Cillian an injury doubt for semi-final

OConnorCillian_kick2013

Photo: GAA.ie

They say that no news is often good news and in this long build-up to our Connacht semi-final on 14th June – most likely against Galway in Salthill – there’s been little in the way of news out of the squad. This evening, however, this piece appeared in The 42 (formerly The Score – that name-change is one of the weirder rebranding exercises I’ve come across) – thanks to Digits, by the way, for mentioning it in the comments just now – in which Noel Connelly says that it’s too soon at the minute to know if Cillian O’Connor will be fit for this crunch tie.

I assume the quotes used in this piece emanated from today’s launch of the Connacht football championship, though it’s not clear from it where or in what context the Mayo joint-manager said what he did. The quote posted by Digits earlier on is worth having another look at so here again is what Noel said about Cillian and his injury:

He probably won’t be back to full training for about another three weeks. So we would be hoping that he will maybe take some part on 14 June, hopefully all of it, but at this stage it’s too soon to call.

That doesn’t sound great, I must admit – three weeks from today is just two weeks and a bit out from the semi (and there we were thinking the bloody match was an eternity away) so it could be a stretch for the Ballintubber man to be back firing on all cylinders then. We’re simply not the same team in Cillian’s absence and I’d certainly be very wary of us heading into an important championship tie without him. Here’s hoping he does make it.

In that piece, Noel helpfully name-checked a number of other players currently nursing bumps and bruises – Aidan and Seamus O’Shea, Chris Barrett, Tom Cunniffe and Michael Conroy were all mentioned in this respect – but he did say that all of them should be fit for next month. That list doesn’t, though, include the two goalkeepers – Robbie Hennelly and Kenneth O’Malley – who, according to the Mayo News, are also on the injured list at the moment.

42 thoughts on “Cillian an injury doubt for semi-final

  1. Shit. This kind of talk is not good, reminds me of David charkes injury in 2013 that was meant to keep him out for one month – we didn’t see him for nearly 2 years. Just hope it’s not like that this time.

  2. Looks like they are drip feeding the worst case scenario..time will tell..meanwhile galway licking their lips at the prospect ..

  3. I’m with ya on this one Mac, i have a bad feelin about this. We all forget too that Cillian is only 23 and he’s had a fair dose of injuries, for the long term he probably needs a good rest. We are suffering for rushin Regan back IMO,still can’t work out why he was allowed to be in full contact so soon after .

  4. Yeah, this is not good news. He’s been out injured a long time now and only two weeks back in proper training before a big game with Galway? I’d be extremely concerned going to Salthill without him, I have to say. Maybe it’s not as bad as we thing and Noel is being cute – but this headline sent a shiver down my spine.

  5. I feel that injured players all over the country are being rushed back too soon. A lot of the injuries need time to heal properly and bringing players back without full healing into a situation where they can be injured again is short sighted and can ruin a good player’s future.

  6. On the brightside those lads can now get themselves fit for June 14th imagine if the possible semi against Galway was on in two weeks and Mayo having all those players out injured..

  7. Rumours about Cillian for months now have been negative He would be a huge loss. He played very little in league and even if he started training properly in 3 weeks he would be way short of match fitness so to be honest it would be better to let him rest properly until injury is healed. He was rushed back for AIF in 2013 and that was an error. He was quite clearly unfit and it had a negative impact on our forwards that day with Freeman withdrawn early and sub Mickey C performing below par. Mayo scored no point from play in second half. Moral of the story is only play fully fit players..

  8. leave him out to recover no matter what. at 23 he has perhaps 8 to 10 years to help push Mayo to glory but be sure he is allowed to recover fully even if he sees no action for Mayo this year.

  9. Met him at the weekend, was starting running today and full contact next week. He’ll make it.

  10. Some more quotes from Noel Connelly

    “Cillian is back light jogging at the moment so he should be able for football training in two to three weeks time,” said Connelly.

    “That will leave him with just two weeks before the championship game so it’s going to be unlikely that he is going to start for us, but we will see how he responds to the treatment.

    “He has not played since the Derry game. He had minor keyhole surgery. It had been ongoing so it had been there for a while so hopefully this will park it and that he will have a free run for the summer.”

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/football/keith-higgins-wasnt-told-to-skip-hurling-says-mayos-noel-connelly-329403.html

  11. If we can’t win in Salthill without Cillian then we have no business even thinking of all Ireland semi-finals. Let’s hold the heads here, Galway are a division 2 side that weren’t ever in the running for promotion and we narrowly missed out on a division 1 semi-final. They are not world beaters all of a sudden. Respect them, yes. Fear them, you’re having a laugh!!!

  12. On the flipside of that pebbles they only got goin towards the latter end of the league when corofin lads came back , could be argued they possibly would of been promoted if they had the corofin lads from the start . They beat the Ross in the Hyde when they had had them available too.

    If Galway tighten up and we have no Cillian they have enough firepower to take us .They will be that little bit more street smart under Walsh too, no amount of hardy shoulders from Boyler is goin to intimidate them this time. It was pointed out to me last night Cillian got 1-5 last year and we beat them by 8 points.

  13. Sounds bad and is whispers of what I have been hearing lately. Our lack of scoring forwards means missing Cillian is a fatal blow. Kerry were able to loose Colm Cooper and still win the All Ireland, could the same happen us…not a hope.

  14. They had the pick of them all last year Sean and just avoided relegation. Will be probably only 3 Corofin starters on the Galway team this summer. Sice who has been playing for years, Lundy a top club player but the jury is still out on him at county level and Silke who could be the biggest addition as he has the makings of a top defender.

    O Curraoin,Conroy,Flynn,Comer,Walsh,O Griofa are the best midfielders and forwards Galway currently have and all non Corofin players I might add.

    Not sure can you read too much into league form when neighbors meet. For example Armagh were relegated to div 3 last year but it didn’t stop them from winning in Omagh against Tyrone come championship time.

  15. If Cillian is not fit, move on. An opportunity for the next man to stake a claim. See it as a positive break for once. When Andy got injured it was the end of the world a few years ago. The response from the squad was the right one at that time. This is not golf, it’s a team sport. I hope Cillian recovers sooner rather than later. This date is fixed, and with or without him we will need our game face..

  16. Galway should have got out of Div 2 as the games lost were easier to win than some of the teams they beat. Tom Flynn as well as the Corofin lads missed most of the league which basically is 1/3 of the championship 15. Also some of the list of players mentioned above are only this season coming into their own. O’Griofa was out for a number of years due to two cruciates and Comer is becoming the real deal. Both these players missed half the league either due to injury or college commitments. Serious forwards in that squad but the achilles heel of defensive frailties is a big concern. The swing in Connacht will happen sometime soon. The question is when?

  17. With PJ and Pebblesmeller on this one – if he’s not fit, there’s not a lot we can do about it apart from get on with it. Pretty telling that we are so worried about this to be honest.

  18. What do people make of the club championship re-fixture? Seems to be generating a fair bit of anger among club players towards the Board.

  19. Not only is he our best forward, but his free-taking is immaculate and, crucially, reliable. We don’t have that elsewhere in the team – we’ve all seen Kevin Mc and Jason Doherty putting 14-yard frees wide. Our best back-up freetaker is probably Alan Freeman, and that’s a whole other story.

  20. We’ll beat Galway with or without Cillian, im certain of it now. Prefer to have him back fully fit for the connacht final. These Mayo players are no fools, galway are’nt good eneough to beat us in champioship this year, when our lads will really come alive. Roscommon had their chance last year, they caught us and horan on the hop, were 2 points up with a few minutes left and had’nt the balls to finish us off. That will not happen this year, especially with new managment gunning for a connacht title. its setting up nicely for us, all the hype is on Galway and especially Roscommon (and that stupid song).

  21. Juani, it’s a lovely song and is a good bet for number one in Ireland if Roscommon win Connacht such is the enthusiasm for all things Gaelic football in the county . I’m 37 years on this planet and I can’t ever remember anything remotely like what is happening in Roscommon , a county that have barely won a game at senior for a number of years yet there is such a great atmosphere about football around the place and wider still. The club rossie had a do a couple of weeks back in Dublin, packed to the rafters , past players etc . It’s actually pure mental but you have to feel they genuinely believe they are about to step up into the big time.

  22. Have the Rossies gone mad I wonder with new song. Bit premature yet I think.

  23. Very premature Cait, they have themselves set up for a massive fall if they dont make the the august bank holiday wkend.

    Sean, their support within the county is good, but no more or less than other counties. Its only coz they are self promoting themselves through the media at every oppourtunity. The winners of the all ireland will come from dublin, kerry, donegal, mayo, cork, or tyrone. roscommon are a million miles of dublin and kerry and will be for years to come, so i just don’t see them making any step into the big time any time soon. For me, they’ll do very well to make the last 8, and dont forget sligo are no push over either.

  24. Sean,
    You do know where the club Rossie do that you speak of was held, don’t you? The Palace bar would be packed to the rafters by 39 mid sized people. They have been shouting since the FBD win in Castlebar that there’s nothing in Connacht to stop them and I’ve even heard some of them talk about getting a cut at the Dub’s in the semi.
    With people talking about a resurgent Galway and the Rossies tilting for September, I really think we’ve a lovely build up to the championship. It would be an awful shame though if Sligo derailed the Rossies plans for national domination at such an early stage.

  25. Chris Duffy is relevant here. He has met Cillian. He is alive, and getting back to training.

    Effectively we didn’t have Cillian for the league and we didn’t have a lot of other ‘first team’ players. Yet, we held our position and missed the semi by a whisker.

    Galway? They might well beat us – who knows? But on the basis of what we have seen so far, why are posters so worried about their star players, who have yet to display their skills at the highest level.

    It reminds me of 2013 in Salthill: Galway flying, U21 champions, team of giants, tipped by the Sunday Game panel to win.

  26. I got this on GAA.ie, Noel Connelly on the injury situation:

    (Evan is the only long-term one really, and we would be hoping to have everyone back by the end of the month, please god, Connelly told GAA.ie. But we have another round of club championship to get through then as well so hopefully fellas can come through that unscathed.)

    So you’d say the glass is half-full then rather than half-empty in relation to injuries.

  27. I think we need to go with the idea that if Cillian isnt fit then there is a chance for someone else to step up. Its not all doom and gloom. Also I think what the Rossies are doing with the Club Rossie thing is some achievement. You have to remember they have a population of just over 60,000 people and we should take a look at what they are doing. Why are they getting so much publicity in the media etc. They obvious have connections somewhere and maybe we as a county should look to see if we cud do the same. Also the manager Evans saying he expects them to step up to the big time seems to have hit a positive note with GAA people who see it as a break from the normal playing things down. Mayo should be more positive like this. If Cillian isnt fit then we should still be winning. We cant be so worried about the loss of one player as we are a team of many. We might learn something from our neighbours and try to get a whole county behind us. Maybe we need our own song. The rise of Galway and the Rossies can only be good for Mayo and Connacht football. Healthy rivalry is good for the game and a good tough Connacht campionship cant do us any harm. If the Rossies can be positive then so can we. Im a glass half full person

  28. I had a listen to aforementioned Roscommon song to hear what all the fuss was about. Some unknown band singing about their love for their own people and county colours no mention in the lyrics about winning the All Ireland or even Connacht. or am i missing something?

    Juan I think Roscommon reaching the last 8 this summer would be seen as a fine achievement and they would be looking to build on that. Mayo on the other hand will see a last 8 knock out as disappointing championship after reaching Two All Ireland finals and two All Ireland semi finals the last 4 years.

  29. Sean Burke what will the Rossies be singing at the end of July. What will the atmosphere be like on the August weekend in Roscommon. This is the acid test for them and ourselves The championship starts there and this year is no different. You can sing a song any of the 12 months, but its prudent to wait until September and the shorter days.

  30. I was actually just trying to think of when was the last time there was a really good competitive game in Connacht that GAA fans from other counties would enjoy too. I can’t really remember to be honest. The games I would think back to would be the games we played against Galway in 1996,97 and 98 or against Roscommon in 1989 and 1991. These were games that all GAA fans would have enjoyed to watch. They were really good games and had plenty of high quality football on show. The last few years it has been the Minor championship that has provided the best games in the West, competition wise. Surely this year we should see some entertaining games anyway. Roll on the Connacht championship and may the best team win!

  31. Lads I’m not a rossie honestly , I’ve posted in here loads of times . I’m just making an observation about the upbeat atmosphere re Roscommon football.

  32. Ah come on catcol nobody in Galway was raving about our chances in 2013. That’s bs. Yes the u21s was were mentioned but by and large it was in the context of a bright future. Galway fooball people in the majority if anything rarely overstate their chances from my experience. This talk about us hyping ourselves up is nonsense. While we have trophies from eras gone by we have had enough disappointments particularly in hurling. Ironically Galway people tend to ‘big’ up their hurlers more yet have far less senior silverware to show for it. Presuming we get out of Carrick alive we definitely have a chance of beating ye but having a chance and actually doing it will take all our potential to perform on the day. As I mentioned earlier our defence is a worry and the other thing is have the successful u21s progressed in the conditioning stakes to trouble the teams everyone is predicting to be in the shakeup.

  33. KC Points taken on board. I remember 2004 Connacht Final. The 4 top teams in Ireland were Kerry, Armagh, Tyrone, and Galway. You could argue about their placings for the up and coming championship but here was no row about the top four. Galway were a shoe-in for the semi final appearance having to get passed a largely unsuccessful Mayo in the West. Conventional wisdom has a lot to answer for. Galway were finished we just did not realise. They have really struggled with us ever since ?

  34. HopeSpringsEternal 2008,09 and 2010 Connacht finals were all good competitive games that fans from other counties enjoyed.

    KC I think it was playing for DCU that Tom Flynn got injury? hes back now and a big boost.

    You are right Galway lost games in Div 2 that were easier to win than some of the teams they beat. Which shows that young players/teams are forever inconsistent

    For example this is Galway the team that started in the home defeat against Laois

    B O’Donoghue; J Duane, F Hanley, C Sweeney; P Varley, G Bradshaw, G O’Donnell; F O Curraoin, P Conroy; P O Griofa, D Comer, S Denvir; A Varley, P Sweeney, S Walsh

    I reckon about 12 of that above team will start in the possible semi final against Mayo would you agree?

  35. Pretty spot on PJ although given we lost q/fs in ’02 and’03 there were signs of the end oof that great team. M.Meehan was unlucky coming along at that point and of course 4 years lost to injury subsequently did not help.
    I would guess 4 of that team Mayomagic will not start the next day. The goalie, the two Varley’s and P. Sweeney. Comer only played partof that match but whether or which we were poor in the 2nd half. Flynn indeed got his injury playing Singerson for DCU. Interesting the talk on the Rossies given they actually got no U21 all ireland from their 4 recent provincial wins. A bit of Cavanesque who had a similar Ulster experience. Mind you the Rossies have better potential and a set of forwards that will bring them on. In conclusion I would be optimistic we are moving in an upward direction but it is likely to be a slow move northwards.

  36. @ Mayomagic, yes those games in 2008,09 and 2010 were evenly contested games alright. The point I was trying to make about the games in 1996, 97 and 98, was that these were games that the whole country was talking about. You probably had the best two counties in Ireland playing against each other in top quality games. So I was just wondering will we see the likes of that again in the coming years in the West. Although you’d have to say that apart from Ulster there has not been many really top competitive games in any of the other provinces in the few years either. I actually read an interesting stat about this year’s league, Sligo were the top scorers. They had a good win over Armagh as well. The Leitrim manager seems like a smart man too based on some of the articles I have read about him. So heres hoping for some good, tough, entertaining and competitive games in Connacht this year.

  37. It looks good for Galway you would think….They have home advantage,a coupe of nice warm up games,some emerging match winners, hungry as they owe mayo a beating A MAYO team physically a d psychologically tired with their star man at best only have fit and with an uninspiring management team. They are there for the taking…but this is the enigma of Mayo football. Mayo to win……
    However there is no need to risk Cilcain this is not knockout football if we lose we go into the qualifiers at round 2 and there be a fair good chance of a relatively easy draw at that stage. So there is since in pacing ourselves and the return of injured players.
    As for the Rossies they just need one big win to reach a all Ireland QF either the connacht final or in round 4 of the qualifiers. It’s possible all 3 connaught teams could reach the QF.

  38. When the current management team was appointed under controversial circumstances, the line from management was not that they had great ideas on how to win the All Ireland,( except putting a few big lads into the forwards), but that Mayo were so close to the All Ireland that it was impossible for them to turn down such a great opportunity. It seemed at that point that all that was needed was a little bit of twicking, radical changes was not needed and this approach would finally get over the line.

    It seems now the reality of how hard this is going to be is hitting home. The language has changed, now it is not about winning the All Ireland, but turned to how hard it is going to be to win Connacht. (This reminds me of John O’ Mahony’s talking about fortress Carrick on Shannon).
    I also see an article in the local papers from John Prenty playing down our chances this year. I think they are getting the fans ready for failure.

    I miss James Horan already when he said when in the lead up to played Galway, that we were favorites and we had to get on with it and expect fully that we were going to win.

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