Diarmuid O’Connor our MOTM from yesterday

Diarmuid O'Connor

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

Okay, the votes are in on our twelfth and final Man of the Match poll of the year and by a resounding margin this one has been won by Diarmuid O’Connor. The dashing wing-forward, who notched two great points from play yesterday and did a whole load more besides, topped the poll with 53% of the vote, followed by brother Cillian on 16%. Barry Moran and Tom Parsons came next on 5% each, with Chris Barrett on 4%.

Well done to them and indeed to the rest of the lads too who, without exception, gave everything in yesterday’s semi-final replay. We didn’t get the result on the day but no-one can fault the effort the lads made over the seventy minutes at Croke Park.

55 thoughts on “Diarmuid O’Connor our MOTM from yesterday

  1. Well done Diarmuid, our best find this year, he has a great mentality like his brother. To think that Diarmuid played the last two games so well, after losing his teammate from the 2013 minor team, Darragh Doherty. I’m sure he was looking down from heaven at you and was very proud of you too. Diarmuid’s performances were a real tribute to the memory of Darragh.

  2. Diarmuid O’Connor has been one of the brightest stars for Mayo this year, and is one of the reasons i am excited about the future of this team and the future of Mayo football.
    Comiserations on yestrdays game, but thanks for all your efforts this year Diarmuid an co, have a break, an we’ll see ye back better an stronger in 2016.
    Tiocfaidh ar La Maigh Eo!!

  3. Good man. Diarmuid. Future doesn’t, seem quite so bleak when talent like this emerging. Hope we can unearth 3 or 4 like him. Diarmuid and some of his former teammates ( some unfortunately no longer with us)know what it is to win a allireland, to play with no fear or baggage just a confidence in their ability. Have no fear our day is going to come and I and many of you here will be there every step of the way.

  4. D o c fantastic today his brother was not to far behind is too soon to say he could be young football er too

  5. He will 100% be confirmed young player of the year. We will be in an AI final next year, ive no doubt about it. Its not a yahooism or deluded prediction either, i fully beileve we will. Andy is going nowhere, he’ll stay on and do a job. Just hope keith sticks at it, he looked like he might be calling it a day yesterday, the way he hung around after, hopefully he or anyone doesnt rush into a decision. Congrats to Diarmuid, he’s an all star in the making like his brother.

  6. @juan
    Unless he has poor final would be surprised if c Kilkenny isn’t nailed on for young player of year. 5 points over two games and off both feet. Excellent link play too….mind you not sure what is cut off age for young player.

  7. He has been fantastic to watch this year and a worthy winner of young player of the year…just tortured myself with highlights on sunday game ..not going to wait for post mortem ..we could dø that ourselves ..

  8. well deserved, he’s some player and only a grass hopper yet…great times ahead for him and Mayo.

  9. Diarmuid is a beacon of light for Mayo football into the future, and along with his brother and one or two more young lads, we can build a forward line to unhinge any defence.Time waits for no man, and for the older lads who gave so much over the years, sadly their race is almost run. We are lucky to have a relatively young squad of players and hopefully with most of them wanting to give it another shot, I believe we can come back stronger than ever.

    Last Saturday was surely a huge wake up call for Pat and Noel, and should they wish to continue, they will need to bring some fresh thinking to the table. This area as much as any other will need beefing up for next year, and if that means more personnel on the side line, well so be it. We must give our players on the pitch the best chance to succeed and it would be safe to say, this was not the case last Saturday.

  10. @cantini, i think kilkenny is out of the age bracket, diarmuid was 1/16 on during the week. Didnt even see odds for kilkenny so hes a banker to win it.

  11. Good point Juan. The way the draw is set up it’s Connaught vs ulster, and unless Mayo completely regress from where they are they can win Connaught in 2016 and be in a semi against Tyrone or whoever, a team they would fancy their chances against. It’s the final that would be the issue, here’s how it could pan out. Dublin will win Sam in 2 weeks time and Kerry will be back as Munster champions as will Dublin in Leinster( for the next 10 years). Kerry to win the semi in 2016 and meet Mayo in the final. That’s a very realistic outlook from where it stands today, and one Mayo will face, ready or not ready.
    I can see Mayo getting stronger with the emergence of regan and co and the likes of cathal Carolan back as a half forward again they will be up there again, that’s the easy part, it’s being ready to defend and attack properly in the real fight that will, as usual be our problem.

    Diarmuid is a good choice for motm, he’s a class act. Just like the brother.

  12. I have been keeping a tally of Man of the match votes this year to date and the results are a little bit remarkable. It must be acknowledged that form can vary quite a bit from Feb to Sept. At this hour of the morning I won’t guarantee absolute 100% accuracy but for what they’re worth here they are.
    Overall Aiden was our player of the year based on Willie Joe’s reports counting all votes of 5% or over. He won four “awards” outright and tallied a total of 264. Tom Parsons with one outright win tallied 111, Kevin Keane with two outright wins tallied 93, Barry Moran with one outright tallied 80 while Diarmuid O’Connor with Saturday’s outright win tallied 77.
    Surprisingly Cillian O’Connor got only 3 mentions and tallied only 28, Keith Higgins got four mentions tallying 44 and Lee Keegan got only one mention, an outright win [Donegal QF] for a tally of 35.

  13. RTE said Kilkenny shud get young player of year in their commentary on Sat. Poor research if he is out of age bracket. Interesting comment about H&C considering their position. I hope they sort something before we lose any players.

  14. The only good forward s Mayo have are the o Connors a o Shea should stay at midfield he was found wanting on sat

  15. Just outside ballagh, who said h and c are considering their position? Was it on Sunday game? I couldn’t face watching it so avoided it

  16. Will someone explain why sheamie got a black card? I thought it was meant for a deliberate pull down on an attacking player. The ball was nowhere near sheamie at the time. Surely it was a yellow at best. The mayo fans are brilliant even in defeat. After the match we met two of the best in maura and grainne from moygownagh. Roll in the league

  17. The young player of the year award is only for players U21. Talking of U21s, next year our All-Ireland winning minors of 2013 will be coming on stream at this grade. So you’d wonder do we let the majority of these players concentrate on that grade to try and breed them into winners again at All-Ireland level. We don’t seem to have many players in the age bracket just above U21 level, Patrick Durkan and Evan Regan came through this year. Hopefully Adam Gallagher will get back to form after his injury layoff. So we’ll probably be forced to use some of the U21 players in the FBD and National Leagues. Maybe a lesson for us for the future is, the minor team that won in 2013 had plenty of natural scoring forwards, so that should be a template for us. That team moved the ball really quickly as well which we did in the last ten minutes last week, again we need to include this in our future template.

    Another thought about last Sunday, the first-half of that game was probably the highest quality football that was played in Croke Park since the first-half of the 2013 All-Ireland semi-final between Dublin and Kerry. We should not lose sight of this fact, its still the case that in some ways we are as close as we have ever been to an All-Ireland title but in other ways we are still as far away as ever. When you see such a basic mistake as starting our back-up midfielder and then having no midfield options on the bench, you’d really have to despair when you see things like that happening. We just fell apart when we lost the cover in front of our back-line.

  18. Things look very bad after a defeat like that .If Keegans one went over there is a good chance we might be facing Kerry in two weeks.
    Personally i think it might be all for luck (as the tinker said when he missed mass) , that we are not in it when you look at all those chances that we missed when we were on top staring victory in the face as it were.
    It would be worse in an all Ireland final.
    Now I’m no psychologist but I’ve heard of a condition called fear of winning and I’m wondering if this is at play here in Mayo.
    As soon as we got the goal the last day we stopped playing.
    Mr Freud if you’re out there could you come on here and try and sort this out for us !

  19. Diarmuid was a revelation this season. He has added serious gas to that half forward line and has obviously inherited the teak tough O’Connor mentality. He’s a huge addition and one that offers a little insight as to the future of this team. There’s no doubt we need three or four more to step up next year but there are certainly a number of contenders. Evan Regan, Conor O’Shea, Patrick Durkin and Darren Coen will all hope to stake a claim. The likes of Conor Loftus will also hope to get some time during the league.

    The age profile of this squad is good. I can’t see the likes of Cillian O’Connor or Aidan O’Shea accepting their lot. We won’t go away just yet.

  20. You may have a point there pj. You saw when Kilkenny got ahead by one point yeesterday, there was simply no way back for Galway. The crowd knew it and watching on TV there was never any doubt who was going to win the game in that second half.

    Brian Coady has built a culture of winning in Kilkenny that seeps into every player that puts on a Kilkenny jersey. They have that culture in Kerry too. Sadly for us its a culture of loosing big games and finals. Is that fair, probably not but that is how we are viewed.

    Only we can change that. For now we remain in the house of pain for another winter but sure we are all in it together. Diarmuid O’Connor is indeed a bright spark for the future but we need a few more.

  21. Hill St Boy, you are right, Seamie’s tackle on Cooper was a yellow in my opinion if the rules were followed, I think the ball might have even been out of play when the incident happened, Cooper wasn’t attacking anyway. And indeed it was Cooper who hit SOS a shoulder in the back first. I suppose the ref had to be seen to cut down any incident like that and that was a soft one he chose.

    HopeSpringsEternal, totally agree with your points, it’s time to fully embrace the younger guys in FBD, League and Connacht Champ. And not the messing this year by giving every single player in the county a match and rotating every position, it needs to be more focused on unearthing the main prospects, whoever they may be. In my opinion it’s the likes of Patrick Durkan, Stephen Coen, Mikey Sweeney, and the likes of those but time will tell and hopefully there are others, I’m sure there are. And I’m not saying we need massive change or anything, just a strengthening of the panel overall.

    Couldn’t agree more with your point on midfielders. I was shocked to hear earlier in the year that Jason Gibbons was dropped, I always thought he was the type of solid proven midfielder that is worth their weight in gold, a guy that could come on and shore up a game, sticking him in anywhere in the middle third of the field, in fact any position really. Little did we know that Mgmt dropping him would come back to bite us in an AI Semi Final replay. That is poor management. I know he had a few injuries but that is when you stand by your guys, look at all the injuries Andy had and they persisted, and rightly so, and Andy worked his arse off to get back each time and everyone benefits.

  22. Diarmuid has indeed been a real find for us this year as has Patrick Durcan.
    Our older warriors have given their all & have again come up a little short so all of us in Mayo continue to walk our very own version of the Via Dolorosa with an annual scourging every August/September.
    We have one terrible failing & that’s a lack of ruthlessness when faced with repeated evidence of our own shortcomings.
    We are too fond of excuses & diversions in Mayo.
    Going forward we need significant changes as the tide has now gone out on our fine team of the last 5 years … at least in All Ireland terms.
    We need now to blood at least 3 new defenders & at least 3 new attackers along the lines outlined by JP in some of his earlier posts and this blooding needs to be done immediately under new management .
    The current managements tactics have not worked at admittedly the very highest level & starting an injured player & not having any recognised midfielders on our bench for contingency measures is I’m afraid ‘stepping aside’ territory.
    I would therefore fully expect our management to step aside shortly.
    Ruthlessness from here on in is an absolute priority.

  23. Agree with o keefe’s assessment in times that Mayo need up to 6 new players to really freshen things up. Easier said than done but we really need a full change from numbers 1 to 4. Not enough grit. And that includes Higgins who isn’t a tigh marker, put him at 12 and give him the same role as d o Connor. A O’Se doesn’t have the required pace and stamina for a modern midfielder so either persist at 14 or as one of the sweepers. He’d give attackers something to think about and provide a real physical presence.

  24. It was notable that we tired dramatically in the last 15 minutes whereas the previous week we were very strong in that period. Dublin recovered much better than we did. When you think of it they had at least one extra day to get their preparations right. When the drawn game was over the dublin players could have been at home within an hour and their recovery underway whereas we faced a long journey and a late night.
    The following Friday we left Castlebar at 2pm (most of the lads left home / work an hour earlier )and had another overnight away from home. The dubs could leave their homes a full 24 hours later. Another example of how unfair it is when any team plays the dubs. In future we should never agree to a 6 day turnaround in a replay with the dubs. Something similar happened last year with playing Kerry in Limerick after 6 days.
    Enough of this crap.
    Oh and well done Diarmuid……..a great bit of stuff and the kind of guy who won’t ever be phased by any occasion.

  25. Well down to Diarmuid on a fantastic season. A great addition to the side and progressing much faster than I expected. Patrick Durkan well up to the standard required too – next year I think Evan Regan and Conor Loftus should be given extended runs in the NFL to see how they go. Tommy Conroy also due a run.Agree Jason Gibbons should be recalled too. Probably unrealistic but if there was any way the Hanley brothers could be coaxed back for even 1 season, what a boost that would be,
    Disappointing result but looking positively, we have firmly established ourselves as a top 3 team in Ireland, a long way from the despair and misgivings of even 6 months ago. Big thanks to all who put in such a fantastic effort. Galway hurlers yesterday showed just how hard it is to beat a side loaded with tradition and self-belief.

  26. Looking back on Sunday again and I have to say i was quite concerned for Mayo even at half time and i think Tomas O se touched on the issue last night on the Sunday Game.

    I always felt that if mayo went into a shoot out with Dublin then they wouldn’t do come out on top. The fist half was wonderful to watch as a nuetral but I think absolutley the wrong tactic for Mayo – their first half performance last week was bang on in terms of setting the tone for the game. As O Se indicated last night while the last 10 minutes were brilliant from Mayo last week there is no way you can keep that up for a prolonged period in the game. The first half was such tit for tat score, counter attack, energy sapping that the tone of the game was set up from there and yes while Mayo probably should have closed it out at 4 points up, it is awful hard to simply change strategy mid game, its not like a switch you can hit…..with the spaces still opening up the game remained a shoot out and Dublin cruised over the finish line. Mayo may have been 10 a piece at half time but i still felt they had to work much harder for their scores….if you look at the Peadar Andrews, Bernard Brogan and Ciaran Kilkenny points in the first half, they were taken without much fuss and very little physical hard work.

    In the end Dublin had the top 5 scorers from play over the 2 games. Mayo conceded 9 goals in 5 championship matches – something very few are touching on here and for all those 2 big negatives – they came very very close to going to the last weekend again – which tells you these guys must have bloody something right. I don’t think there is a top 4 teams…i think it is very much a top 3 teams at the moment…..but a lot often changes over the winter.

    Finally, I never understand how people can say – how can these players come back? – what else would they do. Ask a Sligo player that was humiliated in the Connacht final if he’ll come back – he absolutely will….or a Limerick Hurler, or a Leitrim footballer – what they woudl give to be involved in those epic battles in front of 82k people the Mayo lads have seen….of course they will be back and mad for it next year.

  27. A good aim for next year would be:
    1. Connaught U21 title
    2. Competitive in Connaught in Minor (This year we weren’t by a long way)
    3. Make the Senior final while having developed some new players.
    I know a loss in a final would be tough but the truth is our best young talent will need a season to learn their craft and get their game confidence.
    In particular we need some new forwards with the ability to win their own ball and go direct at their man ala Paul Geaney or Paddy Andrews.
    Alternatively out and out pace. Looking back at the Dublin game we really don’t have elite pace up front. Makes our forwards more markable as a unit, less overlaps to create goals. Rarely our forwards get past one on one cover.
    If you look at Kerry or Dublin they have forwards who can run at and beat the defender. Diarmuid OConnor is using exceptional football intelligence and soloing ability to beat defenders. But we’re missing that Darren OSullivan/James ODonoghue/Bernard Brogan speed that beats the direct marker and forces other defenders to cover across.
    Higgins would struggle at 12 when he himself is being marked and has to come out to win ball with his back to goals. If you are going to pick him anywhere he has to learn the sweeper position. Use him like Dublin use Cian OSullivan.
    Agree that Aidan can only play in a low mileage position. Don’t understand why he was all over the pitch the last day. Wore himself out.

  28. JP
    You’re spot on as regards Aidan. Low mileage, high impact and lots of support and he will do serious damage but all this needs to be learned and practised.

  29. As we look around the wasteland on Monday morning it’s good to see some green shoots of hope appearing. But where we go from here is absolutely critical, and this year, if we are to have any hope of progressing, we need to get a strong U21 management team in place as quickly as possible and start a process of cooperation with the senior team and management. We have a superb young team emerging, if we can only mind them (the 2013 minor team has seen an unprecedented amount of casualties through injury) and bring them on the journey with us. We need to be challenging at this level again in order to build confidence among our younger players and give them good, competitive action without bleeding them dry.

    Whatever happens among our senior panel over the winter months, we can have no complaints – I would be devastated if Andy or Keith or Alan called it a day, but none of them owe us anything, and there comes a point in everyone’s sporting career where you have to weigh up the priorities. All the very best to them, but the thought of those lads walking away without a Celtic Cross breaks my heart, I have to say.

    Cait, over the past few months, you have seemed determined to have a go at Aidan O’Shea at every given opportunity. It’s a consistent theme of your posts and I’m genuinely curious as to the reason why.

    Aidan – already one of our most consistent and big-hearted players – was asked to change his entire game this year within a few short months – learn to play a new position and contribute to the team in a completely different way. Do you think that’s an easy task? A small ask? No, it is not, but Aidan took it on to the best of his ability and you cannot fault the effort he put into making that transition. A full-forward needs supply. I would suggest to you that if you have finger-pointing to do, you rewatch Saturday’s game and the previous Sunday’s, and see how isolated he was for much of both games. Look at the quality of the ball that was coming his way. Yes, he was found wanting – wanting supply! Singling him out for criticism is the lazy option here within the bigger picture, but of course, it’s easy for us to lash it out from behind a screen, isn’t it?

    We go again folks. Always, we go again.

  30. U21s are going to have a serious team next year. Nobody to steer the ship though. We don’t have a philosophy in terms of player development, more of a pick’n’mix and hope that a few gems emerge.

  31. Diarmuid is a class act, certainly the best player to break through since Cillian and hopefully gets a well deserved young player of the year award. Their ice cool heads are what sets them apart, typified by Diarmuid’s points and Cillian’s expertly taken goal the other day.
    Cant understand how Ruairi, the other brother isnt on the panel, one of the top players at Ballintubber anytime i’ve seen them play over the last couple of years.
    Thanks to all the squad and management for another year’s entertainment, some effort by all. I have my own opinions on what could have or should have been done but there are usually mitigating factors that supporters will not be aware of. Watching the game back yesterday it seems so blatantly obvious after 10mins (and after 5mins in the first game) we needed to stop pumping aimless balls into the FF line but that has been covered by various posters already. The substitutions baffled me too.
    As for the future, I think we’ve missed our opportunity for a while at least-the O’Connors and O’Shea’s wont be lads to shy away but a couple of years maybe needed before some able replacements for some of our most loyal servants are found. Lads like Andy M, Dillon, and Keith, cant go on forever unfortunately. As is usually the case we will likely only really appreciate how good these lads are when they’re gone.
    Not sure if the cup is half full or half empty at the moment, erring towards 1/3 full if that makes any sense
    Thanks again WJ for a great site, dont know how you have the patience for it at times but your efforts are greatly appreciated.
    All the best, Mhaigh Eo abu

  32. Well a plan is needed and joined up thinking at u-21 level. Hope or just hoping it will all work out on the day is only going to result in failure. The top teams and setup’s leave nothing to chance. I don’t think we need to be winning All Ireland minor or u21 titles but we do need to be in the latter stages of these competitions and bringing players through.

    The winning Galway minor manager alluded to this after the game yesterday when he said it was great to win and all but that his number one aim and mandate was to nurture and bring through players for the u-21 and senior teams. It is all about progression.

  33. Cantini, I was also very worried about a shoot out, I also said here last week, that under no circumstances should we start barry moran, as we needed a back-up midfielder. This was very naive from mgt.
    When, TP & BM were taken off, Why oh Why did we leave AOS at full forward??

    Game strategy was ALL wrong:
    1. If you are going to go at full tilt, you need fresh midfielders fro the last 25 minutes.
    2. What team has ever won anything by refusing to contest 100% of kick outs
    3. AOS tactic clearly didn’t work in the first game and we do they same all over again.
    4. AOS, one of our best players was wasted.
    5. When the game was in the melting pot and we had no midfielders, why didn’t someone have a word in hennelly’s ear.
    6. They players gave their all, but were shattered with 10 minutes to go, what did mgt expect?

    AOS is not the solution up front. horan had him playing very effectively on the half forward line. We will now have a situation where in 2013, he was midfield, 2014 half forward, 2015 in the square and surely somewhere else next year!! This is an appalling use of a key asset. Aiden is an inspiration to his fellow players and to the supporters in the stands and should be on the ball as much as possible.

  34. Anne-Marie, further to your words on Aiden I would ask people to look at the ball kicked into him in the first half against Donegal too-horrendous! Maybe if he hadn’t scored that cracker (from one of the few decent balls he received in three Croker games) before half time, the ‘experiment’ may have been parked at that stage or at least used intermittently, but sure who knows.

  35. Agree Steve on your U21 sentiment. We literally just need to aim at Connaught titles. But and here is the crucial thing, won while developing our players skillwise, physically and mentally. You probably have to take the foot off the gas a bit with young players when they 19 – 21. In doing this you probably reduce probability of appearing in U21 finals. But I would rather to have injury free lads with skill and a practiced senior type game plan than to be appearing in finals while wearing lads out both physically and mentally.
    The U21s need to be on a program that leads into senior. This does not involve major bulking up and heavy weights but more like a nice steady development of athleticism. Would give us great athletes by 22 if they have 2 years of steady best practice under their belt injury free. Injury free is the key, all these injuries are like a reset button on athletic and skill development.

  36. Not sure about H&C considering their position I’m not their biggest fans and wasn’t mad about the appointments process but to be fair to them they both have young families and full time jobs Noel has his own business and it’s not easy to commit to what is almost another full time job managing a senior inter county football team they are probably just as gutted as we are as for Cait giving out about Aidan O Shea I won’t even go there Aidan is an absolute gentleman and has the discipline of a saint on the field the abuse he takes and the hits are unreal we are lucky to have a player of his calibre also I hope Keith Higgins doesn’t retire maybe give him a break till April and come back fresh then again

  37. Thanks Willie Joe for the site. Very tired and frustrated after the last couple of years. What must the players be feeling? Giving all things Mayo a rest for a while and may get energy back in time for the FBD league. I am sure I will see the usual couple thousand at these games. I would, though, urge all Mayo fans to now put your efforts and thoughts into your clubs. This is where the talent comes from especially at underage level. The clubs need new fresh blood in supporters, coaches and other volunteers. I see magnificent talent in my own club that needs nurturing and support.

  38. What about McStay as under 21 manager.It wouldn’t take up too much of his time.He would be all done by summer so he could keep his job on the tele and the papers.
    He might be able to unearth some new talent and if he was to win an all Ireland well he would then be a man to manage the senior team in a few years.

  39. Rochford should have been begged to take the U21 job. What he has done with Corofin is remarkable. They are playing the tactics that we need being coached by a Mayo man.

  40. Remember, we are still a top 3 team and the 2 above us, Kerry and Dublin, will be on the same side of the draw next year. With a bit of rejigging and motivation we should get to another semi-final where, all things being equal, we should meet a northern team. I wouldn’t fear any of the northern teams at the minute. If we are cute about reinvigorating this squad, keeping the more senior players fresh for August while giving game time to the young blood, we could very easily find ourselves in an All Ireland final next year.
    The last 4 years have seen us lose 2 finals and 2 semi-final replays! We are inches away. However, and I don’t like admitting this, this is the first time that I have thought that a McGuinness or a Harte or a Boylan at his peak, would have won 2 All Irelands with this group of players. That’s not to be seen as a criticism of the current and past management but when you look at the squad of players in the past 4 Mayo squads it is plain to see that far worse squads have won All Irelands.
    For anyone doubting how difficult it is for “smaller” counties to finally get over the line and win an All Ireland watch Ger Loughnanes comments on last nights Sunday game on what Clare had to do to finally get there. Needless to say, I turned off after the hurling coverage 🙁

  41. @ PJ, McStay is to named Roscommon manager tomorrow night so ye will have to look further afield for ye’re under 21 manager

  42. First off you’d have to thank all the players, management and backroom team at all levels for the dedication and effort this year. We hope that they will all be in a position to come back again next year, if not they owe us nothing.

    Secondly how we lost the game itself was not a mystery. In a winning position 20-25 mins out and not driving for home when we were on top for 5-10 mins. Shots missed, turnovers given away and poor decision making. Not blaming individual players – as it ran through the team. A symptom, not a cause of this IMO, is giving away a couple of slack goals. But if you give good teams (as they all are at this stage) hope and a chance, you run that risk. Go 6, 7, 8 points up with 10-15 mins remaining you’ve burned off a lot of that hope and can look at bringing on a defender and hitting them on the break as gaps appear. I think this is an issue that needs to be looked at. Horan and his backroom (including Kieran Shannon) done their best to cover these issues but couldn’t quite extinguish them. It’d be interesting if H&C brought in Henry Shefflin or an outsider from a winning sports mentality to work on this as a consultant.

    Thirdly we saw elements this year of trying to move from one system (pure running game) to another (mix of long ball + running with a more defensive edge). I think, and hope, we may have been caught between these a bit this year. Hopefully another off-season and more work will help us perfect these (for example, as already stated, quality of ball into Aido at FF, static players at halfway in 1st half in drawn game).

    Finally of course we need a few extra players, every good team needs to bring in a few each year but the levels are so high that few spring from nowhere to golden over a winter. Diarmuid (well deserving of MOTM) started against Ros last year and didn’t have the best game. In terms of defenders we need to bring on Durkan, Hall, Drake and Kev Keane again. Forwards we need to see more from Coen, Evan Regan, Mikey Sweeney and Adam Gallagher. These guys need to be playing the majority of league games. In addition we need to look to beyond that again and bring onto the panel over the winter/spring the next generation Conroy, Irwin, etc. Give them a look in and some games in FBD + league but have them concentrate on U21.

  43. I think the Mayo team lacks two things. Pace and strength together in a player. We have both in parallel but none of our inter county forward players really holds both.

    Tom Parsons does have it and I thought he was a big loss to midfield.

    Compare that to the likes of Flynn, McMenemon and the Brogans who can take on their man and have the strength and pace to break through the initial tackle and line and put others then into a good scoring position. Most of Dublins key scores came from those kind of line breakers.

    After a while I thought it was noticeable that our backs were standing off those guys a tiny little bit more in the second half. Presumably because they didn’t want to broken through as easily. Dublin backs on the other hand were straight in on top of our forwards at every occasion possible.

    A lot of our scores were through serious hard graft and very good accuracy. You can’t fault that but at the same time its very, very difficult to keep that going over 70 minutes especially against a top team as guys get tired.

    I am going to be a little critical and say we were too lateral over and back. Again it was about breaking the line but I simply think we don’t have the forwards to do it. Yes we had the backs i.e. Keith and Lee but it’s you gotta have that in the forwards as well to break the line.

    We are also about 4/5 players short if you look at the bench. Think of Andy Moran. Our goal came fro him winning his own ball and taking on his man and getting the pass away to a guy in a better position while running at full speed and under serious pressure.

    We need more forward players like that. But who off the bench from Saturday can do that? And that comes back to having the strength to win the ball and the belief that you have pace to take on the man.

    PS: I think Kerry will win the All Ireland.

  44. An outside consultant is not needed. Not to be flippant but it has already been spelled out by even Jim McGuinness what needs to be done in widely available national newspapers.
    1. Properly deploy the sweeper
    2. A big proportion of training needs to revolve around swifter counter attack and the kick pass and support to Aidan at full forward.
    If we had done that as management had opportunity to do in training we would be facing Kerry as a formidable team with a great chance of winning it this year.
    That should have been a big part of our training since the Dublin defeat. If you practice that it should be in a much better place as a team by 5th September. It was imporant enought to be 30-40 minutes at every field session since then.
    The sweeper(s) alone should have that role learned by heart, it’s deliberately a role that is kept simple. Stand near the square and face out.

  45. Get Rochford in as U-21 manager, its so fecken obvious its painful. Where we go from here entirely depends on a few decisions to be made over the next few months.

  46. Please do not underestimate all the northern teams. We might make the semi, but we cannot be sure of winning it as we play now.
    Give a rest to Keegan’s failed point attempt. He had expended huge energy to be there,
    and had an excellent game other than that. What did Connolly achieve?
    Andy put a bit of go into our attack. Don’t leave us yet. Still much to offer.
    And Keith, don’t think of it. Still a brilliant player. Wait for your medal.
    Full back line shaky, full forward line gone awol. Thats over a third of the team.
    Let the dust settle. We’ll come again.

  47. Well done Diarmuid O’ Connor and well deserved, a revelation this year that keeps the light of promise lit in those dark days following Saturday last.
    MaighEo Abu

  48. I believe that both Diarmuid and Tom Parsons covered over 16kms in the first game according to their GPS trackers.

  49. We should try and bring home the two Hanleys from Australia they would put a bit of class into our forward line they could take a year out from Australia.

  50. Interesting reading today in the Irish Times. McGuinness focusses mostly on what we need to do to get over the line.

  51. Hinging our future on a rescue mission from Australia seems a little forlorn. Can’t see either coming back.

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