Five changes for Sunday

Mayo flag

The team to play Monaghan on Sunday was named a little while ago. Here it is:

Mayo (NFL Division One v Monaghan, 1/3/2015): Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy); Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar Mitchels), Kevin Keane (Westport), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Lee Keegan (Westport), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore), Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels); Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber); Mark Ronaldson (Shrule/Glencorrib), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole).

It’s five changes from the team that started against Tyrone three weeks ago. In come Robbie Hennelly, Tom Cunniffe (his first start since the All-Ireland semi-final replay), Patrick Durcan, Seamus O’Shea and Cillian O’Connor in place of David Clarke, Michael Hall, Colm Boyle, Barry Moran and Alan Freeman.

As is normal practice, we’ve chosen not to name our subs’ list at this stage.

Monaghan also named their team tonight, full details on their pick (including subs) are here.

48 thoughts on “Five changes for Sunday

  1. It’s interesting to see three of the U21s starting Coen, Durcan and O’Connor. Vaughan continues at midfield. It’s great to see Seamie and Tom Cunniffe back. Doc at corner-forward and Cillian at full-forward. Some more experimentation and some old hands back. We’ll see how it goes!

  2. Looking forward to match now on sun I see there is self scan tickets still for is cardi màyo tickets what all that about.

  3. Don’t think persisting with Ronaldson is a good idea, he’ll be fine in games that Mayo are doing well in but any tight game and/bkanket defence and he just won’t feature!
    Darren Coen started championship games in 2013, is he fit? I feel he would be worth persisting with above Ronaldson/Varley/Sweeney.

  4. Alan Dillion,Andy Moran will probably be used as impact subs this year so that team selected for this weekend has up to 12 possible championship starters which should be strong enough to beat Monaghan at home however all on the day and all that.

  5. Not a great geographic spread again. Hopefully the two boys know what and who are best. But I’d like to see East and North Mayo players more involved.
    Good luck to all.

  6. Ronaldson is one of our most efficient performers so far this year. Shows well for the ball, takes the right options nearly all of the time and almost never gives the ball away. He has done very little wrong and deserves his chance.
    A very solid & strong full back line, a nice bit of freshness (and ability) in the half back line and management have gone for power and mobility in midfield.
    Our “foul-magnet” Aidan O’Shea (it obviously clearly states in the referees rule-book that multiple-man tackles, illegal hits and pulling is allowed on AOS as he is regularly the most fouled player on the pitch, yet strangely, the fouls never get called) is nicely strategically positioned in the scoring zone. This puts serious pressure on the Monaghan defence as they will have to be very disciplined in their tackling otherwise they risk conceding frees which Cillian will tap over in his sleep.
    Make no mistake, this will be a tough, tough game but it is one we must win, whatever it takes. Even if we have to revert to puke football to do it. Needs must. To win we must be mentally and physically tuned in and focused right from the start. No 10 min settling in spell. We must be prepared to hurt and to be hurt as this will be a bruising encounter. We must be tactically aware on the sideline and the players have to be ready to adapt to changes on the pitch, they’re all big boys now they shouldn’t need Noel or Pat to hold their hands for them. Finally, we must score early and get out in front.
    Hit hard, hit often and hit early. We’re at home and we need to lay down a marker.

  7. I think the pressure will come on after this game. A win is essential. The changes are good but if monaghan adapt tyrones defensive mechanism we are in trouble. Ronnie and diarmuid not physical enough but we will see how it goes. Our spine is very strong.

  8. I thought the u21 guys were being released to the u21 panel but I see we are starting a number of them on sunday. Was hoping to see Freeman start . Reckon his position could be in jeopardy now as he needs to put a consistent run of form together. It might be an idea to play him away from FF as he appears to get frustrated when the quality of ball in to him is not good. Anyway best of luck to the team. Its an important and difficult match.

  9. no new player has emerged in attack, hard to be optimistic for Championship..Vaughan has not footballing skills for midfield.. should be considered as corner back only in my view.. Management have big task..wish them well

  10. No new player in attack?
    Ronaldson? D O Connor,? Evan Regan – coming back. Conor O’Shea back from injury. How many do we need?

  11. Pebblesmeller,
    I’m afraid you seem to be a bit confused as to Aiden O’Shea’s role in our attack. You describe him as “our foul magnet” but complain that he never gets the frees. Yet you seem to expect him to win frees on Sunday which Cillian will “tap over in his sleep”. Either Aiden wins frees or he doesn’t. I agree that generally he doesn’t. If that is the case there is no point in playing him in the forwards as he does not score himself.
    Generally speaking referees do not favour players who try to walk the ball through defences with brute force. Defences nowadays do not tend to leave individual players to be run over or overpowered by a stronger player unlike in olden days with the likes of Mattie McDonagh and James McCartin. There is nothing in the rule book preventing a number of players surrounding a ball carrier and when the ball carrier is slow to let the ball go to another forward this is the natural result. For this reason I have never believed that Aiden has a role to play as centre forward. I may be wrong but I believe that Mark Ronaldson would be a better prospect at centre forward than Aiden. He seems to have the ability to move the ball quickly when he gets possession and I think he also has the ability and sharpness to pick up broken ball around midfield. Look at any of the more successful centre forwards of recent times and consider their attributes. I do not believe Mark has the ability to hold down a corner forward position when or if we have a full selection available. I would prefer to see Barry Moran or Danny Kirby at full forward with Alan Freeman and Cillian in the corners. Since Diarmuid O’Connor could not get a full sixty minutes in any of his recent Sigerson games or make any impression on the scoreboard I cannot see the logic in picking him at wing forward. He looks more like a centre forward than a wing forward to me in any case.

  12. Could see changes to forward line before 2pm sun. Maybe trying to put monaghan off by not naming freeman! What ye think. Need big strong forwards to win this game

  13. Still experimenting and that is how we should see it. I don’t think where a players is from should matter Michael Brennan, you pick them based on ability which was not done back inthe past with many fine south Mayo club players not getting a look in but thank god those days are over.

    Also no mention from Official Mayo GAA on Cairdre Jackets etc so I assume they won’t be given out yet….really poor form when we were promised change this year.

  14. There are no new forwards that have not featured before in league or championing ship apart from Evan Regan,to me this is very worrying. I am happy enough with the team up to the F.F. line. We need a Donaghy type player in the shape of Barry Moran where players like Cillian and Freeman can play off the broken ball. We are the only team in the top 5 or 6 that don’t have a physically strong full forward line and a full forward line apart from Cillian that has the confidence to score goals.Against Tyrone Ronaldson had an empty goal facing him and he hadn’t the confidence to go for it unlike Conroy who was unlucky to see his effort cleared off the line.You need the killer instinct when you are in that position, goals wins matches.

  15. Philor

    Barry Moran is not a Donaghy type player. He is quite an average player that bar one good season has struggled with injury, and his lack of pace has been shown up. In fact his starting the replay last year was one of Horan’s more bizarre decisions gives that he was ignored for most of the Summer and had no game time behind him. It let Kerry get a foothold early and they should have blown us out of the water but had many wides.

    Even if we had a good big man for full forward our kicking skills from out the field are poor so the type of ball going in would not be right.

    Kerry have the kick passers and Donaghy has the hands and three All Ireland medals.

  16. I would see AOS as drifting in and out of midfield to help try win ball on kickouts. Granted he’s not he most prolific scorer but most 1/2 fw lines don’t score that much. Look at Donnachadh Walsh for Kerry. He hardly ever scores on a regular basis. His job is more to win dirty ball and close down the likes of attacking half backs.

    Also O’Shea in that position will worry the likes of any team as if he gets turned and running he is very difficult to stop. I think the one critical area he must improve upon is his distribution.

    When he broke through against Tyrone he should have laid off the simple handpass to Ronaldson who was unmarked on edge of small square. Instead he went for his own shot from distance which was comfortably saved. A goal at that stage could have made a real difference in the game and overall result.

  17. 6’5″ is not exactly easy to hide, so unless this much-lamented “Donaghy-type player” has been lying under the bench in some club for the entire season then it’s my guess that we don’t have such a player in the county. We can only work with the players we have within the county and their ability, and be sure that we are using that ability to its maximum potential. That is the job of management and the players themselves.

    So let’s stop musing about what we don’t have – it’s not going to change matters – and start getting behind what we do have. As experimentation goes I think Noel and Pat have given most players a decent shot here. And I am fully in agreement with Pebblesmeller on Ronaldson, he has done little wrong this year so far, so lest he be tarred with the same brush that tarred Kevin Keane for the past three years, let the lad play the game on Sunday and see how he goes. He’s not back in the panel to make up the numbers and he hasn’t survived the last round of cuts for no reason.

    I am also of mixed mind about Aidan at 11 – I think it worked well towards the end of last season but against Tyrone, not so. Perhaps it was the nature of the opposition, perhaps it was the rustiness of the first day back, but seeing him reverting to overcarrying the ball the last day was concerning; and ultimately if a player is lining out in the half-forward line I think we need to be confident of his ability to pop over points unless they are massively overcompensating in other ways. But that said, Sunday is another day, as is Aidan’s wont he could play a blinder in the role. Regardless, I expect a marked improvement from the team all round.

    Disappointed to see that the Mayo Ladies are taking on Tyrone in Swinford at 2pm on Sunday while we take on Monaghan. They are having a good start to the season and for the life of me I can’t see why the two bodies can’t co-operate a bit more, put whatever politics exist aside and hold such games as double-headers.

  18. Others here have articulated better than I could on how important a win is on Sunday. Lose and we’re going to be very edgy with Cork, Dublin and Donegal to play, not to mention a trip to Derry which is not a journey that has ever gone well for Mayo.

    The selection is interesting – no Boyle, no Freeman – and it is important that different players are given their chance. But to me, the win is more important on this occasion. Hopefully Noel and Pat are of the same mind and have picked their most potent 15. Sunday will tell.

    The concern I have is the scoring threat in the forward line. The only two that I know will score on Sunday – and I mean from play – are Cillian and Kevin. Jason Doherty should hopefully join them, but that’s not guaranteed. As the half-back line is now under instructions to defend, the only other decent source of scores that I can see is Seamus O’Shea. We know that Vaughan will shoot, but his ratio of shots to scores is way too high to inspire confidence.

    Aidan O’Shea will barrel through and draw frees (here’s hoping he’s sharper than he was against Tyrone and doesn’t try to beat the entire defence this time). Diarmuid O’Connor will work as hard as always. So will Mark Ronaldson, whose intelligence and awareness are plain to see. But there’s no scoring threat coming off these three right now.

    One or more of them needs to take responsibility for scoring. We need new – scoring – options up front, and we need them to emerge quickly.

  19. Why is everyone obsessed about the performance of certain players against Tyrone? One match? We all know that the team’s fitness levels are not 100% just now – nor do we want them to be, event if it means conceding league points.

    Aidan O’Shea has given us some of the best footballing moments of the past number of years.

    When at full fitness he breaks gain lines with ease (too many instances to enumerate), scores goals like a ballet dancer (Cork 2014), acts a sweeper (as Dublin players who tried to pass him in the league match 2014), distributes with great vision (almost all games), fields like an old fashioned midfielder all over the field (Donegal 2013 in particular).

    Even at half fitness, he came on and ‘sorted’ Kerry’s dominance in Killarney, when Tommy Walsh was threatening to lord it over all comers. Think too of his impact in the Connaught final (v Sligo) when, just back from his groin problems, he came on and put the match to bed for us.

    And boy does he work hard.

    I observed him from the stand in McHale Park on the Tuesday after the Connaught final (v London) in 2013, where he hadn’t the best of games. He spent an hour with Ed Coughlan, doing sprints, swerves, back pedalling, all intermingled with excruciating press ups. And, that was before the training session began!

  20. The main thing with having a target man who does a lot of give n go is the training pitch . Can be 4 players involved.
    – First receiver on kickout or breaking ball
    – First receiver usually is under pressure so seeks out the quarterback type passer or n this is crucial quick layoff to another player who seeks out the quarterback type player.
    – Quarterback passer passes it long to the target man
    – One or two receivers for goal attempts or easy points are already running on double move routes ie they change angle of run mid run as straight line runs are too easy to track for defenders
    All very American football based in terms of practice but would be effective.
    Gaelic football has a predictable n secure style of posession. It makes no sense not to rep heavily the quarter back type passer n others coming on runs for the target man.
    Yer quarter back type passers are Kevin Mc, Alan Dillon, Andy Moran, Ronaldson. They can pass quickly, lowish n accurate. Cillian would be great at it too. Kevin Mc has a low style of pass he sometimes that hangs up there at last second real catchable for someone with good hands. But he drills it that the defence don’t have too much time to cut in. The brilliant thing about all of above is that everyone can time their runs. Favours the forwards over the defence.

  21. One more thing is that the target man tactic requires players to keep soloing to a minimum. Hence why I believe it should be something repped to bejaysus in training with conditioned games. A lot of solos are connected with players being uncertain what their next move is. If you make the next move team based automatic you make the ball flow quickly to the target man and most of the time catchable.

  22. Ann Marie there would be as many in to watch the girls at 12 in Castlebar as will be in Swinford. Bar families and a few there is zero interest

  23. Too many fans willing to call the glass half empty than half full in order to have a ‘told you so’ moment.
    I like the look of our Mayo team for sunday, some tried and trusted mixed with giving some new faces a chance.
    Its up to the leaders on the field to put down a new marker for 2015. And no more silly throw away remarks to the media.
    Thats what the league should be for, working towards another September date in croke park.

  24. HELP

    How do you print the season tickets from the season tickets website??
    Or do you have to use the card??

  25. I am hoping leaving Boyle out will motivate him even more. Hasn’t looked interested so far this year. No doubt he will come back as good as ever.

    Really need to see Keegan used in attack, thats Mayos greatest strength.
    AOS should be in midfield. Anywhere else is pointless. Vaughan in midfield just doesn’t work.

    Jason Doc in the corner hasn’t worked before –

  26. I’m assuming its a two man full forward line with everyone else running from deep against a wall of Monaghan defenders. Same as the Tyrone game, hopefully a different result. No obvious new plan based on that selection.

  27. Don’t get too hung up on the shirt numbers a player is wearing, or indeed, the position he/she is named to line out in.
    I expect there will be a number of positional switches on the throw-in.

  28. Precisely Pebblesmeller. It is now a game where lads interchange constantly during the 70 mins. Expect to see a lot of that on Sunday. Our lads just need to ensure that THEY are the ones calling the shots as to who goes where on the pitch.
    In relation to comments about Boyle and Freeman not starting, I wouldn’t read too much into this either. We need strength coming off the bench and both of those lads will feature at some stage. Caff is another man that will be called upon and going on the last two games, the full 21 will be utilised.

  29. My tuppence worth on the AOS debate, despite being confused, is I would use him initially as a free-roving target man who, when we are in possession, has the license to roam in and out and over and back the full forward and half forward lines. That way you are moving the focus of your attack and thus their defensive structure also. On their kick-outs I would get him to drop back and become a third midfielder. This tactic was used against New York last May (I know, I know it was only New York) but it was another possibly more productive way of utilising his skills. He doesn’t score much, he can be wayward in his shooting and he tends to over-carry the ball at times but get him on the ball in dangerous areas and he can drag the defense around the place and help to create space elsewhere. By him becoming a mobile focus of our attack it should free up space for our other forwards.

  30. Surprised Douglas hasn’t been used more,thought he played very well when he got a chance and took 4 nice points from play

  31. Cynical Cynthia
    I am well aware that Barry is not a Donaghy but what I do know is that he is well capable of fetching a high ball and laying it off to a scoring forward
    This is not rocket science

  32. @ facetheball. I like that article on Kerry football. It is so true. Many on here scoff at Kerry but I always say we can learn so much from them. Look how they changed their structure and won the All Ireland. There is a lot of arrogance among Mayo supporters, as is often shown here. I always preach that we can learn from successful teams, not scoff at them.

  33. Have to agree with philor, Barry would be well able to win a high dropping ball near goal. He’s a midfielder after all and that’s his bread and butter skill, plus he has scored some nice scores in the past at county level. There’s nothing more demoralizing than a small mayo forward being pushed aside and a defender moving out the field with our ball and our scoring opportunity in his hands. Put Kirby or Moran in near the square, give them space and play the ball in high and see how it goes. There’s no speed needed, just bulk and power which they have, break it, lay it off or turn and do what donaghy and co do, head for goal and have a shot. No rocket science involved if it’s played the simple way.

  34. It’s a much more difficult position than people making out as target man. It’s also not the same type of catching skill as at midfield. The target man also himself needs to be a scoring threat.

  35. Delighted to see Doc in the Corner… He mightn’t have had much Joy here before, but that was 3 years ago.. He’s Bulked up something serious since then, and was our most improved player last year by far. Why not try him there again.

  36. @ facetheball and @ Joe Mc, yes it’s a very interesting Article alright.

    Why are Kerry so successful, it’s summed up well in the two points made below:

    How do they do it? Apart from an all-consuming football culture which has been developed over the past century, Kerry’s domination is based on two key factors.

    1) They play more football than anyone else
    2) They develop more county footballers from intermediate and junior teams

    They allow their younger players to develop as footballers first and as athletes secondly. They play more competitive games. They have divisional teams which are amalgamations of intermediate and junior teams, which allow good players from weaker clubs to compete on a more level playing field with stronger clubs. It sounds like a very healthy system for players to thrive in.

  37. Good evening to you too Pat, as far as I know its the Kerry v Dublin game that they are showing live on TG4 and deferred coverage of Donegal v Cork. They might show some highlights on League Sunday at 7.30 on RTE 2. Midwest Radio for live coverage is probably your best bet.

  38. V G analysis, Pebblesmeller, re AOS. I agree wholeheartedly. Give him his head and let him at it !!!!! The whole team will respond.

  39. And Cynical Cynthia, if we resigned ourselves to your attitude, there never would be any interest, either. I’d prefer to actually try and promote the games – and you might be surprised at the outcome. But sure it’s far easier to just dismiss the sport and with it, probably the most successful GAA team this county has ever produced.

  40. The team did very well AM but people only have a token interest. Ladies football is grand but just a poor club standard

  41. Thanks for your reply HSE. I’ve checked Setanta as well but nothing there.
    Will be glad of Midwest Radio.

  42. Well said Anne-Marie. That ladies’ team were tremendous at their peak – four All-Irelands in five years brooks no argument – and even now Cora Staunton in full flight is a sight to behold, a fearsome and fearless scoring machine. The Mayo ladies are every bit as dedicated as their male counterparts and the very least they deserve is to not have their game scheduled to clash with a Mayo NFL game. I know that if, for argument’s sake, the Mayo-Tyrone ladies’ game was scheduled for MacHale Park at 12 tomorrow as a curtain-raiser, I’d definitely get down early to enjoy it and give them a bit of support.

  43. There’s one thing for certain – we need a win tomorrow! Not just because we need the points and we have some very difficult assignments coming up – the Dubs, Cork away and Derry in their own cabbage patch. We also need a win to build confidence in the new management who could easily find themselves under a lot of pressure from supporters and crucially from the squad itself. This is a critical period for pat and noel.
    As regards selection this is a great opportunity for a few players to really establish themselves.
    What is the story with parsons? I think he needs a run of games if he is going to have any impact during the summer.

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