Change at the top

The news about Liam Moffatt’s impending departure as Mayo GAA Chairman is now well-known. He’s still in the position for another few weeks as he sees out the remainder of his second year in office but he won’t be putting his name forward at the annual Convention to stay in the post after that.

In making his announcement, the outgoing Chairman cited “business and personal reasons” for his decision to step down. It was obviously a tough decision for him to take but one he feels is the correct one for him at this time. All right-minded Mayo GAA people will clearly be thankful of the time and commitment Liam has given in the role and will wish him all the best for the future.

This development obviously means that there’ll soon be a different person taking on the responsibility for the most senior off-field position in Mayo GAA. The election of the new Chair of Mayo GAA will take place at the Convention before year-end.

From past experience, the machinations of Mayo GAA politics can at times be a topic that causes the debate here to boil over. As those of you who were regular visitors to the site two years ago can confirm, it did so spectacularly back then.

It’s my experience that pronouncements by those on the outside looking in on Mayo GAA politics far too often generate more heat than light. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that those who know the least about a given issue frequently tend to shout the loudest about it.

For this reason, I feel compelled to remind everyone that any discussion taking place here on the blog about the upcoming off-field moving and shaking needs to be couched in the same fair and reasonable terms that the debate about on-field action is. If anyone is in any doubt about what this means for posting comments here, then please read the house rules – which are here.

To be honest, my own preference would be for the debate here on the blog to remain focused on what happens on the pitch. I accept that not everyone feels this way but what I won’t accept is a debate that strays beyond fair and reasonable comment.

Like the prevailing weather, events in the committee rooms will, needless to say, take their own course. As they do, there’s still plenty of football action to talk about at the present time and, before we know it, the 2022 inter-county season will be upon us. As ever, it’ll be good to have Mayo matches back once they’re on again.

89 thoughts on “Change at the top

  1. Sad to see this happen. Liam had a tough 2 years with Covid adding pressure as well. He is a young man and I’m sure his buisness and family life made him realise that you need to get your priorities right in an environment like the GAA. I wish Liam and his family all the best for the future.

  2. You’d be best to disable comments under this piece! Nothing good will come from it and it will drive you to drink! Everyone has their opinion and some are more suited to the high stool than others. Club football commentary should be the focus really.

  3. I wish Liam only well in his next role. I am sure when he took on the chairman role, he went into the job wanting to do his best. And I believe he is doing that now by stepping down. This is not suggesting that he is the problem, but addressing that there is a problem and there has to be a change. Who knows what happens at management level. Maybe he has been fighting for change but getting nowhere and it is time for him to move on.
    For me watching the final was like seeing a truth I denied for years. I had heard all the talk about Mayo football and the politics that was within the team and
    Managent. I argued and supported decisions.
    There is a problem, I don’t know where but it is playing a role in this teams performance. We don’t know how decisions effect players. I do know that some great players are not performing for some time, where once they left everything on the field.
    I live in the midlands. Offaly were under performing in both hurling and football. John Maughan had difficulty getting players. There was one thing in common, the committee. There was a total clear out two years ago led by Michael Duignain. He brought Shane Lowery on board. The change is dramatic. We saw how the U20s played. The mood in the county has lifted. The belief in the future is unreal.
    Portarlington played well every year but could never win the club final. They cleared out the whole committee last year and won it this year.
    I am not saying that the committee is the root of our problems. But I do know as a perfessional in my own work, managment decisions play a role in my performance. While I may do all that is asked of me, my heart is not in it and it shows. If decisions are not based on merit, there will always be a simmering resentment somewhere.
    The reality after this final was very different for me. It was a new feeling after losing… Anger. I saw for the first time that we could have won many finals but it took Tyrone, who were great to watch, to show it wasn’t mighty Dublin or Kerry holding us back, but ourselves. I am tired of the talk about the journey and we should be greatful to experience getting there every year. I am not all about winning, but I would have to be daft to accept this expectation of being a Mayo fan. Resilance is a fine thing, but allowing the same outcome every time is like taking the ball up the court and missing the basket every time.
    Unless something dramatically changes, I cannot see the point of supporting this team. Supporting this team as it is is supporting the politics that is within this squad/Committee.
    It is up to the clubs now to ask the questions and not be gaslighted by the committee. It will take courage to really talk straight and candid. They owe it to those men who give up so much and deserve better.
    Well done Liam Moffet for leading on this change. Let’s hope it doesn’t stop here.

  4. WJ i wish to apologise to you over the remarks i said in an earlier post , i was feeling disillusioned about Liam Moffet resigning his post as Chairman .I hope we get a another good Chairman.

  5. Just hope we get someone who is commercially savvy, progressive minded with strong initiative. Someone who can drive Mayo GAA forward and ensure that the structures and people are in place that enables Mayo to maximise its potential. I’m not convinced that has happened yet. In fact, it has not happened yet, for whatever reasons. It’s a huge appointment and central to our success.

    Priorities (in my opinion) include retaining our best players; ie Mullin.

    Getting the academy/centre of excellence completed to a level that is second to none nationwide. We are behind others on this.

    Having a coherent streamlined youth system with schools so that we increase the average standard at secondary school level while at the same time making sure catch more talent. Look at the project in Limerick and what they have started to do in Cork.

    Maximising our financial potential globally. There is huge money out there and it is essential that it’s harnessed so that Mayo can compete at the top and be successful. The passion that Mayo people have for our football teams in almost unequalled. Have we tapped into this from a generating revenue perspective? I don’t think we have.

  6. Sure the centre of excellance is cancelled now as regards lough lannagh ? Mike connelly started the ball rolling on that back in summer of 2018 , he showed up at Cb meeting in early august this year and was prevented from speaking , next thing I read last week they wont be able to get planning for the four pitches required cause of some environmental issue . Kind of bizarre turn of events .

    The resurfacing of the pitch was a positive in Moffat’s tenure .

    Youd imagine con moynahin will be favourite to take over having done his apprentiship as vice .

  7. Everything you say is correct Mayonaze. The problem I see is who will give up 20 plus hours a week to do all these things. It is hard to get people at club level. At county level it will be quite difficult to get someone of Liam Moffatt qualities. And all one has to do is look at all the negatives comments mostly made by people who attend a few County matches a year .Even before Covid with a few exceptions our local clubs are poorly attended most of the time up until they reach the Championship 1/4 Final stage. There are plenty of experts to tell those who volunteer what they are doing wrong but they will not give any of their free time. Worrying times at County Level I am afraid. The person you are talking about to fill all the necessary requirements would need to paid. And if that was to happen you can be sure that it would not be long before you would have the complaints because they were getting a payment.

  8. Agree with osullivan and mayonaze. The problem is the person who is commercially savvy, progressive minded and has strong initiatives- he or she is probably working in the real world making good money for themselves and are saying to themselves why should I give up 20 hours a week of my time and expertise for no pay – only abuse. As people said above it is hard enough to get volunteers at club level never mind county level. Since Covid as well people see the bigger picture and are putting themselves and their family first ahead of GAA administration where there is no thanks only abuse from the experts who don’t take on any job.

  9. @Mayonaze, I think the first priority is doing everything to get this team over the line in 2022 because regardless of what anyone says, we do have the players at our disposal but it wont be long before the Monaghan’s, Armagh’s, Derry’s and several more are on the same level as Mayo, added to that we will have the likes of Keegan, Cillian, AOS and a couple more at the end of their careers so we’ll be talking about a rebuilding job again so if it’s not won in 2022 then I think we may as well forget all about it for a significant period of time.

    On maximizing the financial potential, I’d rather see us maximizing our footballing potential first, it’s easier to go cap in hand if you’re holding Sam in the other.

    It’s hard to quantify it of course but the financial implications of losing a final for a county like Mayo could easily run into several million.

    So winning a couple of All-Irelands could potentially pay off the huge debt on McHale Park for example.

    Wealthy Mayo businessmen globally are not mugs, they didn’t get anything soft and they’re not going to be pumping money into something without getting results.

    That’s why winning lifts all ships and we are fast running out of excuses at this stage but unless we all understand that the main reason we are not winning finals is that we are simply not prepared enough in absolutely every aspect when we reach Croke Park then why should we even expect to win.

    And until we have consensus on this point we are just going around in circles.

    One man needs to call the shots when it comes to the preparation for a final to ensure that nothing is being overlooked by team management when it comes to giving us the best chance of getting over the line.

    Had such a system being in place prior to the Tyrone game then it is highly likely we would be All-Ireland champions right now.

    So we need to target what the real problem is and not mix everything into one bundle.

  10. @O Sullivan
    20+ hours a week underestimates the time commitment involved. I got to know quite a few county chairmen in recent years and without exception they tell a worrying tale of stress, loneliness, pressure and unrelenting demands on their time and energy. They also tell of the great difficulty in bringing about change.
    Their biggest stressor was financial – trying to meet the burgeoning demands of county managers, providing proper facilities and a host of other demands.
    It’s no longer a sustainable role in the GAA. The only solution that I can think of is to restructure the system by bringing in a paid CEO in each county with a budget to hire others to run the show in a professional manner. The chairman and the board then have a different role – setting policy and oversight etc.
    People will point to people who have fulfilled the role of chairman successfully. Believe me they are the rare exceptions nowadays.

  11. I see the Liam Moffat resignation as a significant opportunity for Mayo GAA to invest in a CEO position. Hiring a professional with good business and leadership skills is what is needed BUT you need to pay properly to get the best (pay peanuts, get monkeys). The need for a financial controller is not as urgent as it once was given that most payments are now automated and cash is rarely used.
    Perhaps we should ask Connaught Rugby for some advice? Port West also sponsor them

  12. I would like to wish Liam the very best of luck in the future and thank him for his time and commitment to the County, as the the dust settles on another All Ireland defeat in my opinion the most heart breaking painful of all, I have made this point several times, as a life long and passionate supporter I have this question to ask, its a well known fact that we have contested 11 All Ireland finals since 1989 and in my opinion we were good enough to win at least 8 of them, and all of these finals had one thing in common and it’s this, in all the qualifying semi finals we put in great displays as a team and as individuals, beating current all Ireland Champions and some times by double scores and overall great performances, but on each occasion they have failed to carry that performance to the All Ireland Final, why is this happening, and until this is sorted out its going to keep happening, I heart goes out to the players and all involved, but I am finding it hard to get over this one and don’t know can I continue on supporting my County,

  13. Viper .I would have to agree with u. Big Players nearing end. McLoughlin too. A team is always transitioning. This was my major issue with Rochford. Yes other counties will catch up. Agree we need to nail it 2022. No curse to talk about now either. Sorry to see Moffat go too. We have to move on now. We are in the top 5 looking for sam

  14. I wouldn’t be that pessimistic about players nearing the end. We’ve reached the last 2 finals with loads of new players establishing themselves. Cillian was missing this year don’t forget, Aidan and Kevin McLoughlin didn’t have a huge influence in the last couple of games. Leeroy is still a big player for us, but so was Cillian in 2020, Andy in 2017 etc.

    We should be able to get back to All Ireland finals/semi finals regularly in the next few years. Finishing the job is the problem however.

  15. Viper. I think winning Sam in 2022 will be a bigger challenge. Kerry have the quality, all in the ideal age group with five All Ireland Minor Winning Teams in a row to pick from, who are reaching the correct age group for senior football. (Compare that to Mayo’s record)
    They should be favorites followed by Dublin. Tyrone are not that far behind either. The Mayo Senior team of 2011 to 2017 had had 9 to 10 players from the 2006 Under 21 winning Team and the 2021 Mayo senior team has about 6 of the 2016 team on the panel. We need underage success to keep the Senior Team in the top five and this is not happening. The Under 20’s this year were boys against men in the Roscommon game this year.

  16. Yes Liam Moffat a huge loss to Mayo GAA. We really need to paying someone like Liam for his 20h per week-half a salary? Like my fellow bloggers he was always impressive but faroir he is stepping down. Mile buiochas agus go neiri le Liam agus a clann i gconai.
    Mhuigheo abu!

  17. Talk of committee wipeout in other counties working is very relevant. There is a cultural problem in Mayo GAA at county level and has been there unbroken for decades. Even the All Ireland winning team decided in banning them from engaging with them during the championship, while this year County Board members were seen on the match-day bus which was totally wrong interrupting normal team dynamics before the game. With one side of the family from Offaly, I can confirm that the transformation mentioned earlier is absolutely remarkable

  18. OSULLIVAN, a bigger challenge for sure but one of the reasons we love sport is that not always the “best” team wins and to compensate for not having a team full of players of the quality of David Clifford you must put more emphasis on the most important thing in team sport which is synergy.

    But for synergy to work, you need to have a clear plan.

    Tyrone this year would typify what I mean by synergy.

    As for favorites, after what happened this year, I wouldn’t pay a bit of heed to what bookies think and I wouldn’t put any team up on a pedestal either, Mayo are as good as any of them if as I say we start to focus on the synergy aspect among other things.

  19. A couple of points….
    1. I get a bad smell. For someone who had such an ambitious 5 year plan to then just walk away from the role, not even two years in to his tenure, doesn’t look right. It may be for business and personal reasons (we will never know because I’m sure there will be non-disclosure forms signed) but he knew exactly the demands he was applying for so it couldn’t have been naivety on his part. Too young? Too progressive? Not “old school” enough?
    From the outside looking in it looks like he will be a big loss.

    2. For those commenting above about “getting over the line in 2022”, have you amnesia? Did you not see our All Ireland performance? That “line” is further away than ever and you are codding yourself if you think we are getting anywhere near it, never mind over it. The Gods, planets and stars aligned this year for us to win it and we shit the trousers. Big time. From the sideline to the players on the field it was our worst final performance since 1997. Until there is an open, honest and hard-hitting review of that shambolic display, followed through with accountability, then we are just going in reverse, and we will remain the laughing stock and butt of rival counties jokes.

  20. Then again, I wouldn’t hold my breath on that “open, honest and hard-hitting review”, and maybe that’s why Moffatt has walked early. Maybe he sees the signs, has read the room and decided “I’m outta here”.

  21. I don’t agree with your assessment pebbles. Yes the final was a shambles in every way possible to imagine. Only 4 or 5 players turned up. I’m not silly enough to think that getting back there again is going to be easy. Far from it. Definitely when u get there u have to nail it because it can take years to get back to one. Cillian, McLoughlin, Harrison will come in. Trying to find a position for aos in the forward s is not an option. Hard to see a man that cannot play club football as a forward to all of a sudden go out and play inter County against the best defenders. Abandon that. 6 or 7 all ireland blanks tells its own story. Impact sub is where that’s at. The lad is in his 30s. Mobility an issue.. We have to play proper forwards in those positions.

  22. @Pebblesmeller, why do you say the stars and planets aligned for us this year? Harrison and Doherty injured for pretty much the full season. Lost Cillian 2 weeks before championship, lost Oisín 5 days before the Dublin game, then McLaughlin and Darren McHale missed the final through injury. You’re right about the final performance. Especially the 2nd half we were a mess on the field and on the line.

  23. @pebblesmeller – Liam spent 6 months canvassing EVERY club in mayo and was also a member of the Mayo GAA executive before he became chair so it is safe to say he would have had a fair idea of the workload as chairman.
    For me 2 factors need to be considered:
    1) COVID – this would have brought significant added pressures for someone head of an organisation like Mayo GAA.
    2) The Relationship with Croke Park. Croke Park seem to have taken control of all major decisions which a chairman would expect to make so maybe he was not happy to be just a figurehead given his initial enthusiasm. Examples include all hiring is now done via Croke Park HR department while Teneo were appointed to find PortWest – could we not done that ourselves
    anyway onwards and upwards

  24. @Mayo fan in Chicago.. Teneo were hired to find Portwest, I honestly didn’t know that, and I am dumbfounded..only 2 years ago Mayo were considered the 5th biggest Sporting Brand in Ireland, and a third-party has to be paid I presume to find a sponcer.. Someone will come post shortly saying that Mayo are not the fifth biggest Sporting Brand in Ireland,.. Well driving from Mayo to Dublin for the All Ireland final, with all the flags that were out for Mayo in every other County, especially Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare, Dublin,..home via the moterway trough Galway,…I would say that were we to win we would easily be No1…There was even a banner wishing Mayo the best of luck hanging on an overhead bridge from the Healy Rae political dynasty in Kerry… And among Gaels in the UK and US, even the President of the US, Joe Biden talking about Mayo in the days after his election, it’s mind blowing and mind buckling the support for Mayo, imagine what it would be if we won the All Ireland,.. Never more so than this year, no hard luck stories, the stars all alligned in our favor, we need to look at some issues closer to home to find our reasons for own home grown failure.

  25. I kind of agree that 2021 was a missed opportunity for following reasons.

    1) COVID was kind to mayo in the fact that only rob hennelly stayed in dublin while everyone moved home. How we managed to compete with dublin when 6-8 starters were commuting to and from dublin on a bus was a miracle and a testament to the players hard work and dedication. We saw the best of Cillian in 2020 as he was living at home. A lot can be said of a mothers cooking!
    2) Dublin were on the downtrend and were there for the taking
    3) Keane of Kerry and Joyce of Galway were frankly not good leaders

    I think biggest challenge for Mayo in 2022 could be the new format. We are generally slow starters with the aim to peak in August/September. A league system to decide who plays in the All Ireland Series means we need to be all guns blazing from day 1

  26. Unless a bolter puts their name forward such as a Charlie Lambert from Westport or Paddy Mahon from Castlebar, then we will be taking a number of steps backwards if any of the names I have heard mentioned get elected. Everyone here accepts that the role is hugely demanding and beyond the capacity of anyone to do PROPERLY on a part time basis. Increase the money for the Operations Director role and change it to a CEO role. Employ a CEO, a High Performance director, an office manager and 2/3 office staff, that’s whats needed and the model exists in Dublin, Wexford, Cork and others. Liam Moffatt achieved a huge amount during his 2 years and had to deal with a global pandemic to boot and the reality is it burnt him out in that short time.

  27. @Craggy Boglands,
    “Definitely when u get there u have to nail it”.
    And therein is the very reason why we as far away as ever. What makes you think we are going to “nail it” at the 13th attempt? Or the 5th attempt under Horan alone?
    What makes you think we are magically going to get it right, when we famously find new ways to get it so wrong? Cillian and Harrison were there for previous failures and in Harrison’s case he has been, unfortunately, injured for the last 3 years. What makes you think he is going to return to his All Start form?

    Horan is a great man for his “learnings”, well unless there’s honest and hard appraisal of his and the players performance, then we’re all just wasting our time and money.

  28. @Wide Ball,
    We couldn’t have possibly wished for a better run to win an All Ireland. 30 mins v Galway and 20 mins v Dublin was all we had to play to get there. And then in the final we meet someone who has no fear for us. A team we have always beaten in Croker. A team that played to a very predictable style of play and we all knew what they’d do. No surprises. That was as handy an All Ireland to win as Galways was v Kildare. There will never be an easier run to win a final and that window has now firmly slammed shut.

  29. @leantimes please see link on Mayo GAA website thatshows Teneo were instructed (and can only assume paid) to explore commerical opportunities for Mayo GAA
    Did we really need to pay someone to find Portwest? I hope that we find another fine local business to become the new sleeve sponsor. Sleeve sponsorship worth more than back of shirt?

  30. Aidan is a bit of a conundrum. What was his best ever performance on the Croke Park pitch? No, I don’t think it was Donegal ’13. I think it was the International Rules match in ’15. It was an outstanding display where he demonstrated skill, athleticism, drive and scoring potency against a team of 15 professional athletes. He looked loose and free, completely at home at the elite level. Why then has he struggled in All Ireland finals. I wonder is it too much expectation, ie in contrast – in relative terms – to the less meaningful International Rules matches (But those matches are no picnic), ie too much weight on his shoulders.

    I’d imagine this observation has been noted by management teams, and the challenge put down to him, in an encouraging way, not a disparaging way. Urging him to become that player once again. Unfortunately, though, we haven’t witnessed it since.

  31. Pebbles. We don’t know the answer to the questions u pose re Harrison. We can only hope. Do u think we would have been in the last 2 finals if we didn’t have horan. We had retirement s on mass. A previous management that brought nobody in. I’d say we were probably punching above our weight with the last 2 years. The final a shambles for sure but one would have to give credit where its due.

  32. @Mayo Fan in Chicago
    The reason Teneo was brought in was not to find Portwest but to insure that the process of sponsorship was handled by a independent specialist third party and to make sure Mayo GAA got the best deal possible. For years Mayo were entering into sponsorship negotiations with top companies employing bright people while the CB was being represented by part timers who wouldn’t necessarily have the skills required for top level financial negotiations. This resulted in terms being agreed that were not always favourable to Mayo GAA. The appointment of Teneo is another achievement of Liam Moffatts and one that resulted in both Portwest and Hastings Insurance coming on board as main sponsors. I honestly don’t think a lot of people realise the amount of positive work Liam achieved in the corporate governance department during his short tenure.

  33. @Craggy boglands.. We have been there too often for anyone to suggest we were punching above our weight this last two years.. 2020/21, was poor enough standards to be honest, and understandable with Covid… If we anywhere close to 70% of as good as we were in 2016/17 it would have been a cakewalk in the All Ireland final.

  34. As well as the obvious teams mentioned above, it wouldnt surprise me at all if we had a new all ireland contender or two that emerged from the pack next year on top of that.

    Given everything with covid, the rise in remote working, less people travelling abroad (all will still remain to some degree in 2022) county teams have probably never been in a better place with regard to training, player availability and the logistics side of things.

    most of the disruption county teams faced this year (training bans, self isolation, social distancing etc) will – all going well – be a non-entity in 2022, and its likely to be the first year in quite some time that more county sides are on a level playing field with regard to player availability for every training session and so on. honestly it wouldn’t shock me at all if a Galway, Cork or Meath (with recent underage pedigree and are probably ‘sleeping giants’ in a sense) went on a deep run next year from relatively nowhere.

    But all in all i agree with the posters above that this was a golden opportunity missed for Mayo. Not a hope Dublin will be as poor next year – Mannion alone will be a huge addition again – and Kerry can only improve. This was a season that fell into place just like 2013 did for the Clare hurlers, 2010 for the Cork footballers, 1998 for Galway and so on. There was no juggernaut in our way this year

    I’d doubt we’ll see anything approaching 2010 levels of disaster for quite a while yet for Mayo, but at the same time i think it could be a while now before we get back to a final again, and at this point id expect 2022 to be the year (outside 2018) where the semi final streak ends

  35. @Evidently Binghamtown, you make a very valid point re the reason for using a third-party in new sponcership deals… There was certainly some public disquiet when the details of previous sponcership deals were leaked and became public knowledge about two years ago..

  36. @Craggy boglands, Nothing wrong with punching above your weight at all, it’s when you don’t punch at your own weight or punch below it is when it becomes an issue and unfortunately that’s what Mayo will be judged on.

    They will be judged on a 70 min game of football and that’s all.

  37. Could someone help me? I see Kerry mentioned as favourites for next year by a number of people on the blog, and indeed in the media at large – K. McStay for one.


  38. I cannot but agree viper. I’m not for one second saying that we haven’t left a massive opportunity behind us. To get back there again as previous posters have rightly said will be a mammoth task. We have to drive on. Unfortunately nobody has had more practice at it.

  39. Catcol I would imagine Kerry are favourites because of Clifford and O’Se and they’ll probably wring another year out of David Moran plus they have a proven manager in Jack O Connor who has won 3 or 4 all Ireland’s albeit 2 soft ones against us. I’d say we’ll never again be favourites in an all ireland if we ever get to one again. We absolutely blew it this year and now we are losing Liam Moffatt as well the winter is beginning to look very bleak

  40. What are peoples opinion of this PERFORMANCE GAMES DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATOR position with MAYO GAA that has just been advertised? Details of which are on Mayo GAA website. A job this is probably more important than the chairperson’s position.

  41. @Pebblesmeller, the final was a massive missed opportunity. No arguments there

    I would still argue with the point we got an easy run to the final. You could pick holes with every year saying certain teams were weak. We had huge injury disruption this year. I don’t think Dublin, Kerry or Tyrone had any major injury absentee come the semi finals/final. Beating Dublin was a significant achievement despite what you say. Their first defeat in any competition since pre covid and first championship defeat since 2014.

    But of course, all the good performances/results were undone in the final vs Tyrone.

  42. @ pebbles over the years I have always loved your views,but since the loss I can’t understand your anger.i honestly think this team have a great chance next year.Before the match everyone I talked to thought it wasn’t going to happen,we should have won 4.12 missed Christ things aren’t that bad.Fuck the past I couldn’t careless how many we lost as long as we keep getting there to finally win it.
    Willie Joe if I had a say I’d have you as commercial manager.The service you have gave us mayo fans over the year’s is unreal.
    Can’t thank you enough.

  43. Kerry are favs with the bookies too catcool . They’ve been knocking on the door since 2019 with a malfunction in 2020 . Peter keane had a bad return imo from this present kerry side and again it is only an opinion but I believe they will smash the all Ireland under jack o next year . Some of the best forwards in the land and in Clifford the best there has ever been . Kerry cb made a wise decision in freshening things up despite what some feel was bad treatment of peter keane , I heard one guy describe it as classless . They’ll look classy enough down in killarney with sam Maguire and that’s all that matters to them , was my reply .

  44. @Craggy boglands, that’s it, but the reality is there will only be a handful of teams in contention to win the All-Ireland in 2022 and we will still be one of them so we haven’t dropped down the rankings significantly, no doubt others are closing in on us which is to be expected.

    Priority one is getting a fly keeper because otherwise we will be left behind on this so it’s not a dig at Rob it’s just going to become a necessity in the next few years, I’m sure the management know this anyway so I’d be expecting to see a change of keeper from the beginning of the league to have him ready to go for the Championship.

    That for me will be the first indication if lessons have been learnt or not and if there is a serious desire to adapt.

    Anyway it’s a pretty logical change so I’m sure it wont be neglected.

    It’s an expectation.

  45. I couldn’t agree more viper. And mullin to midfield. Loftus experiment not happening.

  46. I know people are not going to like this because I mentioned it previously and was told please not to mention Cillian O Connor’s absence as to the reason why we lost the final again. But I’m absolutely convinced that is the reason why we lost. Its all to do with player intelligence and specifically in the key positions on the field one of which is full forward. I guarantee you if COC had those goal chances he would have made the right decision and maximised the outcome. Maybe I’m been a bit harsh on other Mayo players including AOS but brawn combined with skill will get you there but it’s that very rare mix of skill and intelligence in front of goal that wins you matches. We did so much right in that final, we got the ball into the right places to score but couldn’t covert. The other key position is full back and the intelligence to read the game. A forward shouldn’t be flicking the ball on into the net.. the defender should be reading that and punching the ball out. I guess im saying we shouldn’t be throwing the baby out with the bath water. If we had all our best players available to us in a hale and hearty condition in a final with a pinch of luck we could win it. I don’t think we have ever had a fully complete panel make it to or finish out a final. The margins are tiny.. we need everything to go right for and yes I agree I don’t think we will be favourites in a final ever again

  47. Toe to hand . There is merit in the cillian view..I would agree with u there. But when only 5 out of 15 turn up for the final…………. I don’t know. We will never know. We have to move on

  48. Thanks for that vote of confidence, All41n14all, but it’s badly misplaced! My revenue numbers are shocking, I’d be sacked within a week …

  49. Totally agree with moving on. But we need to move on with a bit more positivity in the knowledge that one or two key players can make all the difference. I wonder what would Kerry’s odds be if Sean O Shea and Clifford were out for the season or how much would their odds suddenly collapse if they were to miss a final

  50. Mayo will be sitting ducks next year for all and sundry, look back at the last 2 years have mayo played ball for 80 minutes, with all the changing around of players ,how can you get a backline. You cannot win a all Ireland without backs, the player that got man of the match was down as a corner back, which he most certainly is not, there was many mistakes made v Tyrone, the monkey should have been removed in that game, there wont be another chance like that anytime soon, who knows what is the formula for next year, if its a league 38 years will come into the reckoning, i said 3 years ago Mayo would be relegated and thats what happened, they had a bit of luck getting back to div. 1. hope that its not a league system , if it is we will have to do a Clough on it, and look to the neighbour to the north for assistance if you get my meaning. playing injured players this is another Mayo thing, a player came on once in a game i forget the year with a plaster of parris on his hand , he is still around i cannot name him. ..slan

  51. @toe to hand, synergy, synergy, synergy, that’s the name of the game.

    Never allow your team to become too dependent on one man.

    There is no guarantee we would have beaten Dublin with Cillian playing, game would have mapped out a completely different way.

  52. Sometimes I think alot of the pressure we say our team feels comes directly from that strive for perfection.
    In fact I think we normally set the bar too high rather than too low.
    The players are bamboozled before finals even throw in with what % of attempts need to go over the bar,
    How many turnovers looses the game,
    How many missed tackles will sink us.

    Before the team even takes the pitch they are weighed down with %’s and numbers. %’s and numbers which can quickly become your enemy if it has been drilled in to you that without these numbers you simply are not going to win.

    I’m sure there was a high emphasis put on playing the perfect game or close to it in the final. These goals in my opinion can cause more harm than good. As it turned out we didn’t need near a perfect display to win the All Ireland, however it would have already been ingrained in the players head that this is what was required.

    I’m quite sure that if the team were to be told that they had done well to have reached the All Ireland and to go out and enjoy the final instead of hitting specific %’s and numbers, I think we would have seen a looser more expressive performance.

    Preparation I believe can go two ways. You can keep loading on the data and targets and keep squeezing that spring together until the tension is almost unbearable. I believe that is what happens to us in finals. We are almost too prepared in some respects, overloaded with targets that have to be hit on the day.

    If we were less rigid and more expressive, then I think that’s when we will shine in an All Ireland final. Too much reading in to what the statisticians tell us is the requirement, that’s a burden that is carried out through the tunnel before a ball is kicked at all.

  53. If Kevin Keane has a continued good championship at 14 should he be brought in?
    Right now we have no full forward and no backup for Cillian even when Cilian is back.
    Listeners of Ah Ref will have heard him bring this point up regarding Kevin Keane.
    I can’t think of any other county potential full forwards in the county.
    It’s logic to question if Aidan OShea can be 14 why can’t Kevin Keane be considered having more pace, more mobility, tighter soloing and better scoring.

  54. @All41in14all,
    I’m just fed up with the same copy and paste, we dust ourselves down and go again, rinse and repeat, happy clappy bullshit from some of our players in their comments post defeat, and also from many of the supporters too.
    This “we go again” shit is the talk of losers. Almost like it’s accepted that we get beaten, we move on, learn NO lessons, and the same failings with the same failures will happen all over again. 13 defeats isn’t a blip, isn’t a curse, isn’t bad luck. It’s a pattern. End of.
    Good teams don’t beat themselves, and we always find a new way to beat ourselves in finals. And at the stage Mayo are at, finals are all that matters. I feel that many Mayo supporters are too forgiving and too quick to “move on” while blindly going into the following season with “red and green” tinted glasses, without truly asking serious questions and demands of the management and players.
    I’m fed up also with the total disrespect of the county board and Horan himself towards the Mayo supporters. Their disregard towards us in the run up to the final was disgraceful. Holding a pre final media evening for 40 mins, 3 weeks before the final! And only 1 player present!! That’s Horan giving 2 fingers to the supporters. Leaving it to the last minute to name, in effect, a dummy team as if that’s going to completely throw the opposition! Training in backwater pitches and secrecy, locked up behind MacHale Park as if they were reinventing the game.
    And for what? To go out and perform like that in a final.
    And while I’m at it, the ticketing shakedown by the county board was shocking. Blatantly touting tickets for €1000 a piece to business etc while shoving the season ticket holders up to the far reaches of the Cusack where you’d need binoculars to see the pitch.
    As I said post final, in this defeat for me, something broke and while I’ll always support them and cheer them on, I feel we’re pissing against the wind u less there’s some serious serious questions, answers amd changes.
    But. That’s just me.

  55. We’re professional up to a point, but rank amateurs in finals. It needs to stop.

  56. I hear your anger Pebblesmeller and I expect it reflects the sentiment of the vast majority of Mayo people and I think should we reach another final Mayo people won’t be taken up too much by our chances of winning and more about the Mayo panel and management getting their sh!$t together and putting in a performance at the very least

  57. Havent posted in a while – but reading @ Pebblesmeller, thats exactly how I feel too.! I am fed up of ‘we’ll go again,’ ‘how priveleged we are’, and then the County Secretary ranting at the supporters – yet not a word re Brolly’s article after the final or any final. I don”t recall a peep out of the County Board when Lee was being attacked in 2016 by the Dubs in the media. I haven’t much faith in this ‘review’ and I have no confidence in James Horan on the sideline IF we ever made it back to a final.

  58. Great point Goagain. All that Brolly has said about Mayo over the years – and ramping it up indeed with every passing month – yet not as much as the slightest response from the CB in their defence. Yet, the supporters (easy targets) get it in the neck. They know the fights to pick I guess. It speaks volumes.

  59. @Goagain/Pebblesmeller. plenty I agree with in the posts, however I felt that Liam Moffat tenure was a step in the right direction.. Just prior to Liam Moffat being elected as Chairman of Mayo.., Donegal had a motion at GAA Congress, trying to take Dublin out of Croke Park for the neutral game in the Super Eights, .. Now that was a complete no brainier for Mayo to back the Donegal position, Donegal seening themselves as contenders, like any other contender ourselves included, you would have imagined that Mayo not just back the proposal, that they would lobby for the Donegal motion to be adopted.. We have never gotten an explanation as to why Mayo were not able to take a stand on something that was so obsiously in there own interests..Mind you there was such a hullabaloo going on in the County Board at the time, it’s was just another unanswered question at the time. …

  60. Absolutely agree with you pebblesmeller and goagain and I go as far to say that I hope we don’t make another all Ireland final for 10 years or until we have forwards that can score, a new goalkeeper as safe as houses and a manager that can read the game and make in game changes in finals

  61. Pebblesmeller and goagain are speaking for the vast majority of supporters, something definitely did break this time! I just don’t see where the change and shake up is going to come from. Of all the talk of a new team, they now have two final losses back to back to carry and both of them hammerings. A lot of the tools are there, but we need more than only one plan if we have any notion of getting to where we need to get to.

  62. Some players to have a look at for County panel

    Matty Lenahan Charlestown
    Gary McHale Balla
    Conor Diskin Claremorris
    Matty Flanagan Balla
    Colm Reape Knockmore
    Niall McManamon Westport
    Evan Regan Ballina
    Conor McStay Ballina
    John Gallagher Mayo Gaels
    Gavin Durcan Castlebar

  63. @catcol because Kerry only lost to Tyrone by 1 point after extra time and played all of extra time without David Clifford. They have a better more proven manager in Jack O’Connor on board now and Kevin Mcstay tipped Kerry to win Sam this year.

  64. WJ, sorry to bother, just wondering if I broke the rules and am in moderation? If I did break the rules I apologise, please let me know and point out the mistake so I avoid repeat offending.

  65. MayoMayo – it’s no bother. I’ve just checked now and that comment ended up in the spam folder (WordPress has a mind of its own at times) but it’s up now.

  66. Cheers, WordPress probably just knows the craic and knew best where to send my thoughts!

    I did see odds of 70/1 floating about for yourself, going to throw the house on!

  67. Long time reader of this brilliant blog willie it’s just a wonderful place to express thoughts and emotions about this great team , a lot of people are venting a lot of raw emotions of late and it’s apsoutly understandable that most Mayo supporters are angry and have said they can’t keep going to the edge anymore and mostly are just bemused by a team that had and still have huge potential but just to non perform on a day when it was most needed , but in the clear light of day as supporters all we can do is lick our wounds and get up and go again, will things be learned will different decisions be made when most needed we don’t no but for people that are extremely up set what truly can be done to make a difference unless you’re putting your self forward for the top position there is nothing we can do but only be positive and the poster that said they hope we don’t make a final for ten years is daftness, we’re not cursed be careful what ya wish for

  68. Mattie Lenehan in Charlestown looks the business, Evan Regan is playing some of his best football (no harm at all to bring back in for a look), can’t understand why Claremorris didn’t bring C Diskin inside and really put pressure on O’Hora he doesn’t look to have enough pace to be a middle third player, but could be a bull in a China shop inside. I thought Newell in Ballina was also very good. I’ve been harping on about J Carr for a long time, but by all accounts he had a poor game last weekend, would be nice if Horan looked at a few options for the full forward role.

  69. @Quayman,
    “would be nice if Horan looked at a few options for the full forward role” – I think unless you can cover 14 km per game, play wing-back but also play corner back – even if that means playing out of position! – have a good “tackle count” or even better a good “turnover count”, then you’ve no business trying to play as a Mayo forward. All of the above are valued more highly than being two footed and accurate in front of goal.
    What we do in Mayo is take promising half forwards and corner forwards and turn them into wing backs, and then take some of the best wing backs in the country and play them in the full back line. We continue to play a keeper who has consistently failed at the very highest level (where pressure is at it’s most intense) and whose errors have directly resulted in us losing finals. We put the most promising half back in the country into full back to mark a fresh player who is 6″ taller and probably 10 kg heavier than him – while we leave 2 more experienced players who have played full back sat on the bench. And then people wonder why we are so open at the back??

  70. tenacious yew, we may not be cursed but we are cursed with incompotence on the sideline in that we have now lost 11 finals and in some of those finals we were the better team. i stand by what i said i hope we dont make the final again for ten years i have no faith in managemnet to get us over the line. at this stage Carlow or Leitrim could beat us in a final an management would find a way to explain it away with poor shot selection and other bullshit terms. its not good for players or supporters to be getting their hopes dashed and keep losing finals, actually scratch below the surface and we are a national laughing stock being called losers and chokers, im sick of it. i think Pebblesmeller, viper, Sean Burke and others are spot on, brave men who see whats happening and not afraid to say it.

  71. Had a good laugh at that pebbles, because its too true. Now theres an issue with how we are coaching our promising footballers from an underage level as well so they can’t get off scott free, Billy Joe mentioned that not so long ago and I agree. But to have Brendan Harrison left on the bench when he had played minutes against Dublin, no curve ball at all to cancel the impact of McShane and Canavan, everyone knew they would come on at crucial times. Inside lines are a huge issue for us in both Defence and Attack, but I highly doubt seeing players come into the 41 man panel without having those attributes that Pebbles alluded to. If that continues Sam may reach West, but it’ll be in the neighbouring county.

  72. @Pebblesmeller, of course you are correct but some people will counter that by saying if the system is as flawed as it’s painted to be then how is it possible that Mayo have been consistently there or there about’s on a regular basis over the last decade.

    While the system does have undoubted flaws, I think there is a lot more at play here than the system being inadequate to beat top teams.

    If you were to look at Mayo, Dublin, Kerry and Tyrone in silhouette people who are into their football would quickly be able to identify which team they were watching, because they all have their own way of playing the game.

    I think our system has gone too far down the road now to make wholesale changes.

    In my opinion it’s our failure to make subtle tweaks to the system based on who our opponents are which is proving costly. You can get away without tweaking anything when you are facing Division 2, 3, or 4 opposition because your power and pace alone will grind them down but when you face the “big guns” you are asking for trouble if you think you can get away with it.

    What is killing Mayo is not the players we have, it’s the intelligent use of the players we have and therefore I do not buy into this narrative that we don’t have the players, I dismiss it completely, it’s actually an insult to our players.

    So it is possible to keep your system but dramatically improve it by having the right personnel on the pitch and in their most optimal positions (within the system) to begin with, nothing to complicated about that, it’s common sense, so straight away you have an improvement. In the same way tweaks can weaken your team, tweaks can strengthen it.

    So you start by looking at your goalkeeper and ask yourself, can we improve our percentages here or have we maxed out. It’s now an absolute no brainer to have a fly keeper, someone who can contribute more to the game otherwise we will be left behind, so unfortunately Rob’s days are over between the posts.

    If we start the league and see that the clear and obvious change of developing a fly keeper is not in place then I really will need to take my wife’s advice and go to anger management classes, because I’ll start saying to myself, you know what, maybe those who preach that Mayo are incapable of learning have a point after all.

    So the ball is firmly in the managements court and we await to see if the naysayers are right or wrong.

    This is why I always say that we need a ruthless director of football or project director with a specific role regarding maximizing our potential of winning an All-Ireland, someone who understands football and can spot bull shit right away and who is not afraid to drive his fist through the desk and who demands improvement or you’re out the door.

    Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good old fashioned kick up in the arse and instill a bit of fear in those around you, if you don’t perform or learn by your mistakes, you’re gone.

    I’d bring every one of those players into my office individually to tell me confidentially what was their frame of mind on game day, were you nervous, were you fearful, did you fell underprepared and on an on until I got a clear picture of what the mindset was, players tell you things on a one to one that you would never hear asking a group.

    Then the coaches in one on one and finally the manager and don’t be afraid to ask hard hitting questions until you get to the bottom of what went wrong and until you are satisfied that lessons have being learnt and make it clear a repeat of the same mistakes will be the end for them.

    That’s the only way to carry out a review, get to the bottom of every detail, give management the opportunity to improve and if they don’t then they have brought their own downfall.

    Probably sounds ruthless for many but that’s what you have to be and if Liam Moffat is reading this I’d ask you to do exactly what I have suggested.

  73. True words spoken there, in 2012 the captain was 40 yds approx from goal when he pulled the knee tackling v Down and Mayo 14 ahead or something like that at the time this carry on now with players, is bullshit, just look at what has happened to Diarmuid. the best that came through the system imo
    , this guy used to score points for fun, why not use the head when you have a big lead and rest the -best – a harvey smith should have been shown, bringing on a player with 4 minutes left , and the fellow that came on from Knockmore i despair. go wora dia oran anois, a few words of left hand drive . slan

  74. @viper – i agree a thorough review of the AI final has to be done but given that Liam is working on a smooth handover to the next chairman, it is probably unlikely he will lead this review. I hope that people with the right experience lead this review and ask the questions needed to be asked and come back with sensible recommendations.

  75. System right or system wrong. Missing 4 open goal chances in the final has absolutely nothing to do with systems. It’s important we recognise the difference between a decent club player and an inter County player. Regan. C o shea.. we have been there. That’s a backwards step. Regan got chance after chance. His shot s ratio is brutal. Kevin keane could be looked at in the league. Not sure how old he is.

  76. Evan Regan is a lovely footballer , I was one of his biggest fans but I had to admit in the end he just lacked that little bit of pure strength for inter county , he was targeted in a few games and for the want of a better word he was battered against Monaghan in a league game i remember and against Galway in 16 i think it was that ginger corner back for them at the time bullied him . Its unfortunate cause i do believe he had so much football in him , had a massive game v ros in the league one year .

  77. Craggy boglands. Have to agree with you . I managed to get to three senior club games last weekend and one intermediate. Some of the names who have been mentioned in previous comments (with the exception of Lenehan of Charlestown) were poor to average with one or two of them been substituted . Not sure what how Lenehan would play when he comes up against top backs. Harrison has a bit to go until he gets back to where he was but will get there. Diskin of Claremorris has not progressed. I had hopes for him but his decision making and fitness is questionable. Has not progressed anywhere near Tommy Conroy. Liam Iriwn who I also had hopes for and a gifted footballer not even playing with Breaghwy. Players at top County Level must have pace or else no matter good they are they will be targeted by the opposition no matter the position.

  78. O Sullivan I would agree with that assessment. Club v county. Different ball game. Also we are looking at forward s free scoring in one sided matches. .it may have been coyne that took regan out thar day Sean Burke. .I too had high hopes for him. Started great against kerry the day the collarbone went.

  79. @Viper, re a flykeeper, I’m not sure that I agree with you.. Morgan and Beggan are absolutely miles ahead of everyone else in this regard, . And unless any you have someone nearly as competent, you are already at a disadvantage v Monaghan or Tyrone… Sure it’s exciting and fantastic to watch, I dunno how many times I wrote on this Blog, going back years when Morgan is Hot, he’s Hot and when Not he’s Not.. He wasn’t hot in 2016, and he took most of the frees v Mayo and missed them all, and very far from the masterclass it was made out to be, Tyrone and Morgan lost that 2016 game v Mayo, more than Mayo won it.. (that said I regard Stephen Rochford and his then Managment as tatically the best we ever had).. Sure particularly in the first half of the All Ireland final, it was like 14 Tyrone outfielders were playing 13 Mayo outfield player’s… Two player’s Aiden O Shea, and his conciderably smaller Tyrone marker were isolated on the 14 meter line in what looked like a different game altogether, one on one while Niall Morgan was past his own 65 meter line and allot of the play was that side of the line, .. However one exquisite 60 meter pass kicked to perfection by Ryan O Donohue, gave Aiden O Shea, for a split second an open Goal, Aiden did not execute his gimme of a chance.. Apart from that one chance Mayo did not seem to have any plan to exploit Niall Morgan wreckless adventure… Particularly in the first half, there were several occasions where the Ball could have been kicked in long to Aiden O Shea and his smaller Tyrone marker and Mayo opted to do, the same as Kerry had erroneously done and run the ball, far too often into the Tyrone cover.. Now Niall Morgan had the game of his life, on the biggest day of all, he took risks and the risks paid off, mostly because of his own excellence in playing such a role, but also because of a lack of a plan by Mayo to exploit such a plan… Of course Morgan and Tyrone, didn’t do that as much v Kerry, in the other Semifinal, probably because of a number of the 6 Goals conceded in the league earlier in the year in Killarney were down to Morgan’s misadventures when the same plan that worked so well v Mayo went belly up .. Both Niall Morgan and Rory Beggan both played with conciderable licence outfield in the Ulster Final, and maybe we should have taken note and had a plan to exploit it, should it be repeated v Mayo, we didn’t.. For the second half, Niall Morgan played a much more traditional goalkeeper role in the All Ireland final,.. Speculating here that Mrrs Logan and Dooher , taught Mayo might just have a plan for that in the second half.. We may have had, but if that tatics wasn’t used, our plans were then redundant.. Anyhow, Niall Morgan was my choice for MothM in the All Ireland final, his kickouts, his free kicks, his excellence in his outfield role, and for me a garunteed All Star, but one other thing stands out, he didn’t have a save to make v Mayo!

  80. Having watched all the games Mayo gaa tv have shown- I too have been very disappointed with the performance of nearly all the players that have been mentioned here as possible future Mayo players. If lads can’t stand out at club level – they are very unlikely to make an impact at county level.
    Also a number of the players who are currently on the Mayo panel and extended Mayo panel and who hadn’t got much game time with Mayo this have also looked very average and dont look like players who can stand up next year and make an impact.
    The reality is there is not a pool of players out there ready to come in.

  81. @Leantimes, what I have said about a fly keeper is that we need to start “developing” one right away, not expect a keeper to come in and replicate Morgan or Beggan right away, they are the extremes.

    I’m talking about a keeper who is comfortable in bringing the ball out to his own 45 and be able to pick out his man with a kick pass, a keeper who understands what marking space and cutting off channels is when its safe to do so, a keeper who can be used as the extra man in the dying seconds of a big game when you are a point behind.

    If he can nail 45’s and long range frees all the better. So all of the above do not mean I would want a keeper to play exactly like Beggan or Morgan, it just means they have more in their locker which can be called upon when needed.

    I think it’s a no brainer to have a keeper who can contribute more.

  82. @Viper and @Leantimes,
    If we had a keeper that could, in the first instance, do the very basics of goalkeeping which is protect and own your area, do the bread and butter stuff consistently and stop making huge individual errors that greatly reduce your chances of victory, then that would be a start.
    In my honest opinion, Hennelly has to go. He should never have been there over the last few seasons as he is not good enough to win an All Ireland with, and the body of evidence is there for all to see. He is a very good keeper, can produce brilliant saves and performances (e.g. v Dublin in the league a few seasons ago he saved 5 certain 1-on-1 goals) but there’s no point being an All Star in March and April when you are going to fail when Celtic Crosses are on the line. This isn’t me sledging him it’s just being factual and honest. This is Horans fault too, more so than Hennellys, because Horan is the man who made the decision NOT to blood additional keepers in the squad and only gave Byrne a run out as Hennelly had Covid. Horan made the decision to go with Hennelly and that resulted in what it always results in when Hennelly plays a final…. costly, individual, technical and decision making errors from Hennelly and goals for the opposition.
    Yes his free-taking ability and kick outs are a big plus, but as a former keeper myself, I’d much prefer a 70% kick out success rate instead of 90%, while being able to protect my net against man and ball and not suffering P.T.S.D. every time a long/high ball comes into my area, or a decision has to be made.
    If we keep making the same decisions, and end up with the same results, why do we suddenly think things will be different. If things don’t change, then nothing changes. For me, if Hennelly is our keeper next year then we know we are wasting our time because there is a body of evidence before us to prove the eventual outcome.

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