Five changes for Sunday

We named our team for Sunday a short while ago tonight. Here it is:

Mayo (NFL Division One semi-final, 13/4/2014): Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy); Brendan Harrison (Aghamore), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar Mitchels); Lee Keegan (Westport), Colm Boyle (Davitts), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe); Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber); Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen, captain), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Mikie Sweeney (Kiltane).

So it’s five changes from the side that started against the Derry fringe team last Sunday. Into the starting fifteen come Brendan Harrison, Lee Keegan, Aidan O’Shea, Jason Gibbons and Kevin McLoughlin instead of Kevin Keane, Shane McHale, Tom Parsons, Seamus O’Shea and Cillian O’Connor. As discussed earlier on today, Cillian was due to have an MRI on that injury he picked up last Sunday and it’s no surprise that he won’t be lining out for this one. Cillian’s absence opens the door for Mikie Sweeney who had such an impressive Croke Park cameo against the Dubs a few weeks back.

Aside from the personnel changes, there are also a few positional switches. Tom Cunniffe shifts over from his usual no.2 spot to the left corner, with Brendan Harrison slotting in the right corner while Colm Boyle is named to start at centre-back with Donal Vaughan switching to wing-back. This won’t be the first time that Colm has played in this position as it’s often the case that Donie plays on the wing having been named at 6 but this is the first time for a while that the Ballinrobe man has been named to start in a position other than centre-back.

Unlike the opposition, we’ve opted not to name a second team for the subs bench at this stage. As is now standard practice for us, we’ll have to wait until we get our hands on the match-day programme to see our list of replacements for this one.

35 thoughts on “Five changes for Sunday

  1. In the absence of Cillian we were always going to look a little less formidable than we might have been, none the less it’s still a strong looking team and one that will ask lots of questions of what might be a very cocky Derry side. However this is one occasion I feel that the side-line well need to be wide awake and ready to ring the changes if and when necessary. The players themselves must also play their part and be ready to bail out and support team mates when in trouble. Either way this will be a great opportunity for the Mayo lads to test themselves against an up and coming team, a team that could yet have a big say in the destination of Sam.

  2. An interesting starting 15 and seeing Vaughan and Boyle line out in each others geansais is yet another indication of the unpredictable innovative tactical thinking I (and many others) was looking for in the fall out from last September. I felt last year that we were too easy to predict in terms of our style of play and certainly in our player selections and their positions on the field. That cannot be said so far this year and the line up named is proof of that.
    Management are showing faith in Doc by sticking with him even if he hasn’t shot the lights out recently and was, by his standards this season, quite against Derry. A big vote of confidence too for Sweeney in what is undoubtedly his biggest game to date. This is his big chance to really overtake Varley and Conroy in the pecking order and I have to say I have seen lots of positive things from him in each game he has featured in. I think he will stay close to goal and close to Freeman and look to feed off ball played into Freeman. Sweeney is a real sniper of a player in that he decides quickly what he is going to do with the ball and doesn’t hesitate to take his shots on and I believe he offers more than either Varley or Conroy in that he plays with his head up and is very aware of the movement of his teammates around him. He will release the ball to a better placed player if it’s on, or, go for the shot. I think McLoughlin will play further out the field as an additional half forward and look to play in the space between the full back line and the half back line.
    I believe it will be a close tight affair but one that we will win by 3 or 4 points.

  3. Happy enough with that team. Would have liked to have seen someone else in place of Andy Moran tho.

    Think Mayo -2 starting to look a good bet. Don’t buy into the hype that’s surrounding Derry, was only last year they had two bad defeats to relatively weak sides in Cavan & Down. Think they’ve caught teams at the right time in the league, Dublin had a B team out in Celtic Park and that seems to be regarded as their best performance this year.

  4. I’m happy enough with that selection and very happy to see Sweeney get the start. Best of luck to the lads. Give’em hell! Mayo by ~ 4 or 5

  5. Like the look of that side and as pebblesmeller says above, it’s good that we now seem a lot more unpredictable tactically.

    Doherty really needs a big game here. There’s a place up for grabs in the half forward line, he needs to step up here and take it.
    Dillon is due back and Adam Gallagher is knocking on the door, so this is Doherty’s opportunity.
    I do like him as a player, but he drives me mad with his inconsistency. Hope he does it tomorrow.

    Mayo by 5

  6. Actually I hope Kevin plays in the corner forward spot or close to it. He was brilliant against the dubs there and has the potential to run riot.

  7. Agree with you Pebblesmeller, except I’d say Sweeney has already proven he’s ahead of Varley and Conroy.
    He offers so much more – while all three can get possession, it’s Sweeney’s intelligent decision making – looks up straight away to see who’s better placed and should get an accurate pass, which he delivers or should he take it on. And he can finish, a much greater danger for goals. He’s direct and not a cross field or corner flag man.
    On the Doc, I’m delighted too he’s getting plenty of chances, but he really needs to grab it, and wish him all the best this Sunday.
    I’d expect to see Feeney and Parsons will be beefing up the forward line in the second-half so the starting six will need to perform from the get-go. And I wouldn’t totally rule out Cillian appearing. As far as I know, no official spokesperson has said he isn’t togging ?
    So best wishes to the team, and especially Sweeney, Harrison, and Gibbons, (our biggest discoveries so far this year) for whom it’s their biggest tests!
    Mayo to win by two points because of our greater experience of Croker and no pressure on us really. It will be a really tough match.

  8. This is as strong a team as we can field without Cillien, it would be more balanced, with him.
    It is a great opportunity for Sweeney, who is a natural corner forward, and a very intelligent team player.he deserves his chance and as was previously said, is way ahead of Varley and Conroy.
    I would like to see a role for Tom Parsons, I think he can push Andy, for a centre forward role, he will win his own ball , is very mobile and good, attacking through the middle, while Andy picks up a lot of breaks around mid field, Tom Parsons would field his own ball and would not slow up play, as much as Andy.
    I would be very weary of Emmett McGuckin, at full forward for Derry, he was at no 8. last sunday in Castlebar, moved in from mid field in the second half.He was very very good under the high ball, winning several, and when in possession was strong enough to hold off defenders and take his scores.He will take some watching and no doubt , the Derry’s manager, will have noted how well he did , as well, at full forward.
    I expect a tough challenge, one we will need to be at our best , to win.
    Great training for up coming championship, and it will give James Horan, a better idea of where every one is at.
    Our Croke Park experience , should see us through, in the end.

  9. I suppose most of the talk in the national media has been about the Dublin v Cork game but if Mayo and Derry play to their best, this game could turn out to be a cracker. I think for Mayo the key could be our pace. If we can get some of our flowing moves going as we did for our goals against Cork and Doc’s goal against Kerry, it’ll be very interesting to see how Derry will cope with that. If we can get our speedy players up-front into the groove then there should be goals in this game for us. We have scored eight goals in our last three games, with six different scorers, that’s great goal scoring form to have. Mikey Sweeney has also scored two goals in his last two games in Croke Park, for club and county, he is the kind of player who loves to put the ball in the back of the net. The last time Doc scored a goal in Croke Park was against Down in the 2012 quarter-final so you’d love to see him get his goal scoring form in Croke Park back once again. Using our pace will be vital in this game. Also we need to be more secure at the back, if we do this then we should be in with a great chance of getting the win. I’m sure the lads will want to get the final few minutes of their last performance in Croke Park against Dublin out of their system. Roll on the big games!

  10. Mikey Sweeny i one man i would not like to mark .He is as wirey .Very agile on his feet. Id say he would make a good ballet dancer :).Goals will be got if we can get good fat ball to our forwards. I said it before but if we bring an intensity to our game on Sunday and pressure them all over the pitch and smother them we will get the better of them . Are ya going up to this one yourself Hope?

  11. Again, it’s down to us preventing Derry from scoring goals. It’s as simple as that. If we could keep them goal less for the 70 minutes that would be a big step forward.

  12. I’d expect a lot of high quality ball to be dropped in on our full back line with McGuckian and co trying to do a Michael Murphy and outfield our boys, turn them and bully there way in on goal.. We need to be ready for this with the half backs dropping back in support, hoovering up any breaking ball and swarming around the man in possession. We must not concede early goals.. maybe start out defensively.. then settle into our running game and stretch them out a bit.. take our points when we get a chance.. don’t turn over easy possession.. bide our time and the goals will come.. Can’t wait and I got a much better seat this time than last.. have been promoted from 311 in the corner to 305.. C’mon Mayo

  13. All good sensible thinking there Toe to hand. And I’d say they’ll be breaking ball around the middle – we’d need to be picking most of those.

  14. Yeah I’ll be there. When your team wins it’s actually great to be playing in the first game as you can relax then and watch the second match in peace! We have a good record too playing in the curtain raiser and maybe coming after not such a great performance in the previous match. This was the case against Cork in the 2011 quarter-final and against Down in the 2012 quarter-final. When there is not much hype in the build-up, we seem to put in our best performances. Also our game against Donegal last year was probably our best performance of the year, coming after the London game where we didn’t play that well.

  15. When your team wins it’s actually great to be playing in the first game as you can relax then and watch the second match in peace! I like the word “When” and that should be the way it will turn out. Yea i will enjoy the dubs game. I think Cork could turn them over .

  16. Yes, we peaked against Donegal last year, but the programme is designed this year to peak later.
    Derry on the other hand are much more advanced in that regard as was evident in the League. Their focus is on the tough Ulster Championship and what level it takes to get through that.

  17. ya peaking too soon last year done us no favors. We played better in the Donegal game than we did against the Dubs so i hope your right Cloud9 about the peaking bit. I also take your point about the Derry lads being much further ahead with their own training. I just feel our experience of big games and experience in Croker will be important tomorrow. Jaysus i cant wait for to get to Dublin now.

  18. Agree with that post in that Sweeney and Doc are getting the chance on the big stage, Doc does an awful lot of work even if he is not returning as many scores as we would like or expect but they will come.
    From what I’ve seen of Sweeney so far, is a very intelligent footballer, who , when he gets the ball always seems to do the right thing. He reminds me of the Gooch, his awareness and delivery by foot or hand is as good as any in the game.
    Some have said that he is a bit ‘small’ but he seems to be able to hold his own and is a handful for any defense.
    Derry are a big side and have been on a crest of a wave throughout the league this year but by not fielding a stronger side against us last Sunday could come back to haunt them as this Mayo side are tougher than anyone they have met sofar………….and I say that even-though we didn’t finish off the Dubs, Westmeath or Cork as easy as we should have done. CP and big games suit this side.
    Mayo by 5+
    MaighEo Abú

  19. best of luck to our lads. mayo to win and meet cork in the final .Safe journey and enjoy and remember its only the league. SAM is the man we want…………

  20. Off Topic.

    Mayo lost their 4th and final minor league game to Sligo today 2-9 to 1-11 only one win against Roscommon in 5 games. Leitrim bet Galway by one point and won the league title. Changing times at minor level it seems.

  21. Think youre a bit harsh on Derry there. They have had a great league. Ran Cork to a point in Pairc ui Chaoimh and put out B team against us. I m sure some people are suggesting that we beat a seriously weakened Cork team and Derry reserves. All to play for tomorrow. Should be close and hopefully our experience should see us through. Think youre harsh on Andy as well. Think his experience will be crucial.

  22. Leitrim must be doing great work at underage. Beat Galway at U21 and now this against counties with strong schools teams

  23. Edwin McGreal reports that “Alan Dillon played his first game since last September in tonight’s Kelly Cup win for Ballintubber v Breaffy.”

  24. Is dillons time up at county level? Great servant. Great footballer. But never delivered 4 us n finals

  25. I wouldn’t be in too much of a hurry to dismiss him yet and he hasn’t been the only one not to deliver on final day.
    Imo he is still a class footballer and though he may not get to start all games, he still is a formidable addition to be able to introduce.

  26. Great to hear Alan’s back.Thats what we want, a fully fit panel and then let James pick the team.

  27. “Cillian O’Connor won’t tog today for Mayo due to a slight tear in glute. Out for about 2 weeks. Update via his brother on Westport Radio!” as reported on the twitter machine by Edwin McGreal.

  28. Poor thing only back form shoulder problem and now this will he ever get break from injury best of luck mayo.

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