Chris Barrett our MOTM from yesterday’s game

Photo: (Inpho)

The lads are back home in the west with family and friends following yesterday’s latest agonising near-miss with Sam and the votes are in and counted in the final Man of the Match poll of the year here on the site.

We had leaders all over the pitch yesterday but the man chosen by popular acclaim as our MOTM in yesterday’s final was Chris Barrett. His towering, king-of-the-turnover performance at Croke Park earned him 41% of the vote, ahead of Donal Vaughan and Andy Moran (both 11%), Aidan O’Shea (9%), Lee Keegan and Tom Parsons (both 5%).

Well done to Chrissy but also to each and every one of the lads, both for how they played yesterday but also for how they represented their county with such distinction all year.

78 thoughts on “Chris Barrett our MOTM from yesterday’s game

  1. Chris had a great year after injury, went from strength to strength! I know it’s too soon but we can build on this next year! Boland, Ruane, newcome, carr, Duffy. And Regan who were all in development panel have got a year’s S&C behind them, if Irwin has or gets the commitment to stay the course and Brian reape. Plenty talent who we need to bed in with game time. Let’s stay positive

  2. Congrats to Chris on his MOTM award. It may not be somethng which you can feel inb the palm of your hand but it is no less real for that. He has soldiered for years, mostly as a bit part player, sometimes on, sometimes off, but it is on players like him that great teams are built.
    We need more such players who can be relied when called on. The esential difference yesterday, I felt, was that Dublin were able to call on experienced subs who they knew would deliver while we were mostly calling on inexperienced subs who we were hoping would deliver. In such a cauldron as Croke Park was on Sunday that was too much to hope for.
    That said I would question some of the switches made. In particular bringing in David Drake as a forward. Maybe I’m wrong but I cannot recall him playing as a forward to any extent as a club player. Maybe he was intended to bring extra defensive solidity to the team but we also needed scores. I thought that Barry Moran at full forward would have been a better option, not so much for scoring potential but as a different question for the Dublin defence and a distraction from Aiden O’Shea.
    Hopefully the likes of Conor Loftus, Matthew Ruane and other younger players will have put on enough heft and strenght by next summer to be able to win starting places and allow the likes of Andy Moran make their contributions towards the end of games. I thought that for all of Loftus’ good work during the summer he looked a bit short in the strenght department on Sunday.

  3. Chris was brilliant yesterday. His ability to disposes his opponents were as good as scores.
    We should be very proud of every one of our lads, they left every ounce of energy
    on the field.
    Looking forward to 2018
    Keep the faith

  4. I am surprised that nobody seems to be making an issue of a possible second half penalty to Mayo when the ref gave a free in. I have not had a chance to see the replay but as I recall it an initial foul took place outside but close to the box, the ref indicated advantage and the Mayo player (I cannot recall who) was then fouled inside the box. The ref then called back the play to award the free for the original foul. Should the free, which had to be a penalty, not have been for the second foul, inside the box? If not, where or what is the advantage?

  5. Upon some hard reflection last eve and today, I have nothing but optimism for the future. Overall throughout this season, there has been a vast improvement in the variety of our attacking, own and opposition kick out strategy, tactical awareness and breaking ball ability. If we can record a similar level of improvement next season and blood a few new options in the league, I am confident we’ll once again be in the final reckoning. This is of course dependant on the same squad sticking together and having another crack, which is a lot easier said than done. A lot of these guys have probably got their whole life on hold for this. Keith, Colm and Andy have never looked better than this season, and even if they don’t/can’t play every game next year, what options they’d be off the bench. I think we should have a bit of faith, we are comfortably the second best team of this decade, and someday, someday soon, it will bounce for us.

    Some observations about yesterday:

    It is really irksome that many media outlets reference Dublin as “winning while not at their best” yesterday, they’re never at their best against us and that’s not a coincidence, it’s because they’re not allowed to do what they want ala Tyrone. They looked very average for large parts of the game yesterday, except perhaps the third quarter.

    Yesterday was the lowest key victory celebrations I’ve ever seen from a team in Croke park. Some dubs near me in the Cusack left at the whistle, whilst many others didn’t even wait for after the trophy. Winning an all ireland should be special and savoured regardless of how many in a sequence it is. It was all the more painful knowing the absolute commotion there would have been if it had gone our way

    Management get insane levels of criticism but they are up there with the best we’ve ever had, not afraid to try something different which is what we will need to get over the line. Have confidence in them for next year.

    This team are the most entertaining to have ever played the game. They are universally loved by anyone with a Mayo connection, and universally respected by anyone with an interest in GAA, including Dublin. That’s not a consolation prize, it’s a simple fact.

  6. Chris was simply brilliant, you don’t see too many one on one turnovers in a game, Parsons had one but Barrett had many. So proud of the players and management.

  7. I have been depressed since the full time whistle, but I am convinced that we will be back in many more finals in the years to come. I hate to use cliches but we need to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start preparing for next year ASAP. We love GAA too much in this county to fade away into the abyss like so many other counties who have been there in the past. We will keep coming back again and again and again no matter what. All the players, management and supporters have made me feel even prouder to be a Mayoman.

  8. From my vantage point in Croke park I could see Chris charging out the field, teeth gritted and full of determination with no right to get the ball but he did.. a hurculean effort and fully deserving of the MOTM. Well done and congratulations to you

  9. We really need to get our underage structures up the required standard asap. Also need proper development squads. There should be 20 young players with the potential, desire and mentality to play county football at the required level identified and put into development squad training. It’s unfair to bring young players in – give them a few games and discard them then. These lads need proper S and C so they are physically able to compete when given the chance. The expertise is in the county – we need a proper structure to be put in place. We are already behind Dub and Kerry as it is. If we don’t we will be looking back in 10 years time reminiscing about the great days of Mayo football between 2011 – 2017. We all want these days to last but it won’t happen without better structures in place.

  10. I made myself watch the game again today. I needed too.

    We totally dominated in the first half but a few bad wides and a missed free kept Dublin in it. Plus that early goal. He clearly took too man steps too.

    Second half Dubin were much stronger. They got scores in a straightforward manner. We had to work so hard for ours.

    Dublin then closed out the game and were incredibly cynical in extra time. All their forwards were due black cards. Joe was never going to do that.

    We tried so hard yesterday, I genuinely believed we were winning this one.

    So now I wait until the FBD league starts again and follow Mayo all the way back to Croker next August.

    Maybe next year we’ll win X 1.

    Maigh Eo Abu

  11. All – just for info, the hit count on the site today has already, with an hour and a half still to go, smashed the record for the biggest number of daily page views. That was a long- standing record too, having been set on the day after we drew with Dublin in the 2015 semi-final. That high was 26,260 but today it’s at 28,210 … and counting. I’m truly humbled and glad that here is where so many chose to take shelter today. Up Mayo.

  12. That’s amazing Willie Joe, Fair Play to you and Thank You.
    This is the only place to take shelter today and by God do I need it.

    UP MAYO.

  13. Congrats Chris and all players and management too, despite the odd decisions in the last 5mins or so.
    I thought when Aiden tired, as he was entitled to, he should have been put in FF and Barry Moran or Kirby brought into midfield. If Andy and Jason were able at all, leave them there and something might develope.
    But then again, those closer to the team know best. But I can’t help wondering!!!!

    This team is an INSPIRATION to all. What do they do when they are down? They get up and try again………..and again, and again, and again. An inspiration to us all. So when we are down, and we all can be at times, with more serious issues than a football match, think of Mayo. Head up and go again. Thank you Mayo.

  14. Chris was bloody immense yesterday, particularly in the second half when we were under pressure. He won one or two that he had no right to get near.

  15. Chris Barrett always gets the job done.
    Pleasure to watch likewise with Boyle, Higgins and durcan.
    1.Harrison not close enough to mannion in the second half.
    2.James McCarthy let run up the pitch untouched for 2 soft points.
    3.Doherty worked hard but missed a massive oppurtunity.
    4.surprised at Vaughan for a man of his experience.
    Aido and parsons done well.
    Andy is Andy. What a man.
    5.And cillian I’m shocked to be honest. Would’ve put my house on him to put that over.
    Small margins but did we deserve it? No
    Our own fault. Left it behind us once again. But no doubt they’ll be back. Great bunch of lads

  16. Amazing blog , especially on days like today when everyone is hurting , I really hope this team can come back from this and that management stick around , although I was critical of management I do feel they prepared this team very well for the final and got more right than wrong yesterday , I do feel there is an all Ireland in this team and manager .
    We go again .

  17. I agree with most of South Mayo Exile’s post on getting large numbers into S&C and with the number of football mad youngsters in the County we could be very competitive in underage boys and girls and it should also feed into the women’s senior team which tends to have a much younger age profile than the men.
    Where I differ is on duration in the senior squad, yes have 50 or 60 trained to a very high S&C standard which will also help competition at club level but there are simply only so many places available & there’s only so many chances each player can get. Neil Douglas maybe one exception.. unlucky with injury this year and just maybe deserves another chance. Adam Gallagher will likely come back into contention. However one thing seems evident, to play for the County needs loads of pace. Cillian and Rock are exceptions but neither would be considered slow either. Athleticism is pushing out size in midfield because of the evolution brought about by Cluxton although Mayo challenged that a bit yesterday. Boland with more S&C has bucket loads of potential to star for Mayo, his mistake count is very low, just his risk taking dropped off due to the higher stakes and reduced time on ball before hits come championship. He can do what Kevin Mc does and has similar pace and side step.

  18. That’s a lot of hits on the site. Congratulations WJ.

    It just goes to show, after yesterday’s heartbreak people don’t turn away. We’re already back for more.

    Think as tough and all as yesterday was managment and players alike and us supporters too will use the year as another building block. Dublin won’t want to see us at end of the year next year. We are their biggest threat. If we could resurrect ourselves after previous close final defeats well we’ll do it again.

    We don’t have Sam but we do have the team to get Sam. Another little bit of improvement, maybe a couple of finds for the subs bench and we’ll be very hard to stop next year.

    It was a mighty.and exciting year of football. Congratulations to all.

  19. Béalanmhuirthead you’re fairly micro analysing and also assigned fault. In every AI final both teams make mistakes. I think everyone involved deserves credit and no doubt many players will be self critical. I don’t think it’s of much use. Andy Moran made what one commentator said was a mistake though he manoeuvred around a tight situation to make a chance he would normally score (ignoring some other options). Do I think he will give himself sleepless nights over 1 mistake. No. He backed himself and it didn’t come off. Just strive to be better in future knowing what mistakes were made is what yields a productive outcome. Some late attacks lacked the patience to wait for Dubs to allow a gap or foul, in some cases our mistakes made by younger players. Very few of decisions resulting in mistakes were without pressure on the decision “what is the right move?”. Whatever about figuring out mistakes, blame should not be assigned. Whats passed is passed.

  20. I want to thank the team and management for an amazing year. I have been very sick this year and as well as the support of my family and friends, this team has inspired me to fight and hopefully win my battle. I was luckily able to attend some of the matches, some were a stretch too far. The backdoor odessey that the lads undertook was enthralling and helped me get through the worst of times. Along with my family I made it to croker yesterday and roared as best that I could in the little way that could help the lads. While cleaning one day my wife found a mayo wristband with never give up written on it. That’s been my motto and this is this team’s motto. Today we went to Castlebar to show our appreciation to the lads. They are a credit to their families, county and country.

    Thanks to u Willie Joe for this blog. I don’t contribute much to it but I read it four or five times a day. It’s an escape to dream about what we can achieve and what this team will achieve, I have no doubt in that.

    And whoever the people were waving the mayo flags on the flyovers as we drove back home heartbroken thank you, it meant a lot.

  21. Home from Castlebar, like the players didn’t want to be there under these circumstances but felt it might help the grieving process, the blog is like an old blanket of comfort and for that I am truly great film, Donie looked stricken and I shook his hank and thanked him for the wonderful summer him and his team have given us, I brought my hastily made sign ‘ we’ll stay if ye stay ‘ there an All Ireland in these lands we just have to go again and we will . Maigheabu

  22. I noticed a name I had not seen before on the extended panel listed in the program yesterday. Stephen Duffy of Crossmolina, aged 27. I must admit I know nothing about this guy. Obviously he’s a decent player to be a part of the Mayo squad. Any crossmolina supporters or keen watchers of club football tell us more about Stephen, what kind of player is he?

  23. Congratulations wj on a great site. It’s like going into a local old bar where there’s comfort knowing that no nonsense will be tolerated. Words don’t describe my appreciation for the effort that mr Barrett and co put in yesterday, thank you to each and all of you and the management and associates of Mayo Inc.

    Donie made a mistake, unfortunate but it’s over now. Let Mayo learn from this, keeping a cool head is the hardest thing but it’s another vital skill, as it had been pointed out last week, Dublin were going to get a red card at some stage. Of course Donies red card could have been a yellow, and would have been but joe wanted to keep it even, if that dub had a yellow only, it would have been yellow for donie He should have red carded o gara for his eye gouging and given Keegan and Andy penalties but didn’t. Anyways, it’s over and done with. For 2018, that squad needs to be kept together, management too and in the fbd and national league we need Irwin, reape, Duffy and the like to be used heavily and see what happens. I hope that they are interested and will commit to it. I know Irwin had some sort of issue but he is a quality bucko and you can’t train the size or skill that he has. Midfield too will need some looking at, we need a speedster in the Parsons mold to come in and learn the ropes in the league. This is for next year of course but the potential new faces for 2018 better be doing a bit now to be prepared for January.

  24. This Mayo Team need a national title urgently to start a winning mentality. And instead of concentrating on the All-Ireland should now set our sights on the League. We are now at risk of normalising AI losses and this is a dangerous mindset to get accustomed to.

  25. So proud of the lads and management who had their tactics spot on. But I learned afterwards that Andy moran pleaded with the bench to b re taken off 15 minutes before he was substituted because of a torn hamstring
    . Can anyone verify this?
    The only gripe I have with management is the short space of time they give to players like conor loftus. When did you last see Jim Gavin give any of his subs a miserly couple of minutes to prove themselves.
    I only mention this because management must learn from their mis takes – despite the great job they did on Sunday

    What’s this with taking off colm boyle on the 55th minute in every game he practically plays
    The same with seamie o’shea. Or do they require a new training regime to ensure they last the 70-plus minutes?
    We must get back to getting used to winning – no matter how minor the competition -league, connacht champion ship etc
    I believe this winning mentality is the only thing separating u s from greatness. It should no longer be enough to just bare ly s u r vive in div 1 of the league. Let’s make a new start by going out to win it!

  26. Toto,.. I agree with you totally, normalising of All Ireland defeats is not something we want to do .. But we were well there before yesterday… I was there today in McHale Park for the homecoming, and very proud of everyone involved in the Mayo set up…. And was there to show my appreciation….But you definitely have a serious point, It’s a bigger conversation… And it’s probably a conversation definitely left for a few day’s… Mayo are Mayo, we love our football and we love our football player’s…… But.. Do we suffocate our team and player’s with our loyalty and unquestioning love and the pressure the pressure that comes from it.. Hey I don’t know the answers to those questions, but maybe we should ask those questions anyway v,? …. An All Ireland is not everything….. I’m not just as guilty as everyone else, I’m more guilty than most people in terms of my own obsession with Mayo football… But yesterday I met people even more obsessed with Mayo than myself, fantastic people, male, female young and older…. I am lucky enough to have a season ticket, but people’s love of their county has been exploited for financial gain, especially with ticket touts and black market vultures that exploit the situation… It will continue to happen and it will get worse, unless the people that make the laws change the situation.. This applies to Dublin supporter’s just as much as Mayo… Michael Ring, in fairness, and in difficult circumstances, gave a rousing and passionate speech in McHale Park….He rose the mood, no doubt… But Michael, It’s up to you now, to change the laws on ticket touts and the rotten exploitation of genuine fans of all sports… I say the same thing to, Darragh, Lisa and former Taoiseach Enda and of course Eamon O, Clive, who represents the people of South Mayo as well as Galway… Ye are all very well paid to do the people’s will… In most countries of the world, the type of exploitation that unfortunately has once again happened with this All Ireland final will continue to happen unless the law is changed… That’s what ye are very well paid to, do ye not think that it’d well time ye acted,?

  27. Toto

    I cannot agree with you, the last 3 losses were to an absolute machine that devoured very good teams before Mayo put it up as good as they could. If you divided dublins player pool in 4, and give them 1/10th of the current gaa funding that they currently receive,you would then have Mayos player numbers and still a lot more money than Mayo have because AIG isn’t selling sportswear for a living, they have billions of dollars of business.
    If you want to normalize something, let’s see how those numbers are going to be normalized.

  28. Toto, totally disagree with your reference to winning the league. How did Kerry fare out after winning it?. I’d say it heaped more pressure on them, more harm than good basically.

    The league is for surviving and finding new players. I hope the bulk of this squad aren’t seen till March at the earliest. Lads like Akram, Ruane, Plunkett, and Hall should be given seirious game time in the spring. Brian Reape will be the real deal, hope he commits to the cause and gets a good league behind him. Boland has the brains but not the pace imo. Akram/Plunkett/Reape all have blinding pace, their the type we need injected into the squad. Also, Seamus Cunniffe has really bulked up, looks every bit an intercounty full back in waiting. A Rory O’Carroll look to him. Don’t knw how he’s faring out with Ballagh, but looks to me like a man about to make the step up.

    Was broken hearted yesterday, but the gloom is starting to lift. Plenty of time for analysis over the winter. For now, I just want to thank the players and managment for all their effort. Hope everyone stays around for another lash at it. Also, the support yesterday was unreal. Totally out shouted the Dubs. We done our part. Chin up everyone, our day will come.

  29. It’s not at all normal. No other county has experienced anything on this scale. Some of the finals we were walloped but most have been very tight and luck has deserted us on every occasion. We made plenty of mistakes and didn’t take chances we should have but this year and last, nothing went our way. The balance of favour was firmly against us.

    I agree re: underage structures which should begin at primary level ensuring that all kids can kick equally off both left and right. It should be a pre-requisite that in order to play for any county side that a player is proficient off both sides. This simple requirement would give us an edge over others and most likely see a rise in scoring forwards. Starting this at mid teen is too late.

    Mayo GAA should be aiming not simply to ‘win just once’ but to set up a structure and development programme with a view to dominate. As things stand we seem to relying far too much on natural talent. I believe that the key to success is to aim to increase standard of the ‘average’ player in Mayo. That’s what makes Kerry and now Dublin, better and it’s why they win more. Their average players are well ahead of most counties.

    Some starting points would be increasing the key skillset of kids aged 8-12; equally capable with both left and right in terms of kicking distance and then accuracy.

    Introducing or Re-introducing a structure from u-16 up whereby junior clubs amalgamate to compete at A level and at senior championship level, like they’ve been doing in Kerry for years. It works! It increases the average standard AND allows fewer talented players slip through the cracks.

    A proper academy structure needs to be implemented from 14’s up…

  30. I posted this in the homecoming thread but am posting it again here because I think most people seem to comment on the most recent topic/thread. Apologies for the repetition but I can see the carping is starting about decisions, which I guess is part of the process for some, but its very important to get perspective.

    Perspective here from a statistics perspective just for some context.
    Chance conversion rate, highest in any all ireland final in the last 20 years – 60%. Mayos on Sunday – 59%
    Dublins 67%
    There you have it ladies and gentlemen, forget those who tell you we missed chances, we did, but every team does. We were 1% off the highest conversion rate in any recent all ireland. But when we applied the pressure Dublin found another level again.
    Unfortunately we have come to the table at a time when the best team ever to play football is also at the table. Its cold comfort but this team at any other time would have won 2 or 3 all irelands. We may yet but its damned bad luck they are here also.

    And forget about taking incidents in isolation, a match is an organic thing. You cant draw a straight line conclusion from one event that may or may not have happened to a definitive outcome.
    Yes, it would have been better if Shoes had kept his composure, it would have improved our chances. But whos to say we would have used the extra man properly. There are plenty of examples of the team with the extra man losing.
    Imagine the shite that would be thrown at us now if we had managed to lose with an extra man. That probably sounds like very strange logic but I’m sure some of you get what I am on about. We missed chances, they missed chances. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. We’ve improved everything in 12 months, we now need to get another 3 or 4 players up to the same, or as close as, standard to our best 16 so that we too can bring guys on that make as big a difference as Dublins bench. Sounds hard but thats the difference, and thats whats required.

  31. Don’t know if you can post it Willie Joe but Jim McGuinness in the Times, for me, sums it up perfectly – even at the remove of Beijing.
    BTW it was nice to see McGuinness’s son with Brian McEniff at the Donegal 1992 team parade after the minor match.

  32. very sensible summary cork exile.

    If Dublin had lost they would look back on a number of things – dean rock missed a free early on – i never understand why he took it so far out on the right on his right in first half and then missed a 45 i would have put my mortgage on him to get just after that. Mannion missed his goal chance and Rock again could have been in the dock for fisting that ball over the bar that Connolly put him through for – he had I think O Callaghan to his right screaming for the ball to score a certain goal. Connolly also had a snap shot very similar to Aidan o Sheas – only difference was O sheas went marginally wide while Connollys was 20 yards wide….there are also little things like the free that COC missed – what lead to that free was in my view a definite line ball to Dublin. There was a case for mayo penalty i felt but at the end of the day with 6-8 mins injury time the game was there to be won by either team and I thought Dublin just showed that bit more composure – even the last 60 seconds of keep ball was very impressive because Mayo hunted them down like dogs on every pass and some of them were very close to being intercepted.

    Agree the bench was the real big difference again. Diarmaid O Connor made a big impact when i looked back on it – Mayo need 2 or 3 more making that sort of impact. Mayo are losing the likes of Boyle, Moran…even Aidan O Shea because of his natural physique between 50 and 70 mins…very hard players to replace. By comparison Dublin are finishing with a stronger team than when the ball was thrown in.

  33. Well said East Cork.
    This management and team have not got where the are without being able to coldy look at what they did well and what wasn’t where it should be. The trust to give and take honestly is evidently there.
    They also have the capacity to look deeper into (what I see as) mistakes to see the real cause.
    It took Boyler and Zippy well into this years championship to be themselves and wasn’t it worth having them there. The same for any of this years warriors taking too much responsibility, all have earned a license to do a million wrongs
    As one who spent my first 34 years without an AI final, and worse, I have the wit to appreciate these days.
    Thanks Willie Joe for this essential zone and those here who make it

    Maigheo go deo

  34. I thought Chris Barrett was a colossus Sunday. The back 7 aided by some excellent tracking from the forwards did what no team has done all year and stiffled the Dubs to the point where they almost made them look ordinary. No other team has got close to doing so, it was an excellent defensive performance against the best offensive team possibly in history.

    We basically took control after the early goal from Dublin & you felt as the half time whistle blew we should have been 3 or 4 clear. The high press on Cluxton was working a treat, we were winning the long ball in the middle & all was looking great.

    Clearly the Vaughan red was massive & was probably the biggest game changer but i couldn’t work out why we stopped the high press on the Dubs 2nd half. It had been the focus of our control of the 1st half & then we just allowed an easy out for Cluxton for near the whole of the 2nd half?? The Dubs suddenly were getting time to build & it allowed them a few easy points. Not seen people say it TBH slightly surprised..

    Ending on a positive, thank you to Cillian & the lads, Stephen & the coahing team & the board for another fantastic year. You give ua so much, we are blessed to have such a quality group! Keep the faith & 1 day the holy grail will surely come!!


  35. Well done Chris . Warrior ! .but getting back to next year .We need to strengthen our bench .. A good Mobile mid fielder and 2 natural forwards … Think Dublin squeezed it because their sub’s made a bigger impact …I’m not living in Mayo now so you guys might know or suggest lads that could be worth a look in FBD or league ??

  36. Whilst everyone is annoyed with Vinnie Murphy he may not be too far off the mark. Maybe a bit early to put the boot in but losing must hurt. An earlier poster also mentioned a few problems. Whilst this is a great team full of amazing characters does it hide a big problem? Not much success at underage level and the level of coaching at club and county level is woeful. Recently a number of representatives from different clubs met where we were trying to improve standards at our local secondary school after decades of being in the doldrums. We asked the county board rep in charge of coaching to come up with a coaching plan as we were all coming from different clubs. His reply ‘ give them a ball and let them play with it’. With this type of approach from the official county board rep we could be in trouble.Whilst the system seems to be excellent within the county team set up I feel that the feeder system of clubs and underage development is sadly lacking. James Horan mentioned this also in a recent interview. We need to raise standards even further. Aim for the moon. Finance is not a problem we have the brand all we need to do is sell it.

  37. Re Larry Duffs question on Stephen Duffy.

    He is a speedster and tough as nails, no shit halfback/cornerback .
    He plays fullback for club and does really well there, has had tasty battles with Cillian .
    He is mentally tough and deosnt shrike any responsibility so be good to see him in Spring time, definetly an addition to the fullback line .

    Somber times indeed but it is what it is, noone could have done any more tried their level best but Dublin had that bit more no point in being bitter about anything besides .

    We will have a few retirees you would imagine but if we keep hold of Clarke and Andy be be doing well.

    As mentioned an influx of youth with that winning mentality and new age physicality and ability to play in multi positions will be a massive addition to our spring outings, give the lads a chance and see if we can get an extra % with these guys come summer time .
    Newcombe, Akram, Cunniffe, Duffy, Ruane, Reape, Fionan Duffy, O Malley froim Westport in addition to the more prominent and central roles being given to Coen, Kirby, Diarmuid, Conor O Shea, Conor Loftus etc .

    A line up of the following who were not part of the 26/ non starters makes a bright future I think with the very least a stronger bench in 2018?
    ___________Balla Goalie
    Akram___O Donoghue___Hall
    Loftus____Kirby____O Shea

  38. What an amazing display from Chris, an unbelievable amount of turnovers at crucial times. RTE should have broke from tradition to award him MOTM as it was glaringly obvious he was the standout player.
    Can’t fault any of our warriors, what a summer they have given us. Lets hope they will stick together for at least one more year.
    The roar that went up in McHale Park when Loftus scored the goal will live with me for a long long time.

  39. A few players have been hanging around the fringes of the squad for a few years now without really making a serious impact. It’s fine having 19-22 year olds on the extended panel a year or two with a view to making a sustained impact on the first 15 in 2 or 3 years time. But I have an issue with lads aged 25 or 26, on the panel since 2012 or 2013, and still not any closer to making a breakthrough. That’s five or 6 years of conditioning, training and opportunities. I’m not trying to be harsh here but I assure you no lad would spend that amount of time on a kerry or Dublin extended panel without breaking through. It’s time for some of these lads to shape up or ship out in 2018. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh but sometimes the truth hurts.

  40. Surely Shane Scott from Westport has to be looked at as a midfield option next year, been hugely impressed any time I’ve seen him, good in the air, mobile, strong and well able to kick long range scores, just what we need badly Douglas needs a proper chance too, and by proper I mean 3-4 games in a row in the league

  41. Only getting in the form to post now, heart breaking stuff

    Absolutely gutted , can only imagine how the players feel

    I think the ones that will go are Dillon and maybe b Moran

    I know we are all heart broken that we did not get over the line , this team has given us so much I thank them

    Willie joe , what can I say to you , I know you have challenging times trying to keep the peace from me included ….I thank you for all you do for the cause
    We are in this together

  42. Sinabhuil, did ye respond to the ‘give them a ball…’ comment? That kind of stuff is worrying but haven’t we been flagging it for 5/6 years now. Our underage results at minor and u21 over the last 6/7 years have lagged behind Galway and the Rossies. Take away our minor 2013/u21 2016 and it’s been a horrendous period.

    I believe and I said it in an earlier comment that the focus needs to start at primary level…when kids at 8/9/10 are starting out they should be taught and encouraged to kick and hand pass with both feet. This extremely simple plan will provide secondary schools with players with much higher, finer tuned skills. Fitness and tactics can be developed, but the core fundamental skills are actually really easy to set in place but it isn’t being done properly. Mayo underage football should be at a place where in 6/7 years time that every player on a Tedd Webb team is equally proficient off both sides, left and right.

    A basic skills programme could be set up across all primary schools in the county one which would encourage kids to improve by rewarding them with awards/badges/being promoted to different levels etc. As a primary teacher I know that kids would love it! And it would serve the GAA well in that it would promote Gaelic football at an early age.

    I’m living and working in Galway but would love to have an opportunity to set something like this up.

  43. Sinabhuil, I’m not sure which Vinny Murphy comments you are referring to but if its the ones where he is basically saying we are propping up a culture of losing by offering this team support then I would disagree in the strongest possible terms.

    We’re supporting a team thats getting better. If its a team that went out twice in three years and seriously under performed a la 04 and 06 then he might have a point but. A team that has character in abundance absolutely deserves our support and anyone who thinks otherwise so go off and follow premiership soccer or the like where its all about results because its all about money.

    I do worry about the future though. Record shows that you have to be consistently competitive at minor level to keep the conveyor belt rolling. If Kerry get it right with the record breaking crop they have coming through they will replace us at the top table. We haven’t had any sort of a team since 2013. I am hoping that is being addressed. I’m more familar with the structures in Cork than I am mayo unfortunatley, and they totally took their eye off the ball for over 10 years at underage, believing the nonsense that Cork teams are like mushrooms etc. They have paid a heavy price by Cork terms but it took that to happen for them to come out with the Rebel Og structure that has been in place for some time and is starting to produce quality hurlers and footballers. Not much evidence of that on the football side at senior level yet but thats more to do with the politics of appointments and the like. The footballers are coming and I’d be worried that our “powers that be” are blinded by the success of the senior team and have taken their eye off the ball down the ranks. I dont know that to be the case but I’m presuming people in the county know. That could be a fatal mistake as we have no right to win one, and it only takes a drop if millimeters in standard for us not to be up there anymore.

  44. All the comments above are similar – we really need to get our act together with underage/development etc. We are been left behind. We all see it BUT why aren’t the county board doing something about it. The way it looks at present Dublin and Kerry will win the next 10 all Irelands between them. Kerry will bring that talent through – guaranteed.
    I have great time for SR and his backroom team – but for the life of me I cant understand how David Drake is been brought at the end of games where we need to kick a point to win the game. It has happened in three tight games this year where he has been brought on and he has replaced a scoring forward and we didn’t win any of the games. To me it send out the wrong message to the players on the field. David Drake has a lot of attributes but kicking a point from 40 meters under pressure is not one of them. At that stage we need a person with composure on the ball, ability to kick a long range point and ability to see a pass into the full forward line. From what we have seen of Nally he has all these attributes – can’t understand it.

  45. East Cork Exile, you’re right and it’s only a matter of time before cork are a serious force at the top table again, and I think Galway will be there soon. It’s absolutely critical that Mayo gets its house in order. I’m not living in the county but can only go by what I hear and results I see. I go to a lot of underage county games and we’ve been really poor for quite some time with the obvious exception.

    This current senior side was built on by a stream of u21 Connacht wining sides in the ‘noughties’ one of whom list an AIF in 2004 and one which won one in 2006. Our record this decade has been abysmal which could very well leave us in a position in 5/6 years time where we are a division 2 team with no hope in hell of landing Sam and all of us looking back at how close we were in 2012-17 period and asking why nothing was done to keep the conveyor belt running.

  46. Mayonaze you are bang on with the implementation of basic skills at a young age. You can bet your bottom dollar it’s happening in Dublin and Kerry and we must do the Same in order to compete in the years ahead as kicking off both feet is becoming an essential skill at intercounty level.

    I also agree the county board need to invest in youth development.

    Would Pearce and Cian Hanley ever come home for a year? Pearce especially could be the difference – would he regret it in years ahead if he didn’t? He’s in serious physical shape. Cian Hanley would have also bulked up seriously with their S&C programmes. The county board should be trying their hardest to entice these fellas back – the time is now while the squad is close to it’s peak ability and only 1-2% away from the promised land.

  47. Read jimmys winnin matches there. He has it fairly bang on. The idea of bringing them into the cave and not finishing them off paints the picture very accurately. Looking at it from his perspective Dublin seemed relieved to have stolen it again. Shoulda, coulda, woulda indeed!!

  48. Agree totally don’t know what David drake offers over Shane Nally ?

    Do posters think all the management team will stay around … hope they do

    Think tony Mc entee is a legend

  49. Dublin fan here, I often visit this site but never commented before. I can’t not say a few things now though.

    1) Your team. Before Sunday’s game I was always one of those people who thought that Dublin always under-performed against Mayo and we made ye look good. On Sunday though, I thought Dublin were as good as I’ve ever seen them and Mayo just went toe to toe and imposed their game on us. Huge performance from them. I’ve been hugely underestimating them all this time.

    2) Your management. SR got his match ups right and forced us to play our ace cards before we wanted to. He’s shown bravery and intelligence in making big decisions over the season. His dignity in defeat shows the character of the man. He will be a huge loss to you if he doesn’t say

    3) Your fans. When we went two points up after Keegan’s goal ‘Come on ye boys in blue’ began to ring out round the stadium. The Mayo fans responded with their loudest chant of the whole day and we were drowned out. I’ve been going to Croke Park since the 1980s and that has NEVER happened to us before. The ground shook beneath me and the atmosphere could have been cut with a knife. A moment in time I’ll never forget.

    I don’t feel sorry for you, I’m sure you wouldn’t want my pity anyway, and I’m delighted we did the three in a row. But as a Dub and a GAA fan I have massive respect for you and your team.

  50. Sinabhuil Mayonaize u both have taken my thoughts exactly, a rumour of two games at underage against Kerry where we scored 1 point, we all know that for the most part at club level it’s parent doing the underage vouching to the best of their ability, expertise is rare on the ground, I imagine the coffers at Mayo Gaa are fairly depleatef keeping all teams on the raid, maybe money is an issue, there is a need for county as a whole joined up thinking re underage, lets start now what do we need to do???

  51. Win by a point and you are the greatest team to ever play the game. Lose by a point and ……………………

  52. Our time has come, while he was a tremendous loss, I’ve given up on P Hanley. I think we all should. He opted for Aussie rules over Mayo and that’s just that. We move on with who is available.

    It’s fundamental that Mayo look toward the future and it starts with kids in 3rd/4th class. That’s when their passion for the game is born. Theres absolutely no reason why Mayo cannot have the best underage structure in the country. For Gods sake haven’t we the most passionate and hardcore supporters in the land but apart from attendance at games it’s not being tapped into, exploited in the correct fashion OR channeled so as to give Mayo a real advantage.

    Mayo supporters groups are great fans but now need to do more and demand and support action at underage levels. But this should not be in any way a confrontational thing. The fanatical support Mayo has should be embraced by the county board. We are all on the same side. If we can only get something moving. I want Mayo to be the best. I’m not content with merely being competitive. If you strive for being number one, sure you’ll fail and have periods where you lag a bit (like the KK hurlers are showing signs of now) but ultimately you’ll win a lot more frequently.

  53. Well done Chris Barret, lesson there for any player who knuckles down , like Harrison last year.
    Like a bereavement in past days, not to trivialise either experience. Mind you passing through junction in Claremorris on way home Sunday evening, where really there was a bereavement of 3 family members a week earlier, brought perspective. Our sporting loss is temporary (like that pain Trump) because we will win it, but the Erris family have a lifetime cross.
    At homecoming yesterday, two things struck me: instead of leaving to get on bus as normal, an impromtu nod of Cillian to Aido and they both turned left at bottom of stage to go back meet the crowd, in particular a person in a wheelchair. Then several players coming off stage did likewise, totally unplanned. Class!.
    Second: after image of Lee being in tears in CP after game, but Monday he has got his big wide smile back.
    For anyone who was not there and wants to hear Stephen’s, Cillian’s and Minister Ring’s speeches do the following:
    Download Midwest Radio app
    Go to Monday “Listen Back”, select “Late Late Lunchbox” 17:00 – 18:00. Scroll to about half way. Do it before next Monday as just one week on there.
    Thanks WJ for trojan efforts during the year, you must be up for an All-Star. You sow the seeds and the multiple excellent contributors take care to bring them to harvest, notwithstanding the odd brushweed thrown in which needs to be taken out and burned now and then.

  54. Dear Willie Joe and fellow blog-followers,
    Míle buíochas for your entertaining company and unquenchable passion.
    I sought solace in your blog soon after Sunday’s final whistle and, as ever, it didn’t disappoint.

    Last year, we went wide.
    This year, off the post.
    Next year, up and over for the Championship-winning point!

  55. Hear what u saying Mayonaze, should the approach be made to Bord na N’Og or at county level and when is appropriate
    , is the funding there to pay for it, parents are burdened enough, should we be doing something like a go find me where Mayo supporters here and abroad contribute €1 per month, a lots possible but to organise

  56. Go fund me is a good idea, when contributing people like to see how much is raised , there is million s out there to be collected , our support wants the best and it needs to be tapped into.

  57. Sarah, yes I think financial assistance from independent supporters could be an option, toward a working and sustainable underage programme but mostly from corporate sponsors. There are business around the world who would I’m sure, be keen to get on board but they’d only do so in circumstances where the project was completely transparent and sanctioned by Mayo GAA.

    You have to be careful that no toes are stepped on and this isn’t something that can happen overnight. Mayo has tremendous support and the people of the county are far ahead of those in many other counties when it comes to a love of our football teams. Now is the time to tap into that. Why should our support be confined to attending games. Why can it not be harnessed to support Mayo GAA structures and help drive forward our teams.

    Again, I’m speaking as someone on the outside not having lived in Mayo (albeit only 30 mins away from the border) since a very small kid but I’m 40 now and I don’t feel happy just being an orthodox matchday supporter. If I lived in Mayo I’d be involved in a club, for sure.

  58. Mayonaze I live near Headford not central either but always willing to put in, kids long grown up but have some time, in the past treatment of young players has been too harsh to put it mildly. Hard enough to keep them on board from 17 onwards, they need to be looked after, I agree with u it’s now we need to capture the corporate funding while we are in the spotlight, perhaps in a week or so I’ll write to the Co. Board in this regard but as u say slightly afraid of stepping in toes but this is not the intention but to help in some way

  59. Not sure the Hanleys would come back. They are probably earning somewhere between 150-250K each. Plus they on contracts now and there’s no way their clubs would let them back here with a risk of serious injury.

  60. Congratulations to Chris,and indeed all the team and management, must say outside of the boot is spot on about S Duffy also about the other players he mentioned, also we can add that full forward from Claremorris J Rilley,and several more out there so we are not badly off for players, but it will take a lot to replace the team we have,also we hope our management team stay which must be difficult for them to commit as they have family and work to look out for,looking forward to fbd

  61. There are thousands of wealthy Mayo people in this country and (first, second and third generation) living all over the world. If the county board came up with a realistic football development plan for the county and sold it properly – they would have no problem getting the finance. A proper development plan would not cost a fortune and if business people saw it was been implemented properly with targets been met in terms of coaching etc it would be more than self financing.

  62. Absolutely South Mayo Exile. The passion and fanaticism Mayo people hold is 2nd to none at this stage. There are huge resources there to be tapped into. People are desperate for success. Success now means winning an All Ireland and more. Anything less is failure and while you can’t win an all Ireland every year, you can still have a ‘good year’ trying. There’s absolutely no reason Mayo cannot become like Kerry. Why not? But it must start with the kids.

    With financial backing it wouldn’t be difficult to get a programme up and running. Starting at primary level with the simple basics from 3rd to 4th class of kicking and passing with left and right and in 5th/6th building on this as well as progressing onto very basic tactical awareness and tackling so that 2nd level schools are being provided with footballers equally capable off both sides in terms of accuracy and distance and a good understanding of the game. I mentioned earlier that it should become a pre-requisite for Mayo underage teams that a player can kick off both feet. For one thing, our problem with producing a regular stream of scoring forwards would diminish.

    Football gets much more serious at 2nd level and there are some schools where there’s much lots of work and greater emphasis on the game; St Colemans, Ballinrobe, Rice and St Gerald’s. These are the ones of late who seem to be going reasonably well(again, looking from the outside). With bording schools gone there’s a greater spread of players around the county and a levelling out of standards. I have to say I have no idea what kind of structures there are in place at teenage level in Mayo. Is it all down to teachers in schools and local club managers or is there some co-ordinated system in place which is overseen by the Co Board?

  63. A new fund raising initative is a brilliant idea. I’d gladly pay lets say, 12euro a month direct debit. Which goes 100% directly to the development of Mayo football. Barely higher than a box of smokes. Thats 144e a year. If lets say 5,000 Mayo people world wide done the same, your looking at 720,000 euro annually raised for the betterment of Mayo football. Pump into underage and senior, surely we’d reap rewards at some point?.

    Really hope Rochie and co stay on for one more lash. If they do, I’ve no doubt we’ll be in a semi final again. Personally think, we’ll go even harder for Connacht this year, and with a decent draw, (plus home advantage against Galway and Ross) we’ll be going through the far less demanding front door.

    With regards the Hanleys, we may be seeing Cian sooner than we think. He’s not progressing as fast as expected (unlucky with injury) and is nowhere near starting for their first team. Pearce has moved clubs, so “the pull” so to speak is gone. Think he’ll be returning soon enough, like 75% of all Paddies that go over. No shane if he does by the way. 3-4 years proffesional training will have him primmed to slot into Mayo football.

  64. As far as I can see there is no structure in place to help train the trainers at club level. There is good people involved, Ciaran Kilkenny etc. but not enough. An other problem is that the committees and coaches at club level are not prepared to change, trusting in their own ability to read games and players. In business it has been accepted that you are always learning and continuing development is needed – this needs to be accepted at local GAA level. New ideas need to be taken on board. The county board need to step up, club and school committees need to step up, coaches at local level need to get educated and become less conceited in there own ability, they need to accept change and the 100,000 mayo people looking for tickets need to get more involved in their clubs at a financial, volunteer and motivational level. Days like Sunday in Croke Park start at the U8s training, left foot solo, right foot solo, left foot kick, right foot kick, handpass, tackle, cathch, Repeat again and again. etc.. Praise and encourage. Treat them every bit as good as the senior team. Sorry I am just so frustrated at the lack of co-ordinated effort. Everyone doing their own thing and no continuity.

  65. Not going to comment on the game, whats done is done and most of what needs to be said has already been said.

    However – we do need to look at funding and funding structures. The County board, god love them or to their credit, don’t seem to be doing much to get this setup and the appointment of a Commercial director should be an absolute priority – the goodwill from fans can be a finite resource if what we have is the continued haphazard approach.

    Would agree with MayoDunphy – a direct debit of 12 a month would be a great start. People are always looking for rewards for this so it should simply be a a prize draw of a pair of All Ireland tickets (both Football and Hurling) regardless of who’s playing for any participants who’ve paid up every month. Elverys would no doubt be willing to throw in a few vouchers for a monthly draw. MayoGaaTV I’m sure would contribute something too. All this needs is a little imagination and some innovation.
    I know we have the players Lotto but that’s likely to only peak in terms of participation during the championship, and coming to when they are announcing draws for All Ireland tickets. We have to tap every outlet we can, and most importantly, use whatever resources we have wisely. Throwing money at this isn’t going to win All Ireland’s, how it’s spent will have a huge bearing on results though.

  66. Sinabhuil…exactly. It’s a coordinated synchronised effort that’s required. A basic skills programme could be set up at primary school level. This in itself would be a very useful starting point. The GAA already have a primary schools completion but I would envisage this skills programme to be entirely separately but it would compliment the other.

    Do you coach with a club in the county?

  67. A little but I am more involved at committee level with a developing club. IMO not developing enough.

  68. Who is S Duffy is he a back / forward . In all the FBD and majority of league we need Eoin O’Donoghue, Donal Newcombe, Caolan Crowe Serooise Akram, Seamus Cunnife, Michael Hall, Michael Plunkett, Conor Loftus Stephen Coen Shane Nally Conor Loftus Mathew Ruans, Danny Kirby Adam Gallagher, Feargal Boland and Briam Reape Playing. Each of these guys need 2/3 FBD games and at a minimum 3 league games. Obviously not all at the same time but they all need serious game time and work put into them Chris Barrett, Lee Keegan Colm Boyle Seamus O Shea, Keith Higgins, Andy Moran, Diarmuid O’Connor (Get injury free) and Donnie Vaughan should not play until well into / end of March 2018

  69. We need to start developing players in the FBD and where possible in the league all gouys round the 30 mark or over and Diarmuid O’Connor and Lee Keegan should be rested until at least March

    My proposed Team for FBD

    Hennelly / Mathew Flanagan

    Full Back Line
    Eoin O’Donoghue
    Caolan Crowe
    Donal Newcombe

    Half Backline

    Kirby / Mathew Ruane / Shane Scott (Westport)

    Half Forward Line
    Adam Gallagher
    Shane Nally

    Full Forward Line
    Regan (if Available) / Westport Corner Forward (Cant think of his name)
    Brian Reape
    Conor Loftus

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