Coming soon – best Mayo XV since 2000 selection

With no new action to focus on in these strange times, the viewfinder for sport is instead trained on the past.

A popular diversion at the moment is to come up with different player selections, both at county and club level. The other evening I found myself on one such selection committee.

Billy Joe Padden, Colin Sheridan and I were brought together a few nights ago – via Zoom, linking three different jurisdictions in the process – with the task of picking the best Mayo XV since 2000.

This was an initiative of the lads behind ClubSpot, the club management software company whose online platform and associated mobile phone app brings club membership onto the palm of your hand in a way that hasn’t been done to date. You can check out the main features of the ClubSpot offering here.

The ClubSpot lads have already facilitated the picking of ‘Best XV’ selections in Leitrim, Longford and Westmeath so the other night it was our turn. We had a good lively debate and more than one tough decision to make but in the end we were happy with the selected XV. Whether or not the rest of you will be too remains to be seen.

I’ll be posting the selection here – in the form of a guest post by one of the ClubSpot lads – at some point over the coming few days. The selection will also appear on their own website. Then the debate can begin about the merits of those selected and those who weren’t. Stay tuned for that.

25 thoughts on “Coming soon – best Mayo XV since 2000 selection

  1. Looking forward to that selection it won’t be an easy one. Ciarán Mc Donald is nailed on at 11 and David Clarke at 1 AOS at 8 Ger Caff in his prime would have made most teams at full back so a space has to be got for him and Keith Higgins How could you leave out Lee Keegan of Colm Boyle Cillian is nailed on is there a space for Conor Mort the County’s second all time scorer? Would be hard to leave him out and where do you put Kevin Mc Louglin a case could be made for the likes of Aidan Higgins Ronan Mc Garrity David Heaney ginger tiernan also Gary Ruane the 2004 captain and teal tough defender the versatile Billy Joe Padden Alan Dillon of course Andy Moran again nailed on ah here I’m glad I’m not picking that selection good luck with it Willie Joe

  2. No doubt will cause some debate, hard to leave out footballers of the year, but some great footballers will lose out, looking forward to it,

  3. Certainly will be interesting. Are we going for best performers or most talented! How about kevin O Neill… For example!

  4. Kevin O Neil, Ciaran McDonald, Kieth Higgins…are 3 of the 4 most skillful player’s ever to play for Mayo, together with their other attributes of pace, determanition, strength, athleticism, scoring ability absolute certainitys for inclusion but they all have the acclodades of All Stars and deservedly so… One who in my opinion is equally as good, if not better in every department, and he delivered big performance’s in All Ireland Final’s, but never recognised with an All Star, even though very deserving of one has to be Kevin McLoughlin, he would make my shortlist as one of the best player’s ever to play for Mayo, and definitely one of the fastest and most skillful..Lee Keegan is in my opinion the best Player that Mayo ever had, after almost a decade of Top Class contributions, but currently our best Player, and one of the Top 3 Player’s in Ireland, has to be Paddy Durcan… Another without an All Star but definitely outstanding in the Full Back position was Kevin Cahill… The bravest Player I have ever seen anywhere, and he has much more than just bravery, like scoring ability and pace has to be Colm Boyle, another one of the All time greats in the half back line…. Liam McHale, plus, one of Willie Joe, Séamus O Shea,David Brady, , definitely Aiden O Shea unless you decide to play Aiden at No 11 or Full Forward…Kenny Mortimer, best corner back of the 90’s in Ireland, ..Andy Moran who blosmed later in his career into Mayo’s finest consistent forward and deservedly a Player of the Year…. Brendan Harrison, Chris Barrett, Conor and Trevor Mortimer..Cillian Connor twice Young Player of the Year, All Star and highest scorer in the history of the Championship, his brother Diarmuid also twice Young Player of the Year as well… Alan Dillon, James Horan to round off the Ballintubber contingent.. The greatest shot stopper in the history of the game David Clarke…Jason Docerthy, Ger Cafferkey and Donal Vaughan,…I wish that they were all 21/22 , .. We’d win 10 in a row,!.. But I would not know who to leave out?

  5. Can we use base the team on the most important criteria of all.
    The 15 players that played well in All Ireland finals, this will narrow things down a fair bit.

  6. Cahill has to get the nod ahead of caff. That’s a good point mayo 88 but that rules out Dillon. And to a lesser degree Aos?

  7. Best Mayo team 2000 to 2020
    1.David Clarke
    2.Chris Barrett
    3.Brendan Harrison
    4.Keith Higgins
    5.Lee Keegan
    6.Colm Boyle
    7.Paddy Durcan
    8.Tom Parsons
    9.Aidan O’Shea
    10.Kevin McLoughlin
    11.Ciaran McDonald
    12.Alan Dillon
    13.Conor Mortimer
    14.Andy Moran
    15.Cillian O’Connor

  8. Mayo 36 they are picking the best players that played for Mayo since 2000 that rules out Cahill who would walk into the team because he had retired before 2000 due to injury

  9. I stand corrected Willie Joe I thought he had retired before that I know he had to retire young and way too soon.In that case he would be my choice for the full back. A classy and reliable full back in his day.

  10. My selection

    (1) David Clarke
    (2) Chrissy Barrett
    (3) Kevin Cahill
    (4) Keith Higgins
    (5) Leeroy
    (6) James Nallen just ahead of Colm Boyle
    (7) Paddy Durcan
    (8) David Brady
    (9) Aidan O Shea
    (10) Kevin Mc Loughlin
    (11) Ciarán McDonald
    (12) Kevin O’Neill (out of position but too good to leave out )
    (13) Conor Mortimer
    (14) Andy Moran
    (15) Cillian O’ Connor

  11. Its hard to pick few positions for sure. I agree and i am not a mayo man but live in longford (so always enjoyed the joy and colour of following mayo and see the excitement of august and September trips)
    But it would be impossible to pick a good manager to manage what team ye pick. Maybe kevin mc stay would be giving that chance !!!

  12. @Mayo 88, .Agree with you about All Ireland Final performance’s as the ultimate criteria for the final 15…Then to decide wheater pick the best individuals,…My final choice, would be very close to Backdoor Sam’s choice, but Colm Boyle is in instead of James Nallon.. Kevin O Neil is at 13, instead of Conor Mortimer(on 2006 All Ireland performance concidering he scored 2 Goals)… and it’s between Jason Doc (concidering how good he is at winning hard ball around the middle and a noted Goal Scorer, and Diarmuid O’Connor, same reasons) went for Diarmuid, at the end…All six forward’s are noted Goal Scorer’s in big championship match’s…Subs (unlucky to lose out)would be, Hennelly, Cafferkey, Harris, Nallon, Trevor Mortimer, Parson’s, Séamus O Shea, Barry Moran, Jason Doc, Freeman, Conor Mortimer, and Dillon, …. Management would be Stephen Rochford, and his backroom team…reason, The best quality performance’s of any Mayo team came under Stephen Rochford!

  13. Here’s my team
    1. Clarke
    2. Barrett
    3. Cahill
    4. Keith
    5. Boyle ( just ahead of Paddy)
    6. Nallen
    7. Keegan
    8. Tom Parsons
    9. Aiden O Shea.
    10. Kevin Mcloughlin
    11. Ciaran McD.
    12. Trevor Mortimer ( just ahead of Jason )
    13. Kevin O Neill (better footballer and work rate than Conor Mortimer)
    14 Andy
    15. Cillian.
    Ya will have craic with this one WJ !!

  14. Would be even hard to pick a manager to manage that team we have had some good ones some the pick of them being O Mahony, Maughan dragged us from the Mire in 95 and was desperately unlucky in 96 led us to 4 finals broke our Hoodo in Tuam in 99 against the all Ireland Champions Noel and Pat who brought us Under 21 silverware in 06 and a league title in 01 Stephen Rochford again desperately unlucky James Horan of course, Mickey Moran and not forgetting Liam O’Neill who gave us believe and ended the barren years in Connacht. I’d torn between James Horan and Rochford two good men. Hard to pick a team harder to pick a manager

  15. The Manager would be the hardest position to fill during that period of time, without naming names , they nearly all made some very bad decisions , the various mistakes by Managers have been listed on here on different posts , so for least mistakes and bad decisions by Managers , I would give the Managers job to Mickey Moran, who was very badly treated by County Board at the end of his term

  16. The list will justifiably be loaded in favor of the squad from the last ten years. They’ve proven themselves consistently and are still big contenders so they should get the nod for some of the tougher calls. Excellence is consistency, doing it when the pressure is on at the highest level, and only for a break or two and that group would be worthy AI champs, even more than once. Inconceivably cruel that it hasn’t happened.

    Obviously it’s a different game now, more professional and far greater commitment etc and this helps players to be more consistent but it’s still the yardstick I think that should be used.
    That said, it’s hard to see the likes of Nallen, McDonald, McHale, Kenneth Mortimer, being left out and there’s obvious merit to justify their inclusion. Kevin O’Neill would be another for me but may not have been involved long enough? Through no fault of his own. Its a fascinating discussion and couldn’t be more timely given the lull right now.

    Lee, Andy, Keith, Cillian, Boyler, Kevin Mc, Aido, Paddy, are certainties for me. Just no way any of them they can be omitted. No way. Awesome footballers by any standards.

  17. Very tough to choose alright

    Have to make the balance between longevity vs peak form, and compare the modern game to even 15 years ago when it was completely different.

    Obviously recency effect and the fact its been the most successful era in Mayo football will skew selections towards the recent team, but from 2004-2006 we made 2 All Ireland finals and each year lost to an exceptional Kerry team (who made the All Ireland final basically every year in the decade). We lost 4 champ games in those 3 seasons, for comparison purposes we lost 7 in the last 3 and went Connacht title-less. The class of 04-06 weren’t quite as good as the 2013-2017 era but were a fine team in their own right, with some very impressive wins.

    For example, how good would Peadar Gardiner have looked for this modern Mayo side with his great pace and scoring ability? Kevin O’neill could have been the missing link up front if he was around nowadays. Ronan McGarrity’s athleticism could have been much more suited to taking on this Dublin team. On the flip side would some of the current crop have thrived in 06 when the game was much less structured?

    I agree with those above though in that performances in the big games should be weighted much higher.

    By the way I’m absolutely aghast some are leaving out Alan Dillon (classic case of recency bias). He walks into this side, one of the best forwards in the country in the mid noughties, guys like Doherty and Trevor Mort with all due respect were never near that level – only McD, COC, and Andy along with Dillon ever held that accolade at any given time.

  18. “That’s a good point mayo 88 but that rules out Dillon. And to a lesser degree Aos?”

    Dillon had good games in 04 and 12, and scored an absolutely crucial point in 2016, when he was at the impact sub stage of his career. 2006/2013 were just horrible team performances all round, you could count on one hand the players that stood out in those (06 was over after 10 minutes)

    Aidan played fairly well in 17 but that was about it against this Dublin side. You couldn’t leave him out though

    Parsons, Durcan, Harrison, Barrett would be ones on the fence that would be the main beneficiaries of a strong AI final performance weighting. Not many forwards would benefit from it!

  19. Just checked and Liam McHale retired in 1999 so of course can’t then make the list.

  20. New podcast episode just up. Great interview by Billy Joe Padden with Cillian O’Connor in this one. The Mayo XV selection will be online this evening. A few of you have come close to naming the fifteen we picked, all will be revealed later on!

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