Fergal Boland is our MOTM from yesterday’s game

Photo: Irish Independent (Ben McShane/Sportsfile)

Even I can see that there’s a certain incongruity with holding a Man of the Match poll here on the blog after a game in which we’ve got a shoeing. But, as I always explain when the inevitable questions are asked, the whole point of the exercise is to identify and acknowledge players from our team who perform well, regardless of the circumstances.

The backdrop for this one wasn’t pretty, with Tyrone tearing through us over the course of a tough second half for Kevin McStay’s team up in Healy Park yesterday evening. But amidst the gloom a few Mayo players stood out, in particular Fergal Boland, whom you’ve voted as our MOTM from the game.

The Aghamore clubman wins the poll with 23% of the votes. Ryan O’Donoghue, who was only sprung from the bench when we were a goal in arrears in the second half and already bailing water, did well for us too, a fact acknowledged by the 12% of the vote he garnered. Stephen Coen (10%), Enda Hession and Cillian O’Connor (both 9%) also deserve honourable mention.

Well done to them all for battling away in trying circumstances under the light at Omagh and well done in particular to Fergal Boland, our MOTM from yesterday’s game.

99 thoughts on “Fergal Boland is our MOTM from yesterday’s game

  1. Fair play to Fergal Boland. He is having a great league so far. Looking forward to the Roscommon game now as their tails will be up after their win today and they have some lovely scoring forwards.

  2. Well done Fergal. Some great scores and a heads up approach.
    I voted for Coen , thought he was fantastic without being spectacular. Great to see him and Hession putting down a marker especially with Paddy to come back too .
    Onwards to the Rossies, I presume Diarmuid won’t be risked. , wouldn’t mind seeing Mattie get a few more mins into him and also Rob even though I’d have Reape as my No1 , Championship is where its at .
    Rossies will be thinking of All Irelands after today !!

  3. – Agree that Boland shaded the MOM and will done to him. Conditions were perfect in Omagh yesterday in front of a surprisingly small crowd.
    – The actual big difference between both teams yesterday was intensity.
    – Tyrone were marking very tight, were doing their usual smoother tackling and generally just went for it.
    – We were the exact opposite, leaderless, timid and lethargic.
    – Few possible reasons for this….Tyrone had two home games in a row while we have went from one end of the country to another in 7 days., absolutely agree with you Sinead37 on that.
    – Second reason is we changed half the team from previous week with some coming back from long term injury.
    – Had not expected to win when I seen the named team but it’s the manner of defeat that grates.
    – I would prefer to see u having 10 points on the scoreboard and 10 sides than 4 points and no wides. We are being destroyed by stats and how they are influencing the coaching our forward play in particular.
    – Time and time again in the first half our forwards all got ball 30 yards out but nobody tried to score instead faced back in field and passed the ball. We wasted so much possession doing this.
    – This Rossie game was always on my must win list and yesterdays result makes it even more so. We can relegate the Rossies if we beat them
    – The sound of knives sharpening, axes grinding and settling of scores in getting louder but hold fire until end of League.
    – The one question that was emphatically answered last night is that Reape is our no. 1 goalkeeper.

  4. Fergal Boland strikes those long range shots like a hurler. He’s really heads up and he looks a bit stronger in contact than he was in previous years.

  5. It’s ironic that Fergie Boland was let go by our management team last year and so far he has been one of our better players! Folks something does not add up! In fairness to the management they must have realised that they made a momumental mistake!
    Comhghairdeas do Fergal
    Mhuigeo Abú

  6. Olive.
    Surely everyone can agree on your last point at this stage.
    Reape is our best goalie, by a considerable distance, not even up for debate

  7. Well done Fergal, apart from ROD he has been our standout forward this year so far. But I have to agree with @Oilean above, how he was dropped before a ball was kicked last year is a mystery.

    One thing I find interesting, the majority of new players brought into the panel are young. Is there anything to be said for looking at a few more seasoned physically stronger club players? If they are out there?

  8. Olive, while the shadow of Div 2 would certainly be more visible for us Rossies, Mayo would not relegate us with a victory on Saturday. Were we to win, we’d be on 5, and Mayo on 4 would see the same shadow creeping closer! Makes for an exciting game.

  9. I really like Fergal as a player. If he is going well, it might just influence the team in the right direction – intelligent play, bravery, wits, accuracy, instead of too much coached-into-you caution. This is not to adulate but to appreciate.

  10. @supermac, I disagree. He may end being first choice but Hennelly has a better kick out than Reape, that much is not up for debate.

    Has Boland been top 3 in MotM polls in all 4 weeks now? You’d really wonder about management leaving him off the panel last year. Absolutely brainless stuff.

  11. Boland kicked 2 lovely points when the game was dead. Tyrone had visibly dropped deeper in the last 10-15 minutes and only cared about protecting the D. Why didn’t he take them shots on in the first half when we were on top? Is it tactics I wonder? Or is it just the pressure was off a little bit?. Not a criticism as he is technically very good. I think in general Boland gets on alot of ball, but he doesn’t really do anything positive with it. Always a safe lateral or backward hand pass, he slows the game down a bit aswell. This could be him just following orders, but its very evident.

    Looking at what we’ve seen so far, I think Loftus should be given a run in his natural position of half forward. I dont want to mention the war, but I always blamed managment for playing him in THAT position last year, it wasn’t really his fault. Currently he’s better than Duffy and Tuohy, and physically he’ll be a better option than Boland when the real stuff starts. Worth a go in at some point in the league I think.

  12. I think Mayo will be fine next week.

    They are out 3 weeks in a row with back to back away games in Tralee and Omagh.

    Targeting the home game against Roscommon for 2 points makes more sense.

    The more the dust settles it was evident from the fact managment made 8 changes to the starting team from what started against Kerry that Tyrone was more a free shot. It’s disappointing how it played out especially the second half but it’s not the end of the world.

  13. Rewatching the highlights here again. My goodness McCurry gave Coyne some schooling. Has him bamboozled with skill and movement

  14. @Margie, absolutely no way! Not at the level required. Boland is miles better. Touhy has a much higher ceiling too.

    Boland has 9 points from play in 4 matches and flurry of assists to go with it. He’s way more direct than any other half forward option. He’s far from a problem right now.

    The bigger questions are what does Jack Coyne bring to the table? Is Brickenden really inter county standard? And most of all, how can Mayo compete at the latter stages of the all Ireland with no natural midfielders, other than the out of form Mattie Ruane?

  15. Wouldn’t say Matty is a natural midfielder , he can’t catch a ball above his head , his game is a running game which is usually with his head down running down cul de sacs, we over rate players here in mayo

  16. Boland has been a great (re)addition but I don’t think he was great yesterday. Wasn’t involved at all until the last 15 minutes when the game was done. Tyrone were happy to let Fergal, Ryan and Brickenden kick points then so long as we didn’t get in for a goal.

    Jordan Flynn was our best player in the first half when it was still a contest. Obviously had a mare with the shooting after that.

    Stephen Coen was good and Hession was solid.

  17. Well done Fergal. On a night when very few Mayo players stood out, he kicked two very good scores. Have to say I did not think he had a great game overall but if all our forwards hit two from play that would be 12 points. Voted for Coen as I thought he was the best of a very shaky defence. In fairness that defence is young and inexperienced. Sam and Coyne, two lads I rate highly got the runaround by Canavan, who is top class, and McGeary who is excellent when in the mood. Without Durcan and McBrien we struggle defensively. Good that Mattie got some minutes but looked rusty. Losing Diarmaid is a big blow. Really under pressure now v Rossies who had a big win today and will be full of confidence in a venue where they usually do well. A bit worried after hearing what Leeroy said about Paddy on TV tonight. For all our talk about strength in depth we do not have it. Remove a few of our better players and we are very average. We may need a few favours in other games now to stay up Roscommon definitely will feel they can beat us, Derry will beat us if they go for it so we could be heading to Monaghan needing to win to stay up. Monaghan love the last day of the league and have got the result they needed on numerous occasions.

  18. Cian McHale Moy Davitts
    Paddy Heneghan Castlebar
    Niall Hurley Claremorris
    Sean Morahan Castlebar

    Hard to believe none of these players been looked at in Current League campaign.

  19. I think the Roscommon game is vital now and possibly in the must win category, as a loss will drag us into a relegation scrap. Relegation would not bother me too much, but obviously I would prefer to stay in Division 1.We need to put out our strongest team next weekend-I’m not sure anyone knows what that is. Our strongest available team, with maybe a few tweaks to address problem positions. And we need to show a lot more effort, passion and intensity. Win that game and we can experiment a bit more. Not many played themselves onto the team on Saturday, but a few probably played themselves off it. We obviously missed Paddy, McBrien and also Diarmuid, but I also think we miss McHugh. I would start Tuohy, as he can win his own ball and take a score. Hession is looking good and would also start for me. Wonder is Carr anywhere near ready, as he would really improve our full forward line-again, he can win possession, take a score and offers a goal threat. We need to sort out our kick-outs and midfield is a real problem-we don’t seem to have any real ball winners. Carney has the ability, is a high fielder, but hasn’t nailed the position down yet. Tuohy is also a high fielder and must be worth a try at midfield. A bit left field I know, but Brickenden might also be worth a try, as he has a lot of the attributes need for the position and is capable of kicking an odd point and is quite a good kick passer. No other options spring to mind_anyone have any other suggestions? We know the League and Championship are too completely animals, but, because of their proximity, we would need to be showing signs of a settled team, systems, tactics etc at this stage. With the loss of so many of our top players in recent years, we are still in transition, but we need to be showing signs of improvement and progress. We have no realistic chance of Sam this year, a semi-final would probably exceed my expectations, at this stage.

  20. I would start Tuohy at midfield now. He reminds
    Me of a young Barry Moran. Bob has a god leap on him and good pair of hands on him . He would be a good target for our Keeper if we are forced to go long. I would admit he is a bit light looking at the minute. But that can be worked on . He also has a good engine. On the goalkeeper. Colm Reape had a very good game in League final last year. But I have to say he had only one poor shot to stop by David Clifford this year. He is inclined to panic when the Forwards push up and he doesn’t have an option on the short kick out. Rob had not a great game the other night. We definitely need to work hard on the kick out strategy, as we are conceding scores when we don’t find our men. In all games so far we
    Have lost a good few kick outs. Regardless of who the keeper is Management need to take this on board and work out some sort of a strategy. The keeper finds himself in a sticky position when he does not have anyone looking for the ball or making themselves available for it. It needs some improvement and important work done on it.

  21. I thought lee keegans comments last night were a bit odd that there is all sorts of rumours flying around regarding paddy durcans injury.I would imagine he would have a fair idea what’s going on but if he doesn’t know then just answer he didn’t know

  22. Well done Fergal,a reliable forward scorer. We were fortunate to get a penalty for a foul outside the box in first half. When Tyrone went up a gear in the second half, we were unable to go with them we looked weary, flatfooted but above all leaderless.. Rossies will definitely put our kick outs under pressure next weekend and how will we cope with Cregg?
    On the plus side Hession is looking better with every game.

  23. I’d love to know where McStay’s philosophy is gone. He always mentioned a target of 40 attacks, 30 shots & 20 scores. If you hit those targets, you will win most games.

    I don’t have the stats but I’d be surprised if we are getting 20 shots off, never mind 20 scores. If all you do is recycle the ball & keep possession, you’re not doing much. When a chance is on, have a go & make sure it goes dead. Press the kickout & you might have another opportunity to score quickly. If your attacks are quicker, you will have more attacks in a game & probably more scores…it’s basic maths. Possession play is acceptable at certain times.

    The coaches in this country in my opinion are completely overblown. They’re all blowing smoke up each others arses & everyone thinks they need to be have one as a result.

    It is the COACHES that are the problem in football. The players don’t want to play this rubbish. It’s septic & is destroying youth football too. And they play that way at adult level because it’s all they know.

    Rules that would immediately address it. And it is rule changes that are needed. Coaches won’t fix it, they are the problem.

    2 point arc – approx 40m (basically a bigger d if that makes sense) to encourage long range shots.
    This would automatically force defences to push out.

    Half way line – once a team passes the half way line, they cannot bring the ball back past their own 65 – I say 65 as there is a line all the way across the field unlike halfway.

    Limit opposition players in each half- by this i mean the defending team can have no more than a set amount of players in their own half. If a ref spots an infringement, automatic 14 yard free in front of the posts.

    I’d like to see 13 a side games trialled.

    The game isn’t going to fix itself. Radical changes needed. It’s puke stuff now in the main

  24. Well done Fergal, the one thing i did notice with him is that he does look physically stronger and more muscular since his return (someone else commented same). So maybe this is what he was up to on his year away ?…

    Its funny how a week or 2 can change perspective….we had players coming back and squad looked to have depth and then all of a sudden we now have Diarmuid, Paddy, McBrien, Reid on the injuried list with no sign of Carr or O’Hora, Plunkett and Mattie look of the pace (but with time on their side maybe). 4-5 of these are starters so really hope these are all short term issues

  25. We need to be very conscious that when we are down bodies we are well off it. That’s how it has been even in the peak years. If you took a tranche of the best players off the 2017 team they only had one equivalent sub to come in.
    We looked leggy like we had a block of work midweek. Jack Coyne is quick, so it’s unusual to see him beaten out to the ball by Mccurry.
    Jack Carney is a good athlete, his legs seemed diminished on Saturday.

  26. Well done Fergal.

    I think teams have figured us out – they press up hard and watch us panic on the kick out, keep us penned in our full back line, and if we go long, just flood midfield and mop up any breaking ball. We need Bob Tuohy in midfield, simply because he can catch a ball. Also we need a strategy to let it in long and give a forward a chance with a one on one. Our forwards should be able to win a percentage of these balls

    Having said all that, it’s hard to make sense of the league so far. All teams, except Derry, are mixing the good with the atrocious. Three Connaught teams could be in serious relegation trouble though.

  27. Catcol, the Dublin game the weekend was an exhibition in forward strategic thinking and movement. Patterns of play as clear as day. They varied their tactics depending on whether Kerry went zonal marking or man on man. It was a joy to watch, and a stark contrast to us who seem largely structureless.

  28. Its only a league match so not too worried about the result. I still remember the 9 point loss to Monaghan followed by the infamous “Horan Out” tweet – we then went on to make two All Ireland finals in a row…

    Its funny how attitudes differ around the country. I think if we got the drubbing that Kerry got on Saturday night, this blog would be up the walls! I watched it with a close friend from Kerry who is as passionate and knowledgeable as they come and at the final whistle turned to me and said, “tis only the league…pint?”.

    Saturday reminded me a little of Cork in the Gaelic Grounds last year, we just completely lost control of the match. But God I’m happier to see it happen in February.

    I do worried about midfield though and am particularly worried about what Rogers and Glass might do to us.

  29. Time to start picking best team from now on in their best positions. We are getting roasted at corner backs in most games for last two years.Far too many players being switched about in games, McStay should know players best positions from training and in house games and let them settle in that position and know who is playing beside them. One new player per game should be enough, you dont see Kerry or Dublin switching too many players each game. Conroy should be played in half forward line whe he can get room to run at defences, he has the pace to break the lines and score from play, he is wasted in full forward line where he cant get a run too show his pace.

  30. Unstoppable – we are definitely in a no win situation during the league. Majority of supporters don’t want to make a league final, yet are also furious when we lose games.

    The comparison with Kerry is interesting. Obviously looking on from the outside, but I’m not seeing the same hysteria after their defeat on Saturday.

    We made 8 changes vs Tyrone. Doesn’t matter how experienced some of the additions were, it’s still impossible to be a cohesive side after that.

  31. Well done Fergal, well deserved and long range shooting accuracy was the only thing that pulled us back to a 4 point deficit at the end of the 2nd half. I’m troubled again that when teams up the intensity against us we don’t seem to be able to respond in kind – similar to Cork and Dublin in the Championship last year.

  32. @wideball – I think it’s the manner of the defeat that’s mostly worrying. Didn’t see too many people complaining after the one point Kerry loss. A player can come on just for the second half, and hit us for 7 points? Outscored 1-7 to 1 point in that period. It’s Cork all over again or the thumping the Dubs gave us in the 3rd quarter.
    It’s not the first time this has happened to us, but what’s being done to address it before we get blitzed out of the championship again?

  33. Agreed Wide Ball, I don’t think people know what they want.

    The league is funny. Like we got 2 points against the Dubs and lost to Kerry but realistically anyone who watched those two games could tell you that Dublin looked sharper, more settled and had a far better idea how they are going to play it.

    For me anyway, the only rounds of the league that matter are the last two. Teams are coming slowly to a boil at that stage. Four teams probably fearing the drop and its only then do you see the better teams kick on and perform when they have to.

  34. I have to say, I’m not too disappointed. Yes it was worrying to see hwe we failed to respond to the increased intensity and change in Tyrone tactics from the start of the second half, but, as long as we get the required points over the next 3 game no one will remember this game and it will have zero bearing on our championship success, or otherwise.
    McStay won’t admit it and it won’t even be inferred but I firmly believe that the Tyrone game was a “freebie” and was used to give mins and game time to players that we will need for sure in the championship, e.g. Coen, Ruane, Plunkett, Hession and O’Connor. It was also a chance to give Duffy a start and see how he handles it, he is one of the more promising players coming through and while he may not be a challenger for a geansai come the championship he is the future and they have to start somewhere. I think the game was used to beef out the depth in the squad and give McStay options going into the Roscommon game, which becomes a crucial game now.
    DOC came off with what certainly looked like a hamstring tweak and hopefully they erred on the side of caution and got him off quick, the fact that he wasn’t iced up on the sideline is a good thing. But apart from him, McBrien and Durcan, we go into the Rossie game with a healthier squad.
    We have a backline to pick from the following…… Coyne, Brickenden, Callinan, Coen, Hession, Plunkett, McLaughlin and McHugh and all of these have seen gametime. O’Hora maybe to come back in from the bench?
    A midfield to choose from the following Carney, Ruane, Flynn and Tuohy.
    A forward division of Tuohy, Boland, Flynn, O’Donoghue, O’Shea, O’Connor, Duffy and MacHale.
    I think the goalkeeping position was decided beyond all doubt (yet again) after Staurday evenings performance by Hennelly.
    All those mentioned above have seen game time and if McStay can’t pick a winning combination out of that then we have no business thinking of anythiong else beyond a relegation battle.

    For what it’s worth, the opening 20 mins of the Dublin Kerry game was like a totally different sport. If that’s Dublin at half pace then God help us all because, as much as it pains me to admit it, they were truely awesome. The had Kerry bet in 20 mins.

  35. Brian – as I said, 8 players got their first start of the year. Including a lad who’s only 18/19. Drawing any conclusions from that match is pointless.

    Teams can get a run on you in football, especially in the league. We blitzed Galway in the first half back in January and the 2nd half in salthilll last summer. We also did similar to Kerry in Killarney.

    The only way to see if we’ve learned from last year is get back to a quarter final and win. League games prove nothing.

  36. Hard to pick out any good performance from the last night. Boland hit 2 great scores but as was said by a few already, the game was over by that stage and Tyrone were setup not to concede a goal. Why wasnt Boland trying these earlier, its something the team needs to improve on is taking long range scores, need it to beat to the packed defenses. 179 votes for Cillian O Connor is strange, he wasnt in the game at all, and Hession was very quite but both are just back.
    Defence were poor, did the full back line win any ball that came in? Callinan is going the same way as Keegan finished and will have to be played in the full back line even though suited more to half back. Coyne is decent just has alot to learn yet. Brickendon is to slow and not physical enough. Plunkett and Coen be similar in that both are too slow and will be found out against the top teams. Coen will work hard and great engine but need more out of him.

  37. The reality is that we are not All Ireland contenders. We are possibly in top 4 on the right day and if we got to a semi then thats about as well as we could expect to do this year.
    Our main problem is at Midfield thats the platform and engine room for everything on the pitch…… we just dont have the ball winners there maybe Touhy can become that but I could’nt see it this year for him to be able to carry a game.
    People say we need at least one truth is we need 2 or 3 because guys get injured etc. We always had that in the past but right now we just dont.

  38. Agree Gizmo. You may be right there Pebbles. But we had the chance to put Tryone to the sword in the first half. They conceded the double whammy of a penalty and a black card, yet for the whole length of the black card, we scored one point and Tyrone got one back to leave it three down at the break. They must have been delighted. One point in that period is pretty bad, no matter who is on the field, buoyed up as we were with a goal and a man extra.

  39. Here are a few scoring stats that might surprise people from the league so far.

    – Boland is Mayo’s top score from play with 0-9 from 4 starts.
    – Ryan has only scored 0-6 from play from 3 starts plus one sub appearance.
    – Bob Touhy has scored from play in every game, 0-4 in total. 3 starts and one sub appearance.
    – Stephen Coen has 1-1 from play with only one start and 3 sub appearances.
    – Tommy (3 starts plus one sub) and Aidan (3 starts) have yet to score from play.

    Only Ryan and Fergal are regular multiple points from play scorers for Mayo. Bob scores but not heavily. And no one from defense is a regular scorer. It is very early days but we need much more from play from our inside forwards. START TOWEY!!

  40. Why do they start Ruane in midfield ?
    He is clearly not a midfielder. He can’t get off the ground to catch the ball.
    it’s been obvious for years but sill he is tried there.
    A half forward at best at this stage.

  41. A lot of good points raised by so many posters today.
    I do agree in particular with Mayo Focus. The game does need fixing. Introduction of a two point zone would be a great idea but sadly I can’t see either the GAA or Referees going for such radical thinking.
    One thing I don’t agree with is that it’s only the league. We are half way through it and are we any closer to being ‘Championship Ready’

  42. If R O Donoghue and T Conroy are struggling to get ball in the full forward line, then Towey would def struggle but it also tells you where the problem is and it was very evident last Sat and that is there no ball being kicked in, kicked in early or even with accuracy..Carney, Ruane, Flynn those 3 have been there a while now and when do you ever see any of them letting the ball in early or give a good kick pass in.

  43. GBXI, agree with you lack of scoring forwards. Look at Curry from Tyrone, played one half of football in league, and has 8 points, I think 6 from play. But I think problem is that not sure forwards, are in County. Look at Mayo Club Championship, last year, low scoring affairs. Only really intermediate championship teams scoring heavily, and how much of that is the opposition defence.
    Hard to know what forward stand out apart from ROD, and possible Jordan

  44. @facetheball, because at 28 years of age he has always played midfield and won an All Star from that position. It allows him the space to attack and use his pace to get scores. He’s not good with his back to goal like natural wing forward are. Modern midfielders don’t just field the ball. Mayo’s issue is they have very little natural height in that position. Hopefully Bob solves that. In the meantime we need a keeper without an excellent kick-out, a smart strategy, and tigerish middle third players to win breaking ball.

  45. It’s only the league you can’t tell where teams are at till championship when you put your absolute best out.

    So far every team bar Derry have put in good & bad games.

    Are the dubs really 10 points better then kerry? When we beat the dubs by a point? Are Galway better then Tyrone are Tyrone back to their best (everyone said they are a rebuilding side they deserved the win Sat though 100%.)

    You can’t expect a team that made 8 changes and 8 players getting their 1st start of the year to win a game any kind of team needs time to jell together and that takes time.

    Mcstay obviously used this game to give players game time he’s targeting the rossies game as a must win and I’m sure we will see our strongest side named.

    It’s not all doom and gloom it’s the league it’s Feb sure Dublin and kerry were not great at all in the league last year and where did they end up in the end.

    I wouldn’t be loosing the heads over a game that won’t matter much at all come the new York game in April.

  46. @mayotilidie, I think you’re mistaken there. McCurry scored 0-2 from play and 0-6 from frees. I wouldn’t be getting too excited about McCurry, he’s been around a while and he’s not that dangerous. In the height of summer if you put Paddy or Callinan on him they’d keep him scoreless handy enough. Darragh Canavan on the other hand is the real deal.

  47. Soccer is post minor either fully taking or dividing the attention of our best forwards.
    I don’t believe it’s possible to mix GAA and another sport minor and onwards.
    Oh how can you say that!!!!!
    Put it like this, do you think there’s a hope in hell that the best Tyrone, Dublin or Kerry players are playing soccer with minor and onwards?
    Con O’Callaghan very much put hurling on the back burner.
    The other thing is teans putting natural scoring players back as wing backs. That is disastrous. Being a scoring forward needs years of mastery and putting a player down field to the wingback jerseys interferes with that development.
    The best five minors wuth potential are pretty obvious each year. The best three scoring minors are usually very obvious. Their development can’t be left to chance.

  48. @mayotillidie: 6 frees and just the 2 from play for McCurry, but he was pulling strings up there too and creating great opportunities for others. Directly and indirectly. Looked like a man with a serious point to prove after a questionable year by his standards last year.

  49. Dublin done quite well in their league last year. Agree though result not important, but it’s 15/16mths into this set up and the lack of visible strategic game plans defensively, offensively and around kickouts (especially as we not a high fielding team) that gives me pause for thought.
    Agree players need game time, but hard fathom rationale behind some of the choices, Duffy fair enough appeared few games off bench warranted a start. McHale came on last day, scored a point and got on good bit of ball and looked lively you would think be another in line to give a start to but no. McDonnell on bench everyday I think and no appearance. Towey another one in around panel thats not really featuring.

    Eoin O’Donohue people mentioned I believe is out with some sort of hamstring injury. Unfortunate for him as just back, two years with no football and to try and get straight up to IC speed a big ask of the body.

    A small pet peeve also from weekend is naming of teams and squads, most squads release the full panel, we release starting15 (for all its worth), then despite it being well covered on social media that Conor Loftus is up with panel in Lough Erne resort they release bench later on the day with him not named on it. Just do not understand why bother. CBs likely get the squads on the Thursday/Friday for printing so it not as if the opposition wont know the 26 listed. or am I missing something?

  50. Well yes dubs won their division last year but for part of the league they weren’t great at all compared to how they played come championship where they really brought their A game is what I meant.

  51. Dublin won their the division last year but didn’t do well in the league??.Kerry had zero interest in the league last year and these two counties are winning all Irelands which are not and not even close to it at the minute.a couple of changes were enforced at the weekend but it was the managements decision to make 8 changes I would imagine.again it wasn’t the defeat it was the manner of the collapse that was alarming.how does anyone on here know what games Kevin mcstay is targeting and his demeanour after the game didn’t suggest he was happy at giving lads a runout

  52. @JP: All the recent, and not so recent, studies have shown keeping players in multiple sports (athletics/gymnastics/basketball/boxing/rugby/hurling/soccer/football) as long as possible within loading limits (so some time between minor and 20s for most – slightly earlier for the most talented playing on more teams at more age brackets) helps development. Fairly dramatically.

    If they’re having to miss multiple important training sessions or a game with loading concerns, then they’d obviously have to make a decision. Otherwise? We should be encouraging all the underage talent to keep mixing sports as long as they have the opportunity to. From an entirely selfish point of view (wrongly ignoring the importance for the players themselves for a moment) we come out well ahead athletically, never mind the more difficult to measure psychological benefits of having a different focus to potentially blow off steam and relax.

    I’d be sending them all in to basketball & rugby if I could, see if they can try and recruit a few hulking midfielders we’re not overly blessed with throughout the ranks. Anyone tried having a word with Caelan Doris lately? All that beating up poor 6 Nations teams has to be getting boring and make him want a real challenge. Fingers crossed.

  53. Would any Ballinrobe based posters on here feel James Murphy has what it takes for senior intercounty?. He’s possibly our only other midfielder making the bench that we haven’t gotten a look at. Not sure what age ,or don’t recognize him from underage but assuming management see something there.

  54. @TsuDhoNim, Agree with all that. I just think at minor it is time to specialize based on workload alone. Young talented players have a high workload of games.

  55. @FreeTheEastBank

    Its funny, I don’t really rate the current Mayo team but do actually see us as contenders! Reason for this is I don’t think the other teams are actually all that good either.

    I think this year could be similar to 2021 and have a team like Tyrone come from the pack. McGuinness, I suspect, thought the same and decided to get back in with Donegal.

    There is a lot of luck to how the fixtures fall in the league. I think if we had played Dublin on Saturday night in Croker, we’d probably have got a similar clipping. We got them early thankfully, and even then they should have won.

  56. @TsuDoNhim, I don’t know if Caelan Dorris could get in the squad? I mean he’s another Mayo “forward” who seems afraid to kick the ball. He has an annoying tendencey to pass the ball backwards aswell. Got a feeling he’d pick up too many black cards, probably not worth the rish tbh….

  57. @JoeG Diskin is coming back from an Acl injury last year but by all accounts he’s meant to be in serious shape and is in McStays plans

    James Murphy from what I saw in the club championship would never be someone I would have picked out as inter county standard personally, maybe with the injuries in midfield they had no choice but to bring someone into the squad

  58. @1985

    I said the dubs didn’t bring their A game until the championship and that was clear their were some writing the dubs off completely at the start of last year’s league. The dubs didn’t play well in some of their games at the start of the league last year.

    Yeah kerry weren’t interested in the league last year but it’s clear that we are not interested in the league either.

  59. I still keep saying it, this is only the league. The championship is another ball game entirely.
    Target No.1 must be the two points that make division 1 survival a certainty. Target No.2 is April 21st, which is 8 weeks away from last Sunday.
    That 8 week block is in fact two 4 week blocks where management will look to ramp conditioning and pace up to championship intensity. Obviously the sooner we make our survival a sure thing the better, because then the real work can begin. We’re obviously nowhere near championship intensity yet, nor do we want to be. This time last year we were much further along the road and peaked too early in the season. Then, when we needed to go up another gear, we didn’t have it and plateaued out. The tricky thing for McStay to do now is to balance the work load in those 8 weeks having April 21st as the goal, while also ensuring we have enough quality on the field to win us games, all the while managing the risk of injuries.
    Normally, you plan your training in 4 week blocks, ramping up from week 1 to week 2, and ramp up again to week 3. Week 4 is considered a “down” week where intensity and workload is tapered back from week 3. So, in effect, you’re going 3 steps up, 1 step back in each 4 week block. This break at week 4 prevents burnout, fatigue and aids recovery. It also helps to clear up any bangs and knocks that build up during the weeks. The week leading into April 21st will be a “down” week so working back from there means we have two full 4 week blocks to work with. Add that workload and conditioning onto Ruane, Cillian, Hession, Conroy and McLaughlin and you have very good options for McStay to choose from.
    Don’t get too hung up on where we are at right now, our only concern now is avoiding relegation.
    April 21st is where it’s really at.

  60. Clare we didn’t play well in some of our league games last year.we scrambled a draw against Armagh from a winning position and were hanging on desperately after losing an 8 point lead against Roscommon.Dublin and Kerry are winning all Irelands and will continue to win them because of their tradition and playing population.we are still trying to make the breakthrough and while losing games is part and parcel of a teams development we don’t appear to be making any progress.The same mistakes are being made over and over and the same excuses trotted out .Regardless of what personnel was on the pitch last Saturday there should be some semblance of a particular style of play emerging .Peter harte is allowed kick in a long low foot pass into darragh canavan who was torching Sam callinan .there was no one attempting to cut that space of and callinan is left one on one and the management stood on the sideline as if they were spectators as our kickouts were picked off one by one .Maybe there is some master plan for the championship but it’s being well hidden at the minute

  61. This is it 1985, compare us to Dublin, different personnel slip in but the blend into the system is almost seamless. They know when to bunch centrally around 45 or when to flood the FF area leaving space around the 45 depending on how their opponents set up against them. And what way to move/break accordingly.
    You could pull some amount of short clips from their game Saturday as examples for video analysis session with any team.

  62. I am not over worried about our defeat on Saturday night.
    8 changes from the Kerry game tells a tale.
    I think we will go all out against Ross, if we win we are secure.
    Coens experience vital for the team.

  63. At least ten of the players that started on Saturday will be on the championship team/panel.
    Mayo are obviously using the league to blood some new players and fix problem areas in preparation for the championship.
    Are we any closer after 4 games to
    -Having a solid defensive structure
    -Retaining possession from kickouts
    -Getting a balance between long passing to ff line and probing openings from slow deliberate build up
    -Scoring from distance when the chance presents itself
    -Creating goal scoring chances

  64. I thought Hennelly did Ok in goal. Nearly all his kick-outs hit his intended Mayo player. The fact that that player on a few occasions fumbled the ball is not Hennellys fault. I think Reape panics when the opposition push up on the Mayo Kick outs. Examples of this are Kerry last week. Armagh in the League last year, Dublin in the championship last year. Some of his targets were surrounded 3 to 1.
    Recurring injuries to the same players is a major problem. P Durcan, D McBRIEN, J Carr and D O Connor come to mind. On Tommy Conroy it takes 18 months to get back to peak after a cruciate injury. Remember Andy Moran did not get fully back to himself on his first year back. Likewise Cillian will also improve
    It is only the league and at this time year Teams can learn more from defeats than wins. Tyrone were well beaten by Kerry in the League in 2022 but Tyrone reversed the result in Championship and went on to beat us in the final.

  65. Margie, you’re dead right about Dorris. Wouldn’t have him anywhere near the team. Watching him on Saturday, it was non stop blatant fouling, dragging people to the ground. Don’t know how he gets away with it.

  66. Well done to boland again. I’m watching donegal with interest yesterday. One manager in the seat 10 years… the other 10 minutes. A draw. Looking at where Jimmy picked the team up from…. one of those men happen to be calling all the shots in mayo right now. I never heard Jimmy saying… oh we don’t have the players or Murphy s gone. Yes it’s early days but still a manager has an awful lot to do with a team s success. Tactics. Style of play etc.

  67. Dubs, Kerry, Donegal and Mayo. Watch this space come early July, would be my prediction. Obviously, there’s a lot dependent on logistics and potential howlers, but I’d be surprised if those four aren’t matched up if all goes to plan. Derry are just too finely honed too early to sustain the intensity necessary to see out an Ulster and Sam campaign. The Dubs will rest O’Callaghan if they beat Derry this Saturday, probably until he’s required down the line. Kerry aren’t remotely at their requisite pace, nor will they need to be to survive in division 1. McStay has learned from last yrs premature self congratulation that it’s about the tortoise and not the hare, and more poignantly, The man who takes the credit for the rain must assume responsibility for the drought.

  68. 4 points from probably the most challenging set of fixtures possible. Only Monaghan had 3 away games in their first four fixtures.

    These two home games were always likely to define our league campaign. We’re not safe on six points going to Monaghan if they’re on four and in the relegation zone or clear on score or head to head.

    Bottom place in the division is looking perilous. Survival would almost certainly guarantee a 3 Seed but right now it’s the Rossies edging Monaghan down to a 4 Seed.

  69. Apologies if this had been asked already , have we any official word on both paddy and diarmuid on how long they will be out for ?

  70. Doris could play for Mayo alright – he does play in the forwards and when he gets the ball he takes a few steps forward and then turns and passes the ball back to another forward behind him – so he would have no problem fitting into the Mayo style of forward play!!

  71. @Frost the hammer agree. Rossies hammered monaghan to they will be fully confident going into castlebar and will feel they will be able to take us. Hairy moments for mcstay & Co pressure on now to win this game.

    Not the end of the world still the Tyrone result but this is a must win game.

  72. Craggy, is Paddy Bradley one of the ones calling the shots at Mayo?. I’m fairly sure neither Aidan O’Rourke or Paddy Carr are involved in the Mayo setup.

  73. Southmayoexile………brilliant!!

    I watched Dublin v Kerry highlights over breakfast this morning. A standout for me was, like a hurler on his own half back line, seeing a gap and going for a shot, the amount of long shooting the Dubs were doing. None of this oul cop-out back.passing, just confident long shooting by 5-6 fellas if they were within range at all……….Our team should be piling on the shots once they get past the 45

  74. I don’t think that question has been asked, Sean, and, as you’d expect, there’s no official word on either player, nor I reckon will there be.

  75. James Nolan Thanks for that ,I was talking to a Claremorris man earlier who told me the same but didn’t think it was an ACL. Good to hear he’s still involved because he’s a serious talent. Some say McStay is doing a good job and others differ. Compare his starting lineup to the 2017 final lineup.
    Reape Clarke
    Coyne Harrison
    McBrien Vaughan
    O’Hora Higgins
    Durcan Keegan
    Coen Barratt
    McLaughlin Boyle
    Ruane S, O’Shea
    D. O’Connor Parsons
    Callinan K,McLoughlin
    Carney A. O’Shea
    Flynn Durcan
    A,O’Shea J.Doc
    T.Conroy C.O’Connor
    R.O.D. A. Moran.
    Glaringly the 2017 team were superior in pretty much every line, not just in the skill factor but the ability to win ball. When I look at what James Horan had as his very best team in my opinion compared to what Kevin McStay has I along with others have judged him a bit harshly.

  76. @joeg in fairness to Horan that 2023 team was a rebuild all thanks to him, he brought a relatively new team to an all Ireland final in 20 and 21 & you could argue these lads a year or two older have gone backwards under McStays reign, I always felt we as supporters never really appreciated what james Horan did for this county, yes he never got us over the line but one of mayo’s best ever managers in my opinion

  77. @James Nolan fully agree with you there horan brought in the likes of Ryan O D, Tommy conroy etc still remember watching the semi 21 v Dublin the commentators going James horan has rebuilt this young team after some of the big names have left mayo.

    Horan did so much for mayo never got us over the line but he came so close and he’s the reason why we have the likes of Ryan O D etc he brought them through.

  78. True James Nolan, McStay himself alluded to this saying rebuild had already been done by James Horan.
    Who new has been brought in to panel that hadn’t featured under Horan? Tuohy, McStay are two.

  79. yes after going so hard at it for a decade with that amazing team and it coming to an end in 2018 , we thought it was the end of an era for atleast 5 years, Horan did amazing to get the rebuild job up and running so quickly getting us to a semi in 2019 and two finals to follow, gutted he never got an all Ireland on his cv, he’s still young there’s definitely another job in him somewhere even if that’s not with mayo

  80. Regarding our last three managers, Horan,Rochford and now McStay all have their good points and have given their all to Mayo football no doubt in that. The one place they all fell down in is when the match starts they all seem to freeze and fail to see what switches are needed. We have seen numerous times our backs been roasted by their opposite number and no switches made at all or way to late to have effect on game, we have seen the wrong players taken off and wrong players put in. This is nothing new we saw Maurice Fitzgerlad destroy us in a final in 97 and no switch made there, My question is why cant Mayo managers and their selectors/trainers see whats happening in the game and make the right switches.

  81. @culmore agree with ya there.

    The one that comes to mind is Aido being taken off in 21 semi but when we were ahead he was put back on in the final moments I just never understood that tbh… As much respect I have for horan I was baffled by him bringing Aido back on after being taken off if I’m honest.

  82. Aidan was having a nightmare in that 21 semi final including missing a simple free in front of the posts.he was brought back on in extra time when we were defending a 3 point lead and Dublin were launching high balls in around the square

  83. Aido was having a nightmare that game for sure but what other county would you see a player being taken off and put back on when we were ahead is all I’m saying. Respect Aido but some calls from management are mad in previous years.

  84. when players are taken off for playing poorly and then put back on when the team is ahead I think that’s unfair tbh the guys that got the team ahead in the first place and one is taken off for the guy that was playing poorly previously to come back On is bad form.

    Some guys just have an edge in teams to get back on the way it is but if your poor and taken off you should stay off.

  85. Well Peter canavan was taken off in that final for tactical reasons.in 2021 it was an obvious decision to bring Aidan o Shea back on when Dublin were lamping balls in around our square

  86. James Nolan, I remember James Horan saying a few times that he would manage no other team but Mayo. He might be tempted back again in a few years time, especially if he likes what he sees with the u20s this year. I’m delighted he’s involved with them and have no doubt he’ll improve all the young players.

  87. Fair enough Clare but we won that game .more obvious management gaffs would be leaving Peter ford on tony Boyle in the 92 semi final.starting an injured dermot Flanagan in the 97 final and not having pat fallon on the bench in the drawn 96 final and of course switching the goalkeeper in 2016 replayed final

  88. Joe G. I also hope diskin return s. He s a man I highly rate. As regards the team comparison s… Horan is responsible for making that team as good as they were and for finding them especially keegan who had not played under age. It’s up to mcstay to do the same. He wasn’t left with a bad panel. A panel that made the 2021 final.

  89. @Clare of all the sticks to beat Horan with, bringing on your best fielder of a football to defend the square when leading by 3 points in the last 3 minutes of extra time in an All Ireland semi final is not one of them!

    I think most people agree that was the right thing to do

  90. Just want to raise again the question as to what we do when another team raises the intensity level like what happened in Omagh at the weekend or last year by Cork and the Dubs. Being no expert it would seem to me two options; 1) either up it and match the intensity level or 2) try to slow things down for a period and kill the momentum of the opposition. Just think Mayo need to figure a plan for when this happens.

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