Four All-Stars for us


Photo: GPA

The 2016 GAA/GPA football All-Star team was announced a little earlier on this morning – this year’s it’s the hurlers’ turn to have team named live at the awards bash – and we have four players on the team. The four are David Clarke, Brendan Harrison, Lee Keegan and Colm Boyle.

David’s award – his first – is, for sure, a bittersweet one, in light of what happened in relation to his selection for the All-Ireland final replay and all that transpired afterwards in that match. It is, though, overdue recognition for a player who has performed so well for us for so many years. Brendan’s All-Star is also his first and it’s a first one too for Aghamore. Great day for the parish and for a player who was outstanding this year.

Lee’s award takes him into unchartered territory as he becomes the first Mayo player to win four All-Stars. Who’s to say he’s any way close to ending his haul yet? Colm joins a select group of Mayo players on three awards.

Overall, the share-out was six for Dublin, four for us, two for Tyrone and one each for Donegal, Kerry and Tipperary. The full list of winners is here.

The lads will be collecting their gongs at the awards ceremony tomorrow night. That might not be the only trophies heading the county’s way then either, as Lee Keegan and Diarmuid O’Connor are on the shortlist for the Footballer of the Year and Young Footballer of the Year awards respectively. The winners of both these awards will also be unveiled at tomorrow night’s do. Best of luck to both of them on that front.

100 thoughts on “Four All-Stars for us

  1. Delighted that David Clarke got one. As you said yourself WJ it’s a bittersweet feeling for him. We can’t have too many complaints with that selection. Patrick Durcan was a mile ahead of Ryan NcHugh though. Onwards and upwards. Mhaigh Eo Abú

  2. Well done to all recipients. All Mayo’s in defence most likely tells its own tale, none more so than it is the only gong these players will pick up this year.

  3. Absolutely delighted for the Mayo boys and in particular this fine goalkeeper. ‘Twas a bit much to have the whole Mayo bunch selected I suppose!!!! Next time!

  4. Ryan McHugh was excellent throughout league and championship so no complaints on that one. It’s actually one of the best selected All star teams I’v seen. Mattie Donnelly was a good midfielder all year.

  5. Well done Mayo delighted especially for Clarke and Keegan on 4 all stars now unheard of for a Mayo footballer. Really hope Clarke stays on and gives it another shot and we can be more potent in attack next year.

  6. So happy for Clarke in particular…Bittersweet indeed…surely he’ll not ride off into the sunset now? Only question left is can we do the double for players of the year??!!

  7. Delighted Clarke got some recognition of being best goalie in the land. I would also have liked to see Durcan in the list. Even Andy but maybe replay knocked that on the head. I’m probably being swayed by his outgoing positive personality. Feck it, I’d like if we got the whole 15 deserved or not! Anyway well done to our 4 lads and hopefully we will pick up two more. I will be v disappointed but not surprised if Lee doesn’t pick up the big one. Could push me back in my recovery. Also can I say I’m really enjoying all the club action updates. Feel in the loop.

  8. Well done to the lads, would have liked Durcan to pick up one but McHugh was impressive also. I dont take much notice of the All Stars as usually there are some dodgy decisions but this years looks justified in all positions.

    The worrying thing for me is no mayo forward picking up one and that Im not even suprised we didnt get one. The forward situation is a big problem that needs to be addressed.

  9. Well done lads. I am especially delighted for Clarke.

    On another note “Go Cubs Go” – World Series winners after 108 years. The curse is broken.

  10. Congratulations to all the Mayo lads. I am delighted for David Clarke. He has been one of our best ever goalies at club and county. He has always been our number one. Well done to Brendan and the parish of Aghamore indeed. What an achievement, what a year. A lesson to any younger on how to “take it by the scruff of the neck when the chance is presented”. I just knew Colm was a dead cert this year.Best I have seen him and that’s something. Deserving of his membership of an elite club. I believe Lee is not done yet even if he is the oldest player on the Westport team.

  11. Agree with the Ryan McHugh decision He had a great year. Tipp might have got a second. Good selections in general.

  12. No sure about Ryan McHugh. A good year maybe but a short year for sure. Anyway Paddy Durcan shoulda got it there I think.

  13. Why is my comment awaiting moderation Willie Joe? I don’t recall posting anything untoward or conterversial in the last few months

  14. It’s up there now, Backdoor Sam – I’ve no idea, to be honest, why it went into moderation and I cleared it as soon as I saw it. Sometimes that happens (not just with you, with comments in general) and it’s never really clear why it does.

  15. Congrats to all the lads and of course, especially David Clarke. I’m delighted that he got this recognition after the year he has put in and in particular after the final.

    While I’d really, really love to see Lee winning POTY, unfortunately I think Fenton will take it. He also had an excellent year and unfortunately Lee Keegan’s black card in the final will have damaged his chances. When I think about the run-up to that game and the campaign that was orchestrated against him my blood still boils. How Ciaran Kilkenny is in the running for POTY I do not know, because all he seemed do all year was pass the ball sideways. But if Fenton won it, I wouldn’t really bedgrudge him.

    I’ve tried not to dwell too much on AIF day since it happened. I dunno about ye, but I am only now starting to recover from the shock of it. I can only liken it to being punched in the face. But the day we take Dublin down – and it will happen – will be the sweetest day of all time.

  16. While it would be foolish to read too much into the All-stars as a barometer of where a team is – it is nevertheless telling that Mayo didn’t manage to get a nod for a single forward.

    I would very much doubt (but stand to be corrected) that there has ever been a team that won the All Ireland that didn’t have a forward in the All Star team and yet if Mayo had managed a last minute goal in the final replay – hand on heart I still don’t think there is a strong case for Mayo to have got one.

    The one possible exception is Kevin McLoughlin who didn’t of course play as a forward – but then again neither did Peter Harte yet he is slotted in at number 10.

    If I was Paddy McBrearty I think I’d be scratching my head this morning….

    also going into the final – Kevin McMennamin was tipped by the bookies for player of the year….to go from that to not even getting an All Star shows you the stock that is placed on the final itself in the selection process..

  17. Sorry i am being unfair in that Moran must have been close to an award as well….and had he been the one getting that last minute goal then i’m sure we would have had the winnning team with a forward in the line up.

  18. Well done to David, Brendan, Lee and Colm, agree with those who said Paddy Durcan should have got one. It also shows how good our defenders are and to progress we need to up it at midfield and attack.
    MaighEo Abu

  19. We are not getting enough assists or scores out of midfield. This is a problem for a long time. If you look at the All Ireland winners.
    2012 – Rory Kavanagh could create overlaps and make passes/score like a forward
    2013 – McCauley at his peak creating overlaps, fist passing scores. OSullivan making passes.
    2014 – David Moran at his peak making kick passes and impressive scores
    2015 – Brian Fenton making passes and getting scores
    2016 – Brian Fenton getting scores drawn game, McCauley making runs to setup scores in the replay
    We need more footballing ability in midfield somehow. I’m not saying I have the solution to that but there has to be more attacking threat coming out of midfield on a consistent basis.

  20. Good post there JP and valid points – time to give Matty Ruane a go at least in some league or FBD games.

    As a PS on the All Stars, particular congrats to Brendan Harrison. Had been quite critical of him at earlier stages. Delighted to be proved wrong.

  21. A hypothetical situation….’ If we had won the AI’! If we had, God knows what the circumstances would have been.. the mind boggles! Two brill goals, one in each half and those five brilliant points from Aido and are Regan in the last minutes when the game was well over! ..what a day / what a team/ fair dues to The Dubs for never giving up and you can rest assured they are far from a spent force. Thought they deserved more than three All Stars…. and what about Connolly… should have got in! And who would have thought last spring that Loftus would end up an AI two goal hero and a first All Star?
    Roll on the future and our two in a row. My heart will always be throbbing in the soft light of the glorious green and red haze that covered CP on that incredible day!

  22. Jp I posted few times now that Kevin mac at midfield has great left foot and can create scores as well as finding space and great mobility. Would do u think of my idea

  23. Wake up call for us: Rock gets an All-Star ahead of all the Mayo forwards. I think their taking the piss here lads! Time to start falling in love with the black spot me thinks.

  24. Im not suprised none of the Mayo forwards got an All star, the 6 who did were well deserving of them. McBrearty, McManus,McManamin, Donnchadh Walsh would prob have been ahead of any Mayo forward this year also. Cillian is our top forward player, one of the best in the country but this year wasnt one of his best, he was average in the early games and actually quiet poor v tipp, good v Dub in both games.

    We are strong in defence and finally have a defensive strategy which works, we are no longer the naive boys from the west when it comes to defending. Forwards has always been the Mayo achilles heal. Until this is rectified we will always be the nearly men. The management team have put in place a great defensive unit and plan, I fully expect them to work more on the offensive side of our game in the coming months. I can see big changes both in personnel and tactically in how we attack next year.

  25. I’m not saying any Mayo forward deserved an All-Star. Barney Rock was a fine player in his day but for me Dean wouldn’t make the Kilkelly ice hockey team on a bad day. Still, he has his medal so what do I know.

  26. Well done to all 4. DOC should win YPOTY again tomorrow but Keegan will likely miss out on the senior award to Fenton.

    Off topic. Mayo U21 will play Leitrim or Galway in the Connacht semi final next year.

    The minors have quarter final v Galway with the winners playing Roscommon in the semi final.

    U17s have a quarter final v Sligo with the winners playing Galway.

  27. Mayomad what personnel do u see in our forward line? We lack pace. Instinct. Awareness. Left footed shooters. I believe if we pull Aiden deeper. Put speed and instinct in his place. Kevin mac to midfield. Our deliveries into forwards would be a lot better. Seamie and tom are both right footers primarily. We need more variance from thus point of view. Having to turn back onto the right foot slows things down and ur opening can be closed off hence recycling begins again. To be able to pass with both feet is great pet to have. We would get more out of our forwards then. Douglas takes on andy moran role. Reinstate regan.

  28. Congratulations, to all the All Stars especially the four Mayos resresentives!. I think our Andy Moran who was by far our best forward, in terms of, showing for, and winning his own ball, setting up scores for others, and taking his own score was particularly unlucky not to get a second award. Paddy Durcan and Kevin Mcloughin must have been very very close… Good luck to Diarmuid and Lee for both of the PotY awards.. My God, what a half back line and potentially varied half back line Mayo has, Lee on 4,awards, Colm on 3, ,Durcan nominated! , McLoughlin nominated! Vaughan has 3 nominations in the past! , add in Stephen Coen, he’s no slouch either. Drake, Barrett can and have all played with distinction in that line!… But no doubt the biggest talking point is now, and will be on the night of the awards ceremony will be the inclusion of David Clarke as the best goalkeeper in the land.. Earlier in the year when the Goalkeeper situation was in full debate, I posted that neither Hennelly or Clarke were potential All Stars, how wrong I was! Or is that a case of being half wrong???.. Any way congratulations to David, well deserved. Looking forward to David’s interview with Marty Morrissy, it will be the most anticipated GAA interview since the All Ireland , plenty of human interest in this interview as regards to how he felt about being dropped for the replay and the subsequent dramatic events.. But onwards and upwards, Castlebar and Westport march on in Connacht, best of luck to them,. Not sure if Paddy Durcan’s hamstring injury will allow him to play on Saturday, if not, and Paddy like Diarmuid has had an extremely long and hard 2016 in terms of playing football, I hope they and all Mayos players attending the All Star awards ceremony enjoy Friday night. Mayo’ s many thousands of fan’s greatly appreciate their heroic efforts!

  29. Kilkelly must have a superb ice hockey team.

    Dean Rock in 16 league and championship games scored 2-98 which is more than enough to deserve All-star

  30. Clarke was always going to get an all star so once again such a bizarre decision to drop him. Let me ask this question…how many all Irelands in mayo were lost by the players and how many by the sideline? We have a great ability to shoot ourselves in foot with bizarre decisions. More worryingly not one forward and not even a midfield nomination. Consistency is key and we need to look at what we’re doing wrong

  31. All in all, and considering the All-Stars are a media thing, it’s not a bad selection.

    The omission of Paddy Durcan is really the only big odd one. Cian O Sullivan to a lesser extent. In fairness to Paddy, it’s hard to argue against McHugh, although there is little to nothing in it. The fact that he was Donegal’s only all star with a chance, probably tipped it in his favour.

    All four Mayo all stars coming from 1-7 is more than a little worrying. I know people say it’s being worked on, but two footed forwards do not grow on trees.

    On a slight side note, if they gave an all-star for Best Manager and say, one for the bench, who would get them?

  32. Toughnup, the OConnors will definitely be there next year (though I would like to see alot more form Cillian in open play). I think Loftus and Reape will play alot next year, thats 4. Depending on KMc position determines a 5 of 6 player forward unit. If KMc a sweeper then id like to see Douglas as the 5th. That would line out something like,


    if Kevin plays in the hfs then a line up like,

    I have serious reservations about Regan. It was worrying how badly he dropped of the radar. There is obviously something in his game wheather it be workrate, intensity, strength etc that counted against him. This will be tough to overcome.

    I agree with you that AOS is not a forward and I will be really disappointed to see him line out at hf next year. Playing him in midfield would give him more room, it would also allow for a more varied attacking approach as at present way too much goes through him resulting in him getting double and triple teamed. Your idea of KMc at midfield is interesting and would offer options. To play Kevin there I thing Coen must be cb as he is most suited to playing that OSullivan role. That would result in a team like,
    Doherty, DOC,Loftus

    that would leave a very strong bench of SOS,Parsons,Vaughan, Boyle,Irwin,Regan, ODonaghue,Moranx2′

    Whatever the formation I think the defensive unit will not change much but the forwards need to be freshened up big time. To go into another year with the same set of forwards would be crazy at this stage.

  33. Thanks mayomad interesting stuff. It’s tough now playing on inside forward line with defensive setups. I just feel our kick passing needs more variation. Aiden set up a lot of scores and won some frees but I feel a faster number 11 with creative skill and instinctive is what’s needed.

  34. We had a good return in 4 all stars Dublin are supposedly the best team of all time only got 2 more Tyrone got the worth of it Harte got a brilliant score against Donegal but he didn’t set the world on fire against us in the quarter final. The younger players will not be available to Mayo for the FBD if they are in college they will have to commit to their colleges for which ever tournament they are involved in depending on which province they are attending in so we may have to stick with the old guard until the league starts .

  35. Toughnup, agree regarding number 11, DOC would be my pick to play there. The role of the inside forward particularly a corner forward has changed. No longer can they keep their position and wait for supply they how need to be able to cover more ground and really put in the work defensively (possibly not suited to Regan as he is more a tranitional corner forward). Goulding from Cork also mentioned it when retiring, he said there really isn’t room for a traditional corner forward in the modern game and the new systems just didnt suit his game.

  36. Congratulations to our All Stars. Paddy Durcan was hard done by. Delighted for David Clarke, I sincerely hope he stays for another year.
    This year is just another loss like previous years, and can rightly be levelled at the management.
    There is so much talk about Aiden O Shea and where to play him. I think he should be sprung from the bench and give him time to learn from watching the opposition how to distribute the ball from centre field and how fast this is done and not be running into could De sacs. He is a wonderful athlete and the only worry I have is that the team won’t get the best out of him similar to K.McDonald who never played where he would have had a more effective benefit to the team . This is up to the management.

  37. Congrats to the four lads selected as All-Stars and best of luck to Lee and Diarmuid in the POTY categories!

    If you add Keith Higgins and Ger Caff to this list of Mayo players who have won All-Stars as defenders, then pretty much all of our defenders have been the best player in their position at one time or another over the last few years. That’s a great achievement.

    You can add to this Paddy Durcan who was selected as the Opel player of the month for October as well. Donnie Vaughan is probably the odd man out here and you would have to say that he has been very unlucky with injuries etc. and his versatility has probably gone against him also. I think Chris Barrett was nominated in 2013 for an All-Star as well. I wonder was Robbie Hennelly nominated that year too.

    Then we have Stephen Coen who captained our Minor and U21 winning teams and add to this Michael Hall and Eoin O’Donoghue and our defence looks very strong. Kevin Mc of course as well who has been very unlucky over the years not to get an award, again his versatility might have gone against him. He could have easily got one in 2012 or this year.

    It’s up to our midfielders and forwards now to get up to the same level of consistency as our defenders, i.e. being the best players in the country in their position. We need to see this if we are to finally get over the line. The form of the players who played in our winning Minor and U21 teams in 2013 and this year, suggest that some of these players can make that step up and lets hope that they do.

  38. HSE good post but here’s the rub. Our backline has finally got a stability and an edge that makes us formidable. But that comes at a price, reduced forward power and decreased ability to break gainlines. There’s no magic bullet, as even Kerry have discovered.

  39. Well done to our Allstars. Keegan by a mile is the best all around player in the country today. That goal in the replay and those 2 late points in the semi or quarter final were top drawer quality and hit by a fella with massive belief in himself.
    Dublin plotted and succeeded in removing Mayos best player from the game and even then they only won by a single point, some ” greatest team of all time” alright. I hope Rochford and go take good notes and send Mayo out next year to send dublin back home without their trophies. Both league and Sam!

  40. Delighted to see Clarke get his, at least some people recognise him, unlike mayo management

  41. In my opinion AOS is not fit enough for midfield. He looked wrecked with 20 mins to go in a good few championship matches so you wouldn’t want to add up and down the pitch to that. Also would not move ball quick enough so not a mf option. Nearer square I think

  42. Pk, Aidan has been tried in the square and on the hf line, in some games alternating between both he is simply not a forward. The sligo game is long gone and to be honest isnt a true measure as the sligo full back was hopeless,Ronaldson would have won a few of those balls.
    For me he is a midfielder pure and simple. If he isnt fit enough to play there then he is an impact player from the bench, just not in the forwards.

  43. “No egos no media profiles just pride effort and medals”
    That’s what Enda Gilvarry said bout our All Ireland winning u21 team. So true also of our 4 All Stars epitomised by Brendan Harrison who does all of his talking on the field.

  44. Well done to our four winners Especially delighted for David Clarke Glad the crazy decision to drop him for the replay did not cost him. Surprised Patrick Durcan did not make the team Can’t see how you could argue that anyone else in that position had a better year.

  45. @catcol, Yeah you just get the feeling that in the last couple of years we haven’t got the balance right between workers and flair players in the team. I always thought that it too much to have Jason Doc, Diarmuid and Kevin Mc in the one team, especially last year, as at least this year we had a different role for Kevin Mc.

    I would have preferred another out and out scorer or flair player included in the team instead of one of these workers. In fairness to the management team, Conor Loftus got injured during the year and therefore it was a pity that he didn’t get to play as much as you have liked to see.

    For example I’d have preferred to see Conor start the replay and see how he would have done. Dublin started Mick Fitzsimons specifically to mark Andy Moran, so we could have caught them off guard and started Conor while holding Andy in reserve for the second-half or even earlier if Conor was struggling.

    Hopefully next year we will get the balance right as when Stephen Rochford was managing Corofin, the hallmark of that team was having shooters or red hot strikers up front in the full-forward line.

  46. i think rochford will really shake things up next year. things got going rather late this year and i think he did well to put a mark on the team in the circumstances. i think next year though will be his chance to do a bit of chopping and changing and figure out what kind of team he really wants, bring in new, younger lads, maybe make a few hard decisions, etc. i’m looking forward to seeing what he’ll do.

    do people think we should make a serious go of the league next year or blood more young players? i don’t know if it would be possible to do both.

    and lastly, well done to our all-stars. paddy durcan perhaps a bit unlucky, but there were a few players from different counties who were. not everyone can get one unfortunately and i wouldn’t have too many complaints about the chosen team. i hope keegan picks up the player of the year. he is the most complete footballer in the country right now.

  47. Nerd coming out in me. The stats are as follows as regards awards won. Overall Mayo have won 6% of the awards since 1971. Our goalies (2) have won 4.3% of the goalie awards, Forwards have won 4.7% of the forward awards, Midfield 6.5% of the midfield awards and backs 7.6% of the backs awards. Assuming a 32 county country we have won double the average. Backs have dominated with 21 awards, 13 forwards, 6 midfielders and 2 goalies.

  48. I am getting fed up of hearing certain Mayo players in the media for whatever reason. Respect to those who do their taking on the field

  49. Mac 5 Mayo – that comment from you overstepped the mark. Criticism of players is allowed but generalised trash-talking of players isn’t. If you want to criticise a player, you need to be able to back it up with specific incidents from matches, while making sure that what you say is fair and reasonable. On the other hand, if you just want to slag off a player then I’d recommend you stick to social media. I’m not interested in hosting that kind of stuff here. If you haven’t seen the house rules on comments on the site, then please have a read – here.

  50. Big aim for Mayo next year is to try and beat Dublin in the league and championship since Jim Gavin took over Mayo haven’t beaten them so they try and end that first.

  51. I understand the interest in the Mayo story is phenomenal and a certain amount of interviews have to be given particularly in the run up to championship games. I’d just be happier if the guys that give the interviews get more versed in “say nothing and keep on saying it”. To be fair some of our guys are good in this field. Thought Tom Parsons spoke well on the night of 2017 draw. They are small things but small margins win Sam.

  52. dreamysleepynightysnoozysnooze, for me getting new players into the panel and getting them a run of games and integrated into the county scene is much more important than the league. With no semis in the league it will be much harder to qualify for croke park, we would need to play a really strong experienced team from the start. Getting a few lads in, a couple of wins and secure div 1 status would be good enough, its all about gearing for the championship.

  53. does success breed success though? i know we need to have an eye on the future, but surely we need to actually try and win a national title now too? i think it would be a great morale boost ahead of the championship to actually win the league. though i see the importance of getting the young players in. i wish there was a way to do both.

  54. Congrats to the 4 Mayo All Stars. A great achievement and well deserved. Delighted for D Clarke who has been superb for us every time he plays. Great first for B Harrison on the back of a very solid year. Boyle always gives 100 per cent while Keegan has been the
    best player in country. We did not deserve any All Star from 8 to 15. All worked hard but no one outstanding. Hope Clarkes award is not used as stick to beat Rochford. Decision was made with best intentions, it backfired, we lost. One last point and I know this will not be viewed favourably by many while I am delighted Clarke got the award I feel Cluxton is the best goalie in the country. Sure he had a nightmare 10 minutes v kerry, but he recovered and was excellent v Mayo. His kickouts are unbelievable and he is the best keeper I have ever seen. Good and all as Dublin are, having won 4 AI s in 6 years, I really wonder would they have won any without Cluxton.

  55. DOC will win young POY. I have to say that whilst Cluxton is better at kick-outs overall I think Clarke is a better keeper e.g. Shot stopping, aerial ability etc. Cluxton is a decent keeper but personally I think he’s a little overrated.

    Harking back to the AI final I think one major mistake made by management that has gone under the radar is not having a plan to deal with McAuley coming off the bench. The reality is that he has been the game changer in our two replay defeats to Dublin over the last 15 months. Last year he caught crucial balls from our kickouts to set up the 2 killer goals and this year his strong running at our defence set up Costello’s 3 points and BB’s also. He also caught some key balls in the middle of the pitch in this years replay. This guy has killed us in the two replays over the last year…..but it’s gone a little bit unnoticed!

  56. To win just once,, your right on the money there. Next year, Rochy and his team have to take total control of the Mayo seniors..I think during the league some changes should have been made, and one or two players were consistently played without playing up to the level required. The management were not proactive enough in making tough decisions that I think were necessary. Now that is understandable to a certain extent, considering the coup against the previous management, it’s a fine line between being in total control or having no control. I have a feeling that with the unfortunate events of this year and last year, sectional influences will have lessened and that is to be welcomed. True mistakes were made but the intention was good, Rochy & Co were brave enough to make decisions, even if some of them decisions proved unwise. Next year will be another year for decisions, and brave one’s will be needed as well. The decisions taken to change the way Mayo defend, were initially unpopular with the media and some of the poster’s on this site but you have to admit they were a formidable defensive outfit by the time the championship ended… Brave decisions will be needed next year in terms of our attack,.. I think our management has what it takes to achieve just that, but I would like to see much more of the evolution work done during the league.. Neil Douglas and Matthew Ruane will have to be tried, maybe other’s as well, Freezer saw very little playing time this year, hard to see him being less effective than some of the replacement forward’s Mayo used this year.. We’re on the road a very long time now, but overall we’re still young enough and good enough and I think committed enough to do the job.

  57. We need to rebuild our team from C.F. through to no 15. I think its time that some of our overrated stars who did not perform in the County semi finals should be assessed and give way to some new faces from our u/21s particularly in the FBD and the league proper. I think it is a disgrace that Ballintubber could only scored once from play giving the quality of their team and Breaffy to be beaten by a Knockmore team who in turn were outclassed by Castlebar who have some quality players.I would expect that a number of those players to be drafted into the panel and Barry Moran should get more game time he still shows that he has the class and the Mayo mgmt.could do worse than study Castlebars method of the way they move the ball quickly with accurate foot and fist and no lateral movement.

  58. Congrats to David Clarke , our first goalkeeper all star since Gabriel Irwin in 1989 .

    Really hope he stays on for a while longer , this team is inches away and we won’t do it without him .

  59. It wasn’t a disgrace. Castlebar are like a division three county team. They’re a step above all in Mayo. The reason is simple. Their players are much fitter and are at a good level of skill. Solely down to the individual and collective hard work of those players.

  60. Agree totally Mayo51 we need Clarke in Goal end of if we have any aspirations of winning Sam with this team.

    Delighted he got the recognition he deserves

  61. Philor, I do agree that we need new faces in the forwards and a more varied approach to attacking, we are way too predictable which made it easy for Dublin to set up defensively.

    While new players need to be brought in, they need to be in the panel full time, not just a few league games then cast aside as the current lads filter back in. Personnally I have no interest in the FBD, I think it should be done away with, it serves little of no purpose, its a breeding ground for injury, Higgins got injured in a daft FBD game and missed a huge portion of the league this year. The league only really starts in the third game. As a result I think any player that comes in needs to be part of the panel for the full year to see how they would preform in championship, thats the measure of a player, not league or FBD in the middle of January.

  62. Down in Ennis in May I glanced at the program and easily picked out 9 or 10 players who would be underage in 2017. Underage is underage and top tier intercounty senior football is a totally different. This point is being missed by so many different posters. They either do not know or they are taking the piss. What about DOC and Cillian I hear you cry. When they got a chance against senior squad they were good enough to make the grade. Calling for more underage players to get selected and given game time will not get you any closer to an AI. At the end of the day we need the best 20 players irrespective of their age.

  63. @PJMcamanus
    Also what is missed a lot is the factor of pace. If you don’t have pace you won’t get open from a Jonny Cooper or a Mick Fitzsimmons. Defenders like that can make back the yards even if you sell them a dummy run.
    Height and physicality also. There is a barrier there around six foot. Under six foot you’re going to need some serious pace.
    On our U21s actually I think we have a serious panel available for next year just with how it has worked out with some lads improving and the factor of there being some 19 year olds involved last year.

  64. No one is saying that their should be a complete clear out of older players, but what is being said is that a number of the u/21s be brought in and give them proper game time in the league and add them to the championship panel. I am only talking about forwards, as our forwards apart from a few are not producing much in the scoring department.
    As we are all well aware that we did not get any All Star forward on the team and I don’t hear anyone complaining, but on the other side we all know that Paddy Durcan was hard done .
    Mick O Dwyer won 4 All Ireland’s in a row in Kerry with a team that were in their early twenties , so as the saying goes if they are big enough and fit and skilful enough they are good enough.

  65. I heard Alex Ferguson make a very good point when he was talking about his time managing Man Utd. What he said was that he always tried to have three groupings within his squads:

    1. Young up and coming hungry players.
    2. Players at their peak who would drive the team on.
    3. Experienced players who could give leadership to the younger players.

    This he seen as a constantly evolving process, so there should never be too many older players or too many young players. A good mix of each of these three groups is what he always aimed for. It seemed to work for him for a good number of years anyway.

  66. Pjmcmanus, 8 points from play over two games says it all, those two games v Dublin are the true measure of our team and they are the ones we will need to beat to land the big one.
    There simply needs to be changes, going with the same forward unit again would be ridiculous and we will be back this time next year saying the same things as we have for the past ten years, no scoring forwards.

    Loftus and Reape have a years training with the senior team (Loftus lost some time through injury) these two should be ready to play next year, if not then they shouldnt be on the senior panel. I wasn’t too happy Reape was on it this year as he was taking up a place even though he was never going to play but I see the logic in exposing him to the set up, however if he is not ready to play next year he should be replaced, cant carry a player for two years while others sit at home. AOS not a forward, never was and at this stage never will be, the experiment is a failure and should be stopped. Midfield or impact from the bench.
    Anyway, Reape, Loftus and I would bring in Douglas, thats three forward players who can score from play that can be named in a team. Add to that Irwin, D Coen then we will have serious options in the forwards. All players mentioned should be ready to play, they are not underage players anymore.

  67. You can’t drop a player next year who is still U21 because they don’t make the 26 (I assume your definition of “not ready to play”.
    By 2018 said player would be U22 and more mature. By that kind of logic, we wouldn’t have on the panel now Brendan Harrison probably our most consistent defender.
    He wasn’t “ready to play” for the seniors at U21 stage. But we stuck with him on the panel and he kept steadily improving.

  68. Aiden is a forward of sorts. Though not a scoring forward. The keegan goal illustrates how to use him but u need clever delivery when he makes the move. He does create a lot of space and attention and I think a better forward plan will do the business. I’m on record as saying o shea ain’t a forward but I’m willing to discuss how better to use him at chf as he will be there again next year so no point in saying he should play deeper ad that won’t happen. He needs to stop taking frees and sideline ball’s. He needs to make runs and create space for others. Bernard brogan is brilliant at this. Connolly also very good at it. Even when they have an off day their still creating space for others. Ask cormac Costello. I image our management had a 3 year plan. Our defence is now very good and caff will improve this. I’m saying it again but kmac fir me is good man to deliver passes. In to midfield with him and I can see massive difference in our forward play. He can kick with both feet and cover serious ground. He can find space and kick an odd score. Parsons and seamie are to powerful men but are both right footed and it’s a draw back. A left footed midfielder brings new dimension and opens few more doors when attacking. Mdma for dublin is class at finding space. Small little changes make huge differences.

  69. You probably have something there about both midfielders being right footed. In general there are very few left footed midfielders around (none come to mind nationally?).
    But yes, in a crowded area, it is good if the left footer can break off to the left wing and potential tacklers are more usually covering over to block a pass from his right side. The player is more open to pass and less likely to be blocked. Can pass more comfortably on the run.
    With the way the game is gone with speedy defenders, it is nearly easier for a left footer to score from his bad side (left wing) and a right footer to score from his bad side (right wing). You see it with all of the outside of the boot right footed points we get. Players used to have the time to check back on to their favoured side and then shoot. Now you have to get the shot off whenever you can and often on the run without much steady up.

  70. Toughen up Aidan is a great player as is his brother. I agree we need to develop a new plan for him He created one of the goals of the year and his timing was spot on. Mayo moved the ball a lot by foot in 2016 and I hope we continue with this approach in 2017. We need to give our big players an edge up front. Quick early foot passing is as good a way as any. Ask anyone from Kerry.

  71. That’s right jp. Diarmuid is great at out side of the right boot shots. Michael ford from Ballycastle is he left footed.? Mayo news this week had a piece on him. He was in panel before. Shane nally is left footed although bit 1 paced. I think we may have stumbled on the few percent extra that’s needed to get over the line. See how effective brian Fenton is off each foot. His point against kerry off left boot was vital. He scored against us with the right boot. It makes huge difference.

  72. @JP – pace is key I agree completely . I am very hopeful of the likes of Loftus, Reape, Akram, Kenny, and O’Donoghue in time. If they possess the necessary ambition, bottle and show they are up to it. It was never in question with DOC, or Coen.

  73. @Toughnup
    I agree with you on how to use AOS and the Keegan goal is the perfect template. Midfield play has changed so much in recent years and Aidan is not mobile enough or doesn’t possess the kind of stamina required for this role.
    But he has unique attributes that can be utilised – size and strength, a great catch and decent footballing skills. All he needs to do is win the quick ball in or around chf and give a quick pass to a runner or an inside man who can score or take a return pass at full speed. That and making it very awkward for the backs trying to break out of defence and we might have a winning formula.
    To play this way he will need to unlearn some of his current ‘style’ and that will require excellent coaching and a good deal of humility on his own part to accept that a lot of what he is doing isn’t effective anymore and that his contribution to the team is less than it could be. I still believe he is an exceptional talent but he needs to reinvent himself if he is to achieve his true potential. Otherwise he may well remain an enigma and go into the history books in a chapter under the heading “If Only!”

  74. Michael Forde is left footed from what I have seen of him for Ballycastle. But he seems comfortable on his right also. He is fairly silky with the ball. When he is soloing or shooting/passing it all looks nice and fluid. He is a build that is very slim though. Probably what has counted against him. If he could get stronger it would help him a lot.

  75. Dublin have there homework done and know that we’re a team of right footers really. Bar a few here and there we primarily are a team of right footers. I think goalkeepers also need to be 2 footed now to vary kickouts and gain that little bit extra. If I’m 2 footed I can offer more support to Aiden and come in from 2 sides receive the ball and shoot. If I only have 1 hoof recycling is only option if I don’t receive it on my preferred side.

  76. JP, regarding my comment about dropping an U21 who isnt ready to play. Definitely I would drop him. Brian Reape is a serious talent and I can see the logic of having him in the panel this year as it would aid his development but he was nowhere near the matchday 26. One year is ok to develop a player but you cant carry a player for two years and still not be able to call on him to play, thats reducing our options from the panel who can be called upon. If Reape isnt ready to play championship football next year then he shouldnt be on the 34 man panel.

    The manager has to be able to call on every player on the panel to do a job and push for a starting place, thats how you get competition for places and forcing players to work for their jersey. Its the secret to Dublins success. Right now we have a starting 15 with about 5 or 6 subs that are called upon. That leaves 13 players who have little or no chance of playing, that needs to change, the competition in the panel needs to be better.

  77. @Mayomad I would advise as a subject of interest if you read into the area of improvement in field sports for athletes. It is reckoned the peak of a field sport players is somewhere around 28. They have had the greatest duration of exposure to the sport and they still retain all of their speed and power.
    So axing a player at 21 looks a bit premature does it not? How do you know you’re not axing a player who will keep on improving 22,23,24.
    Passing percentage in soccer midfielders was checked extensively and keeps on increased throughout 20’s into late 20’s.
    If you look anecdotally at strikers in soccer. Look at the age at which the careers really take off of strikers. Always into mid 20’s. Very rare you see a player hitting a performance peak at 21. They always build up to it steadily from that age.
    In summary I think if a player is a small bit off at 21 it’s insane to then axe them permanently from the panel.

  78. @toughnup, Conor Loftus scored two great goals in the All-Ireland U21 final this year, one with his left foot and one with his right foot, so that’s what you want to see. He is a player that can use both feet so hopefully he will stay injury free next year and get plenty of gametime. He would be the perfect type of player to feed off the likes of Aidan O’Shea etc.

  79. @pjmcmanus – yes I have been arguing that pace is critical. All you mentioned look good to me to be tried. And let’s not forget Evan Regan who has been tried and to my mind did very little wrong. But remember also, this time last year the clarion call was for Regan to appear in the corner forward berth and all would be well.

    Managers just will not go with any forward who is new when it comes to the crunch. Joe Schmidt isn’t taking any changes with Joey Carbery either I notice.

  80. Hse yes that’s what I’m looking for. Evan regan should do more work with his right foot to give him extra dimension. Is brian reape 2 footed does anyone know .? Another player I like from the neale is Aiden o sullivan. Fast and can score

  81. JP, I never said axe a player permanently from the squad. Im saying when the manager is picking his 34 man panel for a coming championship then each of those 34 need to be a viable option to come in and play. You can bring as many players to training sessions as you like but that 34 who you are going with to win an AI must be available to play. Im using Reape as an example of a player who was on the panel but was never going to play, this reduced the managers options, he was already one forward short not including injuries. Now I full expect Reape to play next year so its not really an issue but if he was in the same position as this year then he shouldnt be part of the 34.

    Using soccer players as an example is not really comparable as they are professionals with full time contracts who have huge academys to cater for player development.

  82. @mayomad
    Okay yes, thought you meant axe permanently from the panel.
    I would agree with you that the 34 should be close enough to being match day. We are probably though shaking off a little bit of innate conservatism in Mayo. We don’t tend to spring young players in that much. Could be part of it.
    For example I seen Lee Keegan in 2010. He was ready to rock and yet think he wasn’t part of the 26/34 in 2010. He replaced Trevor Mortimer in 2011 due to injury and I was fully confident not alone would he be fine, but he’d actually be an improvement.

  83. Agreed JP, Mayo for some reason are hesitant to play young players. Thats fine if they are really raw and not ready. However most 19year olds have played a couple of seasons senior club football and are playing collage football with other senior county players, U21 is really competitive with a number of senior players on most teams. I think Reape, Loftus,Irwin will be ready to play next year, I cant see why not. Also Ruane, Akram are serious athletes and would have the capacity to step up. The one player I really want to see progress in the county setup would be James Carr, he is too young yet but a serious talent, I can see him tearing it up in the U21 next year.

  84. I want to see a front 6 of Cillian, Diarmuid, Loftus, Douglas, Irwin, Reape.

    In some shape or form. Just to see how they go. There’s goals in there.

    If they clicked they could be unplayable.

  85. Well done Lee Keegan. Breakthrough in 2011 came on as a second half sub in All Ireland quarter final vs Cork. 5 years ago. Since then 4 all stars, nominated twice for player of the year winning in 2016. Top man Lee. There’s even better days ahead

  86. Well done to Lee Keegan, must have been a close run thing with Fenton. The hurling was a complete joke with the same person winng both awards. Seamus Callahan 100% deserved it.

  87. Congrats Diarmuid and Lee. Nice little cryptic reference to the disgraceful journalists who shamelessy targeted Lee in the week before the final

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