Five debutants for the Tribesmen

Galway GAA

Image: Irish Times

See? Told you I’d be a bit behind the proverbial curve with news today, as I will be tomorrow as well. I’ve just emerged from a day of work-related yap to learn that the Galway team was announced earlier this afternoon and it contains a rather eye-popping total of five championship debutants.

Bernard Power, Eoghan Kerin, David Wynne, Johnny Heaney and Eamonn Brannigan are all being tipped in at the deep end for the Tribesmen on Saturday evening and their starting line-up (if that’s what it is, one can never be sure these days) contains just seven survivors from the one we beat at Salthill in last year’s provincial semi-final.

The official announcement didn’t include club details of the team picked. I really hate it when County Boards can’t be bothered to list that info but this piece on the team announcement in The 42 makes up for that omission. Here, then is the Galway starting fifteen for Saturday, with details of what clubs they hail from:

Galway (Connacht SFC semi-final v Mayo, 18/6/2016): Bernard Power (Corofin); Eoghan Kerin (Annaghdown), Declan Kyne (Clonbur), David Wynne (Moycullen); Liam Silke (Corofin), Gary O’Donnell (Tuam Stars), Gareth Bradshaw (Moycullen); Paul Conroy (St. James’), Thomas Flynn (Athenry); Gary Sice (Corofin), Shane Walsh (Kilkerrin-Clonberne), Johnny Heaney (Killannin); Eamonn Brannigan (St Michaels), Damien Comer (Annaghdown), Danny Cummins (Claregalway).

39 thoughts on “Five debutants for the Tribesmen

  1. Have to admit that’s as unfamiliar a Galway team as I’ve ever seen. Quote of a few of them are unknown to me. Not necessarily a bad thing from their point of view but they seem to be going with the untested in Castlebar.

  2. Jim Flag yer a gas man!! And I’ve just heard that they ‘ve had them in secret training under Pat Lamb! Now that’s only a joke, btw.

  3. I make no apologies to anyone for saying that realistically we should be beating this Galway team by ten points. Five newcomers I personally have never heard of ok Galway have at least 2 or 3 good forwards but we still should have way too much for them especially playing at home 5 newcomers lads and lassies its not like years ago when they had Joyce Donnellan Meehan Ja Fallon Kevin Walsh himself Savage Finnegan Silke etc etc 10 point win for Mayo

  4. Quite surprising ok.Hard to see this team troubling Mayo but it is best to be wary of all teams until the holy grail is in the Sportlann.
    I would hope for a strong performance with some cementing their places.
    I really think all talk of Ros should be suspended till this one is done and dusted.A lot of people not even mentioning Galway but you have to take it one step at a time.

  5. Cant say I m too familiar with all of their backs though in fairness they do have some decent forwards

  6. On the other hand, maybe we should concentrate more on the games to come! It seems the more we dwell on Galway the more jithers its generating around the place. Are some people beginning to lose sleep over it? Green and red or red and green v. maroon and white or white and maroon. Galway v Mayo and Mayo v Galway. All will be revealed on sat.

  7. Does ant 1 know if season ticket holders get into mchale park free sat. evening as we could,t use them in ruislip……tks.

  8. Well said Backdoor Sam, if this is Galway’s team for Saturday, it’s one of the weakest ever to cross at Ballindine, shows the lack of talent down there right now.
    Again I’d expect a double digit margin by 9 pm on Saturday night

  9. Lundy is in London. Sice, Walsh and Comer will be a handful but after that…..1 to 4 are basically unheard of. Unless it’s a dummy team that fb line could be in for a hiding. Bit early for Roch to show his hand so we’ll probably be far more offensive than later in the summer.

  10. GJC………Your short piece in the previous blog topic is spot on – Caution…….Wides need to be seriously curtailed and then we’ve a great chance of a strong win. Although Mayo born and bred, I’m an SJC Tuam man (1974-79) and have a great respect for Galway. But I believe we will win on Saturday. The gradual build-up (fairly non-event league while new players were blooded) was perfect, and I think Mayo will be very competitive once again in the Championship. Exciting prospects of Evan Reagan et al becoming very efficient forwards, and giving us a much stronger attacking-6 than we’ve had in recent years. I think Rochford knows his stuff, is passionate about the Green n Red, and will provide great leadership for us this year.

  11. Long time since SJC did anything Marty K.It was Mayo fellas like yourself that gave it its status and I cant say Im sorry that they have to rely on homegrown talent!Still live and let live I suppose.

  12. Saw this article in the Irish Times today, shows how bad things are in Galway right now.
    Sorry for the long post but I think its relevant

    Ciarán Murphy: Apathy draining the life from Galway football
    While Mayo leave no stone unturned, many Galway players decline a county call-up

    This should be a week of fevered football conversation in my home county of Galway. It’s the sort of week around which the GAA world revolves – a match with your local rivals coming up, a team announcement on Wednesday morning to get your teeth into, a debate about tickets, lifts to the game, a venue for a pre-match drink perhaps.
    But having talked to a few of my friends at home, the county is wrapped in a funeral gloom.
    The Euros are stealing some of the limelight for sure, Connacht Rugby’s success is still casting a glow and the hurlers are in action on Sunday, all of which might siphon attention away from what was once and may well be again our flagship sporting tea. But the silence ahead of Galway v Mayo, in Castlebar this Saturday evening, is deafening.
    As one man in Tuam (they might as well put “the spiritual home of Galway football” on the sign outside the town, given how often it’s described as such) put it – “if you ask anyone, even in this town, how you think we’ll do this year in the championship, they’ll presume you’re talking about the hurling.”
    That’s a damning, depressing thought. An organisation can deal with a lot of things, but apathy is a difficult poison to eradicate. And the apathy around this team is almost all-encompassing . . . unfortunately, that also includes some of the best footballers in the county. Manager Kevin Walsh said last month that 52 players have turned down the chance to come in and train with him since he took over 18 months ago.

    The gauntlet
    In the last five years, Mayo have thrown down the gauntlet, and Galway haven’t even cleared their throat in response. In that time, Mayo have poured massive resources into training and preparation. The county board, despite crippling debts incurred in the redevelopment of MacHale Park, found the money from somewhere.
    James Horan may not have had the best relationship with the county board, but he had the players on-board from Day One.
    Jim McGuinness: Defensive strategy could be Donegal’s downfall
    Tipperary end 72 year wait for Cork triumph with Thurles win
    Roscommon rampant in second half farewell to Hyde Park sod
    Horan sold them all (players, fans, officials) a dream, and they bought it. For whatever reason, successive Galway managers haven’t been able to sell the dream.
    If you go back to 2009, the best 15 players available to Galway were more or less there. Taking into account the massive sacrifices they have made, and cognisant of the fact that they’re the people who have put their hand up and were willing to make that sacrifice, the 15 named this week by Kevin Walsh are not the 15 best players in the county.

    Alternative team
    An alternative team, taken from those 52 who said “thanks, but no thanks” to Walsh over the course of the 18 months he’s been in the job would have an excellent chance of winning a match between the two.
    On a macro level, it seems like a travesty. But each of those 52 players had a reason for turning down the chance to play, however badly that might sting people who still hold the idea of being ‘a county man’ as the pinnacle of one’s sporting career.
    If we can all agree the demands on our intercounty players are unreasonable, is it not unfair to then turn around and ask people why they’re not willing to be treated unreasonably?
    So to the list of things we ask our intercounty managers to do, we can now add “convincing people to do things they don’t really want to do”.
    At the top level, that takes a certain kind of man – a James Horan, or a Jim McGuinness.
    But it’s seldom a linear problem, to be fixed in a linear fashion. Do you focus your attention on getting the players onside first? Or do you focus on getting the money together, through the county board or through supporters clubs or rich beneficiaries or local businesses, to impress on the players who are prevaricating that the sacrifices will be worth it?
    The answer is – you have to do both, simultaneously, and perhaps be economical with the truth to both sides equally.
    Other counties have been able to sell that dream to enough of their best players to be successful. And it shouldn’t necessarily be the hardest sell in the world in Galway.
    I would wager there’s a good proportion of those 52 players currently choosing to be outside the camp that have either All-Ireland minor or U-21 medals in their back pockets.
    I realise I’m sitting here demanding that Galway find and hire a charismatic, business-savvy, cold-blooded, ruthless, tactically brilliant manager . . . and they don’t exactly grow on trees. Kevin Walsh is about as respected a figure in Galway football as there is. If he can’t do it, then maybe there’s an attitudinal problem in the county that is beyond the powers of even a messiah figure to fix.
    More intimidating
    But Mayo found their man in October 2010, and the gap looks more and more intimidating with every passing year. The further ahead they are in terms of preparation and physical conditioning, the less enticing a prospect it is for a young Galway footballer to put in the effort to start to claw back some ground.
    But it has to start somewhere, and relying on Mayo to come back to the pack seems like a forlorn hope at the moment.

  13. Difficult to fathom how walsh in his 3rd year is giving 5 lads their debut, his stated aim was to use first 2 years for growth as his 3 year plan . This shud be a year when his plan should be finished yet team looks totally new .! Any way that’s not our worry. Rarely has a mayo v galway clash been so under the radar.

  14. The main thing here is how drivin we will be this year. If they still have the appetite they will win by 4/5 points. Saturday will tell a lot about where our heads are this year. Up mayo

  15. 6 years ago we got beat by longford. This is the team that started.

    MAYO: David Clarke; Chris Barrett, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins; Donal Vaughan, Trevor Howley, Kevin McLoughlin; Seamus O’Shea (0-1), Pat Harte; Andy Moran (0-2, one a ‘45’), Aidan O’Shea, Alan Freeman (0-5, one free); Conor Mortimer (0-2, one free), Barry Moran (0-1), Alan Dillon (0-3).

    All bar 3 of these could play on Saturday. After this defeat, if you said this team won’t win a connacht title, not many would have argued with you. It is in this context that teams like Galway should plan.

  16. I read it earlier Davitt51 but I don’t place much stock in it.. paper takes ink and all that.. and right on que when things are good there always very very good and when things are bad they are always very very bad. Anyways I don’t give a shite where Galway are at.. its more important where we are at and if Mayo have put the proper preparation in place, which I believe they will have because they are an extremly professional outfit, then we will beat Galway irrespective of what they bring to the table. Mind games or lack there of will make no difference when Mayo take to the field.. because when we take to the field it’s to win.. simple as. Now.. I wonder how we will line out.. Aido or big bird on the edge of the D anyone?

  17. Just to answer johno63’s question, the season tickets do get us in for free, as the pay as you play only kicks in after the second championship game on Irish soil.

  18. I believe Aido should be put at the 14 with coc and Evan either side,should be a full forward line to make your mouth water,stop our wing backs bombing up the field and conceding silly goals and instead leave us with 3 guys inside,after the donegal game last year all everyone talked about was Aido at full forward,2 games against Dublin where he was on his own everyone has forgotten,put him back to 14 with coc and the great prospect Evan,keep our wing backs a little closer to home and stop conceding soft goals and we have a team that can bring home the bacon and cabbage,
    Hon mayo

  19. Cork underestimated Tipperary ( a number of the Tipperary players had left the panel over the last year, went to Australia and some went back to hurling) and paid a high price. I sincerely hope that the Mayo players and management do not underestimate the challenge Galway will pose on Saturday, remember Mayo underestimated Down in the league and were nearly relegated. Galway introduce five players to championship football but four of them have played in all of their league games. Galway played Tyrone in the league in Salthill, Tyrone won by two points, but Galway played nearly all of the second half with fourteen men (Paul Conroy was sent off) yet they ran Tyrone very close.This Tyrone team are many peoples favourites to win Ulster this year. Remember Tom Cunniffee and Chris Barrett are a big loss to the Mayo defence. Wishing Stephen and the Team every good wish on Saturday.

  20. New York Tommy, personally I think Aidos best positionis at hf where he can run at teams and be influential in the middle. There is benefits ti having him at ff if its done correctly. You are right, v Donegal he was eminence however serious tactical errors were made v Dublin, taking off a corner forward to play a sweeper left aido isolated and allowed McMahon to come across and double team him, marking him out of the game. Whats worse is that this mistake was repeated in the replay. AOS at ff can be a force if done correctly, its a waste of a highly influential player if not. Also agree that wing backs need to be more disciplined and not leave room behind them when bombing forward. Their primary function is defending after all.

  21. Taken from the Mayo GAA website:

    The Mayo team for Saturday’s Connacht Senior Football semi final clash against Galway in Elvery’s MacHale Park at 7pm is:

    1. Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy)
    2. Brendan Harrison (Aghamore)
    3. Kevin Keane (Westport)
    4. Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis)
    5. Lee Keegan (Westport)
    6. Colm Boyle (Davitts)
    7. Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)
    8. Tom Parsons (Charlestown)
    9. Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber)
    10. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
    11. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
    12. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)
    13. Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites)
    14. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber, captain)
    15. Conor O’Shea (Breaffy).

    It will be interesting to see the subs list, as I expect that the team on the field will continue to get stronger as the game progresses.

  22. I would surprised if there wasn’t a couple of changes to that team before throw-in.

  23. Strong team, prob best of whats available. Maybe a couple of changes on match day which is the norm at this stage. Facetheball, I know very well who you are hinting at and you are dead wrong. Each player is there on merit and should be supported as such.

  24. God I hope there are changes or there may be a change of ribbons on the Nestor Cup.

    We have certain players there that have failed to perform in big games previously and could not be relied upon here.

  25. This Mayo team have never underestimated an opponent in the Championship and they are not about to start now.

    Caff to me is our biggest loss. Comer can be lethal especially under a high ball.

    I would also share some concerns about the named team, but let’s see how we go on Saturday.

  26. Yeah, concerns too, but only going forward rather than on Saturday. A lot can change of course. I think that team is strong enough to beat Galway.

    I had no idea DOC had a knock. Is he squad fit?

    That’s a fair bit from our strongest 15 yet. But, still reckon it’ll be a Mayo win!

  27. I’ll be very surprised if that’s the 15 that takes field. 3 changes I reckon,. Like to see Caff in, hope reports of him being injured are untrue or exaggerated…… Keane done a great job in Salthill last year and is ideal for Comer, but Caff in my opinion is completely underrated, if fully fit always in my full back line…….. Again everyone being fully fit, Seamus OShea, has told be pencilled in,….. , Barring this and Big Aiden playing further forward, Barry Moran would better placed to partner Tom Parsons, who is undoubtedly Mayos number one midfielder….. . On the evidence I’ve seen to date hard to justify Connor OShea making the line up, with Alan Freeman, Andy Moran the and Connor Loftus all chopping at the bit!

  28. Oh sorry, How could I forget? , unless he’s injured and I haven’t heard anything about that. Diarmod O Connor, the best young player in the country, has to be included, who would be dropped in that case.?

  29. We would all like to see Caff, SOS, DOC named as they are top players but they are not available, its a squad game and there are always injuries, thats a strong team thats named, more than enough to win on Saturday, I wouldnt have any concerns in any position.

    The only annoying thing I can see is certain so called supporters trying to have a go at certain players 5mins after the team is announced. there has been so much negativity all week on here, why not try supporting the team and being positive going into the game.

  30. Mayomad, I can assure you I will be there on the evening supporting whatever team lines up for Mayo. But because I hold certain opinions on the heiracy, abilities and pecking order of player available dosent mean that I’m not 100%behind the team. I go to enough Mayo matchs to hold strong views and it’s great to be able to say, no matter what team we put out on Saturday, it will be a strong team. But every pundit, fan or observer is entitled to articulate what team they think is best. It’s only an opinion after all, and my opinions are always evolving, I like to think that my opinions are formed from the evidence I see with my own eyes! There’s no ‘Dogma’ when it comes to supporting Mayo!

  31. Dummy team IMO – would expect a couple of changes alright although I’m hearing Caff not fit. Who knows !! Rochford not known for blind loyalty to players so on recent performances would be surprised (and concerned) if at least two of the front 9 actually start.

  32. Leantimes, wasnt refering to your comments, yes everyone is entitled to their opinnions on who they would like to see playing, I have no problems with that, I have my own thoughts on who I would like to see play. I was refering to earlier comments which were just snide negative comments aimed at certain players.

  33. Rochford won’t show his hand too early in the championship. That’s a strong enough team if it lines out. It’s brilliant that we are in a position to argue the toss about who should start. It shows we are starting to get a bit of depth in quality. Injuries I’m sure have played a part in the selection process but championship game time will let the management team learn a lot more about players than any league matches would have. I predict a tight enough game up to the 50th min when our class should start to show. Mayo by 5.

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