EXCLUSIVE: Kevin McStay speaks with the podcast

We’ve got another Mayo Football Podcast exclusive for our club members on Patreon.

Mayo manager Kevin McStay sat down this week with Rob Murphy for a wide-ranging interview following the conclusion of the county’s first inter-county season under his stewardship.

It’s a detailed interview too, running to just over an hour in length, covering such topics as how the management team planned for the season and how this compared to how it panned out in practice, the team’s defensive structure this year, the drop-off in scoring levels as the summer progressed and the ongoing concession of goals at crucial moments. The discussion also focuses on why the team weren’t able to replicate the performance against Kerry and what lessons have been learned as the focus now shifts to preparing for 2024.

This podcast episode will go online at 7am tomorrow and it’ll be exclusively available to our valued Patreon club members.

Club membership costs just €5 plus VAT per month, with annual membership available at a 10% discount off the standard rate, where a single annual payment is made. Details on becoming a club member, ensuring access to this and other exclusive audio content, are available here.

179 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE: Kevin McStay speaks with the podcast

  1. I’m not sure which council/county board makes decisions on fixtures but this year after a league final either Mayo or Roscommon or both could potentially have had to start a Connacht championship a week after a league final win or possible defeat. This was hardly the best start to a championship where so much has been made of momentum. Would Kerry or Dublin find themselves in such a precarious position? Inches matter and I think at an organization level we should try to assist however possible. Just my pennies worth.

  2. Losing to Roscommon could have been the best thing that happened to us (although we owe them one for next year). 6 week break, and the season high and great performance in Kilarney where we put in a complete 70+ minute performance, something this mayo team seems unable to do for years now for whatever reason.
    All downhill rapidly after that. A ten minute purple patch, saw us get by a Comer less, one leg Kelly, and seriously off form Walsh for a one point win in Pearse stadium

  3. Looking forward to this.

    Delighted that the podcast got the exclusive.

    I’m also a little relieved. When Mike mentioned a “big one” coming up, Kevin was the first person that came to mind but there was a little part of me worried that it might a retirement

  4. Kevin Mac Stay needs to find a centre half back and another midfielder Loftus is not a centre half back number 3 and number 6 are specialist positions on the team

  5. We never got a replacement for Tom Parsons at midfield. Throw out your list of better midfielders in Mayo than Diarmuid and Mattie @Oliver ,I’m sure Mcstay will be delighted to know all about them !!! LOL

  6. Looking forward to this.

    I posted earlier about looking for tickets for the hurling final.

    Mobile no. is 087 2255017 if anyone has anything.

  7. Fair play to McStay for sitting down chatting to Rob at least he chatting and explaining.

  8. Yes indeed Glorydays, provided he’s asked the right questions. I hope we hear a lot more than ( it was a good year when you look at it in the round) . I don’t think it was. Championship is everything.

  9. It was a good year. Dillusion. It was the worst championship in years. If he thinks this is acceptable what can we expect next year. Took off the form player and leader when we most needed him out around the middle to srem the tide. Aos. Brought on cillian who is struggling to get back to this level and alot of injuries and mileage. We are not looking for a PR man. A bit of honesty would be a good start

  10. The interview runs to an hour, Nephin, so I think you can take it that all the relevant questions were answered.

    You might at least listen to the pod, Craggy, before passing judgment on what the man has to say on it.

  11. Thanks WJ , I’m glad to hear it, as I assume you have either heard it or know what’s in it. Looking forward to it. Definitely some answers can help lead to a quieter winter.

  12. I wasn’t referring to the podcast willie joe. He previously said it after the Dublin game. Its nice to be nice but it’s also nice to be honest. Championship was a disaster apart from kerry game. If we were good enough to go down and beat them…what happened after that because we definitely have the players.

  13. You’re still questioning his honesty, Craggy, which isn’t exactly a brave thing to be doing by posting comments here, not least given that you’ve offered nothing in support of a serious allegation made in such a casual manner.

  14. From the sound bite issued by the Mayo News on twitter at least we know they’ve learned the serious stuff starts at the knock out stages….

  15. The seasons end was poor. The seasons beginning was also poor losing possibly our two best players from last year Oisin and Lee. At the start of this season who thought we would win the league and knock Galway out of the championship? McStay has not been perfect but he’s still produced new players and is working on the rest. I fully agree that Conor Loftus didn’t work out at CFB but is there an outstanding 1 in the county? I certainly haven’t seen him! I’m over 60 lads and we haven’t won an All Ireland in my lifetime some of ye need to get a grip and cop on. I believe we have just seen the best Mayo team in my lifetime and they unluckily failed to win 1. The final in 2021 was a lost opportunity, this year was very much a work in progress.

  16. @che yes mcstay has produced players new players etc and has been good considering his first year but everyone is entitled to ask questions at the end of the day. Keegan was always retiring pretty sure he had made his mind up after loosing to kerry in 21 and new management were trying to convince him to stay and osin always bound for Australia. I agree with you though loads thought we would even be competitive this year at all let alone win the league .

    I’m glad mcstay came out and gave a fully detailed interview on the mistakes etc fair play to him. I do think that he will learn from this year.

  17. Thanks @WillieJoe –

    Kevin doesnt shy away from answers on the main talking points and gives good synopsis of the season from their perspective.

    Rob asked all the right questions and have a good perspective from a fans point of view, a very good listen.

  18. Great interview -thanks to Kevin and Rob. Very open answers. he was very open on the CHB topic and was very fair to Conor Loftus. Mistakes were made and I can see Mayo using league to blood 2-3 new players.. pretty sure we won’t be a league final next year and that we will win Connaught!

  19. Nice to see Kevin talking to the media and offering some insight. Fair play. I’m sure there is a lot the management learned over the last few games of the year. The only issue is that interviews can be false, you can say something the supporters want to hear. Btw I’m not implying this one is false. If anyone ever listened to a Jim Gavin interview you would think the man hasn’t a clue, he never said anything. At the end of the day the interviews are fine but the real talking is done on the training field and sideline. That’s where the questions have to be answered. Not in the interview room after the fact.

  20. Some criticising him even before they heard interview. Some accusing him of being too media friendly. Similarly James Horan was criticised for not being media friendly. Give the man a chance. Sure the season wasn’t perfect but claiming it was the worst championship ever!!!!!! Beating Galway and Kerry in a terrible season!!!!!! It was a first season, a learning curve on the back of a disappointing season last year and then losing Keegan and Mullin. We may do better nest year, maybe we won’t because whether we are willing to accept it or not , the quality of our player pool is not at the level of the top teams. On a given day if a majority of our players play well and the opposition does not we can beat anyone ie the Kerry game, but if a significant number of our players don’t reach the required standard we are going to come out on the wrong side of the result le Dublin. I think he has been honest and forthright throughout the season. Of course he accentuates the positives but he is also realistic. As I said previously lots of counties will have been disappointed by their season. Only 2 can make it to the final and I reckon the best two with the best panels of players are there this year.

  21. Thoroughly enjoyed that interview. Very brave of Kevin to sit down and answer all the hard questions and fair play to Rob for not avoiding any of the issues.

  22. To win just once, I think part of the reason they getting more stick than other managers may have for their mistakes this year is that some were very basic e.g. kick out strategy, basic defensive systems of modern era, listening to medical professionals etc. and the sales pitch in lead up to appointment was all around the decades of inter county experience they had.
    People would have hoped even in year 1 the basics like that they’d have well in hand. Especially when in past two or so years it’s been first time inter county managers that won Sam in first year.

    But what’s done is done, move on and see what next season brings.
    Likely 7 or 8 panel places between retirees, lads dropped and lads walking away from the set up to be filled so let’s see what club championship brings.

    I still hope the CB leave the U20 set up to others and not let senior management take it over as a means to recirculate some of their back room.
    U20 is a thankless job because of the competition structure, but it’s good way for young or new wannabe to cut his teeth in Intercounty management pool.

  23. To win just once. Lots of counties disappointed in their season? . How many top teams season ended in a twelve point drubbing? Ours and Tyrone’s, where Kerry were out for blood after 2021.

  24. The thing is for all the talk of finding a new midfield it’s quite likely the best midfielders in the county are already in the panel so we might just have to find a way to make it work with what we have.

    Frank irwin could be worth another look but I see him more as an athletic wing forward type in thr carney/flynn mould, mikie murray seems to be riddled with injuries.

    Tbh the best midfielder in the county by far for the past 5 years or so is Jason Gibbons, who is now 35 and has had his day at county.

    A proper ball playing creative number 11 is essential too for us. They don’t need to be 6’2 and built like a wwf wrestler, a pure baller needed. We have enough athletes

  25. Gizm – surely there will be a fresh voice in the u20 set up? Would the county board be that easily swayed to just put some of the senior management in that position? I suppose the county board have shown to do things a little differently in the past, I’d argue for worse so I wouldn’t be one bit surprised, just disappointed.

  26. @to win just once you don’t think Tommy conroy , Ryan o D, Paddy durcan etc are at the level of top teams ? We can still beat opposition teams even if they play well not just because they don’t play well. But we need to get tactics right first off.

    Yes agree with you that maybe our wider pool of players maybe not at top level just yet but they are only young and can beat any team when they are at their best but we still have quite a few players who are top team level I believe we still are a top team.

    The tactics v dubs were way off and we were wrecked after playing the week before where as dubs had 2 week break to many fixtures at once to be honest played a part to.

    As regards dublin kerry they aren’t amazing teams at all though that’s the even more dissapointing thing about this year it really was wide open still think the Dubs will win Sam.

    Agree with you @Gizmobobs .

    At least mcstay he came out as honest as he could in the interview and held his hands up to mistakes made it’ll stand to them next year the guys will have a long winter to prepare for 24 and I’ve no doubt we will come bouncing back .

  27. We appear to expect a lot of a management team who only had a few months in the job

  28. @corick Bridge
    Logan and Dooher managed to win Ai in year 1.
    Dessie farrell won ai in year 1.
    Jack o’ Connor won ai in year 1.

    Now I wouldn’t be calling for the management heads or anything, they deserve a proper crack but year 1 tends to be when management have the most goodwill and a good shot at things

  29. @corrick they had a year? But sure least mcstay has come out held his hands up and didn’t beat around the Bbush by answering the hard questions fair play to him.

  30. Ok maybe not a year full but had a full season but looking forward to the changes that come next year and see what they bring!

  31. One thing I do agree with Kevin is the looking back and comparing teams our local media does, it really is bullshit.

  32. Saving the POD for my walk this evening, so not going to comment on anything yet. As I have said on here millions of times, I’m very sceptical of Kevin’s managerial abilites. So at least its refreshing to read here that he comes across as honest and didn’t shirk the hard questions.

    A poster mentioned above that we need to find a number 11 and number 6. I agree. Fact is we have them. Ryan O’Donoghue is an out and out CHF. He is the best play maker we have. Might not be tall, but has that brilliant low centre of gravity that can unlock a defence. This really needs to be tried imo as he’s slightly wasted in the corner.

    No.6 on current form should be Sam Callinan. This lad has everything required. His instincts are to defend, and not bomb forward as much as others. Has seirious pace and at 19 he has been tasked with man marking Shane Walsh and Paul Mannion, that tells you everything you need to know about his potential.

    I watched back the Dublin game last night for the first time (Thursday is horror movie night in our house). Anyone who says we haven’t top class forwards are living in cuckoo land. Tommy and Ryan would start for any team in the Country. They were absolutely immense when given the right service.

    Our failures on the day which are well documented were kickouts and lack of defensive strategy. Goals win games, and we gifted the Dubs 2 handy ones. A simple sweeper would have prevented the first goal….basic stuff lads. Callinan at fault for the second, but he will learn.

    I think Carney is under seirious pressure. For a few games now I’ve been questioning what he brings to the team other than receiving the ball, slowing the game down and off loading a low risk hand pass. Theirs no burst of pace or line breaks like Flynn does, for me id be dropping Carney and starting a defender to simply sweep and link up play when rrequired…..Hession is that man imo.

    To sum it up, after re watching the game we certainly are not as far away as we think. The players are there to be at least reaching finals again. The main issues to work on is a defensive/sweeper system, kickouts, and getting Tuohy and McHugh bulked up over the winter. If some 6”2+ mobile midfielder puts their hand up during the club season, we’ll be looking good again.

    My guess on squad changes are as follows:

    Retirements – McGloughin Hennelly (officially) Doherty.

    In danger of being dropped from panel – Carney, Loftus, Orme.

    Possible walk away’s – Towey, Loftus, O’Hora.

    All a guess as i’ve stated. Squad for 2024 will be very interesting.

  33. @Supermac

    That first year management stat is particularly misleading.

    Looking down through the post provincial and qualifier stages for the last two a 3:1 split between experienced and first managements is quite persistent.

    2023 (I’m not counting Derry as having new management)
    4 of 16 in the group stage
    2 of 8 in the quarters
    1 of 4 in the semis

    Same numbers for quarters and semis last year
    1 of the last 4 finalists.

    Interestingly the only two teams in division 2 with new management were the only two teams to play Tailtean

    That 25% is below the percentage of teams with first year management teams, and the one year in four it implies, is longer than the average length of a managerial team. So this implies that first year management teams actually perform worse than those in the years beyond it

  34. I think many here are missing the bigger picture.

    I think that Mayo football may have hit the peak, on a type of Bell Curve, and this peak was 2013 – 2027.
    What I’m trying to say is this, if one looks at the 2006 semi v the Dubs, the finals in 2026 and 2017 and the championships in 2021, 22 and 23 we can see the difference.

    2006 v the Dubs was poor football from both teams, S & C etc.
    2016 and 2017 was the very peak
    This past 2 years things have really dipped.

    Ye will probably say that the 2006 U21 and 2013 minor wins have been responsible for lifting Mayo to such high levels, this is correct.

    The issue where Mayo have left other teams come back into the games in the last 15 minutes of games this year in the championship is a big problem.
    It means that there is a serious issue with fitness and desire to win.
    S&C has gone out the window since the Kerry game and even the league, this is a serious issue also.

    My analysis is that management have slackened off or gone to sleep on the job as the year progressed.

  35. 2013 – 2017.

    How many of the current Kerry team and panel were part of the 4 in a row minor winning teams ?

    Because Mayo win the odd minor and U21 titles, something needs to be done to progress players onto the Senior team.
    This is I believe a type of Pre Senior panel team, for players at the age of 19, 20 or even up to 24 or 25, this is where the real Coaching needs to be done.

  36. You’re gone a bit ahead of us there bate the blanket. Maybe 2028 will be a good year for us.

  37. Didn’t listen to it or don’t plan to. However was he asked about any changes to backroom team for next year?

  38. Year 1 Kevin needed a decent league cos if he didn’t fans on here would be calling for his head. Unfortunately it meant we peaked too early.
    Year 2 use the league to try things and peak in June

  39. @Fair Analysis, if you don’t intend to listen to it, why are you asking people what was discussed? For what it’s worth, I thought he skirted around some subjects with the “it was our first year” retort. Maybe that’s fair enough, although plenty of managers have won it in year 1, but he can’t fall back on that defence (so to speak) again next year.

  40. I think Corick Bridge is referring to the fact that the management team started working on the pitch with the lads in January, started the League end January, followed immediately by the Championship at the start of April with a projected AI final end July.
    Corick is 100% right.

  41. Swallow think need check dates there, they played an inter-county game in December…..

  42. Ah c’mon now @swallow they were training all winter, you’d need to be very naive to think otherwise. Next you’ll be telling me they’re not getting paid for their efforts

    Fwiw I do think too much is being made out of Mayo going hard for the league, league form and championship do not have to be mutually exclusive, its primary focus is as a testing ground for players and systems but Mayo are certainly not in a position to turn their nose up at national titles, especially when it exposes lads to playing in big games in croker.

    There’s a middle ground to be had. we tend to hysterically overreact to every single result in here (we win a game, we are nailed on for all Ireland, lose a game and we are at anall time low) so from that pov I can understand mcstay trying to get a title on board early doors

    The honeymoon is most definitely over now though, people will be looking to see lessons learned, definitive style of play, sacred cow players get sacrificed the odd time etc

  43. I think it is time we respected Oisins and Lees decision and move on. No point in lamenting what may have been. They have moved on with their lives What has happened in the past cant be changed except what the management and players learn from it. We have been very very poor at underage considering the playing population Mayo have when compared to most other counties. How many provincial under 20’s or Under 17s have won in a small province in which Galway should be the main opposition. We should be Connaught Champions every second year at underage with the advantages we have over Roscommon ,Sligo and Leitrimand thats only talking about Connaught Titles not mentioning All Irelands. It is hard to have a senior team which will an All Irelands Title if underage is not working. I would like to James Horan given a roll to unearth underage talent who have the commitment to put in what it takes.

  44. I wasn’t being smart talking about a January start on the training pitch. The truth is I don’t know exactly when they started training together as a team.
    I said early Jan as a good general guess. I wasn’t aware of a December game. I do know there was a charity game on 2 Jan.
    McStay repeatedly spoke about a strong pre-season. I presume that was S & C and fitness related and possibly working on general skills. I imagine management thought in a long and detailed way about aspirations, goals, game plans and timeframes before the New Year.
    But it seems like a good guess to me to say collective work on tactics and game plans with the players on the pitch started in January. I’m open to correction on that.
    Jack O’Connor with Kerry and to a lesser extent Logan and Dooher with Tyrone inherited more developed teams than this Mayo team in year 1. Plus they didn’t have this condensed season. And unless I’m wrong they didn’t have a Super 8s/mini league format to navigate to get to the AI Final.

  45. Haven’t finished it yet but Kevin did say that a lot of the early focus was on dealing with some of the issues, such as training grounds, that James Horan flagged last year, and that those things are now sorted for the coming year.

    Intercounty management is like a job and as we should know from our own jobs, a huge amount of it is administration and organisation work, particularly in your first year.

  46. @Swallow Swoops

    If Jack O’Connor was Mayo manager, and were he to fail to win two in a row next weekend, he would be ran out the door for “not bringing any youngsters through”

  47. They Played Down I think it was Swallow, so likely pitch work started before that again or there be large risk on injury.
    Game would likely have been unsanctioned at time so wouldn’t have been overly communicated on.

  48. @Swallow if started training in Jan on the pitch how did they peak at the end of the league? That’s an 8/9 week period. Way to short to go from the bottom to the top.

    Mind you if they were training on the McHale Park pitch provided by the CB over those months it would stop any team from developing.

    It’s an absolute joke how bad this county is being ran by the CB. A team that striving to win AI and not even a recognised place to train. A county pitch that is a shambles, a stadium that is sinking the entire cash balance of the county board. No centre of excellence unlike Kerry and Tyrone. We need experienced business people running the CB – hard find them though.

  49. Green&Red sure didn’t some them have to bung a lift to game the other day on team bus 🙂

  50. Thanks Gizmo for that info on the Down game.

    Green & Red, I think they could be in flying shape in the middle of the League if they did strong pre-season S & C, running and individual skills work. Kevin McStay said they achieved a strong pre-season.
    When I was thinking about on-pitch work as a team, I was imagining tactics, game plans, drills, manoeuvres together. That’s where success starts to be built. I was thinking that happened from early January onwards, give or take. Again, am open to correction on that.

  51. Only quoting what the man said willie joe. Ok he said it straight after big loss so maybe tongue in cheek stuff. Not many people agreed. We expected to be at least in a semi final. Alot of talk about Loftus all year. The lad was a very good under age footballer and I remember colm o rourke referring to him as future mayo senior player. He got us out of jail against Derry and in fairness to him I’m sure he didn’t ask to play no 6. The most important position in the team. Tackling was never his strongest point. I’m sure he still has something to offer. But did he really play a traditional no 6 in the league or more a sweeper role possibly more suited to a Kevin mcgloughlin. When you look at our team on paper it’s no bad team or bench. Possibly towy towghy may feel they should have got a run. Considering ruane was not going at all and cillian struggling to get back. If henelly has retired he is a loss. Expect mcgloughlin and Doherty to retire. Time to look at diskin boland King Murray and more. No good having orme towy. Mcstay touhy there if not going to use them. I know there young but need experience. Remember mark o reilly got an all star corner back for meath at 18 years old. Going back to the goal s against Dublin. I believe the first one was worse than the second. One could excuse the young lad for the second. He was excellent all year and will learn from it. The first one I’m afraid is all too synonymous for mayo. Yes we were wide open down the middle in the championship but it was our offensive play or lack of that really was way worse Considering the gear we had in there. Aos conroy rod carr flynn carney. Why could we not put a ball directly in.

  52. For me the S&C / Gym work shouldn’t stop or must continue until the panel are back into collective Training in November, particularly for the younger or lighter type guys.

    I keep on about it, but the 2016 and 2017 era or training regime needs to be copied.

    I only ask one thing, maybe everyone including Mayo management should sit down and look back at those 2 finals and anyone that knows a bit about the game will see where I am from then.

  53. I see David Gough is ref for the final. Good choice, though his call on Jordan’s goal rankles.

  54. @catcol his decision on Jordans goal was unreal was a legit goal all day but sure guess we would have lost anyway even if awarded but could have swung the momentum our way but anyway ha..

  55. By the sounds of Kevin’s interview he’s not yet giving up on the possibility of Loftus for number 6 next year. That’s got to be a worry.

  56. Some good ideas on here for McStay & co. Plus I read yesterday that Diarmuid didn’t score in this year’s championship & I would rate him as 1 of the top HFs in the country. So whatever changes are needed for next year, I would suggest we get Diarmuid a role closer to goal where we need to increase scoring rate.
    And if McStay & co can’t come up with a midfield set-up without Diarmuid, I would lower any expectations for 2024 and look to introduce more new players and wait for a couple of seasons for them to get experienced.

  57. @Liberal role in the tie

    Kevin very specifically and IIRC on more than occasion, described Conor’s role as the “plus one”, and not “number 6”

    He then followed it up with something like, “Plus one, two sweepers, other options – that’s something we’ll have to decide for next year”

    He didn’t rule anything out.

    He was very honest in his assessment of Conor’s season.

  58. @Gizmobobs

    I don’t know the specifics myself, and Kevin didn’t go into them, at least in the first half or so I’ve listened to yet

  59. Felt the interview was a bit bland. Wasn’t that McStay was defensive, but I wasn’t wholly enthused.

    Bring on the country championship and search for new players. McStay did admit our scoring wasn’t enough.

    Bloody New York game is a complicating factor to next year. Real banana skin in the making.

  60. Never asked about the consequences of not scoring the last free in Limerick v Cork. Were management aware of such consequences.

  61. Frost T, he’s almost intimating that Conor will have a place on the team whether it’s 6 or elsewhere. I think that sends out a poor message to the rest of the team. No player has a right to a jersey, especially players who aren’t in form.

  62. Aidan O’Shea basically answered that one Mayoman in Meath, it seemed not as told to just kill it.

  63. Liberal, he was hardly going to say there’s no place for Loftus. He didn’t say he’s a guaranteed starter, he said it didn’t work out for him at 6.

  64. The situation that played out at the end of the Cork game is exactly what I commented on here before the game – that if we are three points down in the last play of the game and we get a scorable free 30 meters out we need to be aware that a two point defeat means we have a home game rather than having to travel. Been at the game it was fairly obvious no-one was aware of the situation. Ryan grabs the ball first – looks to the sideline to McStay and Rochford – one of them has his arms folded and the other is looking at some notebook. The Cork management were well aware of the situation as when they were two points up they were driving the team on to get another point and go three up. Hard to believe with such a professional set up and the number of people involved that we hadn’t the situation well worked out.

  65. I just wonder how games are actually analysed by teams. Are we too influenced by analysists and pundits who render their views on the hoof at a brief viewing under the pressure of tv. Sometimes we hear solutions such as an attacking strategy or a defensive setup or a kickout strategy. No doubt these things are important and need to be reviewed.
    But sometimes I wonder is it much simpler. When you think about it its all about scores – getting them and conceding them. And it’s about the 15 players on the field.
    If I was the match analyst for the I think i would be going through the video with a fine tooth comb looking for answers.
    Starting with scores conceded I would be asking, for every score , why they got that score. I would be looking at how we ourselves contributed to that score and what each player did or didn’t do. I would continue in that vein for every score conceded to see if there was any pattern. And continuing from that to see if the same patterns arose in other games. That for me would form the basis for improving our defence – not just backs – all 15. It is slow tedious work but probably well worth the effort.
    Similarly for the scores we got (or missed) to see what worked best and who is contributing most or least. Again, slow meticulous work and not for everyone.
    There are of course other elements that need considering but if we could improve the play of each individual and collectively or indeed identify who is and isn’t contributing significantly, we might go a long way to improving our overall play.
    What I fear most is quick and summary reviews that miss the really important bits.
    But what do I know….

  66. He said he’ll play for Mayo Tubberman. Hope he regains form, does his trials like everyone else in November, then let’s see.
    But McStay evidently has his mind made up. If i was a Mayo player, I’d be raising an eyebrow at that. That’s all I’m saying. McStay is always on about importance of Team. Conor is a fine footballer, so hope he regains consistent form. Perhaps trying him again at HF is the way to go.

    But if Kevin is being fair he shouldn’t give players endless opportunities through a season when it’s not working out.

  67. Personally if i was McStay, I’d try build a young team around McBrien, Touhy, Callinan, Sean Morahan, Ryan and Tommy. Let us slip to Div 2 if needs be. See this as a 2-5 year project. Give Colm Moran a twist in the forwards next year and see what he’s made of.

  68. @ Liberal role, including this year a Division 2 team will have contested each of the last 3 finals.
    Looking at the local results it appears Castlebar and Westport very strong at underage.
    Congratulations to Westport on winning the u14 final.
    No GAA in Westport in the seventies, great to see them so strong, a lot of hard work I am sure.

  69. See one or two saying no harm playing in division 2. We should still fight to stay in division 1 if you let that slip then you risk going into talteann Cup territory and mayo are no where near division 2 status .

    We just need to get our tactics right it’ll be really interesting to see how mcstay & co go about things next year go easy for league and go full on for championship like we did for the league is what’s needed in way I can see why he wanted to go full tilt for league his 1st year in charge if he started off badly people be calling him out.

    He’s done well brought new players new goalie who’s top class if you ask me .. etc but also made some mistakes but at least he did the interview in the pod as I said.

    needs to take something from the mistakes from this year and I’m sure they will.

  70. @diehard
    A very interesting post and you would hope we do analyse scores conceded. I certainly do. We should be taking it personally when goals are conceded. We have been far too soft in my opinion. We need to make teams work for their scores. An over my dead body mentality.

    I have caught us ball watching quite a bit. The goal conceded against Louth being an example.
    Another one that was right in front of me in the league final didn’t result in a score but we had at
    least 3 daydreaming.
    Sean Kelly brought the ball out from defence and bounced off Ryan into midfield. He played the ball into the forward who laid it off to John Maher who was on the move and was in on goal. Reape saved with his legs and we got away with it. Maher ran past 3 Mayo players who only tracked him when it was too late. There is no excuse for not tracking runners.
    Basic stuff and too easy.
    We need to be more aggressive defensively and defend as a unit.

  71. I tried to subscribe to patreon and was told that according to my e-mail details tec. that I was already subscribed. How do I get same on iPhone?

  72. My point exactly JR. Maybe it’s time for us to side-step away from the limelight for a couple of years. We don’t have a good enough team at the moment. It will be frustrating for us to grunt and sweat in Div 1 right now with no chance of ultimate success.

  73. Alot of talk there saying A o shea was the form player and should have came out round the middle v Dublin.. He was very poor all championship and has been in croker for yrs now.. The man just can’t score, a forwards main job is to score, so it’s time maybe to move on with other players.. If they are there that is, which is a problem and unfortunately as a mayo fan, I think you’ll see a period from 2007 to 2011.. Well down the pecking order now in the race for sam.. 2 forwards in rod and Tommy can’t do it all, and paddy only top player in middle eight.. Could be a few quiet yrs.

  74. @liberal role in the tie you dont think we’ve a good enough team for division 1? Ah now ha entitled to your opinions of course yeah wasn’t a good championship mistakes etc made 1st year I’m sure we will come good next year.

    I think the dubs if they win Sam a lot of the 6 in row guyswill be gone again next year and they will struggle to Stay in division 1 they didn’t blood new players at all this year the ones they did dessie shoved aside I think they will struggle when the 6 in a row guys go for good.

    If Clifford gets injured kerry aren’t all that good. So mayo are certainly division 1 tea. I don’t think we will struggle as much next year it wasn’t all bad this year cork and dubs the worst I’d say obvs ha.

    We certainly do have a good enough team to compete in division 1. Ryan O D , Tommy conroy , diarmuid O Connor, Paddy durcan , cillian o Connor etc would walk onto any team. Young hopefuls like Sam callinan, Bob touhy and colm reape will improve he’s already top class goalie yes made mistakes but only young I can see potential in him.

    Maybe calinan a good option for number 6?..

    Cilllians been very unlucky this year with injuries but is a guaranteed scorer and I think he stick around next year still young ha

  75. Bit of a short memory there, Kick it in! Aidan was excellent against Kerry in Killarney, so much so that he was voted MOTM here on the blog for that game. He was also our standout player right through the National League this year. He was actually a more regular scorer this summer than for a long while, as he was taking the frees on the right. Also, please don’t aim a derogatory remark at another contributor, as that doesn’t help foster a healthy debate. I’ve edited out the offensive bits of your comment for that reason.

  76. The GAA in its wisdom have decided to give the months from August to February over exclusively to other sports— a few club games on Tg4.
    County sponsors out of limelight for 6 months.
    Is it worth big money?
    County managements have all taken an oath of omerta.
    Why can’t we be like Rugby and talk to different county managers on their way out to training.
    All county panels have to be with HQ before Thursday—why can’t they publish them immediately to generate publicity.
    I wish we brought back some league games or some tournament in the autumn after county finals.
    Very few players left playing club at that stage.

  77. Chancing my arm here – but looking for a ticket for Hurling final tomorrow, if anyone has spare. I am a Mayo fan, and got a dig out on this site for tickets for Mayo Galway match. So I am chancing it again.

  78. Well WJ, I appreciate what you’re saying, but in fairness, kerry were so poor that day that any mayo player could have won motm.. Aos was very poor v ros, louth, Cork and Dub or am I wrong? Sorry for the remark, wasn’t meant to be derogatory.. Stand out player in the national league? Seriously? And if he was, well that’s not exactly a great benchmark is it.. Come championship then he goes missing, esp in croker. That’s just the way it’s been for years, like how can anyone say any different.

  79. JR, sure how many of our team sheets submitted of a Thursday were worth the paper they were written on?

    The naming of joke teams is a real pet peeve of mine. I’ve yet to see proof a dummy team sheet naming a team that won’t start on day has won anyone a game.

  80. Agree @JR it’s like the GAA are trying to turn people away from the game. From a condensed county season to stupid rules like the mark. Charging crazy prices to watch games on tv or going to a game . The ticket master joke and now having to go online to get tickets to watch a club game. It’s nerver ending. Hopefully J Burns can bring a bit of common sense into the Gaa when he takes over because at the moment the Gaa is being ran by looneys.

  81. @kick it in kerry hardly wanted to loose their hone record and played their top players and both Clifford’s played from the start they were that bad and the 2nd half kerry did cone at us with as much as they could give in fairness.

  82. @Gibsbobs , just name the panel, you can only change 3 players from it due to injuries.
    The point I am making is that we do ourselves no favours in the PR business.
    We must keep GAA in the limelight all year round.
    I would love to see the Sunday game bring in a Ref to explain some of the rules with examples, I emailed them with this request and just got an acknowledgement

  83. @kick it in kerry hardly wanted to loose their home record and played their top players and both Clifford’s played from the start kerry were not that bad and the 2nd half kerry did come at us with as much as they could give in fairness.

  84. Good try Kick it in. My guess is your a WUM from a neighbouring County or Dublin, because if your a genuine Mayo fan you haven’t been watching all our games this year. Aido has been one of our top performers all year. You definetley picked the wrong season to have a go at him.

  85. I would also subscribe that next year and the year after are major rebuilds. We would then have put development time into the best of our young players.

  86. Wrong margie, I’m a mayo man and I’d safely say I’ve played and saw more football than you’ve had hot dinners. There’s just a time when you have to say ok, we’d love to win an all ireland but the players arent good enough, and there’s a narrative around o shea that he can’t be done without.. Playing top level gaa opens players up to critical reviews, nothing personal. He’s had a poor championship, OK let’s give him the game in killarney.. But why can’t he do it in croker when it matters? Like c. Mcmanus is 35..how Come he can still kick scores for fun? And don’t say that Mcmanus, Clifford, con seanie o shea, aren’t all being man marked and blanketed.. But yet they can still score. A full forward should be clipping a few points at least or a goal or something in most games. It’s not good enough to just lay off the odd ball.. He’s 6″4 or 5.. Like should we expect more margie? He’s just not at that level and it’s no disrespect, that’s just it. It’s not like he hasn’t been in position to attempt a score. Anyway theres always for and against. No harm done, only debate.

  87. Yes WJ Aidan was voted man of match against Kerry and Louth as well. But half the championship matches he didn’t get voted in the top 5. In 6 championship matches a total of 1 point from play and 2 marks is no where near good enough.

  88. Kick it in – there’s a world of a difference between “critical reviews” and trash-talking a player and you’re veering towards the latter. You’re making derogatory references to a player who has represented his county for 15 years at Senior level and who deserves a damn sight more respect than you’re giving him. Either you find a more reasonable way to express your views or else you can find somewhere else to air them. That doesn’t by the way mean you can’t make critical remarks but they have to be based on the facts and they must be fair and reasonable. What you’ve been posting of late fails on both counts.

  89. Aido has been a great servant to mayo . He gets a ridiculous amount of abuse from outside of the county abd from within. It’ll be a sad day when he retires abd I really hope he sticks around next year and I’ve a feeling he will !

  90. Wj, this blog is fantastic and all credit to you.. I’m just giving an opinion, is saying a player is not good enough or doesn’t score derogatory? I really don’t think it is.. We’re judging by what we see. Trash talking? Certainly not.

  91. Kick it in – if you’d taken the time to read the house rules on providing comments on the blog (which are here) then you’d already know that saying a named player “is not good enough” isn’t something that’s allowed as that’s just a lazy-minded brain fart. I would encourage you strongly to read the rules and apply them before commenting here again.

  92. What I would critique is our mgmt team who naively started Aidan when straight forward maths shows he should be coming on.
    Bringing Aidan on at 45 mins at midfield would be superior to starting him.
    Aidan is more natural at midfield and would be so much more game pace capable.
    Then bringing Aidan off was an indictment of mgmt.

  93. My bad wj, I didn’t read them and I didn’t realise you couldn’t say that. Duly noted.

  94. Aidan has been the most consistent Mayo player all year.

    The problem is he has been moved to full forward position on a number of times by different managers, 2015 and 2016 drawn game comes to mind.

    For me his best position is at midfield, my young fella wasn’t old enough to remember the 2916 and 2017 eras, having watched all those big games this past week he said the two O Shea’s, Parsons etc were brilliant in those games.

    It would do ye the world of good just to see the difference in football played back thin to the shite slow football in this year’s championship, by all teams even Dubs and Kerry.
    I think ye all have forgotten about the level Mayo played at.

    I know the current management need to get that 2014 – 2017 back working, they have been very poor since the Kerry game.

  95. @Kick it in, aren’t you the mighty man declaring your football credentials behind an anonymous profile on an online blog 😉 Sure I might not be a woman? I could be Richie Feeney or the person who walked away from Mayo football because the politics made me sick to my teeth 🙂 Seiriously, You can’t attempt to point score while hiding behind an anonymous profile, its cringy.

  96. I don’t think it’s fair for management to say ‘ it didn’t work for him’ when commenting on Loftus.
    It didn’t work for THEM would be more appropriate. A crackpot idea, and they persevered with it.
    In the end, we were a top 8 team at best. Our failure to progress after Killarney, our inability to close out weaker teams(Louth and Cork) and the loss of form of some players are the downside..
    Big challenge for management. McStay needs to assert himself as the boss imo.

  97. Ontheditch please say thats a misquote?? Sounds like more deflection onto players again like the baby goalkeeper and comments on Callinan etc. in aftermath of Dublin game.

    Whatever about them comments been poor at time if straight after game could just be reflex deflection, this interview would look from photo above to have been question reviewed in advance etc. So no need for that

  98. Its difficult to be harsh on Mcstay as hes a very nice guy . But im afraid there were some very flimsy comments there , the lack of assertiveness is not good for a man at the helm . He mentioned Niamh Fitzpatrick when asked could there now be a lack of belief within the squad .If she stays on for next year id suggest she might do some work with kevin himself cause he certainly didnt come across as believing we could win an all Ireland .

  99. The day that aos doesn’t line out for mayo. That’s the day that will open a lot of people’s eyes . This was his best year and was the form player. I’m not going into a debate with other posters about him. He did have some bad days but so did a lot more. Taking him off against Dublin in my humble opinion was not the right call. He may have stemmed the tide at midfield for 15 minutes or so. Its all so easy to have a cut at him but as willie joe rightly says. This is not the year because he was very good.

  100. I enjoyed the interview with Kevin McStay.

    I took two things from my first listen – solidity and process. Much of what he spoke of are things supporters aren’t thinking about, I think, and that’s OK.

    It’s worth hearing him speak in full. The reason I say solidity is because it comes across that he has been, and is wanting to, build solid bases, foundations, ways of doing things at the same time as trying things. He said they try loads of things and most of them don’t work, while some do.
    I appreciate the solid bases he wants to put in. It’s not fly by night and it’s something you can build on.

    The second word was suggested by Rob at the end of the interview and it’s ‘process’. Kevin McStay immediately agreed that they were engaged in process work (whatever that is, as I’m not a manager). Jim Gavin immediately came to mind. Gavin and his players used to stick to the process during games believing that doing the right things right – and really well – would get them the win. Maybe McStay and co believe they will do the right things right and incrementally as a management team and that way success will come.
    He said several times they think seriously about things and decide carefully.
    It was fascinating and convincing when he said several times that he didn’t think it made sense to look back and compare this Mayo team to any other Mayo team or this year to other years. Each is separate for them as a management team and they’re trying to do separate things each year. It’s almost that a manager cannot think that way, that this is not their work. He said the players are in the moment.
    I was pleased with how solidly he came across.

  101. Look we all want Kevin to be successful and maybe this year and the manner of the defeat to Dublin will open our eyes for the future. Thar match is not an accurate reflection on where we are at but it did highlight a number of issues. Midfield. Offensive play or lack of. Defence. Every county is building for the future. Our underage team s have not been going well in the last few years but then there is sometimes a Lee keegan to be found that didn’t really play underage. I know it’s a hard fund to get one of his calibre. We got caught out this year trying to hold a lead in games and the reason being. No keegan Boyle Higgins etc like we had in 16 and 17 when we won backdoor match s by the slender margins. We cannot do that anymore. We needed to get in front and keep going. Very evident against armagh in the league. Louth cork galway in the championship

  102. There is no doubt most people want Kevin mcstay to succeed and thinking seriously about things and deciding carefully is all well and good but the fact that it took 12 games to figure out or decide that our defensive structure wasn’t working is surely alarming.A quick look back at most of our games must surely have alerted someone in the management set up .The two shocking goals conceded in Roscommon in the league game and the last high ball played in which was contested by jack coyne and led to another goal chance were good places to start.Maybe I am being overly pessimistic but I find it hard to see what this highly experienced management can learn at this stage

  103. The regrettable fact we have to carry forward into 24 is that every team will fancy having a go at us in the last quarter. It’s not a new problem for us but following mayo is not for the faint hearted.
    Hopefully we will have a more responsive less stubborn management team in 24.

  104. @ontheditch your right there following mayo is def not for the faint hearted haha

  105. Did any of ye think that there may have been problems in the Mayo management Camp this year?
    I will make a prediction for next year, there may be one or two of the 5 man management team stepping away before Xmas.

    All a danger when a number 2 was the number 1 for a few years also.

    I just don’t think this combination will work next year, too many failings by very experienced management in this year’s championship.

    I don’t buy it that there are “learning”.

  106. Can I assure everyone who are questioning our management team that they have played at the highest level,and managed at the highest level,I would imagine that they know how to set up teams and get the best out of them, I believe that several of our management team has actually played and won all Irelands,and several have actually managed teams to all Ireland success,I am sure that they don’t lack knowledge in setting up a team ,I firmly believe that the big that affected them did not help in some of the games, I believe that we will be very competitive next year,we may well find a couple of new players in the championship this year

  107. You’d imagine that Corick, but the ignoring of medical advice, lack of defensive and kick out plans etc. Would suggest otherwise. Good players don’t necessarily make good managers.
    The lads I’m sure are trying their best but not getting basics like that with experience they meant to have is a worry, hopefully it’s nerves and next season be different.

  108. Kevin mcstay and Liam McHale played at the highest level yes but donie Buckley and Stephen rochford didn’t and again being able to spot on field problems doesn’t necessitate having played senior county football.Sean Boylan never played senior inter county and that didn’t stop him winning 4 all Irelands as a manager.I am all for trying new things out but if after 5 or 6 games it isn’t working then try something else.so we didn’t have number 6 this year we had a “plus one” stupid term .well I would imagine a plus one is supposed to be just that and not a designated marking job but look back at the league final and who was marking Johnie Heaney on his goal chance and who ended up in the full back position man marking on the Louth goal.I have absolutely no vendetta against any of the management team but on the basis of the speed of the learnings over 12 games this season then the next 3 years could be gone in a flash

  109. 13 to 1-6 for wport FT. Oisínn McLaughlin best for Westport. Darren Quinn didn’t get involved enough but wouldn’t judge him on one performance.

  110. 1985,I must inform you that Stephen Rochford has an all Ireland medal in his pocket as a player,and managed a difficult club to all Ireland success,having met many of that club team ,they could not speak highly enough of him,don’t worry about his credentials

  111. Yes corrick bridge I am aware he has an all Ireland medal but the highest level is to play at senior inter county level.don’t know how corifin are a difficult club though .I think they have won a few all Irelands.Anyway it wasn’t a criticism of Stephen rochford just an observation

  112. I don’t care about credentials personally. Dooher, Farrell and others had no senior all Ireland winning credentials when took over and won with their respective counties as far as I am aware and still done the job, some in first year even.

  113. It’s a results game so that’s what want see. And if players aren’t good enough, so be it, but set them up and give them the best platform to reach the furthest they can, and protect them by following doctor’s advice.

  114. For all that mgmt experience. We had a game against Cork where a Junior cert maths student pregame could work out what might happen with scoring difference.
    We her to the end of the game and we were the happy give it a go unprepared Mayo lads good for a bit o chaos and excitement.
    It can be dressed up anyways one likes. But our mgmt were at sixes and sevens whether Aidan should drop it in or score.
    “Put it dead” is not the same as “You need to take the point”.
    The fact Aidan even needed to check.
    It was not going to interfere with players play or preparations to make them aware of our score difference with Cork.
    That is simply very poor and there is no way for it to be considered otherwise.
    It does not give one a comfortable feeling that every stone is being turned over in preparing us to win games and progress in the championship.

  115. @gizmobobs agree that’s what so dissapointing I was delighted when mcstay got the job still think given time they will improve .

    But without a doubt it was a really dissapointing championship I still feel bad for aido being taken off v dubs hardly his fault like he’s been a great servant as I said and one of our best players during the league .

    @JP also agree about the junior cert maths students being able to predict v cork ha.

    I don’t know I think mcstay is genuinely a lovely guy and is a shrewd operator but learnings really need to be taken from this year and I’m sure they will come good next year I’ll be cheering all the way but the questions did need to be asked !

  116. What I cannot understand is that when mcstay was a pundit everyone turned to him on the rules of the game as they were changing. And he was well on it. How did the whole management not even one of the massive management panel not pick up on the score at the end of the cork match. I cannot for the life of me see Buckley s input. I could see it when horan was there but nothing this year. Who is telling the players to retain retain retain possession. Backwards sideways .players coming on the loop to take a nothing handpass and going backwards again .I see that as a much bigger problem going forward. Positive s. Mcbrien callinan reape coyne but remember when Rod conroy mcgloughlin mullin and hessian came on the scene with horan. Some top top pundit s were asked who would win the next all Ireland. All said mayo. No doubt we have the players but we have to change from this negative subdued football. Its like playing with fear. Nobody will win anything like that

  117. I think again that many here are too caught up with how Mayo fared out in this year’s championship.

    Ye got to go back and see the evidence for yourselves.

    In 2015 new management took over for one year and the evidence is there for everyone to see, Mayo were well beaten by the Dubs in the semi final Replay, maybe 7 or 8 points.

    This was mainly the same bunch of players that were there in 2013 and 2014, and again in 2016 and 2017.

    This tells us something, doesn’t it, it tells me an awful lot.
    I believe that the current management got caught in this year’s championship, but agree also that games came too quickly for adequate preparation, is, the game v Ros one week after the League win, and most of all the game v the Dubs.

    A different playing style was adopted for the championship games and it didn’t work, look at the league games Mayo played faster attacking football.

  118. As your name suggests batetheblanket, in earlier rounds and v Kerry in Championship there was no real blanket out for us so made life easier. Well none that were at the quality of the championship variety, league blankets were Primark, championship were Foxford mills
    The Kerry game in championship even probably the most obvious example, when we sometimes had 3 on 3 or even 4 on 3 overlaps bearing down on Kerry goal.
    That wasn’t to be seen in Kerry’s knockout games or v Louth.

  119. The one week before the Dublin game was all of our own doing. We had control of the group but decided to play the possession negative rubbish against louth and nearly got caught. Learned nothing and got caught next game. I can forgive the roscommon game but sorry nothing after that.

  120. No one navigated the group stage perfectly this year, at least not of the teams who had ambitions of winning all their games and topping their group. The lesson for future years is definitely that an early cockup is much preferable to late one. The teams who cocked up their opening game made semis, those who cocked up their final game, were lucky to make quarters

  121. Very true frostThammer. We cannot keep going down this rhetoric of. . We are building a team. We are at that since 1951 . Everybody else is doing the same. When cian lynch thanked the whole backroom staff today it was plain to see that they all made an impact. Could we really say the same about ours. School boy errors were costly this year.

  122. How arrogant we have become,no value in a league title,no value in club all Ireland winning teams,what has given us this entitlement that we can just discard hard won titles

  123. Nothing arrogant about the truth. 99.9 percent of mayo supporters want the elusive sam. Its all about championship when it comes down to it. There was a systems failure on that front this year. Majority of posters on the blog believe the same. It’s nice ti be nice it’s also nice to be able to say it as it is. Hopefully they will learn fast. Holmes/ connelly didn’t get long. Still got us closer.

  124. We should definitely value this year’s league more than we should.

    Before the league started I identified a number of games that were must win, the two Connacht derbies and two games against the teams who had been beating us consistently Kerry and Tyrone. And we navigated those games quite impressively, picked up the win we needed against Donegal and then beat the neighbours.

    We got a sniff of a trophy, set our mind to winning it, and went and did it.

    And you know our form in the high pressure games this year was really good, it was the performance in the other games that was off

  125. Still nowhere near sam and we definitely have the ingredients. Mind boggles

  126. I would hope that one hundred per cent of supporters want to win sam,but I have not carried out any poll,I personally would like fillet steak every day but I am always happy with sirloin instead,we won the league ,only the fourth time in my lifetime I believe that it will be the springboard to further success

  127. Hope your right Corick, but the decision making to date for an experienced team is a genuine concern. Ignoring medical advice and not knowing relevance of the last kick v Cork particularly glaring ones.

  128. “This was the fifth year in a row we contested a national final” – I absolutely love this, FrostThammer!!!

    Gizmo, I appreciate you have your concerns. Do you think there is a chance of development year on year?

  129. There is of course Swallow, look at Limerick and what they have put in place the last 12-15 years. Rome was not built in a day, but our year on year development could take as long as building Rome unless embrace change. When there is around 40 years senior intercounty management experience on the line those really basic mistakes around player welfare and knowing scoring permutations you would not expect.

    Change is not just needed in current senior set up but CB level, we appear to be miles away in terms of the coaching and academy governance structures Limerick and Dublin have at underage.

  130. Gizmo – you’re continually making reference to “mistakes about player welfare” and “ignoring medical advice”. Would you care to mention specific examples in this respect to evidence these claims?

  131. Gizmo,I really doubt that our management team ignored medical advice,I actually saw the doctor who made the signal to take him to the sideline,he certainly did not signal to take him off completely,

  132. Some here may be able to tell me as I don’t know how this works in Mayo.

    For development Squads, starts at u14 level for Boys and Girls in Dublin, hundreds are trialled ( the boys is better as it’s trialled over 4 appearances, girls is a joke as it’s one night only )

    Are the same people left in the development Squads right up to minor level or do they have to Trial each year as per the Soccer development Squads?

    One more thing, are there many “New Irish” kids playing Gaelic football and Hurling in the clubs in Mayo ?

  133. That’s just one example, Gizmo, but the way you’re continually mentioning ignoring advice in a general sense gives the clear impression that this was an ongoing pattern of behaviour. I’d be grateful if you’d desist from doing this – you’ve made the point about that specific example (which did look odd at the time, I’d agree) and it’s best leave it at that.

  134. Just wondering who the people on here think a good scoring half forward line might be going into next Yr and esp a creative no 11 first?

  135. FrosT, I’m with you most of the way.

    Keep believing as that Limerick supporter said to me yesterday.

    Also, after next Sunday one of those teams is going to feel awful, and the ‘reviews’ will be scathing. Falling short on the big day is a lot worse than in a QF. I still want to get to a final of course even when we lose, masochist that I am.

  136. Fair enough Willie Joe, I should have given more than one example so will add:
    Tommy Conroy injury to head just after being introduced and scoring a fisted point (was cleaned out with slightly late hit), plenty pictures showing injury sustained to face/head post game. As per GAA guidance (https://learning.gaa.ie/concussion) If there are any signs leading to the suspicion of concussion, a player should be removed immediately from the field of play pending a full medical assessment (the impact itself may on occasion be considered an indicator even in the absence of any immediate symptoms). Do not recall him being removed, open to correction here.
    You could also look at number of games played in a week or two by Jack Coyne earlier in year between Sigerson, Challenge and FBD and compare that to what happened Tommy year previous.

    @Corick, https://www.rte.ie/player/series/the-sunday-game-live/SI0000001909?epguid=IH10001546-23-0025 Corick, go to 1:06:50 and watch the signals.

    Willie Joe, When Tommy Conroy got the injury to the head just after he came on and got cleaned out

  137. Love your post, Catcol.
    I tend to agree that when you lose a final there tend to be harsh reviews and fans have a deflated feeling, even though one gets to the last game of the year. Btw, I loved Kilkenny’s spirit yesterday in the first half, particularly. We’ll see this again with Mayo. They had no way to stop the Limerick points in the second half. Very tough when playing a truly formidable team like Limerick. It gave me a renewed respect for what that Mayo team were able to do versus Dublin in 2016/17.
    But as Kevin McStay said in the interview, we have to stop constantly looking back if we want to go forward. He was speaking for the management, coaches and players, not completely for the fans, but the sense stands, I think.
    Gizmo, I’m happy that you feel that we can build too.

  138. That’s two examples so, including the Tommy Conroy one, the Jack Conroy one (which I’d agree wasn’t ideal) was something being repeated by many other counties too. I’m not convinced any of these examples are sufficient to draw any conclusions about following or not following medical advice.

  139. We definitely can Swallow, we have issues, but all issues can be addressed. We have a very strong player pool, maybe not as strong as a few years back but we are ahead of most counties and will be with our playing population and resourcing for a few years at least.
    If Dublin win again this year it is hard to imagine all the older heads sticking around, it is hard to hang up the boots I know, but some will know to go out on a high rather than to drift away.

  140. That’s fair enough Willie Joe, will leave it there. Having seen impact of concussion first hand it is not pleasant. One mistake can be to many. I had a player removed immediately as precaution before despite no obvious signs, and passing checks. An hour later completely different ball game! Was not even a direct hit to head! but was frightening experience.

    Would encourage anyone involved with teams to do the Concussion E-learning module and make themselves familiar with the guidance provided with it. Only takes about 20 minutes and is accessed through the GAA website: https://www.gaa.ie/news/gaelic-games-concussion-awareness-elearning-course-launched/

  141. @Swallop Swoops, no harm looking back to see what was done in training in 2016 and 2017, this is the level that current management need to get to, I am mainly talking about the physicality and strength of the individual players not to mention the very high levels of fitness that we saw back them.

    The S&C was miles ahead back then, what happened as 2023 went on ?

  142. @Kick it in

    I’m not sure there’s a straightforward answer to that.

    A lot of teams, probably a majority, don’t play an orthodox number 11, and when they do, it’s generally to exploit a weakness in the opposition defence. A good example of both is Kerry, and how we used Jack Carney to create distance between foley and Morley.

    My take would be that, if you are predictable in what you are doing at 11, someone is eventually going to find a way to exploit that.

    Personnel wise:
    Jordan Flynn is improving every year, he’s nearly tracking the ideal year on year development for a modern inter county player.

    Jack Carney is much the same and it’s easy forget this was only his second year.

    There’s a number of guys in the full forward line who could play further out the field and provide different options in the half forwards Aidan, Ryan and Cillian I believe have all played 11. Conroy and Diarmuid in the wing forwards. Loftus, McLoughlin and Doherty are also options.

    During the league this year management appeared to focus strongly on two lads in this area of the pitch McDonagh and Touhy, and hopefully both can build on that.

    Frank Irwin is probably the stand out option in the squad that could step up. And Kevin did acknowledge that he would have liked to see more of a number of players in the league. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to highlight above the large number of high pressure league games we had this year. For comparison, this year I had four, looking at next year’s likely fixtures I have one, Roscommon in McHale Park.

    There’s also a question over tactically how we’re going to approach the half forward line. We did this year choose to name an extra defender there.

  143. Yes, there was a lot to be proud about in that 2016/17 Mayo team, Batetheblanket, and I agree their physicality was brilliant.
    I’m a bit cheeky here – did anyone hear Marty refer yesterday to a 6ft 6 and a 6 ft 7 player in the Limerick midfield? I just thought – “wow’. Now I know there can be different midfield pairings but this seemed incredible. Very handy to catch a puck-out indeed. You could put your hand up and pluck it out of the air.
    There was some great skill on display in that hurling final yesterday. And the Limerick skill level is very very high, particularly their short passing game.

  144. @swallow Swoops & catcol

    It’s pretty decent going. I’d hazard a guess that the last team to have similar stats, outside of top 2, was Cork in the late 00s, and they eventually got over the line.

    For me, the way we won the league is a positive, and I’d feel that if we get a similar sniff of an all Ireland it’ll stand to us and we’d be hard beat.

    I don’t think that a national final every year is sustainable but I’d also be very surprised if there wasn’t at least another one in the next three years

  145. Swallow you should see some the Limerick underage panels, more mobile beasts coming down the line! 🙂
    If get chance to talk to anyone involved in Limerick hurling ask them about their development set ups and selection processes, no stone left unturned, amazing levels of detail they go into to try determine from early age.
    Think they have an 8 or 9 person committee or something mad over seeing the academy structures.

    Gearoid Hegarty i think has done some interviews on what it was like coming through, really interesting insights into it.

  146. Having watched all the main Munster Hurling games this Summer I can say the man for man the Hurlers are probably more powerful than the footballers going into next Sundays final.

    The Limerick Hurlers are professionally conditioned and many of them wouldn’t look out of place in the Munster Rugby Squad.

    Mayo had a very conditioned outfit a few years ago, why cannot current management follow suit, wasn’t Rochford the manager back them !

  147. Yes frostthammer, I agree.. The conventional 11 is prob a thing of the past… One time it was prob the most important position, going from ogie morans time in kerry to larry Tompkins to Trevor Giles, Brian mcguigan, our own k McD.. Etc.. But the blanket has put pay to that.. Numbers on backs mean very little now.. We deffo cud do with a paudie Clifford type playmaker however. Just when things open up and the full forward line gets space late in games or players get tired.. Flynn is improving for sure.. He’s clipping in with few scores and has big work rate.. Its concerning how Diarmuid didn’t score at all during the championship, an amazing stat considering how much ball he gets on…hard to believe actually. So as I said before.. You’d need Tommy at 14, close to goal… Maybe rod at 11..our two best players at 11 and 14 might not be a bad thing.

  148. We have sort of a basketball coach now as one of the management team.. I like rod as a player and he spoke well on Joe podcast last week.. But he was saying the coach does these ‘back door cuts’.. Now to me that’s just fuckin gobbledygook, it’s a way of Just probing and trying to do one twos v the blanket.. But I spose these coaches have to justify why they are there with that sort of shite talk.

  149. Just on Diarmuid, he is an incredible player.

    I know he is multi-talented

    But for me, we need to be allowing Diarmuid to be a scoring player. He is one of our scorers, and I’d wager he would be ultra-reliable if released into that kind of a role. It’s just a hunch.

  150. I can’t see any other pairing at midfield than flynn and diarmuid really tho for the next season or 2, big engines on both, flynn can kick a score, so can diarmuid when he wants.. I don’t know if they are good enough fielders or kick passers.. That can be worked on though

  151. Just remember going back to limerick.. They won 3 u21s in a row some time ago but never converted them to a liam Mccarthy. Management has an awful lot to do with their current success. The players reiterate thar every time their interviewed

  152. I heard Eamon o shea, former tipp hurling manager and coach on the radio the other day.. Was interesting, he was talking about limerick and how physical yet skillful they all are.. He was asked if how teams can compete with them and he said its not easy but u need to be technically so quick and clever if size is a problem… You’d wonder does mayo do enough on the technical side of the game, I don’t think so. In modern football it’s alot about pace and power, Av average club player now can make a senior inter county footballer if he’s flying fit, and strong and more importantly, does what hes told according to an ex donegal player, I tend to agree.. Not necessarily the better technical footballer will get in ahead of an average mullacker

  153. Gizmo. On holidays and watched the hurling yesterday in a pub. Was talking to a man from Clare and he said his nephew plays u20 for the county. They played Limerick last year and one of them told him JP gave €1500 to every panel member for home gym equipment. Said no way can Clare match that. Wasn’t sour grapes either as he said even in the Munster final, had they got the late free, Limerick would still find a way to win.

  154. Money certainly helps Nephin. Mayo spends loads of money, but how it’s spent is another thing. I’d be inclined to think that we are way off the pace when it comes to our Academy set up. I know Limerick have UL, which is such a fantastic facility, but they really have worked on getting the right coaches in places the whole way up. I have spoken to a lot of lads that are on Mayo development squads and they aren’t all that impressed with the set ups. Then at senior level, Limerick’s s & c is on a different level to all other counties.
    Sure they barely broke into a sweat yesterday. Different game I know, but I certainly don’t believe that the Mayo senior men’s team are as fit or as well conditioned. Limerick’s big men don’t seem to get tired during a game like ours do. I’m no expert in that area, but when you look at the physiques of both teams, there seems to be a huge gulf. If this is the case, then it’s certainly an area where we could improve.

  155. Thanks Swallow and FrosT – great comments.

    Can someone help me here? Had we gone away from (Limerick type S&C if you want to put it like that) in favour of athleticism and pace? Are the two interlinked or separate? When we beat Kerry, Jack O’Connor (and practically everyone else), was talking about our athleticism and pace and how difficult it was to deal with this type of team. After the Dublin match, we seemed to be lacking in the strength area, and the power question arose again.

    Which is it – is one at the expense of the other?

  156. @Catcol, Mayo did have an abundance of Physicality, pace and fitness.

    Both 2016 and 2017 finals were played at 100 miles per hour with full intensity in the tackle.

    Maybe the managers have been caught out, ie, playing this slow build up that is the fashion this year, it they upped the intensity levels they would have been better off.

    This is the very reason Mayo did poorly in the championship, they were not prepared properly, S&C went out the window along with fitness levels.
    If I’m really honest there are a few guys not up to the level this year and a few others playing poorly also, the workmanlike attitude just went away as the year progressed.

  157. Can I recommend a bit of homework to all that are trying to figure out where Mayo are at this year.

    Watch the 2016 replay and the 2017 finals, I have to admit I was shocked after watching back those games last week, it’s amazing how we get caught up with the here and now, it’s as if we have forgotten where Mayo were operating at, I include current Mayo management here too.

  158. TAlk.of limerick giants. My man of match was cian lynch not the biggest but when kilkenny roared at them he took stage

  159. That talk of strength. Conditioning is crappie 15 gym .on keys never won an all ireland that was a great limerick team ! And they played as a team !!!

  160. Our Last Week on the Podcast show is now online. This one features a few clips from the Kevin McStay pod, which will be of interest in particular to those who haven’t heard the full interview with him.

  161. I dunno but Cian Lynch looked an absolute beast of a build to me Rober . It’s not about gym monkeys either per se , it’s all about getting the very good players in the best shape possible , we have very good players but I’d argue this year a lot of them did not look like they were in prime condition . A lot more strength and explosive power needed .

    I don’t know if there’s any real truth to things like home gym equipment been given to limerick players etc but to me that is something the GAA should give free grants to players for , they get very little for what they give in time and effort, what would be so wrong for them to be given grants for home equipment

  162. Gizmo,not at all clear that he said to take him off,yes go to the sideline ,as for T Conroy I don’t recall him saying to take him off,you are entitled to your opinion,but not your facts

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