on this site,I will leave you with this.


    Up Mayo!

  57. Well, Mayofosam, as far as I’m concerned it’s not. Pretty crass parting shot there, which needless to say I’ve deleted. Top marks to you, though, on your ability to abuse the hospitality afforded to you here. You won’t be missed.

  58. I actually seen a good few articles with Galway players giving interviews in the last couple of months, mostly in the Indo might I add. The narrative for these were up beat, positive, i.e. players want to play for Galway again, Armstrong and Meehan are back etc. While the spinning about us in the Indo is pretty much 99% negative. The Indo GAA editor is a Galway man, so that tells us all that we need to know.

    You know what’s gas though, the U21 final was on last weekend and the crowd was pretty poor for two big counties like Galway and Dublin. We had a much bigger crowd in Ennis for the final last year, yet the GAA treat us very badly, you couldn’t make it up.

  59. Hope… The way the previous management were removed from their positions – the so called player power etc left the squad and each player open to this. The media will never rest until they get the full story from both sides.. Talking about Galway in regards to this situation is wrong.. all Aidan had to say was no comment , but he didn’t he dug another hole by commenting about inaccurate parts in the original piece… Sure of course Martin Brehony will take issue over this..

  60. I don’t think Aidan even needed to say it’s something he will address at some other point. Noel and Pat are gone and we’re now in the new managements second year. He he’s not obliged to address anything that Pat and Noel said. Its history now. Maybe do it when he’s retired in many more years, hopefully.
    I think it was admirable last year the way the panel stayed completely tight lipped. We saw from Keegans comments a few weeks ago that the words Mayo players utter will be twisted and misrepresented.
    I agree that Rochford has a role to play on how all the panel manage the media. Come the Jim McGuinness on it.
    It is an amature sport and Aidan and other big names will always be approached. But he will learn that they dont give two hoots about him or anybody else. Its only the story that matters. That’s why a panel/mgt set up needs to be tight. McGuinness understood that to its core.

  61. Hi all, i have never commented here before. Willie Joe thanks a million for all your hard work on this brilliant site. It’s my first port of call every morning while i’m having my porridge and last port of call every night before going to bed. I have to say this thing with Aiden has got me riled up. We all know at this stage that there’s lot’s of people out there, both media and ordinary people from different counties all over the country that want to see this team fail. So i for one am totally behind this effort to show more colour at our matches. I’d even be prepared to buy some flag’s and hand them out before throw in, we need to get as many people and get as much colour as possible into MacHale Park to play either Sligo or New York and show everyone that we’re going nowhere

  62. You know when you look at it, exactly what AOS said in his latest media event, he actually said very little. A gaa reporter with what appears to be an agenda made an article out of it. MB is paid to do a job, Aiden is not paid to do what he does best, without AOS and his peers, MB would not have the paid job that he currently has.. In my opinion, MB has one or two more hand grenades to throw in the general direction of AOS for sure and maybe one or two more individuals in the Mayo set up. I’m convinced that this is the situation, and his huge expose on the regetable way Connelly and Holmes departed the scene has a bit more to run,. Now while Aiden said very little, MB managed to get an article out of it, And as bizzare as it may seem, according to the narrative the Irish Independent and MB are the maglined party. This is a very strange take on event’s by MB, a paid professional… In Ireland especially in GAA circles, what a person says can take a life of its own completely out of the proportion to what was exactly said and the circumstances it was said in. In June 2015, Roscommon unexpectedly lost to Sligo in the Connaught championship,. A certain John Evans who had steered the Rossi for Div 3, to Div 2 and on to Div 1 in subsequent years , had said that ‘Roscommon should be challenging for the All Ireland in years to come’ or word’s to that effect, of course John Evans had his critic’s in Roscommon, Critic’s with very short memory’s and worse judgement , what manager doesn’t have, anyway his critic’s made a mountain out of a mole hill and the man who brought them from Div 3 to Div 1 had to depart. Apparently in the mind’s of some of the people that matter in Roscommon, those word’s were in some way responsible for the Roscommon forwards kicking so many wides versus Sligo, or was it that they couldn’t take the inevitable slagging the Rossi got after they lost the match.. The Rossi got a double act to manage them in 2016, and for 2017 the double act has halved, but the Rossi are back down to Div 2, . I’m sure in John Evans time managing Roscommon, John Evans said many things, and judging by his overall results, he must have said allot that was right,.. My point is that, over the last number of years, many things have been said, in the events that led up to the departure of Noel and Pat, The Mayo county board do not walk around with halo’s, neither do our players and neither does our management. Sport is tough, it’s ruthless, only recently a number of players have been dropped from the Mayo panel, its tough on these lads, Noel and Pat were jettisoned by the player’s (most of them) that too is tough, no tougher than it was for the players that Noel and Pat dropped.. We are all more sinners than saint’s when you way it all up, supporters, County board, management and player’s..But while none of us are prefect, we shouldn’t let it bother us any more, definitely time to move on,,!

  63. @Stan, remember the Galway hurlers got rid of their manager too, why didn’t Breheny pursue that story with as much vigour as he pursued the Mayo story. You know what though, I don’t think anyone in the Galway set-up would be as thick to go running to him with a story, as the Mayo boys were.

    Take note anyway of The Indo’s line on things in the coming months and you’ll see that The Irish Times, Examiner etc. will be giving a much more balanced view of things. I think that most people have copped on to this, at this stage, as they have copped on to the comments that Jim Gavin and the Dublin players, ex-players are giving to the media as well.

    @Leantimes, one thing I have noticed is that the email that Aidan O’Shea sent to Pat and Noel about a certain player not been in the match day 26 for the Donegal game keeps getting mentioned. They never name this player though so my feeling is that Breheny is holding this as ammo and will name the player when he wants to throw more shit at Mayo, i.e. ‘Aidan O’Shea asks management why so and so was not in the match-day 26’ etc.

    In saying all of that, we do really need to wise up with the media. I thought that Kevin Walsh, the Galway manager, played the media really well last year. He was saying that something like 50 players had declined an invitation to play for Galway, etc. etc. While for us James Horan was saying that the gap between Mayo and Galway was getting wider and Michael Conroy was saying that the Galway players didn’t believe that they could beat Mayo. The perfect ingredients for an ambush, as happened in that game.

    So our players, manager, ex-players, ex-managers, pundits etc. really need to do a better job, in terms of what they say to the media, i.e. try to benefit our team not harm it.

  64. There will be one alright, highorlow, but it doesn’t start till the weekend of 20/21 May (they never include the NY game) so plenty of time yet. That particular title, by the way, currently resides in this house and the young lad is gearing up for a tilt at back-to-back honours this summer.

  65. I’m not sure willie Joe what difference it would have made if Niall Carew knew aeons ago when the match was scheduled for. It does not change the fact that it a ridiculous situation and hugely unfair not just to the county but the players themselves they are forced to miss a championship match because of exam commitments – it should be noted the exact date of exams are not know aeons in advance btw!

    As you say as small county like sligo can’t afford to be without 3 or 4 players no matter who they are out against. nevertheless I will expect nothing less than a 5-8 pt success.

    I think it matters not a lot either way. The GAA has effectively killed the organisation with its super 8s proposal which is designed solely to make stronger teams stronger and weaker teams weaker – and that is precisely how it will play out. You will see the odd break throuhgs of the likes of Tipperary or maybe even the sligos – but they will be nothing but fleeting and eventually the smaller teams will struggle to attract players to commit to taking part in what effectively be “b” competitions – if there is no opportunity to mix it with the big boys on a regular basis then they will either not play at all or you will see increasing incidences of Sean Cavanagh, Larry Tompkins type moves…top players from weak counties will be upping stick to become mercenaries.

  66. I’m sorry to see some “Mayo Supporters” never seem to miss a chance to find some fault ith Aidan O’S. Unless Aidan goes into an enclosed order, Mtn Breheny and his ilk will chase him don with questions and whatever he says or doesn’t say will be reported to get another jab at him and Mayo. On this occasion he, rightly, said nothing but that was not to their liking and he is,still, the subject of a full article. Bravo Aidan, you did as well as anyone in the circumstances.
    I cant recall Martin Breheny having the same interest in the Galway hurlers heave against their manager or when a galway footballer assaulted a ref a few weeks before an All-Ireland, and though everyone knew it happened, Martin failed to get a story out off it.
    Aidan has been blackguarded on the field (even in Mayo) and he holds his temper like very few can. People complain he doesn’t win finals for us but look at the videos, he is doing more than most and is a marked man — double teamed etc. in every game he plays.

  67. I believe that a Mayo footballer stole M Be girlfriend so he always has a problem with Mayo ,so just give a little sympathy to the poor deluded fool,as for Aidan or indeed any one of the Mayo team or management giving an interview will not make the slightest difference to our chances of winning Sam,it is just froth what will make the difference is having a full panel to pick from and also a little luck,I am certain that management is not worried by an interview in which nothing was said,and they thrust that our players are intelligent and strong minded enough to get us over the line this year

  68. Breheny states it was him who had the exclusive interview but never asked any difficult questions or any questions at all in a one sided piece. It always read to me like a letter or statement that was sent to him which he then portrayed as an interview. Any journalist worth their salt would have asked those difficult questions if granted an interview.

  69. That’s true, KOB, and also any proper journalist would have offered AOS and any of the other players smeared in the original piece with a chance to give their side of the story in that same piece. It’s laughable Breheny saying that Aidan could have come to him after the original article was published and “sought to react to the contents of the interview” when a competent journalist would, of course, have endeavoured to include both sides of the story in the original piece.

  70. think for clarkes kick outs we should flood midfield with our big men , namely SOS, Parsons and bring AOS out for our kick out and have mc loughlin, higgins playing in the forwards winning breaks

    we have caff back, chris barrett, lots of options in defense now

    do any posters agree? no matter who targets our kick outs this year I would not put hennelly in goal

  71. Tom – having AOS going from midfield to FF can’t work in my opinion. The man runs out of steam. Not his own fault just the way he is built which is a shame. I still think AOS is best winning the ball back and running at the opposition defence.

    I may be contracdicting myself slightly but it’s a bit of a head scratcher. If we get to play Galway I hope Aoso fires in a goal or two.

  72. As we’ve seen when Aidan came on against Donegal, he is a first class defensive player – evidenced by his first disposition off Murphy, I think it was. We’ve seen this countless times. Popping the ball out of an opponents grasp. Terrific hands and he manages to execute it at speed. Given this, Defensive midfielder does seem like best option, incorporating these skills to supplement his effectiveness to the team in attack. Management must see this. This is how we can get the most out of him. He seems to really sparkle in that role.
    This is the type of discussion and conversation and debate I want to be part of and read about over the coming months. Not the contents of a second rate newspaper.

  73. AOS has too play in midfield, its his mist influential position. I really dont wan too see him anywhere near ff, especially if its high aimless balls into him. Yew_tree I would agree having him run from ff to mf isnt an option, a waste of energy and would result in him being out of position numerous times. Also if he came to mf for kickouts only that would leave a defender free to recieve short kickout which would make the tactic redundant anyway.

  74. HopeSpringsEternal, yes that ’email’ is in cold storage and maybe more. For MB and the Irish Independent to make full explosive use of their information again , they need AOS to be starting for Mayo and the other named and criticised individuals likewise. Now Aiden has played only about 40mins in the entire league, both match’s Mayo won and versus Donegal AOS was undoubtedly the catalyst for Mayo’s victory. Of the other named and criticised players, only Keith Higgins and Cillian O Connor played during the league. Alan Dillon, Seamus OShea, and Robbie Hennelly played no part in the league. At some stage one or more of these player’s will play a poor game for Mayo, if Mayo lose that particular match, MB will have the ammunition, and just the right circumstances to expose the relevant player’s (scapegoats) for another expose and consequently to do serious damage to Mayo. In the December expose, ‘because of certain individuals in the Mayo camp, the greater good of Mayo football, and the integrity of Noel and Pat were what was damaged. But on Wednesday it was the Irish Independent and MB that were maligned , that’s quite a transformation! . We should not be so foolish in Mayo to allow anything printed in the Independent to damage us. We will have to learn the lessons , undoubtedly mistakes were made in the past, by almost everyone, but it is our great good fortune that our current manager, is absolutely blameless. He had nothing at all to do with the coup, and conquencently is in a very strong position to manage Mayo as he sees fit,. I think he is an intelligent man, he will know the personell that he needs to win… If Mayo are to be beaten, let it be because the opposition were better than us on the day. Let’s not do them any favors by beating ourselves.

  75. The gas thing is that Jim Gavin talked about Dublin not been awarded a penalty in the league final, that he thinks that they should have been awarded. Imagine the slating that Stephen Rochford would have got if he said the same thing about the free that could have been awarded to Mayo at the end of the drawn All-Ireland final when Denis Bastick seemed to pick the ball off the ground. Stephen and Mayo would have been slated for it and called whingers etc. Imagine the reaction there would have been from some of the Dublin supporters but seemingly Jim Gavin can say these things without getting slated or been called a whinger etc.

    Leantimes, as you said above its time to move on, hopefully we will have a long season ahead of us anyway!

  76. P.S. Just to add to the above, again imagine if we had questioned the wisdom of the GAA sending Cormac Reilly down to Castlebar to referee our last league game against Donegal, when he hadn’t referred any big games since 2014. Again I don’t think that we would have got away with it.

  77. Have to say I’m enjoying the RTE commentary of the New York/Sligo game at the minute. I dunno who the Yank is doing co-commentary but he’s bringing a nice local angle to it and Marty is largely sticking to the knitting on commentary duties. Good listening so far.

  78. Congrats to Sligo on the win. So its Mayo v Sligo on the 21st of May. Roll on the game!

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