Five changes for Saturday night

Mayo team v Derry

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

We’ve just named our starting fifteen to face Dublin at MacHale Park this coming Saturday evening (throw-in 7pm) and a strong enough team it is too. Our line-up is as follows:

Mayo (NFL Division One v Dublin 14/3/2015): Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy); Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar Mitchels), Kevin Keane (Westport), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Lee Keegan (Westport), Colm Boyle (Davitts), Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels); Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber); Mark Ronaldson (Shrule/Glencorrib), Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole).

So it’s five changes from the Derry game – out go Kenneth O’Malley, Ger Cafferkey, Danny Kirby, Micheál Forde and the injured Cillian O’Connor, while in come Robbie Hennelly, Patrick Durcan, Donal Vaughan, Diarmuid O’Connor and Alan Freeman. Compared to the last time we played Dublin – that League match in Croke Park just under a year ago – there are ten survivors: Robbie, Tom C, Lee, Boyler, Donie, Aidan, Kevin, Keith, Doc and Freezer, while Sheamie also came on as a sub that madcap night at HQ.

52 thoughts on “Five changes for Saturday night

  1. A strong team named which I am happy to see. It looks like Noel and Pat are going all out for the win anyway. They want to get the two points to ensure safety in Division 1. I would be of the philosophy, when you have a chance to get one over on a close rival, you do your best to try and take that chance. Roll on the game!

  2. Now is Freeman’s chance to shine. Let’s hope he can put in a big performance on Saturday night – he and Aido could be quite a combination in the front 6.

    Where is Neil Douglas does anyone know and why is he not getting any game time?

  3. ’twas O’Malley between the sticks in Derry WJ. Looks a strong enough team. Big chance for Freeman to impress, and he needs to take it.

  4. After playing Wednesday night for the u21s I think the selections of Diarmaid O’Connor and Patrick Durcan speaks volumes. Good luck to them both.

    As far as I know Douglas has struggled with injury and isn’t fit.

  5. Jesus that is a strong team, bar cillian it looks like a possible championship 15. Delighted for freeman, i genuinely think he can be a more devastating force than aidan in the ff line, his movement and ball winning capabilites are top notch when hes on form, and he is a seirious assasin infront of goal. cillian, freeman and aos would be my starting ff line for the championship, they could be unstoppable if they click. I was thinking dublin would edge it all week, but that team sheet is making me think twice!!.

  6. Strong team. Their comin down for a must win so its shaping up nicely. Come on mayo. Good to see vaughan mf with sos.

  7. Given that they’ve deferred the start of the club league till May and with the team they’ve announced for Saturday, I’m beginning to think they’re going to have a serious cut at the league. Seeing as it’s been 14 years since we’ve won a senior national title, mightn’t be a bad idea.

  8. You might be on to something Liam.

    Given that our opening championship game isn’t until mid-June, it might be no harm to have a crack at reaching the League final – which is scheduled for April 26th. The last round of ‘regular’ League fixtures is April 5th (Easter Sunday), with the semis the following weekend.

    Maybe Pat and Noel are thinking a semi-final and possible final would be much better preparation for Salthill than challenge matches.

  9. Good strong team.doubt u21 manager be to happy though with few lads named.thought Douglas would got run at this stage he was man of match in Fbd game v nuig I think and it’s very surprising he hasn’t got a look in yet.

  10. i what Mayo to beat Dublin I like to say Mayo to win and I like to see If they have chance of beating Dublin in castlebar I like to see they well be beation I have a chance that Mayo we’ll win and I hope they well do well this year I like Mayo but I like to see thim win hope to see if they can do it if they have chance of winning I well be happy like to see that if they have chance if they can do it I like to see if they can win this year I wesh they do well.

    Ruaidhri

  11. Safety. Please stop talking about safety. We are beyond that. Longest team in the division. Look up not down.

  12. If mngnt do have a go for the league then they best remember back to what happened after the spring of 2001…

    Absolutely nothing.

    All that matters is championship.

  13. Yes Mayonaze but there has been an upward curve since in teams winning both 03,04,06,09,10 and 2013 and the league has certainly become more vital in preparation for championship imo. Give me a run out in croker in late April in a semi final as opposed to an a v b game any day.

  14. If U21s were playing again next Wednesday they wouldn’t be selected to play this Saturday night. Strong team looking to lay down a marker but at the same time don’t want to show your full hand to the Dubs this soon in the year.

  15. Mayonaze, I agree about 2001 and can suggest that our bad history goes back an awful lot further. Six League titles in the 1930’s era and only one All Ireland. The 1954 league win brought no championship joy nor did the 1970 win. I think we won a league about 1948/49 too without a following All Ireland. But that is no reasoning for chickening out in 2015 We can only improve through effort I think that in the past we tended to rest on our laurels and admire ourselves. I do not think that tendency that applies to our current team. If James Horan did one thing it was to emphasise that each game and performance had to be taken on its merits as we move forward. In the old days it was an absolute truth that favouritism did not suit Mayo. We would not have won four Connacht Championships in a row if James had not changed that mentality. God Bless James.

  16. All this talk about Freeman taking his big chance pure nonsense Freeman has had loads of chances he can be very good or very average I think he’s a very honest player I hope Saturday night goes well for him but If it doesn’t he will get more chances because he has undoubted talent in my view he needs someone to pump up his confidence and make him believe in himself a bit more I think motivator Connelly could be that man

  17. This is what Noel Connelly, said about the Dublin game:

    (The next round of games will put daylight between teams and we need to get two more points to be sure of safety. That’s our priority. We have to get safe first in the division. It’s very tight, so every two points you get helps.)

    So the mentality of the lads is, win this game, then anything after that is a bonus. We should probably just be concentrating on this game for the moment and see where we are after that. As they say, your only as good as your last game.

    @ Bill, they are showing it on Setanta 1

  18. If we win this game probably the big target after will be game time for new and returning players. There are still plenty lads need more game time. That gives us one or two new starters and a bench that has played 2015 football regular. Our bench has been a bit raw last few years. Coming in with little football played.

  19. Backdoorsam, when was his last ” very good” performance in championship ? He returned 0-1 last year (championship)and has been subbed or not started since 2013 final , is that very average or very good? I hope it does come good for the lad but I really fail to understand why there is such optimism.

  20. I don’t get the mentality of people saying we shouldn’t go for the league because we never done well in the past after winning one…so what? As mentioned we are not out until mid June (We are probably the last team to enter the championship this year) so if we find ourselves in the league semi again then we should try our best to win it.

  21. It’s a solid looking team, from a defensive view, attacking wise, we’ve our big guns to come back in! Andy, Micky C, Cillian, Evan Regan. So it’s up to the lads playing to keep a hold of their position so that means scores, so far the usual 4 to 5 points from our backs has dried up, so bigger burden on our forward unit to supply, it’s gone ok so far, Tyrone game as an example, we can’t revert to type as our u21s did on Wednesday, terrible shot selection. So our forwards must score more to account for the deficit. This is an old failing come championship, so hopefully the outcome will be better!

  22. It’s on Setanta Sports 1 as far as I know, which is the one you pay a subscription fee for if you’re with UPC. (Setanta Ireland comes free with the bog-standard UPC package.)

  23. Yes, championship is all that matters. So for this time of year, what is the best preparation for championship? Wouldn’t a couple of big games in Croke Park be useful preparation?

  24. Yes feár an chomórtais, but if your defense is conceeding less then there is less pressure on the forwards to rack up big scores just to win games by 2 or 3 points!
    I believe, and I’ve said it here ’till I’m blue in the face, that it has been our inability to concede less that has seen us lose games, not really our inability to score more! If you know what I mean.
    As the saying goes, forwards win you games but defenses win you titles.

  25. I think Freeman’s big problem he’s too nice. And that’s in relation to his own team. Time and again over the last 3 years he has made space with the right runs but the ball wasn’t delivered quick enough to him. Then Andy is put on and the ball delivery is much quicker. Why? Andy demands the ball and if it’s not played quickly he lets his teammates know. Freeman needs to demand the ball, be more aggressive and back himself more. He has the talent.

  26. I agree with backdoorsam, freeman has immense talent but seems to sometimes not want to beat an opponent, that goal against kerry was an indicator of what he has in him, it seems to show at certain times and is hidden at a lot of others. I don’t know the guy personally but he seems to be a gentleman, tomorrow evening he should left that gentle persona in his kit bag and go out to do damage on the scoreboard regardless of who he annoys. Someone else from another county is going to get your League medal, unless you stop them, that’s what id be telling myself.
    Win the league.

  27. Alan Freeman is an enigma. On his first championship outing he terrorized the Sligo full back line, taking one high ball and slamming it into the goal. Looked like we had found our full forward. Sligo brought Eamon O’Hara back to mark him and he did nothing afterwards. Whenever he has been picked at full forward and is isolated in there, one on one, with a big full back like Rory O’ Carroll he cannot seem to get a ball – he is out-fielded or is behind his man for every ball. Yet who hasn’t been thrilled by his skill and lethal finishing on other occasions when you least expect it, such as his great goal against Kerry in the league this year or his brilliant display against Tyrone in 2013.
    Perhaps corner forward is his best position. He is fast for a big man and distributes the ball well. I think AOS will be in at full forward for the high ball into the square. Freeman will feed off him and be a second big man for them to watch.
    Jason Doherty too must have been a puzzle for Horan for a long time – goal snatcher who wasn’t scoring any goals. He has been rehabilitated as a tough tackling half forward and scrapper for midfield breaking ball – a man responsible for a lot of the turnovers we got last year from opposition backs he is now a serious addition to the team and he scores a bit as well.
    Freeman too can be a massive bonus to the team if the coaches optimize his talents. Sure, we lack a few marquee forwards who can turn it on all the time but Doherty and Freeman are conditioned, experienced and enthusiastic. If used well they can do it for us.Management need to know how to use them.

  28. I would suggest that even ahead of Doherty and Mikie Sweeney, Freeman is the best goal poacher we have. Seems to be equally comfortable off either foot, and no problem with composure. A YouTube compilation of his goals for Mayo would make fantastic viewing.

    He seems to have trouble asserting himself on the field though, which is strange in such a big man. Corner-forward might end up as his only ‘in’ to the team alright.

  29. Pebblesmeller I agree, and we are on the right track which I was saying. Conceding less is part 1, part 2 is scoring more than the opposition! Look back at the big days we’ve been beaten, we’ve not scored more, and our wides tally has been the cause, v Dublin in 13, we should have been out of sight at the half but we weren’t. Andy Moran was only forward to score from play, he got 1-02 from 1-06 from play. Donegal the year previous we had plenty of chances, only Micky C 0-01 and K Mac 0-02 forwards scored from play. Our failings in front of goal come business end of the season has always been an Achilles heel, I believe we have some serious firepower building up, It’s gonna take all 6 forwards scoring and midfield chipping in to win big!

  30. That is a very good point regarding Freeman being too quiet about letting his team mates know to give it in to him when he’s open.
    Dillon turned away from a wide open Freeman in the 2013 final, he’d want to give such cases an earful. Tis a golden opportunity wasted if you have a good goal getter open and you don’t pass it in.
    With ball in his hand Freeman is a very accurate finisher. Better at scoring goals than points.

  31. Exactly, he has been wide open a lot of times but the team mate decided on a less profitable option in way too many cases. Not sure if he doesn’t let them know or what,but it’s an issue when they lose close games. Think back to the goal this league against Kerry and his beautiful goal against Tyrone in 2013 semifinal, both required a lot of skill and power, he has both and if he can put aggression into his game he will be a candidate for an Allstar.
    I’m sure he management know what he needs to do, fingers crossed it’ll happen. And also that when he is open near goal that the team mates see him a little more often.

  32. I think what this Mayo team needs right now more than anything is to get some hands on silverware. What do we have to show for all the lost finals, semi-finals and heartbreak over the last 14 years? Nothing! We are the only top-team in the country right now who haven’t done the business in Croker in recent times, do we really have the right to consider ourselves part of the elite with the trophy cabinet so bare?

    For me, what really kicked off the resurgence of Mayo under Horan was the league semi-final victory over Kerry in 2012. We fought them in a high intensity game, were behind with seconds left on the clock and battled against the usual Kerry cynicism to snatch a hard-won victory. It was the making of certain players that day and really it gave the team confidence and belief that we deserved to be contention for the big honours. But none of the above matters because it’s only the league right?!

    Not winning the league didn’t really hurt us over the past few years but at a pragmatic level the addition of two competitive games against top-tier sides in April is the best preparation we can hope for going into June. On a more hopeful level winning the league might just give the team the extra lift it needs to go all the way in the championship. Success breeds success. We are in a very strong position at the moment, as one poster said above I hope we don’t chicken out.

  33. I agree with ultair , roll up the sleeves and let the best team in ireland start winning national competitions. It’s still exciting times to be a Mayo supporter , it’s great credit to this bunch that they are still as determined as 3 years ago and wouldn’t it just be brilliant to win the league . It can’t be a bad thing , it would be different if we were out in May for championship but there’s plenty of time between to ease up and build momentum again for Salthill .

  34. Freeman needs to put on a show tomorrow. To be fair to the man, our style of play doesn’t really get the most out of him. He wants early ball that isolates him on the full back but we tend to run the ball through the middle.

  35. I never cease to be amazed the way us Mayo supporters always seem to be looking two or three steps ahead of ourselves, only to fall flat on our faces. You’d think we’d have learned by now. People are already talking about winning the League even though we haven’t even guaranteed our safety in Division 1 yet.

    The Dubs are coming to town this week-end, lets just concentrate on them for the moment. It would be great to get a win over them, our now great rivals, a team we have not beaten since the 2012 All-Ireland semi-final. We are on six points, we want to get to eight points to ensure safety.

    Then if we do that, think of getting enough points to make the semis. If we do that then think about winning a semi-final to make the final. Then and only then, if we make the final, talk about winning the League. A child has to learn to crawl before they can walk. At the moment in this League we are still at the crawling stage, so lets just take it one game at a time and see where it takes us. Having plenty of players getting more game time is very important as well. Remember your only as good as your last game.

  36. Everything that i have thought about Freemans problems has been said since Puckout started the ball rolling. He got only two decent possessions in this league ccampaign and he got two goals.Both of those passes came from recent additions to our team.

    They haven’t been giving him the ball for what ever reason i can’t understand.

    You’re right though he should be demanding the ball and eating the head of whoever doesn’t pass the ball to him when he finds space.

  37. Hi All,
    Best of luck tomorrow, we badly need a win so I expect a very hard and free flowing game. Enjoy, cheers…….

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  38. Good luck on Sunday màyo hopefully win martin is james McCarthy back really good footballer.

  39. Just now Juan and I feel we’ve the beating of them!! Boyler and Dean rock should be some battle!!!!

  40. HopeSpringsEternal nothing wrong with looking ahead and dreaming. Sure if we didn’t have our dreams none of us would still be here! 😉

  41. Cheers wensamsuun, just spotted it there. Theirs no way he wont start o’gara, that man always seems to do seirious damage to us with his direct running and power. Its by no means there strongest team (yet) and its definetly not our strongest team, so its going to be interesting…

  42. Ah yes Anne-Marie, where would we be without our dreams! We are a mad lot us Mayo supporters…..

  43. Good luck today màyo hope the win am not to convinced about freeman full forward myself.sooner cillian comes back the better.

  44. Hi Cait…yes James McCarthy is back, he came on in the 2nd half v Tyrone last Saturday…great player. Apologies for the late reply

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