Diarmuid O’Connor is our Player of the Year


Photo: GAA.ie

Right, the votes are in and counted and by a decisive margin the winner of this year’s Mayo GAA Blog Player of the Year award is Diarmuid O’Connor. The flying wing-forward claimed 33% of the vote, with Tom Parsons next on 20%, Aidan O’Shea on 18% and Lee Keegan on 15%.

In truth, any of those four would have been worthy winners (Aidan got my vote) but it was obviously those barnstorming championship performances – capped by a superb MOTM display in last weekend’s All-Ireland semi-final replay against Dublin –  that won it for Diarmuid. It was, all told, quite a breakthrough year for the young Ballintubber man, who having now succeeded older brother Cillian as the holder of this particular award, seems set also to emulate him later in the year when the GAA/GPA Young Footballer of the Year award is handed out.

Hearty congrats to Diarmuid and to all of our standout performers this year.

135 thoughts on “Diarmuid O’Connor is our Player of the Year

  1. Well done Diarmuid, well deserved. A suggestion Willie Joe, could you do a review post indicating & summarising what the pundits said about Mayo after Dublin replay. Some of the analysis excellent & it would be interesting to see it summarised. At this stage it seems that shortcomings were not so much player & team ability as psychology, game plan & tactics. Jim McGuinness analysis, before & after Dublin games, stood out for me.

  2. That was something I simply couldn’t face last week, Patriciaexile – I think links to all of the relevant post-matches pieces were provided here in the comments during the week. The pain has begun to subside now but, to be honest, I’m not sure I’ll have the time or the enthusiasm for that unhappy task this week either.

  3. I understand that Willie Joe but maybe in time you might feel able to tackle it. Defeat this year seems different to previous years. It is as if we have reached a plateau & that issues like tactical management & seeing out games that are winnable have come back to haunt us. Wonderfully positive to see a young player like Diarmuid bursting on to the scene. It would be fascinating to listen to the players views & see how they see things. Of one thing I am sure, response has to have a bit more depth than ‘we can’t wait for 2016’. Pundits may not give us all the answers but the best of them point in the right directions.

  4. Well done to Diarmuid. I can’t recall when we last had a half forward like him?
    He uses his football intelligence and awareness to make space for himself. Can pass with either foot and hand, can score from distance, works hard and can tacke to get turnovers.

  5. Well done to Diarmuid, he has had a superb season. The greatest asset that the O’Connor brothers posses is their mentality, they are fearless. We will need more players like that if we are to start winning some major silverware.

    For us now I think that everyone should sit down and watch the All-Ireland final very carefully and see what these teams will do differently from what we did. We should try to learn about what works and what doesn’t work in the white heat of battle. What we are doing at the moment has not been successful for us so we need to make those subtle changes that can give us the extra edge in the big games.

  6. Congratulations Diarmuid and well done. To be a winner in this present company is an indicator of all the hard work and committment you and your mentors have put in. Cillian did not score too well on this one but still had a great year by any standards. What I find most enjoyable is the understanding and intelligence between the brothers.

  7. Congrats to Diarmuid. A fantastic debut season. We all knew he was going to be super but this happened quicker than expected.

    I have been ridiculed here for talk of storm clouds gathering earlier in the season between the different parties involved in our senior team. I see that people on the last thread are beginning to feel the drizzle and can hear the thunder in the background. Lightning is probably going to strike this week. The good thing about a storm is that there is a calmness and brightness to look forward to afterwards.

  8. A real break-out season for the kid. Hopefully we can bring through two or three more during the league. We still have the bones of an excellent squad there.

  9. This time last year we found ourselves in a difficult place. JH had quit and it looked like the end of an era. We have no history of successful changeovers. Yet in spite of all the negativity over the last year we exceeded my expectation in getting to the semis with some useful additions on board. Everyone said Dublin in August would be a tricky assignment. And so it proved. I just cannot get my head around the glass is half empty mentality. TV pundits are not experts IMO. They are for the most part lazy entertainers. They help fill in the gaps between half game time. Yet so much of our thinking and commentary is based on this. It’s time we up our game on the sideline and terraces. The real experts you will meet one the highways and byways of our county. In the up and comming championship games in the coming weeks.

  10. I remember an incident in a game early in the season. Diarmuid was getting a “welcome to senior football” treatment. His sole focus, despite serious provication was, is there an advantage to us in a quick free.
    An old head. Well done to him.and all.
    Cigar next year.

  11. Congrats to Diarmuid. It has been some season for him. One I’m sure he will never forget. Hopefully he can continue to build and improve. It also is a real eye opener to other younger guys striving to get into that first team. Not to give up.

    And fans shouldn’t either. We have one of the best squads in the country and barring serious injury we should be thinking we will be there or thereabouts again this time next year.

  12. Congrats to diarmad and u can’t have fairer than an open poll but can’t help but feel AOS will be realizing in the eyes of supporters…”your only as good as your last game

  13. Well done to Diarmuid, well deserved. That coolness, composure and focus that he and his ‘older’ brother possess are rare and special in the modern footballer. Energy like that on the training field, the dressing room and the pitch can only have a similar effect on the rest of the squad.
    If injury stays out of his way I’d hope to see him start every league game next year.

  14. Well done to Diarmuid, but I can see Cantini’s point.
    Personally I thought Aidan was the stand-out player over the course of the year. Let’s make sure we utilise him much better next year, particularly in the games against the very best sides.

    Diarmuid was the biggest plus of the year though. A young player as good as this coming through is exciting. A couple more next year would be a huge bonus.

  15. I would still have given the nod to Aido. Hugely influential against Galway, Sligo and Donegal. Was taken out of the game in the first match against the Dubs through persistent fouling. His performance suffered the second day out due to our own poor service to him. He still warranted two men on him.

  16. Agree that both O’Connor brothers show exceptional composure & poise. Think Cillian is great team captain material, as Keith did not seem to relish the role. Take the point about pundits not knowing everything. Suggestion of looking at Kerry/Dub final & taking away learning points for Mayo is really good. How about a post after sun, ‘Half Dozen Lessons for Mayo from Kerry/Dub Final’ by Willie Joe or a guest? The chat around it would be interesting & valuable & maybe fun.

  17. Keith Higgins seemed to be out in his feet the last day Andrews seem to have him Beaten up a stick would like to see cillian and boyler as captain and vice captain

  18. Well done Diarmuid. I picked Tom Parsons myself but Diarmuid is a worthy winner. I wonder will we see anymore from that minor winning team break through bext year. I would have high hopes for conor loftus to take a place in the half forward line but it would be a huge step up. Anyway, thats for another day. Today is congratulate Diarmuid

  19. Slightly mystified as to how Diarmaid has ended up as POTY. Which isn’t for a moment to deny his talent or his potential to develop to superstardom.

    On another note, I see Hogan Stand are saying, via The Western, that Mayo ‘chiefs’ expect Buckley and Solan to remain on, while also adding that neither has made their intentions known yet.

  20. Dear Willie Joe,

    As an (almost) 78 year-old addict to this blog, I wish to thank you for allowing me to indulge one of my life’s most positive addictions. The humour, the opinions,the analysis, the heartache, hurt and anger all contribute massively to my life-long love of Mayo football. Many, many thanks for this unique and wonderful service.

    Dear Hope Springs Eternal,
    I share your philosophy. This year it seems to have sprung earlier than usual because I’m already looking forward to 2016.
    The contribution re the Death Zone was very interesting. The longest mile………….

    Dear All,
    It took until last night before I could watch the game again, and I’d love to know what others thought of Seamies’ sending off. It’s done and dusted I know but it seemed abundantly clear to me that J. Cooper had charged into Seamies’ back off the ball. Was that how others saw it? It infuriated me to see it. Seamie shouldn’t have retaliated but his was an honest and open reaction to a foul that should have been penalised.

  21. I hope we see more of the minor winning sides of the last 2 years emerge into the senior ranks. There is no guarantee of course and different guys mature at different stages. Diarmuid throwing down the gauntlet to his old team mates Michael Plunket looked good back then, but I do not know if he made his mark on the senior team. Personally I would not be confident of too many more than that judging by progress made on the club scene perhaps steven or Fionon or TJ might in time.

  22. Well done DOC Great season and serious player for the future. However I voted for Aiden. Great v Galway, Outstanding v Sligo, the match changing score v Donegal, Good v Dubs in draw and poorly utilised in replay. I think its like the All Stars, you are only judged on you last two performances, hence the AI Finalists always get the bulk of awards with beaten semi finalists getting a token few. This is no criticism of Diarmuid, he was fantastic. Wish a few more of those minors would make a breakthrough. It appears a few posters, obviously in the know, are predicting some shit hitting the fan this week. If so then thats symmetery. It was exactly a year ago since Co Board botched up selection process for new manager. As if I wasnt sick enough of seeing Kerry beating Donegal in AI Final we were then subjected to having to listen and read about the insanely unorthodox way our new management team was selected. Definitely one of the lowest points in what has been a roller coaster of some fantastic highs and dreadful lows as Mayo supporter in last 5 years.

  23. Wud have went with Keegan meself. Serious operator in 3 big games when it mattered. Fair play to young o Connor though. A lad for the future. Another 2/3 like him and weel be ok.

  24. Loads of rumours alright, Cythia, but very little where it comes to facts or specifics. And you know me where it comes to discussing rumours here, so best park this one until such time as there’s something tangible to talk about.

  25. Can someone explain what all this shite talk about a “turbulent few weeks ahead for Mayo football” is all about? Ger Bohan, why don’t you back up your claims? What are you on about? We can handle it, just throw it out there!!! or are you just making stuff up to stir the pot?

    im sick of all this doom and gloom malarkey since we lost to Dublin, did Noel or Pat cause Lee to hit such a tame shot when we were 4 points up? Did they cause Mikey Sweeney to get white line fever in the first game, when a cooler head would have took another solo, then pop it over the bar? I love this bunch of players more than anyone, but maybe, just maybe, they are to blame for not closing out the game, im sure they’d admit it themselves! Im not criticising their spirit, commitment or attitude in anyway shape or form, im not the one putting my life on hold for Mayo Gaa, they all have my utmost respect. But, they failed to close out the game, simple as. This witch hunt for the managment is crazy.

  26. PJ, I feel we will see more minors step up next year. In fairness, Diarmuid was always primed, he was always going to be ready quicker.

    I would expect Conor O’Shea to be further on next year (albeit a bit older than the other lads). Stephen Coen being involved this year can only be positive. Michael Hall doing very well at Breaffy by all accounts. A classy footballer with decent senior experience so far in the league this year. Matthew Ruane and Gary Walsh from the 2014 minors also doing well with Breaffy. Liam Irwin back playing, hopefully he pushes on, bags of potential.

    Plenty yet to come. Hopefully whatever is going on in the background can be sorted and the best outcome for Mayo football prevails, whatever that may be.

  27. Juan, I see your point, but the argument I would make about Mikey Sweeney getting “white line fever” (never heard that before!) is that, no, of course it’s not their fault, but they did decide to put him on the pitch and leave a 3-time All-Star forward on the bench at the same time. That is a questionable decision indeed. Especially since he has tortured Dublin in the past!

  28. Would not put Aidan and Diarmaid in the same category.Aidan is one of the best in Ireland..Diarmaid is super but learning the trade so to speak.
    I would put Diarmaid behind Lee Cillian and Keith.But one to watch certainly.
    Feel there is a lot of realism around which is not a bad thing.

  29. I am with you on that one Juan. MayoMark I hope you are correct about all those young guns. They need all our support which ever way it turns out.

  30. MayoMark, I presume your referring to Dillon, and to be fair, its a valid point in hindsight. imo Sweeney was rightly brought on for his pace, which was the right call considering the dubs were goosed, im not having a go at the lad, but he knew it himself at the final whistle, while other mayo players were content with the draw, Sweeney put his hands to his face straight away, he knew he had a massive oppurtunity! Ive no doubt he will learn from it. I hope conor o shea makes an impacr next year, physically, he has the lot! Anyone know what height (roughly) is Fionan Duffy??

  31. I’d like to think we could shape up S o s for fullback. It’s a problem spot and will be if it’s not solved etc into future.i don’t think it’s an outrageous suggestion . We seem to have an adequate supply of able midfielders if we look after them properly and I hate the thought of going into another season without making a positive move in this area . The present encumbent had often been described as a ‘ he ll make a good fullback’ but when?
    In respect of that minor team of two yr ago where is T Conroy from Erris keeping himself and what’s his form does anyone know? He looked the real Mc Coy back then!

  32. I went for Cillian because of all the men on that team we would be gooched without him.
    He is and has been our key player for the last 4 years we would be nowhere without him.
    Thats not taking anything from Diarmuid who was our best new comer of the last couple of years.Thanks to Mr & Mrs O’Connor also for producing such fine footballers.

  33. Inbetweener, T.Conroy has had a turbulent year. His dad passed away last Christmas and has had a hip injury. But I think he is back playing with Kiltane.

  34. I don’t know I have heard the same rumour from too many reliable sources at this stage that I believe there is something in it. For those looking to know, just think about how management changed between 1992 and 1993 in Mayo football.

  35. Re: Pat Keely

    Spot on Pat. I’ve been saying the same thing and for the most part my obsevation of this particular cynical incident at a penultimate period in the match have been overlooked. Cooper’s delberate foul on O’Shea was completly unprovoked and the only purpose seems to have been to get a reaction from OShea. Mayo cannot defend against this type of cynical play, or can we? The culprit gets rewarded and the victim gets punished. Nobody wants this type of bullshit in our game and it needs to be stamped out or else we need to get proactive and target key oppostion players in random off the ball situations. What is particularly galling about Cooper’s cynical play is that it came 6 days after he attempted to end the the playing career of our player of the championship.

    I still think the best team won and we made our own bed this year by not being as decisive as the dubs in our attacking game. If we continue to run down blind alleys we are setting ourselves up to get mugged.

  36. What I remember about 92/93 was that Brian McDonald got shafted by the players.
    The whole “We were pushing cars” thing. Then you see not until after 2010 or so it was popular with Olympians and field sports for athletes to push weighted sleds …. the exact same exercise as pushing a car and Brian McDonald was doing it in 1992.
    The other thing was Peter Ford going to McDonald and saying you can’t play Padraig Brogan. I rewatched it recently. Apart from picking up a yellow it had no negative effect on the game, Donegal hit him a few digs but that was it. Much bigger negative effect was Peter Forde switching himself back onto Tony Boyle after already having being roasted for 25 minutes. Flanagan took over for final ten minutes of first half and quietened him. Teams come out for second half and unbelievably Forde goes over and picks up Tony Boyle.
    Where would Mayo football have been by 1996 if McDonald had been allowed get on with what were modern methods. His main problem was the older lads wouldn’t buy in.
    My overall point is there is rarely anything good comes out of these upheavals.
    Noel and Pat with their backroom don’t want the best for Mayo football? Not a chance.

  37. I don’t think anyone doubts that Pat & Noel want what’s best for Mayo football JP.
    Whether they are capable of delivering it is a much more difficult question to answer. If the players feel the answer to that question is no, then it’s hard to see how things will improve next year with the same group (players & mgmt in place).

  38. I read a Ford interview just a few months ago which referenced the Padraig Brogan to be not brought on a sub conversation from Ford himself. Can’t seem to find that link now.
    It was a full interview before Mayo – Donegal quarter final.

  39. JP I think you are naive. The game is at a different level now. The players have not been happy with the attitude and set-up. They did what they did this season because they were better. When pressure was on we were not. It is time for these lads to go and Mike Connelly was quick to try and stop that push.

    Does anybody think Pat Holmes and Noel Connolly will win an All Ireland with this bunch?

    Will this bunch reach their potential with them?

    Do the players believe in them?

    Unless the answer is yes to all 3 it is time to go bye bye

  40. It was a major error to start an injured Vaughan last week just as we started an injured John Morley in 1967.An injured back puts pressure on all around him. We did the same in 97 with Flanagan–surely Noel should have learned a lesson there. Putting Vaughan on meant we had no midfield sub– Kirby not listed as a sub. We should not have started all3 midfielders
    We need a forward coach as all 3 selectors are backs. We are not far off,mettle now instilled in entire panel. Lets use the league to blood new players.

  41. It’s on the radio that Buckley is moving on.big loss but hopefully we’ll get someone who fill the roll

  42. Tom P had got my vote but full credit to Diarmid, great break through year and a shining example for what is required from other young players. What a credit the O Conor boys are to their family , thoroughly professional lads in an amateur sport.

    I really hope our lads go away and have a good blow out, drink pints, shots, eat curries and Mc Donalds whatever it takes to leave the intense football behind and come back refreshed with clear minds in January .

    I don’t buy into this whole management v players debate as I dont think management done a whole pile wrong but anyhow we will see .

    Moving onto next year everybody know where we need to improve but just a few thoughts at the end of the season would be

    GK – We need Clarke, fit
    Fullback line – Chrissy Barret has the no.2 nailed down and was superb against the Dubs .
    Fullback is still the area of concern and by no means anti Ger Caff, you dont get handed out an All Star for nothing but Ger needs to be more assertive and aggressive or else he will be left behind .
    I really dont know what the solution to this role is?
    Can Coen or Vaughan be converted into strong ball playing, high fielding fullbacks, are Shane McHale, Kevin Keane or Tom Cunniffe ready to step up, or is there another solution in converting a former midfielder like Geraghty ( U21 Captain from few years ago) from Ballintubber into a fullback?

    Halfbackline see’s an embarrassment of riches with guys with massive potential coming through too in addition to the massive quality that is Keegan, Boyler and Durkan . Hall, Duffy, Drake, Coen all have massive potential also.
    I do think we need a Karl Lacey type no.6 and for that next year I would like to see Kevin McLoughlin stationed at no.6 . He can link play, dictate the tempo of the game, win breaks, attack , defend etc , a great player who is currently being targeted and crowded out in the forwards .

    Midfield is as good as anywhere in the country and Seamie , Tom P and Barry never got beaten this year , they just ran out of steam having to cover too much ground .
    For that reason I would actually play Seamie at no. 11 and tell him, he done nothing wrong this yer but we want you to concentrate on attacking next year, winning break and kick outs and breaking the game line in attack, creating overlaps, feeding your brother inside, not wearing you out by one minute being in fullbackline next in fullforward . I think Tom P is the modern day exapmle of a midfielder and if we could get someone lees as equally mobile as him we would have a very dynamic duo in the engine room.
    I know Keegan and Vaughan have being tried but maybe one of them or Coen , maybe even young Cian Hanley if it doesn’t wok out down under.

    Halforwards were a disappointment with exception of DOC.
    He done really well . Jason Doh and Kevin MC were targeted by Dublin to reduce Mayos mobility and quality of ball into AOS and COC and they two boys were forced to defend and didn’t get on the ball enough .
    I think we need another guy to break the lines, win breaks, run direct and hard and I cant think of anyone better than Cathal Carolan .Hopefully he will be all the stronger after his injury and can bring that searing pace as he did 2 years ago.

    Inside line of AOS and COC, need better quality ball and they will beat anyone, but they are not too mobile so we need to feed them smart and with quality .

    I do hope Andy hangs on for another year but with family and commitments it wont be easy but either way he and Dillon owe us nothing they are great servants who gave us many the great day in Croker.

    SO to just try and get over this year ~I do think we were beaten by the better squad and in looking forward to next year as thats all we can do I would like to see a few changes like the below team being tried with a set game plan of 1 sweeper for the National League




  43. I expect Noel and Pat to have a much better year next year tactically. I expect there to be a shake up in terms of how the attack side of the team is trained and prepared.
    I don’t expect there to be great positivity out of a situation where the lads are shoved out and a replacement found. Every single article online and in newspaper from the point of shoved out until we would finish next years championship would bleat on about it.
    Noel and Pat have things to improve. The players have things to improve.
    On the balance of outcomes for me the best is that everyone rests up and gets on with that improvement. Dropping the ash bucket on the kitchen floor will be messy as hell and would simmer on for years afterwards.
    I would expect any frustration was maybe that we were still pushing tackling, tackling, tackling drills when it wasn’t our performance gap. Our gap was our teamwork on the attack side. That will be worked on next year I have no doubts.
    There are options coming through who will add to the strength of the panel.

  44. This panel doesn’t have time for Noel and Pat to learn on the job JP.

    what positives have these two brought to the job this year? I can’t think of any? From the shambles versus Tyrone to the collapse against Dublin we have done nothing different to the minimum that we would have expected. Players have to take some role but they came in to move things on.

  45. All the negative press would add a dash of negativity to every training session, match and post match interview. It would be All Ireland of bust for the person who takes over. No such thing as a 2-3 year development plan with the 2013/14 minors coming into their prime in 2017/18 mixed with our strong core of OSheas/OConnors/Keegan/Parsons. That is a lot of pressure on a management team and panel.

  46. We have to stick with Pat and Noel, after all we picked them over Kevin McStay.
    I think they are getting unfair press, they looked to adopt their game plan to suit opposition but changing paddles midstream, didnt quiet work out but with that there were factors such as us being 4 points up on Dublin, we just got tired, main players couldnt keep the tempo, we hadnt the bench Dublin had to deploy and better squad won the game.
    I would have confidence in them untill such time as told otherwise but there were looking to make changes and it worked to a degree , they setup what was it 20 different players on weights programs etc and seeing the change in Alex Corduff, Stephen Duffy, Michael Hall etc can only bode well for next year or the future.

  47. Hi
    Well done diarmuid O c…
    Have heard a lot if talk about players been really unhappy with holmes and Connelly after semi, in that heard they do bit want to play under them again. Look I hope this isn’t true as would lead to big turbelance especially with Noel Connelly brother been the chairman. I’m thinking of the civil war In hollymount/carramore( connellys club).
    Could be all false, but I don’t fancy a player vs manager struggle..

  48. All – could we please park all talk of rumours about what may be happening in relation to the senior team and management? I’ve heard plenty of stories myself but nothing has been confirmed publicly as yet and until it is there’s little point discussing here what might or might not be going on.

  49. agree with Outside of the boots assessment and team …

    I think we would be preparing for a final on Sunday, if Clarke was in goal…………

    In relation to the management, I don’t think they will be changed….

  50. Is there ever a year following a loss that there aren’t rumours of unrest and rebellion in the camp? Is there ever a year where the county board aren’t under fire? Is it the same in every other county, or do we just particularly like picking scabs, tossing blame around, and hurling from the ditches?

    The rumour mill has been in overdrive for the past two weeks, each story from the camp more eyebrow-raising from the last but not worth repeating second, third and fifth-hand.

    Ultimately though, whether something happens or nothing happens, it feels like a lose-lose situation from where I’m sitting. But perhaps that’s just the despondency refusing to lift.

  51. I can tell anyone reading that the 2/Mayo players I spoke to since the our defeat to Dublin are very depressed over it. Note neither said anything at all about the management, but reading between the lines II took it that they wanted C & H gone. Sometimes what you don’t say means allot. I also note that on yesterday’s “Western People” “Horans Cap” column, writing about the Irish rubgy teams chances on the upcoming world cup the headline reads. “On no account let the opposition see your hand” or words to that effect. Is that a message for Mayo’s current management team? If it is, is already too late. Dub bloom knew exactly what e were going to do. Maybe I’m reading into it what I want to find, but for me no Mayo senior team player has said anything remotely positive about C&H since Dublin, that for speaks volumes!

  52. I agree Anne Marie. Every year after a loss there is that negative.

    However this year the negatives were there before a ball was thrown in.

    The relationship between players and management appears non-existent

  53. PJ 2. How you can deduce that we would be in the all Ireland final if Clark was in goal is beyond me. Was Clark not injured V Donegal? Was he fully fit? True Henelly es not at his best for Dublin’s second goal, but he’s only one of three on my opinion on that instant. Kevin McLoughlin was not at his ball winning best for the kickout, Ger Caff should have been much more robust and put Brogan out over the sideline or at least fouled him and coincided a14/meter free, and of course Henelly was poor and caught badly out. Can I draw your mind to our midfield options or lack of at the time, when Henelly tool that ill fated kickout. Of course Henelly was at fault, he knows it we all know it. But following Dublins first goal Mayo lacked total structure and their read only going to be one winner. To take off all our midfielders es tantamount to giving Dublin the match.

  54. Kevin McGloughlin was outfielded by one of the Dublin midfield players. Taller lads specializing in catching kickouts. Kevin can catch a kickout but he doesn’t catch them in the crowd which is the essential skill of a midfielder that you can’t develop after minor. Even I pulled off some catches of kickouts uncontested at club level. Different when midfielders close by.

  55. Okay, I thought you were inferring he should have made the catch. Yes agree, he didn’t have much of a chance of outfielding midfielders.

  56. Kevin McLoughlin had no chance of making that catch because he tried to catch it with one hand as Cian O’Sullivan was holding his left hand.

  57. So we’re having a review of management by the manager’s brother.

    The manager’s brother stood in the background last year and let Paddy McNicholas take the bullets for the appointment fiasco last year.

    Buckley staying on was a big selling point then. Now he is gone. Solan is gone too.

    Worrying times. Pat was entrusted with our last great team and destroyed them. Lost to Sligo, Roscommon and Westmeath.

    Nobody shouted stop and the likes of James Horan were allowed retire early.

    I think somebody must shout stop now. The players will not perform for this management next year. They should go and the chairman should go. He is conflicted and would not be a positive influence on a new setup

  58. I dont know if the players are happy with management or not,but who is out there, in my mind the only managers with a better profile would be mcguinness, harte,or dublin,or kerry managers,does anyone think they are available. I have said before that mcstay or mchales cv does not encourage me that they be any better,before anyone says all Ireland club championship, well what about tom Jordan, tom lyons,and I think st bridgets was further along the road than cross,or ballina.s rochford has potential but needs more time.i have read how j gavin was better on the sideline he certainly was not the first day I think they deserve another year at least, I dont know either pat or noel as I did not know j horan but I think they have changed the expectation of mayo football this last few years.does anyone think any mayo foward apart from one would start for dublin our midfield was better,but their half back line was just as good as ours.that is not to criticise any mayo footballer who has given everything to the cause, last year I was very pessimistic but this year I can see some more players putting their hands up which we need eg durkin coen hopefully co shea c loftus and more so I hope we stick together for next year

  59. Sounds like we will be parking our bus as the wheels seem to be falling off…didnt realise Barry solan was definitely gone ..

  60. Its true Auds.

    Take anything Mayo GAA with a pinch of salt. A few days ago they said they were staying, today they are saying it’s the management’s responsibility. Fact is they stood down last week.

  61. Is that a rumour about Buckley and Solan leaving?

    This is worrying- everything seems to be falling apart and that never ends well. This needs to be sorted asap before it festers

  62. This was in the Indo today:

    Doubts have emerged as to whether Donie Buckley will remain on as coach to the Mayo football team. There is strong speculation now that the Kerry native, who has been involved with the Kingdom in the past and was also a joint-manager with Clare, will bring to an end his Mayo involvement.

    Mayo PRO Aiden McLoughlin said last night that the board had received no formal notification of Buckley’s departure. The future of strength and conditioning coach Barry Solan is also unclear. Solan linked up with Arsenal in a similar capacity during the summer and committed to work with his native county until the end of the season.

    The board are expected to review all aspects of 2015 with the joint-managers and representatives of the squad in the coming weeks. County board chairman Mike Connelly expressed the hope last week that both Buckley and Solan would be on board in 2016.

  63. Pat and Noel done a fine job in 2015.The mood in the camp has been very positive all year. Management have publically praised the squad in the media. We lost one championship game all year. Only Dublin and Kerry have exceeded this. One of them will loose by the weekend.This is a similar situation to what JH found himself faced with in year one. Of course some guys have lost out this year but look at who you choose as POY. In any other county this would count as progress. There is also a stir the shite agenda, we have always had one and this is no different.

  64. As a sligo man this apparent discord is very encouraging….but I say apparent because I’m not buying a word of it.

  65. To those arguing that we should not change management I think the mantra has to, do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

    Because I think that since their appointment there has been a cloud over them. The players have not bought into them and do not look like buying into them. so if they don’t next season is likely to be miserable. We will waste a year of a talented group and risk losing our Division 1 status. No point making the change when the milk is spilled.

  66. Ger, if that did happen, who would you like to see take over based on the list of people available? I personally don’t see much out there in terms of alternatives.

    I really doubt McGuinness would be available as he’s got a big role with Celtic now.

  67. Personally I would give it to Stephen Rochford. Jim McGuinness would be fantastic. James Horan is another option but you are going back to the future.

    If what is said about Donie Buckley and Barry Solan going then the backroom team is crumbling and that is very worrying because these are the critical jobs.

  68. There’s an awful air of inevitability here, and a sensation of the wheels coming off the wagon.

    Ever get the feeling that in 10 years’ time we’ll be looking back in anger, just as many of us still are about ’96?

    Haven’t been able to shake off the despondency since Saturday week, and it just seems to be getting heavier. And the worst part of it is, there’s not a damn thing we can do about it apart from stand by and watch it happening.

  69. Yes I agree that it is very worrying if that is true.

    I personally feel that one year is very short to give any management team. If they have the players backing (and I know there are rumours to the contrary), I think they deserve another year.

    I think Rochford would be a huge risk. I would love to see him take on 21s but it’s a big step up from club to the top tier of inter county. Most top managers are now groomed as selectors or underage before stepping up.

    I was very sad to see Horan go but surely we can’t go back to him after a year. He also has a big job with Coke to think about.

    McGuinness would be great but unattainable, in my opinion. It’s hard enough commuting to Scotland from Glenties without adding on a commute to castlebar as well. I think he’d find it hard to coach anyone except his home county as well.

  70. Rochford isn’t in the pot for the U21s, unfortunately (he certainly would have been my own preference). Michael Solan (broter of Barry) and Anthony McGarry are the two candidates, due to be interviewed next week, according to yesterday’s Mayo News.

    As for McGuinness .. dream on folks. If we couldn’t afford McStay last year … 😉

  71. This is my first post on this excellent forum, so bear with me if there are any shortcomings obvious!!.. Congrats to Diarmuid O’ Connor, but i would have given the award to Aidan O’Shea as i felt he was Mayo’s standout player…As for the rumblings of discontent allegedly in the Mayo camp at the moment, i think people need to take a step back and analyse the reality. Under this management, Mayo retained their Division 1 status (no mean feat). They secured a fifth Connacht title in a row, with a record winning margin in the final. They then had an impressive win over Donegal, last year’s beaten finalists. They then staged the mother and father of a comeback to draw with Dublin, a team who could yet be All Ireland champions. Okay, a winning position was blown in the replay, but that happens. I believe management have maintained the performance levels of the Horan years, and for people to want them out is madness.

  72. I wouldn’t be calling for new management unless I could see a viable alternative. For me only 3 names come up, McStay, Horan, Fallon and as assistant Liam McHale maybe available. Of these only McStay is on the market and Co Board turned him down last time. His delay confirming Ros job may be an indicator of something or may be totally irrelevant. But there would be war over there if totally he’s lined up and did a U turn.
    Although management made mistakes, we were trying to win both Dub games a few players short on them and Kerry. I reckon Donie had to have seemed fit as their track record has been the lads given the chance when others injured hold the jersey as long as they do well. Barrett and Hennelly held theirs. Suspect Hennelly retained for continuity also from drawn match and I wouldn’t be heaping blame there apart from the 1 rushed kickout but pressure can get to anyone as we saw with Cluxton in 1st game. I for one was cheering on hearing Barry’s name on replay sheet but thought it would be a twin towers strategy.

  73. …. I hope next year one of the backs will be converted (Keith or Donie) into forward line as this year’s new talent mostly arrived in the backs and it takes 2 years for most new players to break in. Of the league finds Keane and Ronnie were demoted during championship. Keane really did very little wrong on the pitch but speculate A vs B during the hot season may be the reason.
    Also we need a brick wall built fast full back as we’ve one lad with each attribute as opposed to a McGee who’s both. Coen and Drake may have this or Seamus O’ Shea. Also can Conor O Shea be moulded into inter county player? Faster than the brothers and totally 2 footed. Can Kirby go up a notch? Is Regan the real deal or wishful thinking and will Conor Loftus get a good run. Also Gibbons and Carolan should be back, where can we use them? Can a few first teamers be allowed a longer winter break? Solan good for individual programmes.

  74. In this situation the players are the most people that we should listen to. Below are the words of Lee Keegan:

    Mayo defender Lee Keegan is adamant that the current squad is unique in their own way.

    Following their latest All-Ireland SFC semi-final defeat, many have claimed that it is the same old Mayo, but Keegan stressed to the Western People that the current crop of players have a different mentality.

    “People are sick of saying same old Mayo, but it’s not really same old Mayo because this group is a unique kind of group. We are challenging these teams year-in, year out and we are still producing big days in Croke Park,” said Keegan.

    “I think that it is very easy to say this is typical Mayo, losing a game that they could have won. Dublin were just better than us on the day and that’s the reality. Some people have to accept that. I’ve accepted it nearly.

    “At the end of the day, we have to look to next year again and see what we can do better as a team and as a management – everything. It’s just a per cent, we need to get that one per cent and drive home, because this group is good enough to win it.

    “I do firmly believe that if we come back year-in, year-out and give as much as we can to the cause to win Sam. It’s been too long and at the end of the day we just have to really strive for more success.”

  75. Re Shuffly Deck’s comment about Mc Stay and Roscommon. From what i’ve heard, it’s supposed to be a done deal, with Liam Mc Hale, Fergal O’Donnell and David Casey all involved… It has been speculated, that the delay in announcing it, is to allow Mc Stay to complete his role as analyst on ‘The Sunday Game’ next Sunday night. Whether all this is accurate or not, only time will tell.

  76. I was watching clips on youtube of the goals we conceded against the Dubs this morning, shocking stuff.

    I think this would be the team I would go with for next year.

    First of all I would go with Clarke in goal, although clearly not as competent as hennelly with kick outs. He adds a sense of calm , authority and presence.
    He does not make silly mistakes and commands the square with authority. Can we afford to keep conceding sloppy goals year in year out ?
    A rhetorical question …I think the last two all Ireland semi finals answers that.

    We obviously need a new full back, we need a full back with presence, authority and one that’s able to put in tackles.. on that basis I would try Vaughan or SOS in the full back line

    The discovery of Patrick Durcan this year gives us new options in the half back line.

    Aidan o Shea should be played at center forward, he should be told to hold that position and not be drifting out to midfield, It was clear to be seen in the reply that he ran out of legs towards the end when he was drifting towards midfield.

    The quarter finals of the club championship will be very interesting to see if we have any other potent forwards.

    I would give regan / conor loftus as much game time in the league as possible, both know where the posts are.

    Anyone else aware of any other players around mayo not in the squad that are up to that level ?

    Vaughan/ SOS
    SOS /Vaughan
    Diarmuid o Connor
    MC Loughlin
    Regan/Conor Loftus/

    what are peoples judgment on the team above?

    I think this team has a certain shelf life in it, Management made some terrible calls in the semi final.

    – Leaving AOS so isolated
    – concession of the Dublin kick out
    – taking off Barry Moran with sos black carded
    – Not making a change in our full back line – Paddy Andrews scored 6 points from play.

    I agree with Billie Joe Padden’s assessment in the mayo news…. Lots of questions have to be asked.;

  77. Pjmcmanus, In my opinion I don’t think we can equate this year’s achievements as that of James Horan first year at all. Firstly JH took over a yeah that has fallen to both Sligo and Longford the previous year. Connolly and Holmes took over a team that went to the All Irish semi final replay , after extra time, they were beaten by Kerry greatly helped the that excuse for a ref Cormac Reilly. It’s arguable that Mayo would be the All Ireland champions of 2014 had this appalling injustice not taken place. secondly I think C&H had better resources in terms of players than what JH had. My evidence for this Tom Parsons is now living full time in Ireland a luxury not afforded JHs team. Also as regards or Player of the year á voted by the good people of the Mayo GAA blog. Well last year Dermot O Connor was 19 and made his debut V New York. It’s no surprise that a young man of that age makes huge improvement and has nothing to do whoever the manager(s) are. The same goes for Patrick Durcan who is also 20. If you take into consideration the strength and conditioning done under JHs regime, the tackling coaching by Donnie Buckley Mayo had improved out of sight on these regards under. JH. Now I see no further improvment under C&H, I think at best we have stood still on these fronts, and some players have actually slipped back. This very talented and committed Mayo team of ours need the very best management possible. On my opinion we didn’t get that in 2015!

  78. Willie Joe would be interesting to do a poll on supporters views of whether the management should stay or go.

    On another note does anybody know if we are definitely playing London next year? What date is game? Must try to book flights

  79. I don’t see what purpose such a poll would serve, Ger – all we have to go on at the minute is a whole pile of rumours, none of which have been substantiated or verified in any way. I wouldn’t be prepared to run a poll on this basis, given that no-one can say for sure what the hell is going on behind the scenes.

  80. I know, Catcol – nature abhors a vacuum and all that! To be fair, most of the discussion has been centred on the merits of whether or not H&C should remain on and I’ve no problem with arguments being advanced for and against this. Also I don’t think the County Board are exactly helping matters at the minute, what with Mike Connelly’s ill-chosen words after the replay and the ongoing uncertainty and lack of confirmation from the Board (or management) about the positions of Donie Buckley and Barry Solan.

  81. Well i have it from a source within the camp…. ah no only joking Willie Joe 🙂
    I think there is no smoke without fire and if Buckley and Solan walk, H+C will be way out of their depth. ( if not already). I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt for this year, but the naivety shown against the Dubs is too much. Surely they see this themselves… Would our senior players have the courage to say it if that’s how they feel? We always call for leaders on the pitch, if the squad are not happy ( and i have no idea if they are or not) then they need to show leadership in this regard and speak up to whoever necessary.

  82. Willie Joe, I gathered from Mike Connolly’s remarks that H&C were responsible for appointing or reappointing (or not appointing), Buckley and Solan. I think it’s understandable that both of those people may be taking some time to consider their involvement for 2016.

    On the criticisms of H&C, I seem to recall much of the same after each All Ireland loss with JH. Indeed, the onslaught on Jim Gavin by Dublin friends after the drawn match, was particularly severe.

    The Western last week carried quite a bit of post match reflection by Noel Connelly, which I found plausible. For sure a number of decisions were questionable, but whose weren’t? I have to laugh when I talk to people this week lauding Gavin’s genius for using Macauley in the way he did.

    My friend from Offaly – a very objective and acute observer – reckoned the management had done quite well over the year. He thinks Dublin were/are an exceptionally good team, which seems to have passed unnoticed in a lot of the posts.

  83. Our footballers are professional athletes in all but name. Every aspect of the support structure is professional. The concern I have, and possibly shared by contributors to this site is that where it matters most, at the management level, the approach is amateur.

  84. Hello All, Just a few thoughts to sign off for the year. I would have voted for Aido but really i like the team in its entirety. I have read all the comments post match and would have liked to have seen Noel Connelly’s and James Horan’s if he made any.
    3 or 4 players get all the blame and then H & C for the defeat. Could one not say that about every game and if only……..
    Very quickly i got back to living in the present and started to get joy in my life. This surely must be what the players will try to do. So much harder for them. I can live with my wish not being fulfilled. At nearly 66 it is easier.
    I am surprised at the calls for Management Resignation. They kept faith with the inherited team and brought new players in. If the team are not happy then i would support any wish for change. The Management were heroes a short time ago apart from those with McStay fixation and now Jim McGuinness is fancied not to mention Jack O’Connor.
    I would think the team need some kind of Zen wisdom and play from a deeper centre. Like the Samurai Warriors ? The bull in the China Shop is hardly the answer to young educated men. We must be grateful for what has been, say Yes to what is to come. James Horan looks better than ever now but he got the same criticism in defeat.
    There is only this moment and when September 2016 comes it will be still this moment. Every Blessing to you all. Ciaran 2.

  85. Ciaran 2, I believe if Horan was to take the reigns for 2016 it would be positive vibe all round . As I think I’ve mentioned before I don’t believe (IMO) you have to listen to any rumours or tales to form the opinion the players would choose Horan over the the present lads. I don’t want to be harsh on them , I just think it’s horans team and I realise nowhere is the man to see this journey out , probably another two seasons .

  86. On the subject of john maughan …brilliant impression of himself , horan brolly etc done by aidan tierney on youtube …might not be everyones cup of tea but its spot on!!

  87. And when all is said and done, “it’s still the same old Mayo” so near and yet so far. Management not doing their stuff on the side-line, experienced players not showing leadership on the pitch and supporters falling silent when their team needs them most.

    As I left Croke Park last Saturday evening I found myself asking, will it ever happen in my life time. At 66 years of age and never having missed a Mayo match at headquarters in 40 years, I’m beginning to lose hope. Of course living in Dublin means it’s no big deal to get there, and I’m always lucky enough to secure my ticket, but I must admit these big days are beginning to loose their shine.

    Add to that, the sheer fucking annoyance of having to listen to all these experts who seem to know what we need to do to win, and the worse bit, a lot of them seem to be making since. According to Lee Keegan “we’re not the same old Mayo” but until we win Sam, I’m afraid as far as I’m concerned, we are.

  88. Willie Joe – I have been a reader of the blog for some time now and greatly appreciate the time and effort you devote to it. It is an excellent facility and I hope you keep it up for many years to come.

    Despite this, I would have to say that the ‘Blog is failing to facilitate debate on an essential issue of genuine concern – namely the continuation of the current management team. Clearly many readers and genuine Mayo supporters have significant concerns about the performance of management this year. Informed commentators (as opposed to their numerous uninformed colleagues) have highly critical of tactical errors on their part.

    Unfortunately the bonds of brotherly love mean that any such discussion
    will inevitably be suppressed within the County Board. The manner of last years appointment “process” was extraordinary and Mike Connelly’s recent statement demonstrates that he will tolerate no criticism of the management team.

    In this context it is crucial that the MayoGaablog permits an open expression of views on whether the management team should continue or not. It is wrong to dismiss these concerns as mere rumour. The question of whether Mayo supporters want the current management team to continue is not a question of rumour – it is a question of legitimate opinion. Surely this is an essential purpose of the ‘Blog?

    I would therefore ask you to reconsider your position and facilitate a poll of whether readers enjoy confidence in the current management team.

  89. If Maughan gets the u-21 job good luck to him but why are we looking back?

    Also say we get new senior management…what will be the discussion here this time next year if we are not preparing for a final?

  90. P makes a valid point. We are in danger of a number of scenarios playing out at the moment because despite the attempts at calm , it’s obvious things are rocky.

    1- We continue as the chairman stated . However we don’t know apart from the managers ,who the back room team is.

    2- It is apparent that there is a schism within the camp. Be that players and management or some players and management but that scenario drains.

    3- We get the alleged differences patched up, united front and pretend all is fine. I don’t believe it is.

    4- We are in a bad place. If management goes it’s a slap in the face for county board. Will they have an impartial view on next man/men in?

    5- If management stays where does it leave the team.

    6- All this is not conducive to retaining quality back room men or recruiting new top class men.

    7- Either the players have an issue or they don’t. Either way, this needs to be cleared up.

    8- Too much talk in press from certain players. We nearly back tracked on ourselves re Connolly.

    9- We need to be careful not to put this squad too high on a pedestal. Great yes but ’96 men came closer . We need freshness in the squad, lads who are not getting game time need to be let go and the next group tried.

    10- The crack handed management process last year is now coming home to roost. Players silence is deafening.

    11-Present management took over a team that hit a ceiling, a very high ceiling. Their brief was to break on through. They didn’t .

    12-Forget John Cuffes views (to many they are tainted) but the views stated by McGuinness, Quirke, O Rourke, Dara, Brolly, Philip Jordan amongst many pundits , they were laudatory about the players but polite about the sideline.

    13- This Mayo machine needed a single focused manager last year to tweak Horans building. McStay was that man. This week we are becalmed and McStay is out of our reach.

    14- Until the county is ran like a well oiled business like Dublin, Tyrone and Kerry , then it will be the excellent pedigree of players we produce that will keep our heads above water and legitimate contenders. They deserve the professionalism from all that they themselves bring on the pitch.

  91. Time to take a Rain check! ……Is it acceptable for a member of the panel to be tweeting their opinions like this?….is it just me or have the ‘Horan Babes’ lost the run of themselves? …….They have done nothing more than any man that ever donned the green & red. Time to reflect indeed.

  92. P – exactly where am I failing to facilitate debate? There’s been loads of debate here on the site since Saturday week about whether or not the management should stay on and I’ve done nothing to stop this “open expression of views”. Indeed, the very existence of the blog and the community that’s gathered around it has enabled the debate to take place so I’m afraid I don’t understand your accusation at all.

    What I don’t want – and have always been unapologetic about not wanting – is for the site to become the source of unsubstantiated tittle-tattle and the place where inside stories are leaked. On this issue, though, I think you’ll find (if you go back and read the comments that have been posted here over the last few days) that I’ve given plenty of latitude to commenters and haven’t (on purpose) taken a hard line on rumours. We all know something is up but until the details of exactly what that something is are known, people are going to continue speculating and I haven’t reined this in to any degree.

    Putting up a poll is a separate question and I don’t understand why you’ve conflated it in the way you have with the issue about facilitating debate. In any event, my view is that a “should they stay or should they go?” type of poll would be an utterly loaded question to pose and I don’t propose to do this. Aside from anything else, I cannot see what purpose posing such a question would usefully serve.

  93. I’ve heard from a very reliable source that the players are definitely not happy with the management team … And want them out .

    I think it may be of benefit to Mayo football if they went …

    Like they made some shambolic calls the 2nd day against Dublin

    Can this team keep coming back defeat after defeat I don’t know … We need to get the right man in now

  94. It was a difficult task for Noel and Pat to take over from James Horan. Success was winning an all Ireland and nothing less. As well you had a group of talented individuals and some big egos (which isn’t necessarily any harm) with very high expectations of those proposing to manage them. The dynamics of the situation may well have been that the managers actually ended up trying to impress the players instead of vice versa. Then you had the manner of their appointment which though not their fault was of no help to them at all.
    There are those who would say they had been handed a poisoned chalice and it’s hard to argue against that. As to the immediate future I cannot see any alternative but to get on with it and see what happens. Unfortunately I am somewhat pessimistic as I think 2016 is a step too far for many of our players and H&C are not that exceptional that they can lift a tired outfit to an even higher level of performance.
    Personally I’m getting weary of Clonliffe rd, Jones rd and Croke Park on big match days and coming away empty handed yet again. Like some others on here with a lot more years behind us than in front I fear I will not see Mayo win an all Ireland in my lifetime. And now I’m far less concerned about this than I am with seeing a great bunch of players not getting a Celtic cross to crown a great footballing career. I’m sad for them now more so than for myself as a supporter.
    But I will be out again in January at the FBD and so on and so on until eventually I’m called ashore myself. That’s just the way it is.

  95. Two questions:
    1. Who will replace the current management if they’re removed? (Let’s keep it realistic)
    2. Do people think player mounted coups are a good thing? (Given what happened in Cork).

  96. Surely it’s important to make sure you have a usable lifeboat before you abandon ship. It’s obvious there are problems in the camp but who’s the alternative? You would need a massive personality to walk into that dressing room and command the instant respect of this group of players. Who do people think can fill this role?

  97. @Liam I think there are not that many realistic people who we could look to, McGuinness – not a hope would he leave Celtic, and even if he would the “managers expenses” would be massive. Jack O Connor – Kerry through and through and doesnt rate us – again the wages would be huge. Kevin McStay – more than likely Roscommon.

    Outside of that if I was in charge i would not mind in the slightest Oisin McConville from Cross. Has played and won at highest level and has continued the club success in Armagh. He always appeared to me to be tactically aware and holds Mayo football in high regard.

    Other than that anyone for Donie Buckley as full on manager?

  98. McStay and Big Liam to land the job?

    Mickey Harte – if Tyrone give him the chop?

    Conor Mortimer as player-manager?

    The possibilities are endless.

    McStay would be my choice.

  99. If the players and management aren’t on the same page we are in for more failure in 2016. Maybe when they have this review it would want to be soon! the issues can be resolved.

  100. @Peewee
    This is my point. People are screaming for change and not putting a viable candidate forward. We seem to be in a very bad place at the moment if the rumours are true and it’s difficult to see an easy way out. I’m also waiting for someone to point me in the direction of a successful player revolt in the GAA.

  101. Mounted coups are a disaster – Full stop disaster.
    Has never worked in any county where you divide players, board and management.

  102. @ken
    McStay is gone to Roscommon
    Mickey Harte has been given 2 more years by Tyrone
    Since we’re in the realms of fantasy at this stage why not nominate Mickey Mouse?

  103. What’s the point in having a management team at the helm when the players aren’t fully behind them, JPM? I realise that it’s all hearsay at the moment but IF it is true, then they should be removed for the good of Mayo GAA.

    The fact is these players are on the road a long time, why waste another year. Appoint someone that they will be fully behind and freshen things up. The worst thing that could happen is that things go stale. The likes of Andy, Higgins, Boyle, Clarke etc are pushing on now, the next season or two is vital. It is my opinion that we will not win an All-Ireland with the current set-up, so we move on, try something else and back these group of players. Leaving things as they are would be a mistake IMHO.

  104. Why do we always blame the management when we come up short? ive been hearing for 30 years that the game was lost on the side line…when I see with my own eyes players kicking the ball wide or into the keepers hands players getting sent off for petulance basic skills letting them down….Then you have the usual idiots blaming the management or making up false rumors about bullshit rumours in the camp …..which will all be forgotten about in a few weeks ….yes we might lose Buckley but remember hes a Kerry man he was probably ever only going to stay for a few years & its forward coaches we need not experts in the tackle we already have 3 defence coaches in Holmes Connelly & Micheal Collins,
    It seems to me that theres a few posters here that already have a gripe & were only waiting for the chance to put the boot in.
    If only Horan had come up with the idea of playing big Barry as a sweeper against Donaghy in Limerick we would have our all Ireland last year.

  105. A bit worried about what I have been reading and hearing. Have absolutely brilliant time for this group of players. Had serious reservations about the appointment of H and C . Despite this I am gravely concerned by all the criticism of management. Did they really have such a bad year. Remember all the euphoria after Donegal game when they were lauded as geniuses. If you dont believe me check the blog. Even after drawn semi most were happy with them. For what its worth I think they made errors but I also think some of our players for whom I have brilliant time, just did not reach the incredibly high standards of previous years. Lets look at a few.. In backs Higgins, Caff , Boyle and Vaughan did not play as well this year. Up front Doherty and K Mac did not have their best years while even Cillian struggled until the semi. Now maybe all of this was the fault of the management but then again maybe it was not. It must be desperately hard for players to retain their top form year after year especially when the biggest prize of all doesnt come your way. And another thing. We were beaten by one hell of a good team. Believe it or not Dublin may happen to be better than us. I remember well the last serious player revolt in Mayo. We had just been beaten in a woeful AI Semi v Donegal. in 1992 The players were unhappy with Brian McDonald and so began the heave. The new messiah was the great Jack O Shea. Remember 1993. Lest any of us forget the score in the AI Semi was Cork 5 15 Mayo 0 10. Now thats what I call humiliation as we were the laughing stock of the land. Roll on 1994. Managed 2 4 v leitrim in Conn Final which we lost by 2. Within 2 years John Maughan came in and restored our pride and credibility which despite one or two exceptions we have retained since.Please dont go there again. Be careful what you wish for. On a final point I wish to disagree with poster who cast doubt over this site allowing a fair debate. Look at the posts since defeat v Dubs. Plenty of fair debate and different views in evidence I think. Keep up the excellent work WJ

  106. I dunno why players would turn against the management. It smacks of petulance if anything. I think players need to take responsibility for their actions on the field. And that’s all. It’s easy blame the management if things go awry. and that’s fine. Management can take that as they are the public face but privately players have a collective responsibility to also take the blame for shortcomings.

  107. Has James Horan not had enough opportunity? he failed. move on. change is needed and its still not too late to get mcstay. I went to college with a few lads from brigids, rated him highly, very organised and professional methods.

  108. Liam:

    “I’m also waiting for someone to point me in the direction of a successful player revolt in the GAA.”

    Mayo’s back to back all Irelands in 1950 and 1951 came as a direct result of a player revolt against the County Board led by Seán Flanagan

  109. To win just once is pretty close to the mark. We all thought management did a great job v Donegal. And I see no indication the players have the same opinion as the management critics here and Keegan’s statement also bang on the mark re this being a different Mayo team. They keep putting in the work, digging deep and coming back and the top 2 are really good teams, we’re close. Yes possible a few are tired and Solan would be very useful in identifying who could do with more winter rest. Dropping management after 1 year is rare in GAA. Team and management planned on a get together. Only they know the internals of the camp. If there were a revolt who would lead it, most of these lads in their sporting prime and would not want to be isolated in such a move. Look what happened Cassidy in Donegal for writing about the setup.
    If the players are happy with the setup, I can live with that. I think some so called rumours are wishful thinking of fans who want a heave.

  110. On a converted full back, SOS is a better option than Donie who can field well as half back but his midfield try outs showed despite athleticism that the 6’2″+ midfielders have the edge. Same would apply to full back vs a 6’4″/5 giant or a 6’3″ Murphy.
    We also have Gibbons returning as a mobile central player and Conor OS would have the right attributes if the raw edge could be taken off him which could be a 2 year project.
    Otherwise it’s horses for courses again with Keane on the big lads and Caff on the mobile lads.

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