Club Championship semi-finals preview – Mayo News football podcast 2021 E37

It’s down to the final four in the Senior, Intermediate and Junior club Championships and all of the teams contesting semi-finals this weekend will now harbour realistic ambitions of lifting silverware later this month.

In this episode of the Mayo News football podcast we preview all of the Championship semi-final matches taking place at the weekend, as well as the relegation deciders. Mayo News sports editor Mike Finnerty hosts the show where he’s joined by his Mayo News colleague Edwin McGreal and by special guest Stephen Drake who makes a welcome return to the podcast.

Along with in-depth preview of all the matches, the lads pick who they think will be the winners this year of the Moclair Cup. With MacHale Park unavailable at the moment to host club ties, they also discuss the thorny issue of picking and, indeed, finding suitable venues for club matches.

Switching the focus back to inter-county matters, under Any Other Business the lads consider the upcoming ‘combine’ weekend that James Horan and his management team are organising as they seek to unearth fresh talent for the Mayo panel. There’s also a brief mention of September’s All-Ireland final as Stephen reveals which one question he’d like to ask the Mayo manager about that game.

This episode of the Mayo News football podcast is now online and is available to listen to on iTunes, SoundCloud, Podomatic and Spotify. You can also listen to it directly on the Mayo News website as well as here on the blog using the SoundCloud player below or the one on the panel on the right.

The Mayo News football podcast has its own Twitter presence, @MayoPodcast, so if you’re a Twitter user you should follow us there to make sure you get the latest podcast-related updates, including new episodes. 

The Mayo News football podcast is produced and edited by Ger Duffy Media and is proudly sponsored by Crean Ceramic City. 

76 thoughts on “Club Championship semi-finals preview – Mayo News football podcast 2021 E37

  1. Saw it just now. Not a lot of detail mind you, but it does mention Geeling. No word of confirmation from from Mullin or Mayo. Worrying.

  2. Google tells me that Mayo Gaa couldn’t seem to pick an Operations and Finance Director even from those that were shortlisted this for a second time the job was advertised.
    Something tells me that they want to keep all Financial matters in house, I wonder why this is the case ?

  3. Massive blow but you cant blame him, its a huge opportunity to go and play professional sport. Worst case scenario, he comes home in 3 years and has enough money to buy a house or put a decent deposit down and still have a career with Mayo at IC level. Best case, he does a Pierce Hanley it and becomes a household name down there, with all the trappings that an elite level professional rugby player might expect to earn here in Ireland, and more. That’s the cold reality and I for one wish him all the best.

  4. I’m only surprised that people are surprised. This was well known in Mayo GAA circles for the last 2 years. Covid delayed the inevitable.

    A huge blow but it’s hard to blame him. I wish him the best.

  5. Oisin Mullin going to Australia is a huge blow but I wish him well in his career down under. He will be a huge start in OZ can’t blame him for going. He gave everything in a Mayo jersey he took the game to Dublin in the 2020 all Ireland final after we were caught napping and conceded a goal from the throw in. We really did blow this Years all ireland final i don’t care who disagrees with me we blew it and won’t ever get as good a chance again

  6. Huge loss for Mayo. A special talent. But he’s right to take the chance and go. Life is short. Professional contract with a good salary, and the good weather is definitely a plus. Let’s face it, Ireland in the depths of winter is as depressing as it gets at times. He’ll always be welcome back into the Mayo set up at any time if it doesn’t work out for him. Best of luck.

  7. Yep massive loss to Mayo that Oisin is going you really can’t blame the man he’s only young and in the prime of his life to go and experience life in a professional set up and make a few pound while he’s at it and you can’t blame him but on the other hand it a huge loss to Mayo football, in the likes of Dublin or Kerry you wouldn’t see their best players heading of albeit a few have but not pivotal players that give us an X factor to get over the line , everything possible should have been done to keep him at home even tho he had his mind up unfortunately it could be another pierce hanly case and al we’ll be hearing in the next few years is shur if only mullin stayed around we would have an all Ireland won

  8. Very disappointing but we will just have to get on with it if true.
    Still no certainty he will make it out there. It’s a gruelling sport, and you need a lot of luck. I’d say 75% of Irish players end up home after 2 years. Oisin is older than the normal GAA recruit too at 21. Best of luck to him.

  9. Kerry lost mark o connor a few years ago.
    They made double sure they werent losing Clifford though. All the stops were pulled out to facilitate him staying in the county. Likewise with McShane in Tyrone. I wonder was that done here in Mayo?

  10. Tenacious we had Oisin for 2 All Ireland finals and still lost so even if we had Pierce for all Ireland finals too we probably would have still found a way to lose. No more excuses time for the manager and players to take a leak or get off the pot. Harsh but true.

  11. Agreed Larry Duff, a county like Dublin could manage a loss like this with their strength in depth. Tyrone couldn’t and made it very tempting for Cathal mcshane to stay with a well paid job, new Range Rover etc and they got their just rewards for that investment this year. Have Mayo county board even tried to keep Oisin in Mayo? Like really tried? If not then serious questions should be asked of them

  12. Good luck to Oisin.

    Unfortunately I don’t think he’s going to be the last player to go.
    If the Aussies think we have a player good enough it looks like they have whatever it takes to bring them over there.

    I would be very worried now about anyone that bursts through on the Mayo scene, and looks like they have exceptional talent.

    We’ll be nothing more than a hatchery for Aussie football teams.

  13. What a huge loss to Mayo football. Can see him being a star over there. He’s faster than Hanley was and even though not that tall, his ball skills are superb. Let’s hope Enda Hession can be turn out to be the new Lee Keegan!!

  14. Oisín is a progressive athlete. His move is an inevitable consequence of the limitations shown by Mayo team and management in All Ireland finals.

  15. Of course the question does need to be asked.

    Does Mayo receive any compensation from whatever club Oisin goes to.

    I’m sure at this stage, between club and county, tens of thousands have been invested in to the physical development of a player like Oisin.

    That money is unfortunately our money, which in fairness we don’t mind subscribing to.

    Of course we finance our footballers development so that we can see them playing in the Mayo jersey, and not in some far off and distant competition.

    Is it okay for footballers to decide to up sticks without the County recieving fair compensation, for financing and bank rolling that players development, and in no small part due to the hard earned donated by the Mayo supporters.

  16. Ontheditch, Oisin is not going because of the All Ireland finals and its unfair to blame mayo management for it. While its disappointing he is going, this has been on the cards for the past two years, he would have gone long before those finals had it not been for Covid.
    Alot of people im sure will blame management, Mayo County Board etc for “not looking after him” allowing him to leave, no one knows what conversations were had with him or what was offered it keep him. Oisin is an adult and well able to make his own decisions, if he wants to go play professional sport then there is not much anyone can do about it. I wish him all the luck, he is a special talent and will definitely be a success down there.

  17. A major failure by Mayo GAA and it’s primary sponsors. It’s as simple as that.

    Not only does it along with Hanley’s departure, set a terrible precedent (ie: playing AFL and the benefits from that being better than playing for Mayo/the chance to win Sam and benefits of that, that’s what it boils down to and this inspires future talent to look at those who have gone before them and opt for AFL), it effectively dismisses our chances of an All Ireland. In my opinion, the biggest priority for mayo GAA over the past 18 months has been the retention of Mullin and if these reports are true, which they appear to be, then it’s a serious failure. As people have noted, Kerry kept Clifford – and it wasn’t by telling him he’s great.

    Maybe we should all give up on Mayo and just follow some aussie team. It sure would be a lot less stressful.

  18. Kerry have lost more players to Australia than anyone else. Kennelly, Tommy Walsh, Mark O’Connor, Okunbar and another player this year. I don’t think there was any real interest in Clifford. He doesn’t have the running ability to make it in AFL.

    Good luck to Oisín. It’s a massive shame from a Mayo perspective.

  19. Yeah that’s a savage blow but doesn’t come as a huge surprise. By all accounts it was a done deal since the springtime on agreement he would finish out the year with mayo, had his choice of 2 clubs, geelong and Essendon. He will be linking up with kerry Mark o Connor.

    Hopefully he will dip his toe into it, succeed and return to mayo in good health in his mid 20s like conor mckenna did

    Sliding doors and what ifs but Tyrone deserve immense credit for nailing down mckenna and mcshane from afl this year, they simply wouldn’t be all ireland champions without those 2

  20. @mayonaze. Maybe the man just wanted to go and experience a professional career in a different country. If that’s the case, what we’re county board to do? Chain him to Mayo and don’t allow him to leave. We all love the GAA. But at the end of the day, for the majority of players, there is very little reward apart from the pride of playing for your county. The best players at the top teams may get a sponsored car or a few promotional deals but that’s about it. These players have to live to and if he can get a good career out of it. Its a no brainer. There are a lot of GAA players who have devoted their entire lives to the game, gave up on social events and travel with very little to show for it at the end apart from injuries. Fair play to him.

  21. Look out the window this morning and look at the shitty weather we get in this country for 6 months of the year, would you blame Oisin for taking a chance in Australia where they have sun all year around, beautiful women, and plenty of activities on offer. It’s a no brainer for him getting payed to play a sport and have a great lifestyle on top of it.No matter what the Gaa do to keep players here the pull of Austraila and getting paid to play is too big to keep players here.

  22. It’s other GAA counties that will become the real hatcheries. Such a pity and I don’t know what the answer is. Mayo are a high profile side that it’s attractive to play for. That much is definitely true. What chance have mid ranking counties that don’t play big GAA games of keeping an Oisin Mullin level talent from the AFL? Impossible sadly.
    Mark O’Connor is a huge loss to Kerry Gaa in the last few years.

  23. @mayomad, it may have been the tipping factor, had Oisín an all ireland medal in his back pocket, who knows what his decision might have been. A management team that plotted the downfall of Dublin were dysfunctional in final. One with the subs in the stands, the other two barking at each other from the side of their mouths. There is no soft analysis. Lessons learned maybe, the management style going forward will be interesting.
    Revellinos question re compensation is fascinating. Will we ever know the answer.
    While the player benefited from coaching through the gyears, you have to give credit to player himself for the talent he is today… We enjoyed him while we had him and no doubt we will continue to follow his career with great interest. Others may follow as Revellino also pointed out.

  24. If Kerry gaa did something to keep Clifford at home as some people say – what exactly is it – are they paying him money to stay at home. My understanding is he is in college in Limerick training to be a secondary school teacher – he would have got the necessary points for that course. As someone said above- I don’t think Clifford has the mobility for Aussie Rules.
    Why didnt they keep Mark o Connor – as a minor he wasnt far behind Clifford.
    Reality is if players want to go to Australia no county board can stop them. Sad thing is with a few exceptions- most come home after a few years after not making the grade and many with their bodies in bad shape because of serious injuries picked up over there.

  25. Ontheditch – I don’t think winning an all Ireland would have made any difference to Oisin’s decision. If anything, it would make him more likely to go as the big carrot for sticking around is gone.

  26. Devastated. Massive Massive blow to mayo football. .oisin is streets ahead of Hanley.. Had him as our solution for midfield. Feel sick.

  27. He will be a big loss but remember The Dubs were beaten without him. What Mayo need is about 20 good players who want to play for the County and no Super Stars who prefer to play to the Media.

  28. Really disappointing news to wake up to, but the last comment by @culmore did remind me we beat dubs without him.

    Best of luck to him, hopefully gets a 2/3 good years pro training comes back and wins with us . Marty Clarke (Down) Kennellly (Kerry) Kilkenny (dub) did them good.
    Although the last mayo man younger Hanley wasnt broke through with mayo since returning. Always was hopeful Pearse would give us a season but never did.
    Lets hope we can keep other young stars like Conroy etc

  29. Good luck Oisin. If I was in your shoes with that type of opportunity I’d go too. Opportunity of a lifetime. Its a career, so we have to wish him well. Chances like that won’t arise every day.

  30. Oisin will be beefed up in Oz and combined with his speed, agility and quick thinking he could make the grade in AFL. But it is a ruthless environment and most Irish recruits do not make the grade. Geelong have a lot of older players so he may break into the first team much quicker. I wish him well – a huge loss to Mayo football.

  31. @wideball, definitely losing the final was factored into Oisín’s equation. Why he is leaving now and not giving it another year? Kevin Moran left for Man U after first establishing himself as a great Gaelic footballer.
    I thought there was an element of frustration in Oisin’s play as the game progressed. Why the hell are we missing so many gilt edged chances and why arent we beating those guys??
    Its all history now. The reality is players will have ambitions to pursue professional careers in a sport and not satisfy themselves with the limitations of amateur sport.

  32. Ontheditch – Oisín is nearly 22 so it’s pretty much now or never if he wants to give AFL a try. Most of the Irish lads who make the grade in Australia move over at 18/19.

    I see people blaming the county board for not “sorting him out” in Ireland. Wasn’t Oisín working for Portwest the last year? Maybe I’m speculating, but they are a main sponsor for the county team. He would also get a scholarship if he wanted to go to college in Ireland.

    At the end of the day, players have to want to stay in Ireland.

  33. Except that last one, Liberal! There’s no reason they should so hopefully it was just a temporary thing. I’m at work right now so can’t investigate the issue at the minute.

  34. Huge loss to Mayo but you can’t blame the lad. A massive opportunity to be paid to be an athlete and live that lifestyle. Also the majority of young Irish lads that go over there don’t make it in the end for one reason or another so there’s every chance he could be back in a few years and still a young man.

  35. Its hard to argue when is the right time to leave, 22 or 23, but the prospects of not winning doesnt help. And we cant expect outstanding sportsmen to stay forever without acchieving the ultimate goal. Other younsters will be watching and there must be a sizeable number of young Irish lads trying to make it in Australia at this stage.
    I agree theres no blame issue here. Advancing from best in an amateur sport to a professional game is a natural progression.
    Winning is the only element that might pause their ambitions. Hession, McLaughlin, Conroy??
    Its just one of the many throwbacks to not winning this year, imo.

  36. Quite a bit of hyperbole in my view. If we win or lose Sam, it’s a bigger sea change than having or not having Oisin Mullen. That would be my first point.
    Secondly, there’s almost a rush to judgment that he’ll make it, including that he’s a better prospect than Pearce Hanley!!
    I’ll state this, every Irish recruit who made it was a skilled attacking player with scoring ability.
    22 is on the older side for the conversion and Oisin is a defender. In my view if he goes he will be back as I don’t see him making it.
    All the names who made it, almost every one is an All star 9, 11 or 14 type player.
    Anecdotally I think it’s becoming harder to make it in their game. It’s become more organised again and the athleticism of our best athletes is now just a standard.

  37. Anyone know why All Ireland medals are kept in back pockets ? I would have thought a front pocket would be more convenient, and more comfortable when sitting down ?

  38. @JP I’m not so sure about your second point though admittedly my knowledge of AFL is limited. Oisin has elite level pace (much faster than Hanley who was quick himself) which I suspect is huge in AFL (like any field sport) and they clearly see something big in him to wait for 2 years to go get him. He’s also fearless on the pitch and has a confidence that will really help his skills development.

    Mullen isn’t really a “defender”, more like an attacking midfielder, a lot like Hanley or Zac Touhy. He may not make it but he comes across as having the right attitude to make it. If he settles personally (opposite to Kilkenny) then that’s half the battle.

  39. JP, cant agree with you there, I m not saying Oisin is definitely going to be a success in Oz but he has every chance. A natural athlete, ball carrier, pace, he has all the tools needed. Will he be as successful as Kennelly or Hanley maybe not (but that has a lot to do with how the team does overall), but he has the ability to have a career similar to Zach Tuohy for example. Im not expecting to see Oisin back playing Intercounty anytime in the near furure if at all.

  40. The biggest disappointment for me is i expected to see him at midfield next year alongside ruane, i believe he had all the attributes to dominate in that position where he can go box-to-box all day long. He was wasted in fullback line as he is not a good man marker and is best when bombing on. Hession could have slotted into that position.

    As it is midfield looks a really weak area for us next year.
    We have gone from a position of having 5 all star quality midfielders competing a few years ago (Vaughan,SOS, Parsons, Barry Moran, Gibbons) to just Ruane now.

    Dont see anybody at club champos putting up their hand either, jack irwin looked good but id need to see more of him. Gibbons was best midfielder in the senior but his chance has passed now, loftus is a half forward not a midfielder, im just not seeing it with jordan flynn yet either

    So basically if Ruane picks up an injury we are soooooo screwed

  41. what Horrible news today for his club and his county that invested huge amount of time energy and money. And to the coach’s in his club and county that has made him the player he is today. To portwest for giving him a very good job so he could concentrate on his county football. He knows what football means in mayo and he knows that he could make a difference. But has decided to throw all that away and head for Oz. Let’s be honest no player that has gone and came back was better than when they left. You can not miss 2 year’s county football and expect to be able to roll in again. Look who has tried might be on a panel but not the star of it. I know I’m being mean and I’m sorry but I can’t wish him luck only in health.

  42. Facetheball I’m guessing you are thinking of Mark Keane the Cork footballer playing with Collingwood. Mark O Connor from Kerry is with Geelong.
    Oisin has the skillset to make it in AFL but he is on the older side compared to others who made a success of it.
    The lads who were successful like Marty Clarke(just turned 18) Touhy (just turned 20) Hanley (19) Kennelly (19) were converted young.
    The likes of Tommy Walshe ( nearly 22) and Ciaran Sheehan (23) did not make a success of it.
    Best of luck to Oisin and hope to see him in the Mayo colours again some day.

  43. I wish Oisin every good luck and cannot blame him taking this opportunity. However there is no two ways about it this is a devastating blow to Mayo and our prospects in the next few years.

  44. Maybe just a thought provoker. Bar close in shots, tell me of a moment in two full seasons where Oidin scored with a point with a kick from outside 25 yards?
    So, hold that thought.
    Now, tell me of a moment where he had an impressive kickpass into the forwards?
    Yes, he is an elite athlete for our game, but for their game every squad is filled with guys equally or more athletic.
    So,it comes down to also doing well in mastering their kickpass and shot.
    Every player who has been mentioned was a better kicker than Oisin.
    If you don’t have elite kicking skills in our game, I don’t see one mastering it in their game.
    The athleticism is only an entry pass to train and try out. One must master their kicking too.

  45. What a load of moaning about Oisin Mullen. A good footballer OK but what position is he suited for? We had him in the half back line, full back line, and now on about him playing at midfield. Only in Mayo does this type of bullshit happen. He is a young man and he is right to head off to Australia.

    When good players get hurted (Cillian O Connor) he was the best thing since the sliced pan and when he was playing he was like Oisin. Wishing Oisin all the best and hope is does himself and family proud.

  46. I cant see where age is a factor. I doubt too if he would be offered a contract without the club seeing potential in him. And now that he has made decision I hope it works out for him.
    @Stephen Cowley, what pocket you treasure your medal in is not a mayo problem..

  47. High or low – cop on. Oisin owes nobody nothing here. GAA is a hobby, a pastime. There is more to like than the GAA and you can’t deny any young lad the opportunity to play pro sports and see the world.

  48. Oisin is anything he wants to be.. not a defender really in my opinion. As I have recently posted he done his best work at midfield.. The 2020 final backs that up. I believe unfortunately for mayo that he will make it. . We missed the boat by never putting him in midfield I think.

  49. Age is a massive factor in sport. Learning any new ball skill is much easier at a younger age. All the best 2 footed players in Gaelic football are like that coming out of minor. A 22 year old will be slower adapting to an oval ball than an 18 year old. However, Oisín has pace, strength and huge running capacity which is a good base to start with.

    Craggy Boglands – I don’t think Mullin is tall enough to be a top level midfielder. People will point out the 2020 final, but remember he was winning those kickouts over Con O’Callaghan not Brian Fenton. Half back is his position if he ever plays for Mayo again.

  50. Sad to see should a talented sports man leave our shores.. But I wish him the best of luck.. I wonder what were the factors that Oisén took into account in making his decision, not that he owes any of us an explanation..He is his own man and more power to him..Sure our how many of our women player’s have decided to head Yonder..It’s a dream come true to be able to play a sport, and get paid for it Down Under.. When we will be freezing in Mayo, Oisén will be flying, with the Oval Ball… Food for taught for those who pick the starting 15 for Mayo.. The posters on this blog who pick the team as well…Who knows, he might not be the last to leave..Fair Dinkum Mate!

  51. Wide Ball, its a fair point regarding kicking skills, the oval ball is a totally different animal. However id be very surprised if Oisin hasnt been working with the Ozzie ball particularly during lockdown. This move is nearly two years in the making, im sure he has been working away with it and is further along with the skills than people think.

  52. I know what u mean wide ball but in all fairness there isn’t a midfielder in the country that would out field Fenton. Whether it be half back or midfield he is one serious loss. I’m on a downer all day

  53. High or low it’s?
    That’s beyond harsh and not keeping within the spirit of this blog I feel

  54. Best of luck to him,he will make it because he has all the skills needed for Aussie rules,a big loss to Mayo but for him is a brilliant move Geelong is a beautiful place quite close to Melbourne,only worry is that because of the hard ground a lot of players have a very short career

  55. Well we kinda knew it was coming but damn it it’s still very disappointing news. I was looking forward to seeing Oisin develop into an amazing Mayo player. Not to be now it seems. Best of luck to him in Oz. He will do very well out there.

  56. Good post mayo mayonaze earlier. Agreed with the majority of it. Sad day for everyone connected with mayo and kilmaine gaa. And I think it’s daftness those saying David Clifford wouldn’t make the AFL. Rubbish in my opinion, this guy is the most talented individual to play our game in the last 30 years and he would excel at any sport, he’s that good. Clifford has all the attributes to do well in the AFL, strength, awareness, coordination, kicking, catching and probably most importantly mental strength.

  57. The blows keep coming – gutted for us (selfish I know!) I thought “no news was good news”. There always seems to be something. Anyways good luck Oisin – we will certainly miss him. Lots of reading in the Mayo News about Seamus Tuohy and Con Moynihan going for the Chair. Paul Cunnane goiing for Vice Chairman. No Lough Lannagh and the operations/financial job not filled

  58. @Ahh not again

    The thing is Mayo are as near Professional as it gets in amateur team but was still no contest once the professional team came calling.

    The rumours of Mullen heading down under was there when he was playing he was underage and not that well known. Horan fast tracked him into the team and eventually made him established starter when he was still a U20 player, perhaps that was one way for him to change him mind about that adventure away? On the other hand If it wasn’t for Covid he would probably be in Australia already so least Mayo got two good years to see what he’s capable of.

    Best of luck to him.

  59. @Stephencowley. Harsh is on his club and county coaches that invested in him over the last 10 years. And keeping within the spirit of the blog it’s my opinion and every one is entitled to one. I’ve spoken to alot of good football coaches today and all agree it’s a bad day for mayo gaa. But we are lucky that there is a lot of very good young players coming through in mayo that will very much appreciated Pulling on the mayo Jersey.

  60. High or low it’s? All the good football coaches you were talking to, agreed it’s a bad day for Mayo. Absolutely, i couldn’t agree more. But , if and when you get a chance, go back and ask them how many would wish him good luck for the future ? I’d imagine ,( and hope) the vast majority would.

  61. Disgraceful comment by high or low,such an entitled attitude and then to top it off with you can’t wish him luck? Ffs
    He owes Mayo football nothing,at the same time I imagine he thought long and hard about leaving his club,his family and the county scene.
    As a Mayo fan I’m gutted obviously but anybody with any cop on knew he was going so its not a shock.The only thing that could have scuppered the move was the longer covid went on he might have gotten too old.Im glad that wasn’t the case and he was always left wondering.
    The very best of luck to him whatever happens.

  62. I agree FW.

    I wouldn’t agree with high or lows comments.

    Especially “And to the coach’s in his club and county that has made him the player he is today”. The coaches in his club and the county are there for the benefit of the club and the county and not one individual player. Kilmaine and Mayo are doing well at the moment, so this subjection that they wasted their time is nonsense.

    Mullin is the player he is today due to his own hard work and commitment. A coach can guide you, but it is down to your character to put in the hard work and to make the sacrifices. Mullin has done that and he is entitled to reap the rewards now.

  63. Best of luck to Oisin, go for it, no point regretting of what might have been when you’re nearly 30.

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